Small Vanilla Birthday Cake

I am always the go-to-girl when it comes to baking for birthdays and christmas etc. It was my grandma’s neighbor’s birthday the other day, so I was commisioned to do my thing, and this was the result.

I like that it’s quite simple, and it was absolutely delicious, which is just perfect because it means you don’t over complicate things for yourself yet it still manages to blow people away.

It’s quite a small cake, for roughly a 15″ pan, but it’s the perfect size for a small party and if there are other desserts then it means everybody can have a small slice with coffee.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 175g margarine or softened butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

For the buttercream:

  • 200g butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • splash of milk, if necessary
  • food colouring (or flavour of your choice)

METHOD:

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Grease the tin with a little extra butter or margarine and line with greaseproof paper.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or a hand-held mixer for 1 minute, or until just combined. It’s important not to beat the batter too much – just long enough to make it smooth, otherwise the consistency won’t be as light and airy as it should.
  3. Pour or spoon the mixture into the tin, smooth the top and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 45-50 minutes. The cake is cooked when it looks well risen and golden.
  4. Let the cake sit in the tin for 5 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge and turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool.
  5. While it is cooking, mix the butter and icing sugar for the icing in a food processor, and if necessary add a bit of milk to make it to the right consistency. Add a few drops of food colouring of your choice (I chose pink- it’s my favourite :)) or add some lemon or orange juice for a bit of extra flavour. You could also substitute 50g of the icing sugar for cocoa powder for chocolate icing. When the cake has cooled, cut in half and spread the butter cream and a layer of jam across the centre. Place the top half back on, then cover the whole cake in the buttercream. Decorate if you want- I just put candles in.

ENJOY!

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