A classic cake that everyone should know how to create!

Beautifully light vanilla sponge, filled with a homemade jam of your choice (raspberry is always my favourite!) and covered in a silky vanilla buttercream. Simplicity at its finest.

Ingredients (makes a three layer 8″ cake)

  • 320g self raising flour
  • 320g caster sugar
  • 320g baking margarine (stork gives the lightest sponge)
  • 6 free range eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla paste (make sure you have the paste NOT essence)
  • 50g frozen raspberries
  • 50g jam sugar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 250g softened unsalted butter (the better quality the butter the more silky the buttercream)
  • 500g sifted icing sugar
  • 1tbsp milk mixed with 1tsp vanilla paste
  • sprinkles or fresh fruit of your choice for decoration

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees, grease and line three 8″ round cake tins with baking paper.
  2. Put the flour, caster sugar, margarine, eggs and baking powder into a stand mixer and beat on the fastest speed for 3-4 minutes until pale in colour. The paler the colour the fluffier the sponge, so beating your mix is really important.
  3. Spread evenly into your three cake tins. If you want to be really accurate then you can weigh it into your tins, 420g of mix per tin.
  4. Smooth the mix out and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Once ready they should be golden in colour and the sponge should bounce back when you press the top.
  5. Leave to cool completely before icing.
  6. Next up is the jam. Heat together your frozen raspberries, jam sugar and lemon juice on a medium heat until boiling. Stir every now and then to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once boiling, turn down to a low heat and leave for four minutes.
  7. Take off the heat and leave to fully cool. The consistency will thicken as it cools, so don’t worry if it looks sloppy! The jam can be kept in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
  8. All that’s left to do is the buttercream. To get light, silky, white buttercream the key is great quality butter. We use French butter, which I find gives the best texture and colour.
  9. In a stand mixer put your butter and icing sugar, whisk until just combined. Add your milk and vanilla mixture and whisk for a further five minutes. If it’s looking too firm add a little more milk until it’s at the right consistency, remember you can add more but you can’t take it away so add the milk in small amounts.
  10. It’s time to assemble your cake, my preferred tools for this are a step pallet knife, turn table and side scrapper.
  11. Sandwich your three sponges with your homemade jam and a thin layer of buttercream. Then coat the sides with a thin layer of icing, this is called a ‘crumb coat’. This means you can seal in all the crumbs so you get a smoother, more polished look on the final cake. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes, until the buttercream is completely set.
  12. Spread your final layer of icing on the top and around the sides of your cake and finish with sprinkles or fresh fruit.