Old fashioned billy sponge

Does anyone else remember having billy sponge as a child? My mother used to make it on the coal range and we’d have it served with stewed fruit from the garden. This would have originally been made in a billy suspended over a fire or in a coal range but has been adapted it for a baking in a non-stick loaf tin in a modern oven.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • extra ¼ cup sugar to sprinkle

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Spray a 23 x 12cm loaf tin, preferably non-stick, with non-stick cooking spray. Dust the tin with the extra sugar, shaking out any excess that doesn’t stick to the surface.

With an electric mixer beat eggs and sugar until very thick and pale.

Mix in the flour and baking powder and pour into the greased and sugared prepared tin.

Sprinkle a little extra sugar over the top surface and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until well risen and rather cracked on the top.

Cool on a wire rack and slice when cold. (The texture is quite chewy).

(The cake lasts 2 – 3 days stored airtight and it makes a great dessert base topped with fruit and ice-cream, or it can be grilled or toasted).