How to Turn a Basic Sponge Cake Into Something Truly Special

So, you want to make a show-stopping dessert or birthday cake for a loved one but find yourself pressed for time and completely overwhelmed by the number of recipes, videos and guides that you find online. Guess what — you’re not alone. If you’re like most Australians, chances are you’d much rather buy a basic sponge cake at the supermarket than spend hours slaving in the kitchen making one from scratch (after all, who is to say your cake batter won’t deflate and end up looking more like a pancake than a sponge cake? We’ve all been there!). 

Fast forward a couple of hours and you’re back home from the supermarket, sponge cake in hand. Now, onto the slightly tricky bit — how are you going to turn this very plain looking cake into something spectacular? That’s where we come in to help! Today, we look at some incredible sponge cake hacks that will turn even the most basic of store-bought sponges into something extraordinary, so read on to find out more. 

1. Turn It Into A Decadent Layered Cake

The great thing about a basic sponge cake is that it provides a neutral base on which you can build a myriad of flavours and textures on. One of the easiest ways to transform any basic sponge into a 3 tiered delight is to simply use a serrated knife to evenly divide your cake into three layers. At this point, you can decide on what filling you want to sandwich your layers together with. Here is a simple recipe for a fluffy buttercream that is sure to not disappoint: 


  • 250g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 cups Icing Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk 

Optional: 85g melted Dark Chocolate (for Chocolate Buttercream)


  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar in and whip until aerated.
  2. Add Vanilla Extract and Milk, then whip until combined. At this point, beat in melted chocolate if using.
  3. Spread a generous amount of icing on each layer of cake, sandwich and then frost the sides and top of your cake. 
  4. Chill for 1 hour to allow the icing to firm up before enjoying.

cake recipe


2. The Cutest Cake Pops

Cake Pops are — as the name suggests — lollipops that are made from a mixture of crumbled sponge cake and icing. Cake Pops are incredibly popular with both children and adults, and you’ll find them in trendy cafes and cake shops all around the country. Any sponge cake can be turned into Cake Pops as long as you have icing, lollipop sticks and melted chocolate to coat your pops! 


  • Sponge Cake, prepared (I used 1/2 of a 9×13 devils food box cake)
  • The icing of choice, prepared 
  • Milk/Dark/White Chocolate, for melting and coating 
  • Lollipop sticks 
  • Sprinkles


  1. Add cake to a large bowl and crumble until it resembles fine crumbs. 
  2. Add in frosting a little bit at a time until the cake is moist and can hold a ball shape, yet is still slightly crumbly. 
  3. Using a mini ice cream scoop, scoop out mounds of cake mixture and roll into a tight ball. Repeat until all the cake mixture has been rolled into balls.
  4. Melt chocolate of choice in the microwave or over a double boiler. 
  5. Dip the tip of the cake pop sticks into the chocolate and insert into the cake balls about halfway. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  6. Melt the remaining chocolate in a large cup. Make sure you have enough chocolate to completely submerge the cake pops.
  7. Remove cake pops from the freezer and dip carefully into the chocolate until covered.
  8. Let the excess chocolate drip off. Swirl and tap gently if needed.
  9. Add the sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet. Stick the decorated cake pops into a styrofoam block to finish the setting.

cake recipe


3. Fancy Cup Desserts

Desserts in cups have been all the rage recently, and with good reason too. Most cup desserts combine a mixture of diced up sponge cake, whipped cream, mousse, fruit and other add-ins that make them an absolute treat to eat. Aside from tasting amazing, they also require little to no skill to pull off. Try out this amazing recipe for a Chocolate Mousse dessert that’ll fool anyone into thinking you spent hours slaving away in the kitchen! 


  • Chocolate Sponge, prepared
  • 100g Sugar
  • 75g Water
  • 300g Thickened Cream
  • 150g Dark Chocolate 


  1. Chop prepared sponge cake into cubes and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat until dissolved and allow to cool. 
  2. Next, melt dark chocolate over a double boiler and set it aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, whip thickened cream until light peaks form. Gently fold in slightly cooled melted chocolate until the mixture is homogeneous. 
  4. Place cubes of sponge cake into the bottom of a cup and drizzle with prepared sugar syrup. 
  5. Add a layer of mousse and then repeat once more — cake, syrup, mousse.
  6. Allow desserts to set in the fridge for 4-6 hours before enjoying.  


And there you have it — 3 show-stopping desserts that you can make with a simple store-bought sponge cake. With desserts that look this good, no one will ever know how easy they were to make. Your secret is safe with us.

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