We eat kale, and we eat cake. I think that counts as a balanced diet.
These are our basic “go to” recipes for cakes that we use for all sorts of special occasions. The vanilla butter cake is a basic butter cake recipe that I have had in my notes for years. The chocolate cake recipe was inspired by, but modified from, the same Women’s Weekly mini cookbook as the classic Anzac biscuit recipe. I really like this chocolate cake – it has a deep chocolate flavour without being too heavy. Both cakes include three eggs in the recipe, which adds a richness to the batter and means they keep well, tasting just as good the next day. I rarely have the patience to ice my cakes, but fortunately the kids are old enough to do it if they are in the mood. Feel free to make icing if you like, or sprinkle with some sifted icing sugar or cocoa.
Vanilla butter cake
- 125g butter, softened
- 125g sugar, preferably caster or other fine sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250g self raising flour
- ½ cup milk
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line and/or grease a 20cm round tin.
Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Stir through the flour and milk with a spoon, then beat gently until all ingredients are well combined.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for approximately 50 minutes – 1 hour.
- ½ cup (50g) cocoa powder
- ½ cup (125ml) boiling water
- 185g butter, softened
- 200g brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 300g self raising flour
- ¾ cup (180ml) milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line and/or grease a deep 22cm round cake tin.
Combine the cocoa powder and the boiling water in a heat proof jug or bowl. Mix together with a fork then leave to cool.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Gently stir through the flour, milk and vanilla, then beat again until all ingredients are combined. Add the cocoa and water mixture and mix until all ingredients are combined.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for approximately 1 hour.
Use the same recipes for cupcakes if you like, baking for 20-25mins.
Also, you can also double or triple the recipes to make a very large cake (to celebrate with a sporting team, for example). However, the cooking time will not be doubled or tripled. Reduce the oven temperature slightly and increase the cooking time by 15 or 20 minutes, then check for doneness.
And, for a special occasion, you could make both cakes and put them together, perhaps with a coffee icing.