Bake a sponge cake without butter or milk!

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

butter-fee, milk-free cake recipe. What Children Really Want.

Here's a great recipe on how to make a scrumptious sponge cake without the use of butter/margarine.

In Spain, it's normal for people to make their sponge cakes without the use of butter/ 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, 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 if your's doesn't turn out so well) 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.

Beaming with delight, 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 in the U.K 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 know 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 margarine.

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 bicarbonate of soda was also 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 baking 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 at 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 great - but not as well as Mrs Wowwzers-This-Is-So-Tasty's. But see if you can do better and let me know how you get on.

Butter and milk-free sponge cake. What Children Really Want

Don't be shy to experiment

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 and milk-free creation. And you don't even need weighing scales or measuring cups!

Just follow this recipe and you should be fine

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

Recipe for butter and milk-free sponge cake

You can print our recipe if you like...

Butter and milk-free cake recipe
Download PDF • 65KB


  • 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.


  • 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.

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.

If you want to go all out and start baking healthy, modern baked goods, then you need this book...


By Rachel Conners

Over 100 recipes for the modern baker.

Easy to make dairy-free recipes. Refined sugar-free. Gluten-free.

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

Butter and milk-free cake

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