Sponge Cupcakes with Sparkling Apple Juice

Sponge cake may not be for everyone.

The reason I make such statement is based on observations that I’ve gathered from my friends who are self-confessed cake connoiseurs. :P  They usually prefer their cakes to be dense, moist and rich – so rich that makes you float on cloud nine and wish that this moment will stay forever. I, on the other hand, prefer cakes to be light and airy and for health reasons, I’ll try my very best to keep the frosting  to a minimum (the key word here is “TRY” :P).  Unless there is a special occasion like birthday or potluck where I’ll go all out, on normal days, a simple sponge cake would be my preferred option to appease my sweet tooth.

I’ve made sponge cakes many times before this and  my most frequently-made cake is without a doubt pandan sponge cakes.  I used to think the pandan cake is quite easy to make, as long as you get the whisking of the egg white right and not over-folding the stiff egg white mixture into the batter, you’re set to get a super airy and spongy cake.  That said, I’m hoping to find a recipe which omits these steps and ideally, one mixing bowl solves it all.

Cooking with carbonated drink may not be to everyone’s liking, in fact some people may find it appalling. A  friend has taught me a chicken dish with coca-cola and although I kinda enjoyed it, not many people find it appealing. That didn’t discourage from trying out this recipe though. If you scroll down the this cupcake recipe, you’ll realise it’s so simple that it makes it difficult not to test it out. In addition, this recipe allows you to get creative with the combination of carbonated drink and nuts, dried fruits and essence. My version includes sparkling apple juice and desiccated coconut for texture.

I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe, and Happy Friday!

(By the way, it’s common for office people to have their Friday-afternoon drinks. Just an idea, how about beer with beer nuts topping for cupcakes if you want to get a little boozy? I’m just throwing out some ideas here. :P)

Sponge Cupcakes with Sparkling Apple Juice

(tweaked slightly from Romancing with Cakes by Connie Leaw)

Makes about 9 medium-sized cupcakes


3 eggs

150g sugar

100g sparkling apple juice (or any soft drink of your choice)

180g cake flour (sifted)

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup desiccated coconut ( or any nuts/food essence/chocolate)


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Whisk eggs and sugar until fluffy and light over high speed.

3. Add cake flour and baking powder and whisk until just mix.

4. Add sparkling juice and mix well.

5. Add desiccated coconut. Mix well.

6. Pour the mixture into paper cups and baked for about 25 minutes. Alternatively, these cupcakes can be steamed for 25 minutes over medium heat.

34 Responses to Sponge Cupcakes with Sparkling Apple Juice
  1. Jillyann
    July 22, 2010 | 11:29 am

    The cupcakes look wonderful and I don’t find it at all strange to cook with a carbonated beverage. My adopted sister who is Burmese taught me to make tempura batter using rice flour and club soda. My mother always make “coca-cola” cake when we were kids. We didn’t know how unhealthy it was. we just knew it tasted good!

    • Emily
      July 22, 2010 | 11:38 am

      Hi Jill,

      I’m sooo glad that you don’t find it strange. I sort of “scarred” by my friends reactions when I cook with carbonated drinks, so I get a bit self-conscious about this.

      I’m going try the tempura batter you’ve mentioned, sounds like it’s going to get super crispy. I believe beer battered fish made from beer and flour as well. :)

  2. Liv Wan
    July 22, 2010 | 1:29 pm

    Hi Emily,
    This cupcake looks so so so tasty. I love the idea of bake it with sparkling apple juice. Thank you for sharing this awesome post. I always love your recipes. :)

    • Emily
      July 25, 2010 | 8:00 am

      Hi Liv,
      Thanks for your lovely comment.I’m glad that you like the recipe. :)

  3. roxan
    July 22, 2010 | 4:09 pm

    I have to admit, I do love a dense rich cake. But I’m an equal opportunity lover – I also love light sponge cakes! These look delicious.

    • Emily
      July 25, 2010 | 8:04 am

      Hi Roxan,

      I don’t meet many equal opportunity lover when it comes to cakes, normally is one or another. You’re one of the precious few :P Thanks for stopping by my site. :)

  4. Joy
    July 22, 2010 | 4:32 pm

    That looks great! I love all sponge cakes :D

    • Emily
      July 25, 2010 | 8:04 am

      Hi Joy,

      Woohoo, join the club! Thanks for visiting my site. :)

  5. Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron
    July 22, 2010 | 6:32 pm

    Emily, I’ve seen a few sponge cakes today but not a cupcake. I like the airy spongy texture of the cake. The idea of adding sparkling apple juice doesn’t push me away instead pulling me in here :)

    • Emily
      July 25, 2010 | 8:10 am

      Hi Tanantha,

      I was so close in using coco-cola; but I don’t think it’ll be well received by others. :P I thought sparkling apple juice is a better & “healthier” alternative plus I’ll pick sparkling apple juice over coca-cola any day. :)

      Thanks for your comment. :D

  6. CC Recipe
    July 22, 2010 | 6:53 pm

    These sponge cupcakes look and sound wonderful, I love the simplicity!

    • Emily
      July 25, 2010 | 8:11 am

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you like the recipe. :)

  7. The Duo Dishes
    July 22, 2010 | 11:59 pm

    There is a very popular, fat free and very low calorie cake recipe that using diet soda. Appalling to some, fabulous to others. This looks like an even better option with sweetness of apples in the batter!

    • Emily
      July 25, 2010 | 8:20 am

      You’re right. Initially, I wasn’t sure how the cupcakes will turn out with the sparkling apple juice, but they turned out to be much better than I thought and surprisingly not too sweet as well.
      This is a fat free recipe but I’m not too sure about the calorie. :P
      Thanks for your comment. :)

  8. Christine@Christine's Recipes
    July 24, 2010 | 6:57 am

    Oh, my family and I love sponge cakes the most. The soft, fluffy and airy texture get you want more.
    Who can resist yours? It’s mouth-watering.

    • Emily
      July 25, 2010 | 8:24 am

      Hi Christine,

      I know right? Sponge cakes are so fluffy and airy that you’ll never have enough of them, like cotton candy :P

      Thanks for visiting my site :)

  9. Sara
    July 24, 2010 | 4:10 pm

    I’m a big sponge cake fan! And of all the carbonated drinks that you could choose I think the sparkling apple juice is a super cool idea! Do you know “chemically” what adding a carbonated drink does to a cake? Does it make it softer? Or more spongy? I need to try this one!Thanks for sharing

    • Emily
      July 25, 2010 | 8:29 am

      Hi Sara,

      Hmmm,I’m not a scientist but my gut feeling is the “bubbly-ness” (carbonated) in the drink that makes the cakes airy. It makes the cakes more airy & spongy, and personally, I think this method creates a better hold of the cake’s airiness as compared to folding in stiff egg whites. (Hope this makes sense to you)

      I’m glad that you like the recipe and thanks for your comment. :D

  10. Chef Dennis
    July 24, 2010 | 4:21 pm

    that is a gorgeous cupcake…what a beautiful color and crumb…..I never thought of sponge for a cupcake, but it looks delicious! will have to try it!
    Congrats on the top 9!

    • Emily
      July 25, 2010 | 8:31 am

      Hi Chef Dennis,

      Thanks for your comment. It’s not everyday that I get compliment from a chef. You’ve definitely make my day. :D

  11. Vintage Sugarcube
    July 25, 2010 | 2:47 am

    Those cupcakes look soooo good. Congrats on the top 9! That’s freak’n awesome girl. Keep up the good work. :)

    • Emily
      July 25, 2010 | 8:40 am

      Hi Jenny,

      Thanks for your compliment and visiting my site. :)

  12. Baking Serendipity
    July 29, 2010 | 6:56 pm

    I love how light and airy sponge cakes are. Sparkling apple juice would make a great addition to one! Good idea :)

  13. Magic of Spice
    August 7, 2010 | 10:27 pm

    I love sponge cakes and these cupcakes look delicious:)

  14. Carey
    October 22, 2010 | 1:05 pm

    May I please show my ignorance? Is it 100ml juice, the cans/bottles we get here only show millilitres, the smallest quantity we get is 340ml?Thanks

    • Emily
      October 22, 2010 | 1:47 pm

      Hi Carey,

      As per the recipe book is 100g, so what I’ve done was to actually weigh the liquid which is kinda odd, but the recipe works. You can get the smallest quantity as the 100g of soft drink isn’t much, and you’ll have leftover for drinking :P

  15. Sudha
    May 5, 2011 | 3:16 pm


    I am from India and was browsing for some aerated drink cakes when i landed in your page. loved this recipe so much that i baked it right away…!!! and i love love love it…so simple…i love the idea of apple juice in it…my whole kitchen is smelling of this mixed flavors of vanilla and apples…thanks for this wonderful recipe…

    T & R,

    • Emily
      May 6, 2011 | 11:22 am

      Hi Sudha,
      Glad that you loved it! :D You have reminded me how my kitchen smelled like when I made these a while back…. might actually revisit this recipe this weeked, lol.

  16. J
    November 3, 2011 | 5:40 am

    This looks so yummy! do you think I could replace the apple soda with lemonade? my husband is intolerant to apples!

    Thanks for the recipe :)

    • Emily
      November 3, 2011 | 9:45 am

      Yes, you can add any carbonated drink you like! Happy baking! :)

    • Emily
      November 3, 2011 | 9:45 am

      Yes, you can add any carbonated drink you like! Happy baking! :)

  17. caryn
    March 10, 2012 | 7:24 am

    can i replace soft drink with orange juice or water?

    • Emily
      March 10, 2012 | 10:00 am

      Hi Caryn, I believe you can’t as the gas in the sparkling juice works as the levener for the cake.

      • caryn
        March 11, 2012 | 4:38 am

        thanks for the advise

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