NZ Woman's Weekly

Fruit sponge cake

If you are a keen bottler, chances are you are looking for easy desserts to use up all those peaches and plums you preserved in the summer.

This dessert is an ideal sponge topping to put over fruit and it takes only moments to prepare. If you’re not a bottler, you can cheat by using tinned fruit or you can stew it beforehand. This fruit sponge makes a nice change from the more popular fruit crumble and, in my childhood, it was referred to as “champagne sponge” – possibly to give it an air of sophistication.

I’ve used peaches in this recipe, simply because I bought an old variety at the markets and they tasted so divine that I came home, stewed them lightly and then poured this delicious sponge over the top to make a dessert ideal for a family birthday dinner.

You could also use fresh apples, but do try to find a cooking variety such as Ballarat or Granny Smith, as they will be lovely and fluffy when stewed. Or you could use apricots or rhubarb – they also work well.


  • 3 cups chopped fruit
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tbsp sugar

1. Put all ingredients in a pot and simmer. When the fruit softens, take it off the heat. (You want the fruit to hold its shape as it has another 30 minutes in the oven.)


  • 3 cups hot stewed or bottled fruit
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 25g butter, melted
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

1. Heat your fruit in a pot and keep it warm while you make the sponge.
2. Whisk an egg in a warm mixing bowl. When light and fluffy, add sugar and beat well. Sift flour and baking powder and add to the mixture alternately with milk, bit by bit, to stop it curdling.
3. Stir until smooth.
4. Put hot fruit into a baking dish. Add the melted butter and vanilla essence to sponge mixture and spoon it on top of the hot fruit.
5. Bake in 180oC oven for 30 minutes or until golden. Serve with whipped cream or ice-cream.

Do you have a Nana recipe you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear about it. Email me at: or write to Nana’s Pantry, NZWW, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142

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