Here you have a rich butter cake recipe with a delicate soft crumb, suited to layers cakes and loaf cakes as the texture is somewhere between a pound cake and the more delicate genoise sponge. Very easy to make, and a great cake to wake up and suddenly choose to make as you don’t need to have butter at a soft room temperature. For more on the unusual technique used here see below at the end of the method.
You’ll notice that it uses an English-style strong white flour: the reason is that helps a rich butter and sugar cake like this stay light without sinking.
Makes 1 deep 7” diameter round cake (that can be sliced horizontally and filled), or 1 thinner 8” diameter round cake (for a layer of cake)
Butter the inside of a 7” or 8” round cake tin then line the base with a disk of non-stick paper. I like to weigh out each set of ingredients and have them ready so the final mixing can be speedy. An electric hand whisk is useful, as is our Danish dough whisk for folding at the end.
For the melted butter mix: have the butter melted and off the heat in a pan, and in a mixing bowl have the strong white flour and oil together
For the egg and sugar mix: have the eggs in a bowl, with the sugar and vanilla to one side .
For the sifted flour and milk: have the flour and baking powder mixed together in a small bowl, with a sieve, and the milk in a jug.
Here we go...
1. Mix the melted butter in with the flour and oil in the mixing bowl.
2. Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick and foamy (and electric hand mixer is good here) then beat all of this through the butter mixture really well until smooth and fluffy.
3. Alternate folding through the milk then sifted flour/baking powder though the mix in thirds, until smooth.
Spoon in the tin and bake at 150C fan for about 35 minutes (for an 8” thinner cake) or 50 minutes (for a 7” thicker cake) until a skewer poked in comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin then wrap well when almost cold to stop it drying out. Freezes very well.
Did you know...
Historically, this type of traditional afternoon tea cake is known as Victoria Sandwich – I know, cake as sandwich, how delicious – and made with a buttercake recipe. However, today it’s often called a Victoria Sponge and sometimes made instead with a French-style genoise sponge recipe.
The method used it's what's called a "flour batter" cake mixing method, almost forgotten but it produces a very delicious cake. It was very popular in the later 19th early 20th century but fell out of fashion when bleached flours became available - as they could hold more sugar and butter in suspension without needing these extra steps. Then when bleached flour was banned in most of the world we lost this particular rich crumb texture.