Tia Leocadia’s Strawberry Sponge Sheet Cake

Hello friends!

I was looking at when I made my last recipe, and it was at the end of August!  I haven’t gone this long without making a recipe, and I’ve definitely missed it.  I’m excited to get back up and running, full steam ahead!  A lot has changed in such a short amount of time.

Since my last recipe, we have (at last) moved into our apartment in Queens, and I couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out.  I’m getting into my groove with work, I’ve started practicing yoga, and it’s great to have my own kitchen to work in.  Additionally, New York is quickly feeling like home.

Although I have experienced joy this past month and I have much to be grateful for, my family and I have also experienced heartache in losing one of our family members.  With this project, I’m focusing on the recipes of the five sisters, but there are eleven children in total, with six brothers.  As you can imagine, there are many cousins in the family.  Although we are spread out across the country and in different parts of the world, we are a very close-knit group, and so this has been a great loss for all of us.

George is a beloved son, cousin, brother, uncle, nephew, and friend.  I didn’t see George as much as I would have liked, but he was such an integral part of our family and the Portuguese community.  He was very supportive of The Five Marias, and I hope to do him proud.  George-you are very much loved and missed.



Today I’m making a recipe from one of the five sisters that I haven’t featured yet, my aunt (Tia), Leocadia.  She lives in mainland Portugal, and from the couple of times that I’ve visited her, I always remember her making light, delicious desserts.  This recipe a strawberry spongecake.

Yields: 12 servings


5 eggs, separated

8 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 pound strawberries, sliced thin

1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1 half pint heavy whipping cream, chilled


Tip: Keep whipping cream in refrigerator until ready to use


1) Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

2) For the cake, beat egg yolks with 5 tablespoons sugar in a medium-sized bowl.

3) In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into eggs and sugar. Add flour and gently mix together. Pour batter evenly into the pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes, and let cool.


4) For the frosting, stir strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl.

5) In a separate bowl, beat whipping cream until smooth and stiff. Add remaining 1 tablespoon sugar to add a little sweetness to the cream.

6) To assemble, spread a layer of whipped cream on the cake and then a layer of strawberries on top. Repeat with another layer of whipped cream.  With the last layer of strawberries, decorate as you’d like.