Mary Berry Joconde Sponge Recipe

Mary Berry Joconde Sponge Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 30 Mins

Mary Berry Joconde Sponge is an exquisite, light, and almond-flavored sponge cake that forms the foundation of many elegant desserts, particularly in French patisserie. This fine-textured cake is known for its flexibility and rich taste, making it perfect for layered cakes, entremets, or even as a decorative outer layer for various mousse or cream-filled delights.

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What is Mary Berry’s Joconde Sponge Recipe?

Mary Berry’s Joconde Sponge recipe is a delightful and versatile almond-flavored cake, ideal for numerous desserts. Characterized by its thinness, this sponge cake is easily molded into various shapes or used as elegant linings for cake rings and molds. Typically, it’s filled with luscious cream, mousse, or fruit and adorned with chocolate or glaze. The recipe stands out for its simplicity and elegance, offering adaptability to a range of flavors and occasions.

The recipe serves 8-10 people and can be prepared in about 30 minutes, offering a relatively quick route to a sophisticated and versatile dessert base.

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Why You Love this Recipe

Mary Berry’s Joconde Sponge is beloved for its simplicity and elegance.

Here’s why it’s a delightful addition to your baking repertoire:

  • Simplicity in Preparation: With minimal ingredients and clear instructions, this cake is accessible to bakers of all skill levels.
  • Light and Airy Delight: Its delicate texture and balanced sweetness make it a versatile base for a variety of desserts.
  • Creativity Unleashed: The Joconde sponge invites artistic expression, allowing you to tailor it to various tastes and occasions.
  • Seasonally Versatile: Whether it’s a summer berry treat or a winter delicacy filled with spices, this cake suits any season or celebration.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Joconde Sponge

To make a Joconde sponge cake, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 125 g (4 1/2 oz) caster sugar
  • 50 g (1 3/4 oz) plain flour
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter, melted
  • 75 g (2 3/4 oz) ground almonds
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

Useful Equipment

You will also need the following equipment:

  • A 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9 in) baking tray
  • Baking parchment
  • A large bowl
  • An electric whisk or a stand mixer
  • A spatula
  • A sieve
  • A wire rack
  • A sharp knife
  • A ruler

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Joconde Sponge Recipe

Here are the steps to make a Joconde sponge cake:

Step 1: Prepare the Oven and the Baking Tray

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan, gas mark 6).
  • Grease a 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9 in) baking tray with some butter or cooking spray.
  • Line the baking tray with baking parchment, leaving some overhang on the sides. This will make it easier to lift out the cake later.

Step 2: Whisk the Eggs and Sugar

  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk or a stand mixer for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick, and pale, and leaves a trail when the whisk is lifted.
  • This step is important to create a light and airy batter for the cake.

Step 3: Fold in the Flour, Butter, and Almonds

  • Sift the flour over the egg and sugar mixture and fold it in gently with a spatula, trying not to knock out the air.
  • Add the melted butter and the ground almonds and fold them in as well.
  • The flour, butter, and almonds will give the cake its flavor and structure.

Step 4: Spread and Bake the Batter

  • Spread the batter evenly on the prepared baking tray, smoothing the surface with a spatula.
  • Bake the cake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cake is golden and springs back when lightly pressed.
  • Do not overbake the cake, as this will dry it out and make it hard to cut and roll.

Step 5: Cool and Cut the Cake

  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool slightly on the baking tray.
  • Then, lift it out with the parchment and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Dust the cake with icing sugar and cut it into the desired shapes and sizes, using a sharp knife and a ruler.
  • You can use a cake ring or a mold as a guide, or cut freehand. You can also use cookie cutters to make fun shapes.

Step 6: Use or Store the Cake

  • Use your Joconde sponge cake to make your favorite desserts, such as cakes, pastries, or trifles. You can fill and decorate the cake with cream, mousse, fruit, chocolate, or glaze.
  • Or, store the cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Joconde Sponge?

You can serve your Joconde sponge cake with any of the following:

  • A cup of tea or coffee, for a classic and cozy treat.
  • A glass of champagne or sparkling wine, for a festive and elegant occasion.
  • A scoop of ice cream or sorbet, for a refreshing and indulgent contrast.
  • A drizzle of honey or maple syrup, for a simple and natural sweetness.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Joconde Sponge

To make a perfect Joconde sponge cake, follow these pro tips:

  • Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before whisking them, as this will help them whip up faster and create more volume.
  • Do not overmix the batter after adding the flour, butter, and almonds, as this will deflate the air bubbles and make the cake dense and tough.
  • Do not overbake the cake, as this will dry it out and make it hard to cut and roll. The cake should be golden and springy, but not browned or crisp.
  • If the cake sticks to the parchment, peel it off carefully while the cake is still warm, or moisten the parchment with a damp cloth and then peel it off.
  • If the cake cracks or breaks while cutting or rolling, patch it up with some leftover cake pieces and some cream or jam, or cover it with chocolate or glaze.

Variations of Mary Berry Joconde Sponge

The Joconde Sponge offers a canvas for creativity. Experiment with these suggestions to tailor it to your taste:

  • Flavor Fusion: Incorporate vanilla, citrus zest, or spices like cinnamon into the batter. Chocolate lovers can swap some flour with cocoa powder for a chocolate twist.
  • Colorful Creations: Add food coloring for vibrant hues or use different nuts like pistachios or walnuts for subtle color variations.
  • Textural Twists: Mix in chopped nuts or chocolate chips for crunch, or sprinkle almonds or coconut flakes before baking for a decorative top.
  • Filling Fantasies: Pair with whipped cream, pastry cream, or fruit mousses. Embellish with fresh fruits, chocolate drizzle, or a sprinkle of powdered sugar for a finishing touch.

How do I store Mary Berry Joconde Sponge?

To store your Joconde sponge cake leftovers, follow these steps:

  • Wrap the cake pieces tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place them in an airtight container.
  • Store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Label the cake pieces with the date and the flavor, so you can easily identify them later.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Joconde Sponge?

To reheat your Joconde sponge cake leftovers, follow these steps:

  • If the cake pieces are frozen, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight, or at room temperature for a few hours.
  • If the cake pieces are filled or decorated, remove the filling or topping before reheating, as they may melt or spoil.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the cake pieces on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until warm and soft.
  • Enjoy your reheated Joconde sponge cake, or add some fresh filling or topping if desired.


What is a Joconde Sponge Cake?

A Joconde sponge cake is a type of sponge cake that originated in France. It is named after the Mona Lisa, which is also known as La Joconde in French. The cake is said to resemble the painting because of its thin and smooth surface, and its almond flavor.

What makes Joconde Sponge different from other sponge cakes?

Joconde Sponge is distinct for its inclusion of ground almonds in the batter, giving it a unique flavor and a delicate, slightly nutty texture. It’s also known for being very flexible and thin, often used as a decorative outer layer for entremets or layered desserts.

Can I make a Joconde Sponge without almonds due to allergies?

Yes, you can substitute ground almonds with an equivalent amount of all-purpose flour to avoid nuts. However, this will change the flavor profile and texture slightly, making it more like a traditional sponge cake.

Is it necessary to use a silicone baking mat for Joconde Sponge?

While not strictly necessary, a silicone baking mat or parchment paper is highly recommended for baking Joconde Sponge. It prevents sticking and makes handling the thin sponge much easier, especially when transferring or shaping for various dessert constructions.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s Joconde Sponge is a versatile and elegant cake that serves as a perfect base for an array of exquisite desserts. Its light texture and subtle almond flavor make it ideal for creative culinary expressions, from festive gatherings to intimate celebrations. Whether dressed up with lavish fillings or enjoyed in its simple elegance, this sponge cake is sure to impress.

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