If I’m looking for something to cheer me up then I find sitting down with a slice of cake and a hot brew is always a good place to start, especially if I’ve just made it myself. Fresh cake never lasts long in our house!
Brighten the mood with this scrumptious sponge cake recipe!
I often bake when I’m in need of a ‘pick me up’, but it’s not always possible to spare the time. However, there is a classic go-to recipe which I use and is easy to do with not too much time needed – the traditional sponge cake! Whether it be the old favourite Victoria Sandwich, or you feel like spicing it up a bit with your favourite flavours, a standard sponge mix is something which is simple and versatile, but tastes delicious!
Here I opted for a traditional sponge with a little vanilla extract to give it an added dimension. Always try to use ‘extract’ flavourings rather than ‘essence’ as it is a natural product, whereas essence is artificial and made using other methods to recreate the desired flavour. Raspberry is always a front runner on the jam front for me…throw in some buttercream and you’re on to a winner! Below is the base recipe I always use to make my sponge cake and it can be adapted in so many ways. Coffee? Lemon? Chocolate? The list goes on. Why not have a crack at it and enjoy!
Classic Sponge Cake
For the cake:
- 225 g unsalted butter, or baking spread softened
- 225 g caster sugar
- 4 free-range eggs large
- 225 g self-raising flour sifted
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
For the filling:
- 4 tablespoons of jam traditionally strawberry or raspberry, but your choice.
- Fresh whipped double cream or butter cream (optional)
- A little caster sugar or icing sugar if preferred, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Fan 160ºC/Gas Mark 4 and prepare two deep sandwich tins. Those which I use for this recipe are 20cm rounds.
- In your bowl, cream together the butter and caster sugar until it is pale, light and fluffy. This is one of the most important stages as it incorporates air into the mix which will result in a well-risen cake that is light and fluffy.
- Add a quarter of the eggs into the mix with a tablespoon of flour, beating well. Continue adding the eggs and flour at the same ratio until the eggs have been fully incorporated into the mix.
- Sieve the remaining flour and baking powder into the bowl. Add a pinch of salt and the vanilla extract. Then gently fold in the ingredients until it becomes smooth and all ingredients are blended well.
- Divide the mixture equally between the two cake tins.
- Bake in your pre-heated oven for around 25 minutes or until well risen and springy to the touch. Leave to cool slightly and then turn out onto a wire rack.
- If using a cream filling, prepare whilst the cake is cooling.
- Once the cake is completely cooled, spread the jam over the base of one sponge (and cream on the base of the second). Sandwich both layers together.
- Sprinkle with some caster sugar or sifted icing sugar to finish.
- Weigh and double weigh your ingredients – accuracy is key when baking so make sure your measurements are correct.
- The size of eggs can vary considerably, which in turn can have a negative impact on the end result of your cake. It’s always worth checking the volume of your weighing your eggs as well to check they are appropriate for the ingredient ratio we are using. For example, this recipe calls for 225g flour, sugar and butter, so the 4 eggs should also measure 225ml. If your eggs come in below 225ml you can make up the extra using milk. If above? Then increase the ratio of ingredients to suit i.e. for eggs measuring 250ml, use 250g of flour, butter and sugar, thus keeping the ratio’s the same. Just remember that increasing ratios will impact back time (and size of cake!).
- Pressed for time? You can also make this using the ‘all in one’ method i.e. add all of the ingredients to the bowl and mix together well. Just increase the amount of baking powder to 1.5 teaspoons to compensate.