Egg Yolk Sponge Cake with Lemon Filling


After making a double batch of white cake for my daughter’s Rainbow Galaxy birthday cake, I had eight egg yolks left over, plus a bunch of zested lemons, a block of cream cheese, and most of a can of sweetened condensed milk left from other party treats. Always loath to waste things, I decided to use the leftovers to make a dessert the following weekend. Fortuitously, the ingredients all worked out reasonably well.

The tough part was the egg yolks– ordinarily I’d consider a creme brulée, but I wanted something more portable and shareable, so I managed to find a sponge cake recipe that calls for all yolks rather than all whites. I was skeptical, but it came out okay. A little dry, I thought, though I don’t believe it was overbaked– I think a little oil or butter would’ve helped it retain more moisture. However, it had a nice flavor, a lovely golden color due to all the yolks, and it split easily after cooling to make two layers.

To use up the lemons, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk, it was easy to find a recipe for lemon icebox pie using those ingredients. I figured that if I made the filling and let it thicken most of the way before spreading it between my cake layers, it would work out. Oddly enough, it stayed pretty loose– more like regular pudding than like a firmer pie filling– but it tasted good. Not very lemony (likely due to the lack of lemon zest) but good. More like a cheesecake with a hint of lemon.

Anyway, here are the recipes if you’re interested, though I don’t think I’d make either of them again without some tweaking.

Egg Yolk Sponge Cake (adapted from Call Me PMC)

  • 8 egg yolks, at room temp
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (about 230 grams or 8 oz.)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  1. Line a 9″ round cake pan with parchment and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks until pale yellow, very fluffy, and thick. This will take at least 3 minutes in a stand mixer, so don’t skimp!


4. Gradually beat in sugar and beat 2 minutes on high speed, stopping to scrape the bowl.

5. Reduce speed to low and add vanilla and cold water.
6. Add dry ingredients and beat on low, just long enough to combine.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


8. Cool cake for 15 minutes on wire rack before removing from the pan. Cool completely on wire rack.


Lemon Cheese Filling

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tbs. lemon zest (optional)

1. Beat cream cheese until smooth and slowly add sweetened condensed milk while beating. (adding the thicker milk first will help avoid lumps)

2. Add lemon juice and beat until smooth.


3. Chill until thickened and spread between cake layers, or chill until firm to serve in scoops alongside the cake. You’ll need to serve the cake the same day, because the texture gets dry when refrigerated, which is necessary to keep the filling set.



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