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Mrs Haigh’s Vanilla Sponge Cake

From 1924 Alfred Haigh's wife Lettie and her friends made cakes that were also sold in Haigh's stores. This recipe has been adapted to suit modern times from one found in a collection of hand-written recipes saved by Sallie Heysen, wife of the artist Hans Heysen. Sallie did not always disclose all the ingredients in her favourite recipes; the original one had a vital omission, sugar! We thank Allison Reynolds who discovered the original recipe among Sallie Heysen's collection at 'The Cedars'.

Difficulty: Moderate


  • 8
  • 1 cup (150g) corn flour (maize)
  • 1 tablespoon plain gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 5 extra large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup (110g) raspberry jam
  • 1 punnet fresh raspberries
  • Haigh’s Dark Chocolate Couverture, grated, to garnish
Milk chocolate cream


  • 30 mintues Prep
  • 25 minutes Cooking
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Lightly grease 2 x 20cm spring-form tins and line with baking paper.
  2. For the chocolate cream, combine cream and water together in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, place 200g Haigh’s Dark Chocolate Pastilles in a medium bowl.  Remove cream mixture from heat and pour over chocolate, stirring until combined. Not all the chocolate will melt immediately, so stir every few minutes until chocolate is completely melted. Allow to cool, before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating for 2 hours or overnight.
  3. To make the sponge, sift the flours, bicarbonate soda and cream of tartar together 4 times and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl combine egg yolks and vanilla bean paste, stirring until well combined. Set aside until required.
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. While the mixer is going, add the sugar and beat for 1 minute until combined. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the egg yolk mixture. Continue beating for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved and mixture becomes thick, glossy and creamy in appearance.
  6. Carefully sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture, folding gently until combined. Place each cake tin on a scale, and evenly divide the mixture between the two tins, which will help the cake layers cook to an even thickness.
  7. Place tins in preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes or until centre of each cake springs back when gently touched. Remove cakes from oven and carefully run a knife around the inside of the tin to release the edges of the cake. Turn the cakes onto wire racks to cool.
  8. To serve, whip chocolate cream mixture with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Place one sponge cake on a serving plate and spread jam over the top, followed by half the whipped cream. Place remaining cake layer on top of the cream, top with remaining chocolate cream, fresh raspberries and grated chocolate.
  • Our Quality Guarantee

    At Haigh’s we have been making fine chocolates in Australia since 1915 for our customers to enjoy. We will continue to source only the very best ingredients, including premium cocoa beans, and use artisan skills combined with specialised chocolate making techniques to create award winning chocolates.


  • Delivery Promise

    The chocolates you have chosen with great care will be packaged with attention to detail and we will endeavour to deliver your order in a timely manner anywhere in Australia every time.