Simple-as Vanilla Spongecake

Vanilla Spongecake

Serves 10

    • 300 g plain / all purpose flour
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 4 large eggs (50 – 55g), at room temp
    • 300 g caster / superfine sugar
    • 115g / 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1.5cm / 1/2” cubes
    • 250 mL milk, full fat
    • 3 tsp vanilla extract, the best you can afford
    • 3 tsp vegetable or canola oil

Vanilla Buttercream

    • 225g unsalted butter, softened
    • 500g soft icing sugar / powdered sugar, SIFTED
    • 3 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 – 4 tbsp milk, to adjust thickness


Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C fan) for 20 minutes before starting the batter. Place shelf in the middle of the oven. Grease 2 x 20cm / 8” cake pans with butter, then line with parchment / baking paper. Best to use cake pan without loose base, if you can.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Beat eggs for 30 seconds on speed 6 of a Stand Mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or hand beater. With the beater still going, pour the sugar in over 45 seconds. Then beat for 7 minutes on speed 8, or until tripled in volume and white.
While egg is beating, place butter and milk in a heatproof jug and microwave 2 minutes on high to melt butter (or use stove). Do not let milk bubble and boil (foam ok). Don’t do this ahead and let the milk cool (this affects rise).
When the egg is whipped, scatter 1/3 flour across surface, then beat on Speed 1 for 5 seconds. Add half remaining flour, then mix on Speed 1 for 5 sec. Add remaining flour, then mix on Speed 1 for 5 – 10 sec until the flour is just mixed in. Once you can’t see flour, stop straight away.
Pour hot milk, vanilla and oil into the now empty flour bowl. Add about 1 1/2 cups (2 ladles or so) of the Egg Batter into the Milk-Butter (don’t need to be 100% accurate with amount). Use a whisk to mix until smooth – you can be vigorous here. Will look foamy.
Turn beater back on Speed 1 then pour the Milk mixture into the Egg Batter over 15 seconds, then turn beater off. Scrape down sides and base of bowl. Beat on Speed 1 for 10 seconds – batter should now be smooth and pourable.
Pour batter into pans. Bang each cake pan on the counter 3 times to knock out big bubbles. Bake 30 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven. Cool in cake pans for 15 minutes, then gently turn out onto cooling racks. If using as layer cakes, cool upside down – slight dome will flatten perfectly. Level cake = neat layers. Frost with frosting of choice, or cream and fresh berries or jam!
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