This is my sponge cake recipe, I would like to know why add the 2 tbs of hot water

  • 4 egg separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup cornflour
  • 1 tbs custard powder
  • 2 tbs hot water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour

Here is the method:

Prepare 2 x 20 cm deep round cake tins. Grease with butter and dust with combined icing sugar and cornflour

Preheat oven to 180C (356F)

Add vanilla to egg yolks.

Sift all dry ingredients, except salt and sugar, twice.

Beat egg whites and salt until stiff. Gradually add sugar. Beat in yolks.

Fold in sifted dry ingredients, THEN ADD THE HOT WATER.

  • Hi, does your recipe say what to add the water to? It's a very unusual recipe, with three separate starches (custard powder, cornflour, another teaspoon of cornflour). Are you supposed to add the water to the egg yolks before foaming them? This would be the most logical thing to do with it.
    – rumtscho
    Feb 7, 2015 at 8:29
  • There's 3 amounts of corn flour in you recipe (taking into account custard powder is just coloured corn flour) yet no form of gluten... To me that's more confusing than the extra water?
    – Doug
    Feb 7, 2015 at 9:03

1 Answer 1


My sponge cake recipe has the same thing (though I think it has 1/2 dl water). It's basically because the person creating the recipe found that without it the cake batter was too thick and didn't yield a cake that was airy enough. When I left out the water, the cake became more dense and didn't rise quite as much. I find that that water is a nice place to add various flavours, like lemon juice or coffee by substituting some of the water.

  • Dl=deciliter? So half of a dl=50ml? It seems obvious, I'm sure, but in the US we don't see dl in cooking contexts, so I want to clarify.
    – Jolenealaska
    Feb 7, 2015 at 23:38
  • 1
    @Jolenealaska Correct :)
    – user141592
    Feb 8, 2015 at 2:38
  • But at what point do you add it, and why hot? I'd be afraid that hot water would start "cooking" the spot it hits prematurely. Thinning makes sense, but it's normally done with room temperature liquid.
    – rumtscho
    Feb 8, 2015 at 7:43

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