I started baking when I was very young. My mother has always been a fantastic home cook and she was amazing at getting my sister and I to join in.
I can’t remember what my first cake recipe was or when I began to bake but as far as I can remember I have always had a sweet-tooth. I was slightly larger when I was in my early teens (I will bore you with that story next week 😉 ) so my amazing family tried as much as they could to avoid keeping sweets & chocolate in the house to help me out.
However, being young, rather cheeky and certainly persistent, I decided to learn how to bake my own cakes instead!
One of my favourite recipes when I was young was The Can’t Go Wrong Sponge Cake. It comes from a terrific book called “Easy Peasy Sweety Pie” which I would recommend to any mother who would like to encourage the kids to bake!
It might not be the most exciting of cakes but it’s fluffly, it contents your sweet tooth and above all it is sublimely easy to make. So easy that I could whip one up after coming home from school and it would be ready by the time I had to go up to my room to do my homework.
Another great thing about this cake is that once you have your basic sponge you can make up pretty much any flavour you like. I went bananas this Sunday and decided to for 5 variations: Lemon & Almond Drizzle Sponge Cake, Orange Sponge Cake, Lime and Mint Sponge Cake, Banana & Almond Sponge Cake and Chocolate Sponge Cake.
They were all delicious and although I was positive that the lemon was going to be my favourite, in the end I ate two banana ones instead (told you I went bananas :P)
Best Ever Can’t Go Wrong Perfect Sponge Cake
- 3 large eggs, weighted in the shells
- Same weight in butter, sugar and self-raising flower
- Milk/ Lemon Juice/ Orange Juice/ etc. (depending of flavour) to loosen
- Pinch of salt (Never without salt!)
Preheat the oven to 180C and
1. Whisk together in a stand alone mixer the butter and sugar until it becomes pale and fluffy. Reduce the speed and add one egg at the a time. Once the mixture is fully combined sieve in the flour and salt and fold it in.
If you prefer a moister cake (I definitely do) then you simply need to exchange some (not all!) of the flour for ground almonds.
Now for the flavours:
Lemon Drizzle Sponge Cake
3. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the sponge cake mix and mix it in. Spread the mixture in the pre-greased cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.
4. Once the cake is cooked (but still warm) prick some holes in the top and drizzle with a combination of lemon juice, lemon zest and brown sugar (if you use brown rather than white it gives it a delicious crunch)
Orange Sponge Cake
As per above however substitute lemons for oranges.
Lime and Mint Sponge Cake
As per above however substitute orange juice for lime juice. If you would like to include the addition of mint then just add some mint leaves to the drizzle along with the lime juice, zest and sugar.
Banana & Almond Sponge Cake
Simply squash 2 very ripe bananas into the sponge cake mix and add a tablespoon of milk to loosen the mixture. I used almond milk as I thought it would compliment the ground almonds I substituted for some of the self-raising flour.
Chocolate Sponge Cake
Add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder, 1 tbsp of milk and 1tbsp of vegetable and follow cooking instructions as per above. I sprinkled the chocolate sponge cake with chocolate junks and some sea salt but I it would also be delicious with some icing cream i’m sure.
What your can’t go wrong recipe that you swear by? When did you start baking?