Beautiful layers of vanilla, chocolate, and fig preserves create this lovely Layered Sponge Cake. Layered Sponge Cake pictured with Earl Grey Sandwich Cookies.
- 2¼ cups self-rising flour
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1¼ cups unsalted butter, softened
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon ground star anise, divided
- 1⅓ cups fig preserves, divided
- Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 325°. Spray 3 (13×9-inch) baking pans with baking spray with flour. Line pans with parchment paper. Spray pans again.
- In a large bowl, beat together flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract with a mixer at high speed until well blended, 4 to 5 minutes. Evenly divide batter among 3 bowls (approximately 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons per bowl).
- Sift cocoa powder over batter in one bowl. Stir until blended. Pour batter into a prepared baking pan. Using an offset spatula, smooth batter.
- Add ¼ teaspoon ground star anise to each of the remaining 2 bowls, stirring until blended. Pour batter from each bowl into separate prepared pans. Smooth batter.
- Bake until edges of cakes are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire racks. Remove and discard parchment, and let cakes cool completely.
- Using a fork, break up any large pieces of figs in preserves.
- Place an anise cake layer on a large cutting board. Using an offset spatula, spread ⅔ cup preserves in an even layer over top of cake layer. Top with remaining anise cake layer. Spread remaining ⅔ cup preserves over second cake layer. Top with chocolate cake layer, gently pressing to adhere. Refrigerate cake for at least 10 minutes and up to a day*.
- Just before serving, using a long serrated bread knife in a gentle sawing motion, trim and discard edges from cake stack to create a 9×6-inch rectangle. Cut whole stack lengthwise into 2 (9×3inch) rectangles.
- For garnish, place a decorative stencil** over tops of cake rectangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Carefully lift stencil to remove.
- Cut each rectangle into 9 (3×1-inch) finger sandwiches.
**We used parchment paper strips.
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