Home recipescakes & pastry Pan lefi (Antillean sponge cake)
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Pan lefi (Antillean sponge cake)

by jurinoignacio

Together with the bolo di manteka, the ‘pan lefi’ is one of the most often prepared cakes in the Dutch Caribbean. Many people prefer cakes made with a pan lefi base, because it’s much lighter and less fatty than the bolo di manteka. To each their own, of course.

In any case, we are more than happy to provide the recipe to you!


  • 7 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 180 gr castor sugar
  • 200 gr all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions for making pan lefi:

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Centigrade. Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature!

Beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Use another bowl to beat the yolks and sugar together, until the mixture becomes fluffy and almost white in color.

Gently fold the yolks into the eggwhites. Heat the milk together with the honey until lukewarm.

Add the milk to the mixture and gently stir.

Sift the flour into the mixture and gently fold it into the batter.

Lastly, add the vanilla extract.

Take a 26 centimeter baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and shake until air bubbles pop out.

Bake the pan lefi on 175 degrees Centigrade for about 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 160 degrees Centigrade and bake fot another 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

When the cake is done baking, take out the baking pan and hit it on the kitchen counter to remove any last air bubbles. Now turn the baking pan upside down and let the cake cool this way.

After about 10 minutes, take the cake from the baking pan and let it cool to room temperature.

TIP: If you have a kitchenaid or any other standing mixer, you don’t have to separate the eggs first. Just add them in whole to the machine and mix on high for about 7 minutes.

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