Mandarin Orange Sponge Cake

Sour lemon, Japanese yuzu and sweet Mandarin say hello in this fluffy cake.  Serve Mandarin Orange Sponge Cake plain, with powdered sugar or glaze and watch the smiles appear. 

This recipe is adapted from Carole Walter's Orange Sponge Cake recipe in Great Cakes.

  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 2/3 cup plus another 2/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon peel
  • ¼ cup mikan (Mandarin orange) juice (One 11 oz can of Mandarin oranges + 1 tablespoon Japanese yuzu citrus juice)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Japanese yuzu citrus juice (or lemon juice)
  • 1 ½ cups sifted cake flour
  • 7 large egg whites
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Dig out your 10-inch angel food cake pan. (Do not grease or flour.)

In your blender, liquefy the contents of an 11-ounce can of Mandarin oranges along with 1 tablespoon Japanese yuzu citrus juice.

Whip up the yolks and whole egg for 2 minutes. One tablespoon at a time, add in 2/3 cup sugar. (Takes about 5 minutes to incorporate the sugar.) You are aiming for a pale lemon color.

Ninja Note:  Do scrape the bowl often when creating baked goods so all the delicious ingredients can mingle and say hello!

Sprinkle in the lemon peel. Pour in the juice and combine with the eggs and sugar.

In a clean bowl, whip up the egg whites. When frothy add the pinches of salt. Next, the cream of tartar. As soft meringue peaks appear, pour in 2/3 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of Japanese yuzu juice. Glossy looking peaks of egg whites is your signal to stop mixing.

Gently fold ¼ of the meringue into the egg yolk /sugar mixture. Tenderly add in the rest of the egg whites. When all is properly combined, pour the batter into your angel food cake pan.

Bake for 65 minutes. (Maybe it’s not necessary but I like to wrap foil around the bottom of my angel food cake pan – just in case. I place the foil wrapped pan on a cookie tray for baking.)

As the 65 minute mark approaches, if the cake is golden brown and springs back from a light touch, turn the oven off. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately invert onto a cake rack.

Allow an hour or more for the cake to cool.

Run a frosting spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. And gently settle the cake onto a platter.

For the glaze: Whisk one cup of powdered sugar with 3 tablespoons of Mandarin orange juice.