Margherita cake



Recipe by
Iginio Massari

Margherita cake is a key component of many pastry creations, one of the most classic and best-known desserts that we simply had to include in our recipe portfolio. A sweet treat with a very long history behind it, this type of sponge cake is part of the farming traditions of central and northern Italy; it was “the celebration cake” that evolved over the years in terms of both its composition and the method to prepare it, until it eventually became a real source of pride in the kitchens of even the finest master pâtissiers, who are always striving to achieve the perfect whip. This margherita cake recipe is based on a very simple and fragrant mixture of eggs, flour, and sugar, all enhanced with a touch of lemon zest that gives the cake an appealing aromatic touch and softens the flavor of the eggs, which really feature heavily in this recipe. The margherita sponge cake probably gets its name thanks to the intense yellow color of the dough and the generous sprinkling of powdered sugar that mean it resembles the colors of a daisy, or margherita in Italian. A very soft and delicate cake, it’s great plain, but also perfect for filling, too. Give our version a try and bring that extra touch of cheer to your children’s snack time, or even serve it as a sweet breakfast option – after all, it’s so good you’ll always find an excuse to treat yourself!


Ingredients for an 8-inch (20-cm) cake pan
Flour 00 ¾ cup (90 g)
Potato starch ⅓ cup (50 g)
Sugar ¾ cup (150 g)
Baking powder ½ tsp (3 g)
Eggs 3 (180 g)
Egg yolks 3 (50 g)
Fine salt ¼ tsp (1 g)
Lemon peel 1
Butter ⅓ cup (90 g)
For the decoration
Powdered sugar to taste

How to prepare Margherita cake

To prepare your margherita cake, melt the butter over very low heat and then leave to cool. Pour the eggs and sugar 1 into the bowl of a stand mixer. Turn the mixer on, using the whisk attachment on a medium speed. Add the salt 2 and grated lemon zest 3 before the eggs are fully whipped. 

Whip on a high speed for 8 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time 4. Combine the flour, baking powder 5, and starch 6 in another bowl,

and sift the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper, twice 7. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add all of the dry ingredients at the same time 8. Increase the speed to achieve an even consistency, then turn off the mixer. Take some of the dough, transfer it to a bowl 9

add the melted butter 10, and mix quickly using a spatula to create an emulsion 11. Add a little more of the mixture to the bowl 12

and mix until you achieve an even consistency 13. Pour the mixture back into the bowl of the stand mixer and mix from the bottom up. As soon as you have achieved an even consistency, transfer it into a greased and floured 8-inch (20-cm) cake pan 14, possibly Teflon-coated. Bake in a conventional oven preheated to 375°F (190°C) for 40 minutes. After this time, take the cake out of the oven 15 and leave to cool. 

Turn your margherita cake out onto a wire rack 16, garnish with powdered sugar 17, and serve 18.


You can store this margherita cake under a glass cake dome for up to a week.

Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to a month. 


Why not trying filling the cake with a generous layer of lemon-flavored custard?