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Make a sponge cake without using butter

make a cake without butter

Here’s a great recipe how to make a scrumptious sponge cake without the use of butter or margarine

In Spain, it’s normal for people to make their sponge cakes without the use of butter or margarine, or milk!

What do they use instead then? you may ask yourself.

I was working in a nursery, when a mum came up to me and gave me a slice of her son’s birthday cake. Me, being a faithful lover of cakes and biscuits took it upon myself to wolf it down. And let me tell you, it was the yummiest cake ever! Yes, even more scrumptious than my banana and raisin cake.

I just had to know how this slice of palatable heaven had been brought into existence. The mum in question, Mrs. Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty (Name changed to avoid you tracking her down and begging her to bake it for you) told me with a huge smile that it was the first time she had ever baked such a cake, and that the recipe in question had been given to her from a Spanish friend. With a huge beam, Mrs Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty informed me that the cake contained absolutely no butter or margarine, and no milk. I didn’t even know such a feat was possible! I was brought up on the solid belief that all cakes had to contain butter or margarine. My recipe books were full of evidence.

So, come on, tell us – what was the magic ingredient that replaced the butter?

Some of you may already know or have guessed by now. Maybe some of you have always been using this substitute ingredient all along? Please let me now if you have, as it was new to my ears and all the people that I know.

Olive oil! Yes, Mrs Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty informed me that Spanish people were accustomed to putting olive oil in cakes instead of butter or marge. And then she hit me again with yet another surprising ingredient. The cake also contained a pot of natural yogurt. Who would have thought – not me! And to astonish me further, she told me that also bicarbonate of soda was added in with the plain flour instead of baking powder or self-raising flour.

You can probably tell that I’m not a regular cake baker right! To me, all cakes were made with self-raising flour, eggs, butter, milk and sugar. Not once did it occur to me to be adventurous and use olive oil and soda. Thank you Mrs. Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty for enlightening me and sending me on a path to messing up the kitchen counters and experimenting with items that are in the back of my cupboards.

I’ve since had quite a few attempts at making this no butter or milk sponge cake. Most of them turned out quite ok for an amateur. But see if you can do better and let me know how you get on.

Sometimes I sprinkle in raisins, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I add a squeeze of lemon juice. And sometimes I add in crushed almonds. It’s entirely up to you – it’s now your butter-free creation. And you don’t even need weighing scales or special measuring cups!

sponge cake without butter or margarine

Recipe for Mrs Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty’s butter-free sponge cake


  • 3 medium sized eggs
  • 1 cup of natural yogurt (I used a small 125g pot)
  • 1 yogurt cup measure of olive oil
  • 2 yogurt cup measures of sugar (brown or white)
  • 4 yogurt cup measures of flour (wholemeal or plain)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

Let’s get started making this cake…

  • Separate the egg whites and beat them until the liquid is fluffy and white.
  • Add in the egg yolks and whisk it all together.
  • Add in all the other ingredients: measures of sugar, olive oil, flour, yogurt, bicarbonate of soda.
    (Squeeze in fresh lemon juice if you are doing a lemon cake)
  • Optional: You can either leave the mix like this, or add in any other ingredients that you may prefer. Such as one mashed banana. Mixed dried fruit. Crushed pineapple pieces. Canned cherries. Etc.
  • Now give it all a good mix.
  • Line/grease a cake tin – and pour in the mixture.
  • Place in a pre-heated oven at 180º for 40 mins. or until it is golden brown and baked all the way through. Test it with a skewer if needed.

Ice the cake if you wish

sponge cake without butter or margarine

I turned my butter-free cake into a birthday cake by icing it and adding sprinkles.

Find out here what the difference is between a fairy-cake and a cupcake!


Enjoy your butter-free sponge cake, courtesy of me and Mrs. Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty

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4 thoughts on “Make a sponge cake without using butter

  1. I’m excited to try this, but I’m a bit confused. You wrote that it has yogurt in it, but it doesn’t appear in the ingredient list.

    Also how many ml or grams is your yogurt cup measure? In Canada we have several sizes, so I want to make sure I do it right! Thank you so much!!

    1. Hi Katrina! Thanks for pointing that out! I’ve added the yogurt to the list! I used a small pot 125g. If you use a larger one, then just keep it consistent by filling it with the other ingredients. But make sure it’s not too large or you will end up with a huge cake!

  2. I learn something new wow never too old to learn I am going to try this for my girls

  3. I will give it a try thanks for sharing

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