Almond sponge cake is one of our favorite versions of sponge cake recipes. A sponge cake recipe uses minimal fat and really whipped eggs for its distinct and desireable texture. Since the cake itself is relatively low in fat you can feel less guilt adding a dollop of whipped cream to serve.
Separate eggs. Allow egg whites and yolks to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl beat egg yolks with an electric mixer on high speed about 5 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Add almond extract, orange juice, and vanilla; beat on low speed until combined. Gradually beat in the 1 cup sugar at low speed. Increase to medium speed; beat until mixture thickens slightly and doubles in volume (about 5 minutes total).
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the flour over egg yolk mixture; fold in until combined. Repeat with remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Set egg yolk mixture aside.
Thoroughly wash beaters. In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold 1 cup of the beaten egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture; fold egg yolk mixture into remaining egg white mixture. Pour into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert cake; cool thoroughly in pan. Loosen sides of cake from pan; remove from pan. If desired, top with caramel sauce, whipped cream, and almond slices.