Someone left the cake out in the rain

It’s Great British Bake Off time! Which is brilliant, because:

  1. Cake
  2. Mel’n’Sue

Cooking is important and can be therapeutic, and perhaps I will write about that half-seriously one day. 

(In the meantime, if you want to read some beautiful writing about food and feelings then I point you in the direction of Olivia, who blogs about cooking and grief and has made me cry more times than I care to admit.)

What I offer you, instead, is a super basic but very forgiving sponge cake recipe that has served me wonderfully since I was eleven years old.

For 12 fairy cakes or two slimmish layers of a Victoria Sponge, you will need:

  • 2 eggs (I use big, but medium will do)
  • 4oz butter/margarine (I use Stork. You do you.)
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 4oz self raising flour
  • A glug of vanilla essence (or almond if you fancy)
  • A splash of milk, if you have some


If you’ve got a fancy food mixer, you can just bung everything in together until it’s mixed. The order doesn’t matter; the mixture doesn’t care.

If you don’t, then cream the butter and sugar together first, then mix in the eggs and the vanilla, then stir in the flour at the end. Stir hard – it gets some air in and is fun. If it feels a bit thick, put the milk in. If not, or if you’ve run out of milk, then don’t. 

Bake at about 200 degrees [I have reconciled with the metric system] for 12ish minutes. If you’re making fairy cakes, they’re cooked the second that you catch a whiff of cake from the oven. If you’re making a big cake, then it’ll take a bit longer. 

Let them cool (or don’t) then ice them (or don’t) and share them with your friends (or, y’know, don’t).

Hurray! You now have a cake recipe you can make in less time than it takes Mary Berry to walk once around the Bake Off tent. 


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