My Step by step sponge cake mix 

More about me, personal posts

I enjoy baking and I’m fairly artistic so I decided to test my talent and make my first ever proper iced birthday cake. I watched a YouTube video for instructions on how to ice it so I’m good to go right? 
So a basic cake mix I always use is 

175g of self raising flour

175g of caster Sugar

175g of butter or baking margarine

3 eggs 

1tsp of baking powder

So, if I’m feeling lazy, I literally chuck ALL the ingredients in a bowl, whisk it and bake it. As I was making the cake for a special occasion I made more of an effort and did it the traditional way.

Firstly I creamed the butter and sugar

  
Beat the eggs

Then added the eggs to the mixture

  
I weighed out the flour and added 1tsp of baking powder, then sieved the flour into the mixture. Mix it up! 

  
At this stage I should have added vanilla essence ( but I forgot) now the mixture, or batter as some refer, is good to go in the oven.  

  
For the cupcakes put a heaped teaspoon into a muffin case and bake at around 180 (electric oven) for 12-15 minutes.

  
Once golden and springy to the touch they’re ready. Allow to cool and get creative! 

  
I used butter icing which I make with double the amount of icing sugar to butter. So I used a whole block of butter at 250g and a whole box of icing sugar at 500g no need to even weigh it!!! So cream this together, gently, as not to get clouds of sugar everywhere. To mine I added some strawberry food flavouring and pink food colouring.    

 Right so here’s a quick guide to icing cupcakes. For a flat ‘Rose’ effect pipe from the middle out around to the edge.

  
 To get height, pipe from the outside round into the middle. I used the biggest nozzle I had, a star shape with 8 prongs ( I’m sure there’s a more technical term than that).   

  
Once piped you can add any extras you wish. I used mini marshmallows and grated white chocolate. Literally grated on a cheese grater.  

  
Easy peasy hey?! You can do whatever combinations you fancy. Add cocoa to the cake mix and butter icing for chocolate cakes or fresh lemon juice and zest for lemon cakes.  

I had envisioned how I wanted the birthday cake to look. A pink and white layered cake. I used this standard cake mix and added a whole tube of food colouring gel to make the sponge pink.  

  
I chose gel as I have used the small bottles of food colouring before and the colour was too subtle. So I halved the mixture between two silicon baking trays and baked two layers pink and a further 2 layers I baked without any additional colour, again forgetting the vanilla essence! Silicon is great for baking as it peels straight off without the need to grease.  

  
So once I had all the layers ready and cooled ( they have to be cooled or the icing will just melt right off) I began to assemble.

I spread a bit of jam on the underneath of the bottom layer to glue it to the cake board. You can buy these in the baking isle at the supermarket. I spread butter icing on the top and jam onto the underneath of the layer I was placing on top. This process was repeated until I placed on the fourth layer alternating the colour of the sponges.  

  
Now at this stage to make it a nicer finish I probably should have cut the cakes edges off to straighten it up. I decided against this as I didn’t want to lose too much cake. So the cake was now assembled and I was ready to roll, the regal icing! 

I watched a video on you tube to get an idea of the technique. Looked easy! I rolled out the icing which got stuck to the surface as I attempted to scoop it up. It took a few attempts to get it onto the cake. Once on it naturally fell into place. I didn’t do a very good job rolling the icing, it didn’t quite fit. So I patched it up and tried to smooth it over. This really is tricky and is made to look so easy in the video but with practice, as with anything, I’m sure I’ll become better.

 I added some of the remaining drops of gel into some left over icing to make it pink, rolled it out and hand cut a 60. I made some little roses too just by cutting a semi circle and rolling into a cone shape.  

   
 So this is the finished cake. It doesn’t look to bad for a first attempt. My mum (the recipient) was really happy with it and said she liked the way it looked homemade. So although it didn’t come out exactly as expected it has given me confidence to try again in the future. So that’s my step by step guide to making a basic mix with endless possibilities. Have a go, it’s a piece of cake! 

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