Here is the basic cake recipe I use to make a delicious sponge cake, quickly and easily. I’ve found this recipe to be reliable and always appreciated by friends and family. The ingredients listed are enough for 6-8 people.
- 175g (6oz) butter, unsalted and at room temperature.
- 175g (6oz) caster sugar.
- 175g (6oz) self-raising flour.
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
- 3 medium size eggs.
- 1-2 drops of vanilla extract.
- Pinch of salt.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (mark 4). Slightly less (160 degrees C) if you have a fan oven.
- Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and mix with an electric whisk or wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.
- Beat the eggs and add to the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, pinch of salt. Mix thoroughly until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Fold in the flour with a spatula.
- Divide the mixture evenly between two non-stick cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and slightly firm to touch. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door and take a look at the cake before the time is up or else the cold air will make it fall! When you take the cake out of the oven you should hear a quiet ticking noise if you listen carefully.
- Allow to cool in the tins for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely (roughly an hour or so).
The simplest way to serve the cake is to spread your favourite jam (strawberry or raspberry) onto one side of the cake before placing the other side on top. Then simply dust the top with icing sugar by sifting a little through a sieve onto the cake.
If you want to make it a little bit more special then you can add a layer of buttercream inside the cake as well as the jam. This can be made whilst the cake is in the oven (and then left in the fridge, for up to three days, until it’s needed) or whilst you are waiting for it to cool. See instructions at the bottom of this page on how to make buttercream. Strawberries and raspberries can also be added to the top or inside for decoration.
Making buttercream is very simple. Mix the following together in a bowl until smooth: 140g icing sugar, 70g butter, 1-2 drops of vanilla essence and 1 tablespoon of milk. You can also add a couple of drops of food colouring or 20g of cocoa powder if you’d like to give it a slightly different colour and flavour.