So my 89 year old Grandmother, Billie (her real name’s Edna so the nickname is understandable!) announced to me the other day, in her slightly am-dram voice: “well at least when I die I shall be remembered for something!”. And she’s right, without a shadow of a doubt, the thing she is most well known is her sponge cake recipe, which I consistently pass to any child who cooks in my kitchen and any friends/vague acquaintances/random passersby I find.

What is beautiful about this recipe is it’s absolute simplicity.

  1. Weigh eggs (shell on) this is the weight you measure all the other ingredients– for a standard 2 sponge 19cm (8inch) cake tin I use 4  – 6 but increase or decrease depending on what you want. These work brilliantly as individual cupcakes too.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 180’C (I find this is around the 170’C mark if you’ve a reasonably new fan oven)
  3. Cream butter and sugar until smooth.
  4. Crack eggs into a mug so you can fish out any errant bits of shell, then steadily mix into the butter/sugar alternating with self raising flour.
  5. Add a capful of vanilla essence per 4 eggs.
  6. This is the only tricky bit, take a dollop of mixture on your spoon and hold above the bowl up-side-down. It should take a count of about 5 elephants (the time it takes to say 1 elephant, 2 elephants, etc) before it drops into the bowl. If it’s too stiff add milk a little at a time until the consistency is right.
  7. Bake until when you stick a knife/skewer in the centre it comes out clean. Cupcakes tend to take about 15 min, I turn them at 10 and then ‘hover’.


Cake Toppings

The most traditional is a Victoria Sponge. I was always brought up to believe this was fruit jam in the middle and a dusting of sugar on top.

However there is a long standing family argument because some feel a Victoria sponge must include cream in the middle too. If you choose this one MAKE SURE THE SPONGE IS COOL before adding the cream or the top will slide right off , Sod’s law into your Mother-in-laws lap.


The next step on from this, is jam in the middle and cream on top, covered in soft fruit. This looks and tastes wonderful but the same rule about sponge temperature applies and the cream works best fresh, i.e. don’t prepare too long in advance and it doesn’t keep as well as other sponges.



Piping on an icing and using food colouring and whatever toppings you can lay your hands on, especially glitter or metallic spray, all look brilliant for kids birthday cakes. I really like this recipe from ‘Kids Kitchen’ by Jennifer Low which works well either piped or simply spread on.



Buttercream Icing

2 ½ cups sieved icing sugar

60g soft, unsalted butter

4 tbsp milk/cream

1tsp of vanilla extract (or other flavour)

a few drops of natural food colouring

Use a wooden spoon to cream the butter until very soft [it should turn white in colour]. Gradually stir in a few spoonfuls of icing sugar. Mix in the milk/cream. Stir in the rest of the icing sugar and then the vanilla/flavour and colour.


Football cake

This is an apricot (so there’s no risk of turning the royal icing pink from strawb/raspberry) filling, then coated over the outside of the entire cake and a rolled sheet of royal icing on top which gives you a blank canvas to paint (using edible paints of course!). Getting the black and white to tessellate on this was a nightmare, wholly unhelped by sugar induced shakes! The grass is simply the icing recipe above piped on.


Tyre cakeThis was supposed to be a racing car tyre. I have to admit I’m not entirely happy with it but it does show how you can combine royal icing and piped (the black was a shop bought tube) to create different effects from kit you can find at the supermarket.

I also discovered while making this cake that metallic sprays only leave a sheen rather than actually covering (I’m sure this was obvious to others but hey ho!).


facebooklinkedinmailby feather


  1. seo

    In all honesty this is an incredible detailed article even so as with all excellent copy writers there are many items that might be proved helpful after. However by no means your significantly less it absolutely was exciting.

  2. proiecte case mici

    I am glad for commenting to let you understand what a fine encounter our girl enjoyed reading your web page. She discovered too many things, with the inclusion of what it’s like to possess an ideal helping nature to get the others very easily comprehend several complicated issues. You undoubtedly did more than her expectations. I appreciate you for offering those informative, dependable, educational not to mention cool thoughts on the topic to Ethel.

    1. Caroline Barrett (Post author)

      So pleased Ethel liked it, maybe you could post a picture of something she baked?

  3. 手機殼

    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of people that I believe would really appreciate your content material. Please let me know. Thanks 手機殼

    1. Caroline Barrett (Post author)

      Of course, that would be grand! I would love any feedback you’ve got and hopefully you’ll enjoy some of my next posts…

  4. Pingback: MJ

  5. fruits and vegetables

    WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..extra wait .. …

  6. Pingback: 情趣用品

  7. maglie storiche

    I am so grateful for your post.Thanks Again.

    1. Caroline Barrett (Post author)

      So glad you liked it! Cx

  8. Fishing Lovers

    Thanks again for the blog article.Thanks Again. Will read on…

  9. care

    Very good blog article. Great.

  10. hugo dorta and hugo enrique dorta

    Thanks-a-mundo for the blog article. Fantastic.

  11. Rose Cole

    Great blog post.Thanks Again.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>