Try Joe and Herb’s Sponge Cake

This weekend’s premiere movie Walking with Herb is the charming story of Sixty-five-year-old Joe Amable-Amo. Joe is feeling a bit out of sorts, and has lost his spark for life when he receives a message from God telling him he has been chosen to deliver an inspirational message to the world. As Joe embarks on a spiritual journey, along with God’s personal messenger and motorcyclist, Herb, he learns that to make a difference he must learn to face his fears and have confidence in his abilities.

For some reason, the humble sponge cake seems to be quite a motivator for golfer Joe and his spiritual sidekick Herb, so we’ve tracked down the recipe.


• 300g good quality butter, unsalted and at room temperature (if you only have salted butter, omit the salt)

• 1 1/4 cups (300g) caster sugar

• 6 eggs, beaten

• 2 cups (300g) self-rising flour (or plain flour with 2 tsp baking powder), SIFTED

• a good pinch of salt

• raspberry jam for filling

• thickened whipping cream for filling

• icing sugar for the top of the cake or other fillings of your choice

Special equipment: 2, 8″ round cake tins, baking paper, handheld or stand mixer

Oven temperature: 180°C (160°C fan forced)

Make the Cake:

1. Line the bottoms of the pans with baking paper. Grease the pans using butter or a spray and dust with flour. Set aside.

2. In a stand mixer or using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. It will begin to pale in colour, too (given that you’re using a good quality, yellow butter).

3. Add about one third of the beaten eggs, and mix well at medium speed. Then add about a third of the sifted flour. Repeat this step. Add the rest of the eggs and mix well, then turn the mixer to low and add the final flour and just mix until well combined.

4. Using a scale, divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and place in the centre of a preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Since ovens vary greatly, do not open the oven until you start to smell the cake and it looks well risen (through the glass).

5. Carefully check that the cake is done with a cake tester or thin skewer. If it is too raw, the cakes will fall and you won’t be happy, so the previous step is important. When the cake is done, remove them from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the tins. 

6. To remove: place a cooling rack over the top of the cake and flip it over quickly. Remove the tin and the baking paper and allow to cool completely before filling with the jam and cream and dusting the top with icing sugar for a classic Victoria Sponge. You could also use buttercream, lemon curd, ganache, fruit compote, chocolate drizzle or fresh fruit to decorate. Yum!

7. Serve to your friends and soak up the praise!

Walking with Herb airs Saturday night September 10 at 7:00pm or watch later on demand. Watch the trailer: Click here.