Monday, 9 September 2013

Birthday Cake

This is just the simplest sponge cake you can make, which means you can dress it up with any icing/toppings you want and it won't seem like 'too much' (as if cake could ever be too much). This cake recipe is also great at holding its shape so you can use it to 'sculpt' many different cake shapes - examples from my own childhood include a dinosaur, a house, and a hedgehog. More on this to follow in another post!

A word on the quantities used in this recipe - I used 2 eggs (and the accompanying quantities of sugar/flour/butter/milk) to make a large rectangular cake layer. To make a two layer, 7inch round cake, I would suggest using 3 eggs (and the accompanying quantities of sugar/flour/butter/milk), and splitting between two cake tins. The 3 egg quantities can be found down below.

Gather your equipment
Essential equipment:  Lined cake tin, scales, a small glass/cup/bowl, fork, mixing bowl, mixing spoon
Gather your ingredients
For this recipe you'll need: 2 eggs, 120g caster sugar, 120g butter/margarine, 120g self-raising flour, splash of milk
  • If you're using butter, leave it at room temperature to soften for a few hours
Prepare to bake
Preheat oven to 180°C, line your cake tins if you haven't already, crack your eggs into a glass/cup/bowl and beat them well using the fork. Add a splash of vanilla essence in there if you want to add some more flavour. Weigh out your flour and set aside.
Beat together sugar and butter
Weigh your sugar and margarine (or softened butter) into the mixing bowl. Beat well using the fork, until the mixture is smooth and well mixed.
Add the egg and a little flour
Add about a third of the beaten egg, along with a spoonful of the flour, and mix well using the spoon. Repeat until no egg remains but there is still some flour left (about half). Mix well. The mixture will look slightly 'split' - kind of lumpy - but don't worry, as this will go away when you add more flour in the next step.
Add the rest of the flour
Dump the rest of the flour into the mixing bowl, all at once. Stir well but try not to overmix.
Add milk
The cake mix will be quite thick at this point, so add a splash of milk and mix again until you achieve a dropping consistency - the cake mix should fall from the spoon easily. A tablespoon of milk should be enough to achieve this, but it can vary depending on the size of your eggs.
Pour into cake tin and bake
Spread your cake mix into the prepared tin, smoothing it right into the corners, and bake at 180°C. The amount of time you leave it in the oven depends on the size/shape of the cake you are making, and what kind of tin you are using.
  • Two round cakes - approx 25 minutes
  • One rectangular cake - approx 40 minutes
Once the recommended time is up, take it out of the oven and insert a skewer/toothpick in the centre - if it comes out clean, the cake is done. The surface of the cake should also look like the picture above - golden brown - and should spring back when touched.
Leave to cool in the tin for approximately 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. If you are worried about turning it out all in one piece, leave it for even longer - it will be firmer and less fragile the longer you leave it.
You can keep this as simple as you like, or go all out. For the above cake, I baked another identical rectangular cake, and layered it on top of the first, using buttercream icing spiked with Nutella. Then I decorated with more coloured buttercream icing, making an approximation of the French flag (as this was for a friend of mine, leaving for her year abroad).

And the finished product...

And here's one example of the 'childhood cakes' I was going on about before...

Birthday Cake: - one rectangular cake; use 3 eggs instead for a layer cake! (see below)
120g softened butter/margarine
2 large eggs, beaten
120g caster sugar
120g self-raising flour
Splash of milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Beat together the sugar and butter/margarine
  3. Add the beaten eggs a little at a time, with a little flour each time, and mixing well after each addition
  4. Mix in the remaining flour all at once. Do not overmix
  5. Add enough milk to bring the mix to a 'dropping consistency'
  6. Pour into cake tin and bake for 40 minutes if making a rectangular cake, or 25 minutes if baking in two round cake tins

Quantities for a 2-layer cake:
175g softened butter/margarine
3 large eggs
175g caster sugar
175g self-raising flour
Large splash of milk


  1. I had one with a Barbie sticking out too !!!

  2. Omg this is so cool!! I love all things French so I'll try to bake this ;P All your cakes look so yummy Cecilia D: