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Visitidine: French Sponge Cake perfect for strawberry shortcakes

French Visitandine Cake

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French Visitandine Cake: A vanilla sponge cake topped with berries and cream as a delicious alternative to a biscuit shortcake.

Slice of French Visitadine Cake on a white plate topped with berries and whipped cream

What is a French Visitadine Cake?

You’re probably wondering what the heck a Visitandine is. So was I when I saw our first French Fridays with Dorie assignment for April. It turns out, though, that there was no need for trepidation.

A Visitandine is a simple, fine crumb sponge cake named for a Catholic religious order in France. Flavored with just butter and vanilla, Dorie served it layered with cream and berries like a strawberry shortcake. SOLD. And certainly, a strong probability that it will be hubby approved. They’re very similar to a Financier, in fact, the name visitidine is now outdated, and the modern name for this cake has merged with financiers.

Slices of Visitidine Cake topped with berries and whipped cream viewed from above

Simple Vanilla Cake

I was taking dinner to a friend and her husband and they didn’t want anything too rich. I elected to add a couple of slices of this vanilla gâteau to their meal, along with sliced macerated berries and their juices. At home, I’d offer the option of adding slightly sweetened whipped cream for a more decadent version of this lovely vanilla cake.

Overhead view of a slice of French Visitidine cake on a white plate

Tips for Making Visitandine

If entertaining, I’d go for an even more gluttonous version by topping each slice with white chocolate whipped cream along with the sliced strawberries. Since there were only a handful of ingredients in this recipe, I made sure to use the best quality ingredients I could locate. Purchase some European butter if your market carries it, and a premium vanilla extract, never imitation. You may also want to brown the butter for a nutty undertone.

Bill went on and on about the magnificence of this dessert. Gushed even. Darned good, terrific, tasty and fabulous were all uttered enthusiastically. He even had the gall to say these were better than the biscuit version of strawberry shortcake I’ve been making for decades! This cake is a winner. Whether served with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar or as a dolled up strawberry shortcake.

More Strawberry Desserts You’ll Love

When strawberries are ripe and fragrant, you’ll enjoy this Strawberry Cream Pie. Strawberry Souffles and this Strawberry Filled Meringue Roulade as well! Check out more Cake Recipes to assuage your sweet tooth!

Visitidine: French Sponge Cake perfect for strawberry shortcakes


A simple French vanilla cake with a fine crumb.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 38 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
Yield 8 servings


  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Note that if you use a pan that is larger than 10-inches, the cake will require less cooking time. Butter a 10-inch cake pan and line it with a circle of parchment paper, then butter the parchment.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the egg whites until they hold firm peaks but are still glossy.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Pour in the melted butter, followed by the vanilla, then whisk until all ingredients are combined.

Using a whisk, move half the egg whites into the batter, then whisk them in gently. Using the whisk, fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake the cake for 33 to 38 minutes, until lightly browned and starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Once out of the oven, run a knife or metal spatula round the inside of the pan, then let the cake cool on a rack for about 3 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack, remove the parchment, and allow the cake to cool to room temperature.

Serve with slice berries and whipped cream if desired

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 124mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 3g


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The recipe can be viewed here or on page 436 in Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links; view my Disclosure Policy for details. I earn a small percentage from any purchase you make by clicking on these links at no extra cost to you.

56 comments on “French Visitandine Cake”

  1. a spongy,soft moist cake and your amazing food clicks completely justify the beauty of this dish,thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  2. While pie would be my #1 dessert, this is the kind of cake that would be a very close #2! It would be perfect for coffee with Ma:@)

  3. This recipe sounds very much like a genoise cake recipe I’ve been making for years from Dori’s Baking with Julia cookbook. In fact, I’ve been making a lot of this type if recipe lately because of…oops! I almost spilled the beans!
    A simple cake made with the finest of ingredients is often exactly what a rich dinner needs. A perfect finish! I’m not surprised Bill couldn’t stop raving about it.

  4. This dessert really looks light, but very delicious and beautiful!

  5. Yes this was a great cake and I love the idea of the white chocolate whipped cream too!

  6. Great pictures as usual!

  7. Bill approved! yay!

    The white chocolate whipped cream sounds wonderful 🙂

  8. Always good to have a super Bill hit. Love the white chocolate whipped cream… that sounds amazing.

  9. It’s like the English cake, Victoria sponge, but with egg whites rather than whole eggs. I do love a simple, not-too-sweet cake made with really good ingredients.

  10. What a beautiful cake Liz!!

  11. Simple can be so good. I love your strawberry shortcakes!

    I still have some left. I think I’ll use your idea and sprinkle some powdered sugar on top. (Howard was not interested in this one. More for me?)

  12. Well I did not know what a visitandine was, but I am so happy to know! It is beautiful and sounds heavenly.

  13. I’m happy to now know about visitandine! It’s a dessert my family would love!

  14. Wow, beautiful picture! Looking forward to trying this recipe.

  15. Glad this was a hit with your Bill. Oooh…white chocolate whipped cream…sounds amazing! Your cake looks beautiful, Liz! Happy Weekend!

  16. Liz, thanks for the warm welcome. I really like your blog, very nice.

  17. Gorgeous! I would take the white chocolate whipped cream too. I’m going to try this today.

  18. Simple and beautiful! This would make a great summertime dessert.

  19. Liz, your photography is stunning. Those berries are making me want to dive into the screen! Delicious!

  20. Your strawberry shortcakes look beautiful ! Love the idea of white chocolate whipped cream. You always have prettiest photographs and raddest dessert ideas !

  21. Lol! I thought the name of your post was “Visit and Dine”! This cake looks delicious! Something totally different!

  22. Butter and vanilla…sounds devine. Topped with the fresh berries…yumm! 🙂 ela

  23. So Bill eats again! Maybe, in that surgery he had, they altered his tastebuds! It is a very pretty looking cake; not too rich or too sweet or too heavy – perfect for so many occasions xx

  24. Love food history…And now I know this comes from a French Catholic tradition, I can bet that every bite of this lovely looking visitadine is blessed! (I might have to be forgiven though for straying with extra whipped cream on my cake!)

  25. I’d love a slice of it right now… with extra white chocolate whipped cream!

  26. A very beautiful sponge cake!

  27. The crumb on your cake is absolutely perfect, Liz! And this cake must have pleased your friends immensely.

  28. I had no idea what Visitandine was either!
    But my goodness you’ve made it look amazing.
    Love you photo

  29. Bills comments made me chuckle:-) And how nice that you could also share it with some friends. I tried a slice just plain and it was absolutely delicious. But then, everything is better with a little cream.

  30. perfect for SPRING)))!!!!!!! xx

  31. When I started to read this post I was distracted by the Chambord brownies below. They sound amazing. Thanks so much for the recipe! As for this cake, yours rose absolutely beautifully. I’m glad you both loved it.

  32. Of course Bill loved it! Interesting that Bill mentioned the biscuit variety of shortcake. I think it’s been set aside too long, and I’ve really gone back to that (so I am with you), but this was different, and I also thought it was terrific just plain. Yummy!

  33. This is quite a treat and do you think you can convince Bill to start blogging as a food critic? He would have tons of readers!

  34. I learned something new today! Your cake looks delicious. Perfect for spring 😀

  35. Beautiful cake Liz! I was so happy to discover this recipe! It is so easy and the results are beyond just tasty. I will be making it again…and again…and again!

  36. That is such a light and lovely cake 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  37. What a wonderful cake!!
    It’s after midnight here and my mouth is watering…… 🙂

  38. Your cake looks so pretty. I just made this and mine looks like a pancake :((

    Next time I will use a 9″ pie dish instead of the 10 inch pie dish and see if that helps.

    At least it still taste good.

    • Yeah, that seems to be the consensus. I tried mine in an 8″ cake pan, but it still wasn’t very tall! Glad you liked it despite its low profile!

  39. Lizzy,
    My hubby would love this cake. Especially with the whipped cream and strawberries. It looks elegant too.

  40. Sure visitandine is good but damn, just look at those strawberries. I don’t think I’ve ever seen better looking! (Happy Anniversary!) XO, T.

  41. Dear Lizzy,

    A delicious light and fluffy cake perfect for berries and whip cream. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  42. Thank you for all the suggestions, Liz, which, of course I would never have thought about trying. White chocolate whipped cream is something I’ve never even heard about. Definitely will click on that link. Beautiful, tasty dessert and so simple. I sense we all like it alot.

  43. Such a pretty cake, I’d be unable to resist the strawberries and cream topping!

  44. Liz, what a pretty presentation – love the clean cake slices with the bright red strawberries and the perfectly whipped cream – what a wonderful springtme dessert! I am delighted that it is also “Bill approved” – my husband would happily agree that this is a nice dessert cake!
    Have a lovely Sunday and from all of us “Happy Anniversary” – what a nice picture of the two of you on FB!

  45. Such beautiful photos. Just noticed the person before me thought so too! 😉

  46. I really enjoyed this cake. Yours turned out wonderfully.

  47. I think I would agree that it is better than the biscuit version that I’ve made for ages. So glad to have this one now in the repertoire. Yours looks lovely!

  48. Just beautiful, Liz! You used so many strawberries, it almost looks healthy. 🙂

    Your enthusiasm about Bill loving this dessert is contagious. I wish E had felt the same way, but he did not like the nutty overtones from the browned butter. Silly boy…

  49. This is making me crazy strawberry season here in NY! Can’t come fast enough!!!

  50. I never heard of this when I was in France. I wish I had. This looks amazing! The new shortcake?!?!

  51. Never heard of visitandine but I am so glad to discover it! It looks absolutely wonderful!

  52. It looks beautiful and your photos are gorgeous!!

  53. White chocolate whipped cream and strawberries? Yes, please!

  54. This looks delicious! I love anything with strawberries in it. And this sounds perfect!

  55. looks gorgeous! i love strawberries

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