Maspin: How To Make Mauritian-Style Sponge Cake
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Many cuisines across the globe have overlapping characteristics in their food that is interesting to note as we discover each layer bit by bit. Mauritian cuisine is a blend of African, European, Chinese and Indian influences. The tropical island boasts of a seafood bounty that features commonly in their food. Ranging from octopus, oysters, crayfish, conch to vegetables like okra, tomatoes, chayote squash, the flavours are fresh, with ingredients retaining their original flavours.

A considerable part of the cuisine, interestingly enough, features many snacks and small bites that people can munch on through the day. Items like shaved ice flavoured with fruit syrups, jam-filled sugar biscuits, sweet polenta pudding are some of the oft-consumed sugary treats. The Mauritian Maspin, a native variety of pound cake, is a commonly eaten snack to accompany a cup of tea. The light and fluffy texture of the cake works perfectly as is or lathered with a layer of buttercream. What makes this cake unique to most other standard sponge cakes, is the addition of custard powder and ground almonds for an enhanced richness.


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  • 180 grams melted butter
  • 180 grams unrefined castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 160 grams self-rising flour
  • 3 tablespoons custard powder
  • 3 tablespoons ground almonds/almond meal
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 30 ml full fat milk


  • Mix the melted butter and sugar together in a deep dish until combined. Crack in the three eggs and whisk thoroughly.
  • Add the vanilla essence and mix before adding in all the dry ingredients to this and combining well. Add the milk right at the end and stir in gently.
  • Pour the batter into a greased loaf tin and bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees Celsius for 45-50 minutes. Once the top cracks up a bit, remove from the oven and cool on a tin rack.
  • Slice and serve with tea or coffee.