Why buy when you can make?

In today’s post I’m going to share an old family recipe for sponge cake. It’s really easy to make and only takes about 40 minutes all in.

I am always shocked at how much supermarkets charge for cakes and, more importantly, birthday cakes. Especially as they NEVER taste as nice as home-made ones. So, here’s the family recipe for you to try and I’ve costed it all out for you too!

Okay, when I say family recipe, I mean my mum got it from a magazine or the back of a flour packet or something many years ago (we’re talking the 70s – I remember making this as small child, that’s how easy it is). Oh, and it’s in imperial weights, but I’ve rather kindly put the metric equivalent in as well (I haven’t tested it in metric as being the aforementioned 70s child, I had to learn weights, measurements and coinage in both to be able to understand what my parents and grandparents were talking about – I learned everything in metric, having started primary school in 1975, but they were still talking in feet, inches, ounces, pounds, ten bob etc).

You will need:

four large eggs – 56p

8oz (227g) of self raising flour – 8p

8oz (227g) of butter (I like lightly salted in this recipe, but unsalted is good too) – this needs to be soft and at room temperature – £1.30

8oz (227g) caster sugar (not granulated) – 30p

vanilla essence – 5p

two cake tins

icing sugar (500g) if you want to ice it – 75p

some strawberry jam – 10p

Put your oven on at a medium heat (around 180 degrees for a fan oven, 250 degrees for electric, or 1/2 for gas). Place the eggs, flour, sugar, butter and a few drops of vanilla essence in a food mixer. Blend until smooth. Put batter in greased cake tins (I use the rest of the butter to grease the tins) and place in oven for approximately 25 minutes (depending on your oven, it might take less time or longer to cook).

Test by poking one of the cakes in the middle with a metal skewer or knife. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. If not, leave in for a bit longer. If you think your cakes are getting too browned, turn the oven down a little and cover with a little tinfoil.

When ready, take out and leave to cool. Once cool, place some strawberry jam on the top of one of the cakes and place the other one on top. Then mix some icing sugar with a little water – you want it to be about the consistency of toothpaste – and smear over the top of the cake. Get a knife, cut yourself a slice and enjoy with a cup of tea.

This cake goes well with custard (without the icing) and makes great fairy cakes.

And the total cost? £3.14 (excluding the cake tins) – all costed today by choosing the cheapest ingredients from ASDA’s website. Compared to ASDA’s own cakes, which admittedly are beautifully decorated, that’s a saving of a minimum of £3 (their cheapest cake is £6 for a mega Madeira cake) or £10 (if you go for a celebration cake which is £13).

Why you should make your own cakes in future:

  1. more personal
  2. tastes much better
  3. you know what’s in it
  4. you can eat it warm out the over with some custard

So, there you go. A delicious cake recipe that you can use for afternoon tea, birthday cakes or fairy cakes for the school fete.

Dawn x

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