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One of the simplest of cakes and very versatile. It can be frozen, and also transformed from a simple cream sponge to a spectacular dinner party or gift cake with minimal effort and expense.


  • 150g butter

  • 150g caster sugar

  • 150g self raising flour

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1.

    Pre heat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Line an 8” cake tin with loose bottom with silicon or parchment paper.

  • 2.

    In a mixing bowl mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, this is called the creaming method. Use a wooden spoon for this stage. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla mixing very well between each addition

  • 3.

    Next fold in the flour using a metal spoon. This is mixing slowly, folding over and turning the bowl consecutively until all the flour is incorporated.

  • 4.

    Place in the oven and bake for approx 30 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch.

  • 5.

    DO NOT open the oven door until 30 minutes into the cooking as this will cause the cake to sink and become very heavy. When baked remove from the oven, and leave for 5 minutes. Next carefully remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool or on the wire rack of your grill pan.

  • 6.

    This cake can be eaten as is or the following variations added:

  • 7.

    Cut horizontally and fill with jam and cream, dust icing sugar on top.



- To make a chocolate cake, substitute 50g of flour with cocoa powder. And cover in melted chocolate when baked and cooled.

- For a contemporary look, buy a roll of ready made fondant icing from the supermarket, brush the cake with warm jam and lay the icing onto the cake, smooth down and trim off the excess. Next brush the cake with cooled boiled water and leave until sticky. Cover the cake with edible silver or gold leaf, available from department stores, cake shops and some DIY sores.

- For lemon drizzle cake take 4 lemons juiced and zested, mix with caster sugar until thick and pour over the cake. Leave for 1 hour and indulge.

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