Basic Sponge Cake

For each pint of liquid that your cake tin will contain, include: 

2oz (50g) soft margarine  

2oz (50g) caster sugar

2oz (50g) Self-raising flour

1 Egg, beaten

In order to make a chocolate sponge cake  replace some of the flour with sieved cocoa powder - I usually use about an ounce (25g) of cocoa.

cakepics

  Method:
  • Grease and line the cake tin(s) with either greaseproof paper. Then grease the lining paper. Even if your pans are non-stick, this is always worth doing to be safe!
  • Put the oven on to warm up whilst you're preparing the mixture. Gas mark 3 (170°C / 325°F).
  • Cream the margarine and sugar together. This is easier if the margarine is at room temperature, rather than straight from the fridge.
  • Gradually add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well at each addition. Once all the egg is added, sieve the flour into the mix, gently fold, incorporating lots of air.
  • Ensure the ingredients are all mixed together well.
  • Add the splash of milk. The amount added depends on the consistency of the mixture at this point; sometimes it's as little as a teaspoon, and it's never more than a tablespoon or so. Your mixture should drop gently off your spoon.
  • Transfer the mixture to the cake tin(s) and put into the oven.

Baking times will vary, depending on how big the cake is. Do not open the oven in the first half hour of baking! An 8" cake will take around 45 minutes. If you are baking in 2 half tins, it will take around half an hour. The cake is ready when a toothpick slid into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Once out of the oven, leave the cake in its tin for about 15 minutes to cool - during this time is will contract from the sides of the tin a little, making it easier to run a knife round the edges and remove from the tin onto a wire rack to cool properly.
 
Turn your cake over so the bottom of your cake becomes the top. So you have a nice flat surface to apply your cake topper.
 
Once completely cooled, cut your cake in half.
 
Apply your desired filling to the middle (my favourites jam and buttercream)
 
Put the top piece on and cover completely with buttercream. Roll your fondant icing (the best to use with cake toppers) and gently put on your cake.

Once you have smoothed your icing, if necessary, slightly dampen the top and apply your topper! Decorate to finish.