Having a reliable recipe for a sponge cake at your fingertips is really useful. You can ice it lavishly for family birthday cakes or dress it up in strawberries and cream for a sumptuous summer dessert. It is delicious for tea just filled with a spread of strawberry jam and sprinkled with caster sugar when you have guests. And it is easy enough to turn it into a chocolate sponge cake with the addition of cocoa powder and some chocolate butter icing.
This basic sponge cake recipe is made even easier as it is mixed in the food processor, rather than creamed by hand, but if you prefer you can still make it by hand, in which case beat it well when you cream the butter and sugar and add the eggs, and leave out the extra baking powder.
Recipe for Sponge Cake
225g / 8oz self-raising flour
225g / 8oz caster sugar
225g / 8oz very soft butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
3-4 tablespoons milk
Grease and line 2 21cm / 8 inch sandwich tins.
Preheat the oven to 180C / 375F.
Sift the flour. Put all the ingredients except the milk into the food processor and process until smooth. Add two tablespoons of milk and then process again. Check the consistency. It should be soft and drop easily from the spoon. Add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of milk as needed. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and bake for 25 minutes until the sponge is springy and a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and then sandwich together with the filling of your choice.
More suggestions for filling and icing your sponge cake:
Fill your sponge cake with whipped cream and crushed fresh raspberries.
Make a butter icing flavoured with orange zest and juice to fill your sponge cake.
To make a chocolate sponge cake, replace 30g of the flour with cocoa powder. Fill with whipped cream flavoured with vanilla essence and top with grated chocolate or a sprinkling of icing sugar.
Feel like going out for tea and cake instead of baking today? Why not tempt yourself with the luscious cakes on offer at Perkins restaurant in Nottingham.