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Orange Sponge Custard Cake

“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” -Julia Child

This month, February shall be vintage month! If you didn’t already know my other love besides baking is research, more specifically historical research. There is something about the past that gives me intrigue and interest. I want to combine my two loves this month to include some vintage recipes from the 1930s.

Yes, this includes an orange sponge with delicious vanilla custard. But this recipe is not an ordinary one. I’ve come across this recipe in a vintage cookbook from 1939. I came across such a cookbook in the little book village in Hobart, NY in the local bookshop “Creative Corner books.” This particular cookbook is called All About Home Baking. The book includes black and white pictures of bakes and detailed instructions on how to bake specific types of goods such as cakes, bread, pastries, among other things.

I’ve decided to dedicate this to be vintage month inspired by recipes found in this very cookbook. I am intrigued to see how these recipes hold up against the test of time and see if proportions are the same as they were in the late ’30s.

This cake recipe is an excellent bake that a whole family can enjoy. The sponge is light and has an aroma and taste of strong orange. The custard is smooth with a hint of vanilla that complements the sponge well. I think that this recipe is a hit! Bakers in the 1930’s knew how to make a cake to please even the pickiest of eaters. Best of all it is not a hard recipe to follow and makes for a good “quick whip up a dessert” cake.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. As always, keep baking.



1 ¼ cup cake flour

1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon orange zest

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

¼ cup orange juice

¼ cup water


3 Tablespoons of cake flour

⅓ cup sugar

Dash of salt

1 cup milk

2 egg yolks, beaten

½ teaspoon vanilla


  1. Make the sponge: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt three times

  3. In a stand mixer beat together ½ cup of sugar, orange zest, egg yolk, and eggs until a pale yellow. Then add the rest of the ½ cup of sugar slowly.

  4. Add orange juice and water.

  5. Add in flour mixture gradually beating until smooth after each addition.

  6. Place mixture into a 9in round cake pan and bake for 40-50 minutes.

  7. While the sponge is cooling, make custard cream filling: prepare a double boiler or boil water in a pot and put a bowl on top.

  8. While water is boiling, combine flour, sugar, and salt in the top bowl of the double boiler.

  9. Add milk and egg yolks, stir to combine cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly or until mixture has thickened.

  10. Cool before spreading the custard between sponges

  11. Assembly: cut the sponge in half then spread custard cream over one half and sandwich with the other half. Enjoy.

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