Duck egg sponge cake

Duck egg sponge cake

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(21 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 35 mins

More effort

Cuts into 12 slices
Duck eggs make this sponge extra light and fluffy - cover in a rich buttercream for a showstopping Easter bake or stunning birthday cake

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal717
  • fat38g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs86g
  • sugars71g
  • fibre1g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.7g
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    For the sponge

    • 250g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 5 duck eggs, or 250g weight of beaten hen's eggs
    • 250g white caster sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 250g self-raising flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    For the buttercream

    • 250g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
    • 600g icing sugar
    • 2 tbsp milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    • 1 vanilla pod
    • food colouring (optional)

    For the decoration

    • cocoa powder, for dusting
    • selection of mini chocolate eggs


    1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease then line 2 x 20cm cake tins with baking parchment and grease the parchment too.

    2. Crack the duck eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and whisk for about 5 mins until pale and fluffy. Keep whisking as you add the melted butter, a little at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.

    3. Fold in the flour and baking powder with a large metal spoon until you can’t see any pockets of flour. Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and bake for 35 mins or until bouncy to the touch and a skewer poked into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the tin, then turn out onto wire racks when cool enough to handle.

    4. To make the buttercream, tip the butter into a big bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk. Add the icing sugar, 2-3 tbsp at a time, until it’s all incorporated, adding the milk halfway through the process. Scrape the seeds out of a vanilla pod, add them in and whisk again. Transfer half the buttercream to another bowl and, if using, stir your food colouring into one of the mixtures. I used blue and a dash of green to create a classic duck egg shade.

    5. When the buttercream mixtures are ready and the cake is cold, level the cakes with a bread knife, cut each one in half through the middle and stick all the layers together with the uncoloured buttercream. Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of the coloured buttercream – this will seal in any crumbs. Chill the cake for 30 mins, then cover with the rest of the buttercream and use a palette knife or pastry scraper to make the buttercream flat.

    6. To finish, sprinkle about 1/4 tsp of cocoa powder onto the cake to create a speckled design. Repeat this in different sections of the cake, then top with a cluster of mini chocolate eggs and serve. Will keep for 2-3 days.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Jennypugh62's picture
    9th May, 2020
    Super impressed with this recipe to use up duck eggs! Wanted to use up a bag of coconut sugar too and the finished result was a delicious slightly treacly super light cake!
    Lynette Ewart's picture
    Lynette Ewart
    22nd Apr, 2018
    I can't say that the duck eggs made enough difference to warrant the extra ££ and calories. Mary Berry victoria sponge still wins for me.
    29th Mar, 2018
    Amazing! I’m a coeliac so changed it to gluten free flour but still tasted incredible! I agree with previous comment regarding not enough buttercream to cover whole cake so would make some extra but other than that I loved it!
    15th Aug, 2017
    I love this cake! I used regular hen's eggs and sandwiched with the icing and some salted caramel sauce, super sweet and indulgent but worth it!
    Ms Delicious
    19th Mar, 2017
    Fabulous cake - was really pleased with the result. I sandwiched the sponges together with apricot jam (no bits) and vanilla buttercream. I thought I woul use my creative skills to make a duck egg blue frosting however I got abit heavy handed with the colouring and I realised I had to stop when it was starting to resemble the colour of the duck pond ! Next time I may use a splash of blue curaçao in the frosting to give it that pale blue hue and added flavour too.
    30th Sep, 2016
    Lovely cake - shame the icing didn't go very far. If aiming to cover the cake completely, I would recommend making another half-portion of the buttercream.
    25th Sep, 2015
    Was wondering how to use my duck's eggs when I found this recipe. Every sponge I have tried before has always ended flat, sunken or just awful. This cake was fabulous. It rose beautifully and there was no sinking when I took it out of the oven. The texture and taste were exceptional and it was very moist. Filled it with jam and fresh cream and dusted it with icing sugar instead of the suggested buttercream. An absolute winner!
    hannah.b.b's picture
    9th Apr, 2015
    A lovely sponge cake, and a very simple recipe. I had no problem getting the duck eggs at our local Sainsburys. I made the recipe as written, but added some raspberry and apricot jams between the layers for a more interesting flavour. It's a very sweet and simple cake - definitely not the most interesting thing I have ever baked, but pretty and perfect for feeding a crowd, especially if the crowd includes picky eaters or children.
    Petite Risa
    1st Apr, 2015
    A beautiful sponge cake, so full of flavour and soft and fluffy! The duck eggs were a little hard to find, but so worth it as they gave the cake a completely different taste and texture compared to chicken eggs. I made this without the buttercream and just had some homemade strawberry & marzipan jam in the middle - absolutely gorgeous!
    13th Sep, 2017
    My cakes did not rise a lot, probably doubled in height ,so I have a question about the whisking. Presumably you use the balloon whisk on the mixer - but what speed - ?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    17th Sep, 2017
    Thanks for your question. We're sorry to hear your cakes didn't rise as much as you'd hoped. If you're using a stand mixer you can use the beater attachment or use a hand whisk. Having said this, if the cakes doubled in size that sounds pretty good. Once you layer with icing they should give you a good overall height. For more tips on baking, check out our tips here:
    3rd Apr, 2015
    The cake in the picture has 4 layers but the recipe only mentions 2 - do you need to double the recipe to achieve the picture?
    4th Apr, 2015
    You need to cut each cake in half ....
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