Thursday, June 2, 2011

Brioche Sponge Cakes

This week, I decided to try to be a vegetarian for a week. I didn't have any good reasons for doing this really other than to test if a strictly vegetarian diet would produce immediate benefits in a week.  Would I feel any different?  Have more energy? Lose a lot of weight? Have a sharper mind? Ha! But of course, like all things in life, there are no shortcuts. This must be a long term process. So far, I have found that it does take some efforts to avoid meat in the dishes I normally eat, and soy lattes take a LOT of getting used to. However, I am not suffering from meat withdrawal because I don't eat much of it to begin with.  Instead, the challenge has been going without eggs, lattes, cheeses and milk. Eggs and dairy serve as the "binder" ingredient in most baked goods, so it is hard to bake without these ingredients.

To get around this problem, I looked through my stash of recipes to see if there is a way to make a vegan cake, but it is hard to get the texture of cake right without using any eggs.  Yeah yeah, you can do the whole yogurt and apple sauce thing, but in the end, the cake still needs a binder, so this recipe has 3 eggs. Strictly speaking, this makes it not a vegan recipe, but for those trying to cut out animal fat, the cake does not contain butter but is made using heart healthy, Omega acid-rich canola oil.  This spongecake is light and soft, as the body of the cake comes from beating the dough a little more than usual, incorporating air into the eggs.  The cakes will stay soft for 2-3 days. It is perfect for an afternoon snack.  Soon after I baked these cakes, I re-wrote my own "vegetarian" rules to include eggs.  :)

Here is the cake recipe:

3 Large Eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon custard
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup canola oil
Almond slices


Preheat oven to 360 F and let all ingredients come to room temperature.

1) In a bowl of a stand mixer, add eggs, sugar, honey and salt.  Mix on medium speed until the whole eggs have turned into a paler shade of yellow. I recommend that you use speed 3-4 on a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer and beat for 2 minutes.

2) Next, add the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and custard powder. Beat for another 30 seconds until they have incorporated into the batter and there are no lumps in the batter.

3) Next to enter will be the canola oil.  Add it all at once and beat for about 1 minute until the batter is completely smooth and has no lumps.  The consistency of the batter is is shown in picture 4.

4) Check the consistency of the batter.  It should be thick and hold a "ribbon" shape.  This will ensure that the finished product will have the desired body.

5) Load the batter into lightly oiled brioche molds, but it is also ok if you do not oil the molds as the cakes will still release properly. 

6) Sprinkle a few flakes of almond slices on top of the batter.

7) Bake in a 360 F oven for 10 minutes, and lower the temperature to 350 and bake for another 15 minutes.

8) Test for doneness.

Let the cake cool to room temperature before removing them from the molds.  Serve.
Sink your teeth in it!
Thank you for reading!



Use a proper brioche mold to ensure that the cake will have a soft center nub.  The mold is designed to push the air out so that the air rises properly. This recipe yields 8 cakes when baked with this mold.


  1. is there a substitution for custard powder? thanks
    please reply to

  2. can this recipe be made for cupcakes?
    please reply to

  3. Hello there,
    This recipe is best made in a brioche mold because it gives a fluted edge, but it can be made into a cupcake, sure. You can substitute dried milk powder for custard powder. Thanks!


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