A British classic!
Very simple to make – and the batter can be endlessly modified (and even used for cupcakes!)
- 225g (8oz) butter (must be at room temperature)
- 225g (8oz) sugar
- 4 large eggs
- Optional: 1 tsp of vanilla essence, or 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- Jam, and/or fresh berries (e.g raspberries or strawberries)
- ½ pint (250ml) of double Cream, whipped. Or butter cream:
- 100g butter, softened
- 200g icing sugar
- 50ml double cream
- For a coffee flavour, dilute a tablespoon of instant coffee with a dessertspoon of hot water.
- For a chocolate flavour, take out a level -tablespoon of flour and replace it with a level tablespoon of cocoa.
- The fillings can vary from just jam or a mixture of jam and whipped cream, to lemon curd or chocolate fudge icing. Also you can flavour the cake mixture with grated lemon or orange rind.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.-
- Line 2 x 20 cm/8″ cake tins. (Or grease thoroughly, then dust the tins with flour to line them.)
- Simple method: place all the cake ingredients together in a mixer, then blitz until smooth. Continue to #7.
- Traditional method: in a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together until you get a pale, fluffy mixture that drops off the spoon easily (an electric hand whisk speeds this up considerably).
- Next, in a separate bowl beat the eggs thoroughly together, then slowly add them a very little at a time, beating well after each addition – as you go you can add a little more each time.
- When the eggs have been mixed in, add the vanilla or lemon and then fold in the flour. Sieve a quarter of the flour – fold in, then repeat until it’s completed added.
- Now you should have a mixture that will drop off the spoon easily when you tap it on the side of the bowl. If not, add 1-2 tsp. of milk.
- Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tims.
- Cook them on the centre shelf of the oven, for about 25-30 minutes to cook.
- DO NOT OPEN THE OVENS HALF WAY THROUGH: the sudden rush of cold air will cause the cakes to sink.
- When they are cooked, a knife or skewer stabbed into the centre should come back out clean when removed.
- When they are cooked, remove them from then oven, and let them rest for 1-2 minutes. Then turn them out on to a wire cooling tray (you might need to loosen the edges with a palette knife first).
- Then peel off the base papers and leave the cakes to cool before sandwiching them together with jam/fruit/cream/ or butter cream and sift a little icing sugar over the top.