Triple Passionfruit Sponge Cake. Yet another passion fruit recipe inspired by Australia and New Zealand. I can't get enough of these amazing desserts from down under.
Another recipe adapted from Edmonds baking book. I am really enjoying these recipes from this beloved New Zealand baking book.
Adapted because some recipes call for specific brands only available to New Zealand so I tested with a few different brands of flour and sugars available here in the US. Every test of the cake came out amazing.
The sponge for this cake is close to a classic genoise sponge. Where the whole eggs are whipped with sugar until super light, thickened and massive in volume. No separating of yolks and whites here. That would be more like a Victoria sponge. Both are great, I just like the less steps it takes to make genoise sponge.
And of course this sponge cake is made with passion fruits from Rincon Tropics. They sent me so many amazing passion fruits, no obligation to make any recipes but to just enjoy. I decided that the world needs more passion fruit recipes so here we are with another one!
Triple passionfruit sponge cake because there is a passion fruit syrup that gets soaked into the layers after baking, a filling of sweetened whipped cream mixed with passionfruit curd and a passionfruit drizzle icing that goes over the top.
This cake is a show stopper. Can you tell I have been watching way too many Great British/Canadian/Australian baking shows lately?
Genoise sponge is light and airy and perfect for a whipped cream frosting or simple icing. I don't frost these with heavier buttercreams since the cakes are so light. These are perfect with seasonal fresh fruit too.
How do you make sponge cake?
Sponge cakes are really simple to make. You want to use cake pans that are at least 3 inches high so the cake can climb up the pans. Any shorter and they will be a much denser cake.
The trick to sponge cakes is the volume you get from whipping the eggs and sugar. You want them to whip for at least 10 minutes. You can tell that they are whipped enough by spooning out some and letting it ribbon back onto itself in the bowl. The ribbon of batter will be very thick and take a few seconds to melt back into the rest of the batter.
Sifting of the self rising flour and corn starch are very important. Sift together and then sift over the egg mixture. Use the mixer whisk attachment to fold in the flour.
Another trick to get the melted butter and milk mixed in without deflating the batter, is to take some of the batter, about a half a cup or so and mix the two together in a separate bowl then carefully fold that back into the remaining batter.
Work quickly to get the batter in the pans and into the oven the more it sits after being whisked the more it will deflate.
Since the spongecake is so light and doesn't have many ingredients to it for extra flavor, I always add a simple syrup brushed over the cake layers when they are warm and again before assembly.
This gets another layer of flavor in and the passionfruit syrup here is so good. Extra syrup you can save for cocktails or to flavor plain soda water. Or to make another cake with it.
The cake filling is like a cheat's mousse. Passionfruit curd folded into thick, sweetened whipped cream. I could eat spoonfuls of this on its own, but as a cake filling it is excellent and goes so well with the light weight sponge cake layers.
I went with this as just the filling since I wanted to make a separate drizzle cake type icing for the top.
Seeds are optional in the curd and fillings, I like them because their look is classic to passionfruit. You could also make this cake with any citrus flavors - lemon, lime, grapefruit curds and icings would be amazing as well.
Berries would work well too, such as raspberry or strawberry. The sky is the limit with a cake like this and a great genoise sponge recipe.
A few notes about this triple passionfruit sponge cake first:
- Pay careful attention to the whipped eggs and sugar to make sure they have whipped long enough for a light and fluffy cake
- Use self raising flour since that is what is used in the recipe I adapted from. I didn't test this with making my own self-raising flour or using plain flour and leaveners. The self-raising flour does the trick along with the corn starch.
- Work quickly to fold in the sifted flour and corn starch
- Use the trick of taking a cup of the batter to mix in the milk butter mixture. The original recipe said to pour this down the side of the mixing bowl then fold in but I found that just left a puddle of liquid at the bottom of the mixing bowl.
- Bake until just set. This is a dryer cake so over baking it will make it very dry.
- Brush the cake with the warm passion fruit syrup when the cakes are still warm then again when cooled.
- Handle the layers carefully when assembling
- You can use either my recipe for passion fruit curd or store bought. If making mine the cake will take an extra day to make for making and chilling the curd. You will have a lot of curd with my recipe for other uses like for my passionfruit Lamingtons or any other recipe using curd.
Triple Passion Fruit Sponge Cake
For the sponge cake layers:
- 6 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup caster suger 200g
- ¾ cup self raising flour 110g
- ½ cup corn starch/corn flour 60g
- 2 tablespoon butter 30g
- ⅓ c milk 60ml
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the passion fruit simple syrup:
- ½ cup water
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup fresh passion fruit -juice pulp and seeds.
For the filling:
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream 375
- 3-4 tablespoon powdered sugar
- ¾ cup passion fruit curd
For the passion fruit icing
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar 180g
- 2 tablespoon melted butter 60g
- 2 passion fruits juice, pulp and seeds
- Fresh passion fruits and strawberries sliced
Make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 325. Butter and paper two 8x3 inch baking pans. Butter then place a circle of parchment paper, butter again then lightly flour. Set aside
- In a bowl of a stand mixer whip the eggs with the salt until frothy, slowly add in the caster sugar as you raise the speed once it is all mixed in. Whisk on high for 10 minutes until the mixture is light, much higher in volume and thicker. While this is whisking melt the butter and mix with the milk and vanilla.
- Once the egg mixture is super thick, sift the flour and cornstarch over the top and use the whisk attachment to fold it in. Take about a cup out and place in a separate bowl. Mix this with the melted butter milk mixture then fold back into the rest of the batter.
- Divide the batter between the two pans and tap a few times on your counter to get rid of air bubbles. Bake for 18-20 minutes until puffed and golden, a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with just a few crumbs. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, carefully run a thin spatula around the edges and then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Make the passion fruit syrup:
- While the cake is baking make the passion fruit simple syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a pan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add in the passion fruit. Stir well and remove from heat. Let steep at least 20 minutes. Strain out the pulp and seeds.
- Brush some of the warm passion fruit syrup over the tops of the two layers of the cake to soak in while the cakes are still warm.
- This could be made a day ahead of time but make sure it is warm before brushing over the cake.
Make the filling:
- Whip the cream to soft peaks, add in the sugar, whip until stiff peaks. Remove a cup for piping on the top of the cake. Fold in the curd to the remaining sweetened cream.
Make the icing:
- Sift the powdered sugar well then whisk all the icing ingredients together and set aside.
Assemble the cake:
- Place one layer on a cake plate or stand, brush with more passion fruit syrup, then add the filling spreading it thick and to the edges. Place the other cake layer on top and cover that with the icing. Using a piping bag with a large open star tip, pipe some rosettes around the edges and a larger blob of it in the middle. Decorate with sliced fresh strawberries and fresh passion fruit cut in half.
- Cake is best served same day or you can wrap in plastic wrap and keep chilled and will keep ok for a few days.