Classic vanilla birthday cake

So my grandad and uncle both had their birthdays this week, big ones as well; 64 and 89! And my grandad still manages to impress me with the amount he does at that age, sometimes i could swear he does way more than me.

Anyway, my auntie commissioned me to make them a joint birthday cake, so I decided to decorate it with their favourite things, which meant skiing, golf and fishing. The typical old man things lol.

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For mine, i made a big big big one, so I tripled the recipe, however this means 12 eggs and a shed load of mixing- not a lot of fun, and also impossible to get right when cooking, so i wouldn’t recommend it at all!

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I love this sponge recipe as it’s light and buttery and sweet, with the delicious vanilla buttercream, and although I didn’t put any jam in mine (admittedly I completely forgot! typical me!) it definitely adds to the flavour, so feel free to add your favourite flavour!

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Also, although my sponge and buttercream are just flavoured with vanilla, you could add orange or lemon juice and zest to make it citrusy, or cocoa powder, but to do this you would have to substitute some of the flour for it and add a tiny bit of extra baking powder, all would be delicious though!!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 200g soft butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk

For the filling

  • 200g butter (soft)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g strawberry conserve

METHOD:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease and base-line 2 x 20cm non-stick round sandwich tins with baking parchment, then lightly grease the parchment.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, then tip in all the other sponge ingredients.
  3. Using an electric whisk, beat everything together until smooth. Divide the mix between the cake tins, then bake for 20-25 mins until cooked and golden.
  4. When cool enough to handle, remove the cakes from the tins, then leave to cool completely on a rack.
  5. To make the filling, beat together the butter and icing sugar, and then add in the vanilla extract while mixing. (For this a food processor works well)
  6. cover the cake with it, or just put it in the middle to sandwich the two layers, and decorate in any way you choose!
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