Burnham Beeches emu sponge cake Image credit: www.facebook.com/BurnhamBakeryPiggery

This unique recipe uses an emu egg to give the sponge cake a softer and creamier texture. The delectable cake is finished off by a light dusting of icing sugar and some fresh berries for a delicious treat that will be sure to impress your guests.  


500g emu egg (one egg)
300g sugar
10g baking powder
100g cornflour
200g flour
pinch of salt
240g passionfruit puree/pulp
300g eggs
300g sugar
300g butter (diced/room temperature)
3ea gold leaf gelatin
600g fondant (medium set)
100g passionfruit pulp


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 medium fan. Brush tins with softened butter making sure to give the sides upstrokes as per a soufflé mould. This will help the sponge to rise more evenly. Set aside in the fridge and allow the butter to set.
  2. Whisk together egg and sugar in a kitchen aid with a whisk until tripled in volume (for roughly 6 minutes). Sift remaining ingredients three times. Gently fold through dry ingredients a quarter at a time through the fluffy egg mixture with a spatula. Fill tins just under two thirds.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Sit for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Warm the passionfruit puree/pulp and sugar over a double boiler until approximately 40 degrees.
  5. In the meantime whisk the eggs thoroughly and soak the gelatin leaves in ice water. Once the mix reaches 40 degrees, add the eggs and gently stir until the mix reaches 75 degrees. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly.
  6. Squeeze out any excess water from the gelatin and add it to the curd, whisk until combined, then strain. When the mix reaches about 50 degrees slowly add the diced butter while whisking continuously until all butter is incorporated.
  7. Pour into a deep tray and cover the surface with cling film to prevent skin formation, allow to completely cool in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours. Place mix in piping bags ready for use or reserve in an air tight container, it will last up to 4 days in the fridge.
  8. Gently heat fondant over a double boiler taking care not to exceed 40 degrees, as this will reduce the shine of the final product. Add passion fruit and gently stir through until combined. Keep warm for glazing.
  9. Cut sponge in half crossways with a bread knife and gently brush the insides of the sponge with a simple sugar syrup (equal parts sugar and water, heated to boiling point).
  10. Pipe passionfruit curd with a 9mm plain nozzle around the edge of the bottom layer of sponge then, starting from the outside pipe an even layer to fill the centre. Place fresh berries in between each pipe of curd.
  11. Next, using a palette knife, very gently spread the passionfruit icing over the top layer of the sponge being careful not to tear the sponge. Place top layer of sponge on top of the curd then chill for approximately 30 mins.
  12. Portion into 4 pieces then to finish place a single pipe of passionfruit curd on each piece with some fresh berries and a light dusting of icing sugar.


From Shannon Bennett

Tip 1: An emu egg sponge is a bit lighter in colour than a normal sponge, and has a softer and creamier texture.

Tip 2: One egg will make 3 x 20cm sponges, or about 6 x 12cm sponges. The emus lay around 6 - 7 eggs in one go. One egg weighs between 550-650 grams and is equivalent in aeration volume to 14 chicken eggs.

Piggery Cafe and Burnham Bakery is stage one of Bennett and business partner Adam Garrison's grand plans the historic Burnham Beeches estate in Victoria's beautiful Dandenong Ranges and is now complete. The state-of-the-art Burnham Bakery and the adjoining Piggery Café are both in full swing and baking enchanting in-house breads and pastries.

Head to the Burnham Bakery & Piggery Café Facebook page for more mouth-watering food pics