This sponge cake is from Betty Crocker circa 1986. It’s the only recipe I’ve used and it’s never, ever failed me. This is really basic, so it’s easy to tweak it any way you like to suit your own tastes. For instance, instead of Chantilly cream you could make a peppermint whipped cream, or add Chambord instead of vanilla to the cake. The variations are endless, just not in this house.
FOR THE SPONGE CAKE
1 cup granulated sugar
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
1-teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 15x10x1 baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.
Beat eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high until thick and lemony in color (this could take up to 5 minutes). Gradually beat in sugar on low speed. Then beat in water and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Do not over beat. Pour batter into prepared pan, spread to corners using a spatula.
Bake 12-15 minutes until center springs back when pressed with finger. Sprinkle a clean tea towel with confectioner’s sugar. Loosen edges of cake from sides of parchment paper and turn upside down onto a tea towel. Peel away paper; trim any stiff edges from rectangle. While hot, roll cake and towel up from the narrow end. Let cool on a rack for 30 minutes.
FOR THE CHANTILLY CREAM FILLING
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1-tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Beat cream, vanilla and sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until stiff peaks form, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4-4-½ cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup milk
Whisk flour and cocoa together in a medium bowl. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Gradually beat in sugar mixture on low speed until blended. Gradually beat in vanilla and enough milk until the frosting is smooth. If the frosting becomes too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar, if it too thick, add milk by the teaspoon.