The ‘Never Meant to be Cake!’

My lovely mom turns the big 6-0 this coming weekend and we are going up to Birmingham to help celebrate this fabulous birthday with her…

I will hopefully be getting her this Thomas Sabo charm for her bracelet that my dad bought her at xmas tomorrow when i go shopping with the little man…

I really hope the jewellers have them in stock! I am also going to attempt to make her a birthday cake, i am no experienced baker but i do like to give myself a challenge – i have only made one birthday cake prior to this and that was in September for Ollie’s birthday…

If you couldn’t guess, the theme was cricket! I really enjoyed making it but i was heavily pregnant and on maternity leave so had a lot of time to put it together. I need to make my mom’s cake in the next few days with a demanding 3 month old wanting my attention for the majority of the day… how times have changed!

Anyhow, tonight i thought i would make a start on the sponge. I followed a recipe that a friend from antenatal gave me, she makes the most amazing cakes so was glad when she shared some of her baking wisdom with me.

The ingredients for my sponge cake was simple;

  • 170g self raising flour
  • 170g very soft butter
  • 170g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs

My friends fail safe pearls of wisdom went like this;

  1. never tap the side of the bowl when making a sponge as this releases a lot of air in the mixture
  2. make sure all doors are shut??? she believes that this can draw air from the cake (who am i to argue she makes amazing cakes!)
  3. Never open the oven door during the baking process & finally
  4. sift the flour & baking powder 3 times from quite a height.

With all this in mind i was ready to go and started sifting my flour thrice…

Sift one…

sift two…

sift three…

The next bit was easy, add all the rest of the ingredients and mix with an electric whisk for 2 mins, my determination for the ultimate cake did not fail me and i actually stop-watched myself mixing for 2 whole minutes!

After the 2 minutes were up i had a little taste, i love cake batter but this tasted a bit funky! Not sure what it was so i added a drop of vanilla essence and mixed for a further minute…

I divided the mixture between two silicone cake moulds and was just about to place it in the oven when…


In my haste to get the cake done before Rowan’s next feed i forgot a crucial bit of the ingredients… the bloomin butter! So out i scraped the batter from the moulds…

and in went the soft butter…

off i went again to whisk the batter for 2 minutes, secretly knowing my dreams of a fluffy victoria sponge was fading fast!

The mixture was once again divided between the two moulds and then put in the oven for 20 minutes (170c pre heated).

Like my friend said i did not open the oven door until the buzzer went off so not to disturb the cake, in fact i was no where near the oven as Rowan needed feeding. When the 20 minutes were up, the house smelt lovely – thank goodness after my little mistake earlier the cake smelled good. The husband took the cakes out of the oven and placed them on top of the counter for me and returned to doing his paper work in the back room.

After Rowan had fed i went to inspect my cakes… all i can so is ‘oh dear!’…

It was so tragic it was laughable!

No way was i going to make a cake for my mom with THAT! So instead Ollie & I covered it with Jam and ate it!

It tasted lovely it was just a little on the misshapen side, i guess the adding of the butter after was too traumatic for my poor little sponge!

Never mind, i will attempt cake no 2 tomorrow evening, i still have time before the weekend, just about! My only saving grace is there is a massive ASDA right by my parents and they sell a beautiful array of birthday cakes, fingers crossed that won’t be necessary. Part 2 of the of the birthday cake attempt will be blogged about tomorrow…

Does anyone have any more hints and tips for making the ultimate sponge cake? *as you can see i need all the help i can get*


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