Basic vanilla butter cake

Six ingredients give you a mixture that’s cheaper than store-bought cake mix, and just as easy.

More than 1 hour

Serves 6-8

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Ingredients:

Cake:
  • 1 cup (250g) soft butter
  • 1 cup (200g) castor sugar
  • 2 tsp (10ml) vanilla essence
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1½ cups (225g) self-raising flour, sifted
  • Pinch fine salt
  • Edible flowers and mint, for serving (optional)
Buttercream icing:
  • ¾ cup (180g) soft butter
  • 2 cups (260g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence
  • Squeeze lemon juice

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line a 20-23cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper and spray with non-stick spray.
  3. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together for 6-8 minutes, using an electric whisk. (The mixture should triple in quantity and become a pale yellow-white.)
  4. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well to incorporate before adding the next one.
  5. Sift flour into a large bowl, add salt, then the wet mixture and mix.
  6. Pour batter into prepared cake tin.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Cool in tin for 5-10 minutes, then unmould and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  9. For the icing, whisk butter until fluffy.
  10. Add icing sugar in 3-4 batches, whisking well to incorporate before the next addition.
  11. Once cake is cool, top with icing.
  12. Decorate with flowers and mint, if you like.

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