This cake is absolutely beautiful. I’ve adapted it from the Hummingbird vanilla cupcake recipe, which means it’s ridiculously soft and fluffy. This fluffiness means you might have a bit of trouble getting it out of the tin, so it’s really vital to grease, line, grease again and use a tin with a removable bottom. Or you’ll end up digging it out with a fork bit by bit, which doesn’t sound like as much fun. Don’t question the use of mayonnaise in the recipe, it’s the secret ingredient. Would I lie to you?
- 240g self-raising flour
- 240g caster sugar
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 240ml milk
- 2tbsp mayonnaise
- 80g Stork
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 190c (170c if you have a fan. Don’t want burnt cake now, do we?). Grease and line two cake tins thoroughly (I use 8”) and set aside. Seriously, if you skip the lining step I will be mad.
- Get a nice big bowl. Beat the Stork and sugar together until nice and creamy.
- Beat in the eggs and the vanilla extract. Try not to get any shell in it, though it’s not the end of the world and 99 % of the time my cakes have egg shell in them. It’s fine.
- Add flour, salt and baking powder (don’t overuse the baking powder, it’ll make it sink) and mix to form a dough which in no way, shape or form resembles a cake batter.
- Add milk and mayonnaise and stir in until incorporated. Beat for a few minutes until smooth and airy.
- Pour into prepared tins – make sure the bottoms are on firmly, I learnt to do this the hard way – then bang them down on the worktop to get rid of air bubbles.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes, or until they look done. Remove from the tins after 10 minutes or so of cooling. They will be crumbly, but try and get them out in one piece if you can. Don’t worry if bits of the edges come off, either glue them back on with icing when you do that stage, or just eat them. No prizes for guessing which method I choose.
- When completely cool, ice. Sandwich the two layers together, then dollop the rest of the buttercream on top of the cake. Smooth it all down the sides, and then level off on top.
- Add sprinkles! I cannot stress how important this step is.
- 450g icing sugar
- 150g softened butter (not gonna lie, I just use Stork)
- Milk – add a splash at a time until you reach a nice thick, spreadable consistency
- Food colouring (a few drops should do it, but it depends what you use)
- Sprinkles or other form of pretty decoration
Method 1 – by hand (denser)
- Sieve the icing sugar into a big bowl (it’s an important step, just do it you lazy bunch).
- Stir in the softened butter as much as you can. Don’t worry about it when your hand slips and you end up covered in a cloud of icing sugar. Happens to the best of us. Well, me.
- Add milk until it’s a nice thick, smooth consistency. Add the food colouring, and beat for a few minutes.
Method 2 – mixer (lighter)
- Sieve the icing sugar into the mixer. Add the softened butter and whack the mixer on on a low speed until they’re incorporated – it should be sandy.
- Add the milk bit by bit, mixing in between additions.
- When the consistency looks about right, add the food colouring, whack it on full and leave it for about 5 minutes. This will get loads of air into the buttercream and it’ll be super light and fluffy. You’ll also need to use less because it will increase in volume. You can store the leftovers in the fridge (I don’t know how long for, but a long time. I’ve had some in the fridge for about 3 months, I don’t know if it’s still alright though and I daren’t try it).
Let me know what you think!