Adapted from my eBook Kitchen Instinct which you can download for free here.
There is always one friend in the group that bakes the party cake. Despite that you are currently reading the website of somebody who cooks a lot, I hate to break it to you, in my circle I’m not that friend.
That friend is Bronwen who on request, often bakes what we have anointed her Sky Cake. Named so because despite tasting like every jubilant memory of your childhood birthdays, it looks like something she dropped from the sky.
This recipe is not Bronwen’s Sky Cake but a pimped up, thickly buttercreamed sponge that is fit for any celebration. That’s why this recipe is titled a Party Cake. I would never confine such a recipe to just celebrating a birth. I’d wheel this out if I needed to celebrate waking up, if I’m honest.
And yes that is custard powder you see and I urge you to embrace the childish joy and bounce it brings to the sponge.
Serves 10 but 6 greedy people realistically
For the cake
170 g of butter
330 g of plain flour
2 tablespoons of custard powder
330 g caster sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
180 ml of full fat milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
For the buttercream
100 g butter
300 g of icing sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
70 ml double cream
- Preheat your oven to 180 °C and grease and line two 23 cm cake tins.
- In a big bowl combine the butter, flour, custard powder, sugar and baking powder and beat until you get a scruffy looking breadcrumb mix.
- Crack in the eggs, pour in the milk and vanilla extract and beat everything together until the mixture is airy and has no lumps.
- Divide the batter between the two tins, smooth the tops of the cake and slide them in the oven for 25 minutes until a skewer can be inserted into the cake and come out clean.
- Let the cakes sit in their tins for about 20 minutes to cool before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- While they cool, make your buttercream. Put the butter in a big bowl and whisk until its soft (so much easier with an electric whisk).
- Now add rest of the ingredients and mix. You will be covered in icing sugar, but embrace it. Now you’ll have your sponges and your buttercream and it’s up to you where you go from here.
- Now I’m not going to tell any lies. If you want a cake iced all over, it’s very easy to make but it does require some patience. So what you’ll need to do is turn one of the sponges upside down and layer cream on the flat top.
- Now place the other sponge topside down on this cream. Cover the whole thing with a small amount of the buttercream. You could leave it like this (looks quite naked and rustic actually) or, if you want to cover it properly, pop it in the fridge for half hour.
- Once firm, take it out and cover in more icing to conceal the unfinished look and chill again.
- To get the icing smooth, dip a spoon in some hot water and run the spoon over the top and sides so the warm metal gently smooth’s the surfaces.
- If you want the sprinkle look you see in the picture, once you’ve smoothed your cake with a warm spoon, empty 160 g of sprinkles into a flat roasting tray.
- Using patient hands, roll the iced cake like a wheel up and down the tray of sprinkles, going back and forth until you cover the sides.
- Place the cake on a plate and use your hands to cover the top, patting sprinkles into any gaps you may have missed.
- Be prepared for a clean-up mind. You’ll be like Lady Macbeth seeing those bloody sprinkle spots everywhere you look for days.