Marie Antoinette was a genius! She was a smart, sassy woman who knew that people should not be denied cake.
Yellow cake, white cake, fruit cake, coffee cake, cheesecake, angel cake, chiffon cake, red velvet cake or even Devil’s food cake– take your pick. It’s cake that makes the world go round.
While I look constantly for new recipes to add to my collection, and while my collection has grown over the years, there are a handful of tried and tested cakes that I make when I have to rustle up something fast.
My one foolproof recipe that tastes great iced or plain is the 1-2-3-4 cake. I’ve been baking this for so long that I can’t remember where I first found it. But the recipe itself is really easy to remember.
So go for it!
1 cup/ 200 g/ 2 sticks butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 cups of all purpose flour plus 2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp Vanilla bean paste or any extract of choice
(Up to) 1 cup of buttermilk (can use unsweetened yoghurt or milk)
Preheat your oven to 180*C. Line two 8″ baking pans with baking paper and spray or brush on some vegetable oil.
Beat the butter until very soft. Add the sugar and continue beating until very soft.
Add the extract and the 4 eggs and beat until incorporated.
Add the flour in 3-4 additions, alternating with the buttermilk.
Add only as much buttermilk as required. You may not need the entire cup.
Empty the batter into the prepared tins and bake for about 25-35 minutes.
The cake is ready when it looks golden brown and a skewer or knife inserted into it, comes away clean.
Cool the cakes in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a cake rack and let cool completely.
Enjoy plain, or sandwich together with home made lemon curd or orange curd and dust the surface with a light coating of icing sugar.
Or go elaborate and frost the cake with a fudge frosting or chocolate ganache. Either way, this one is a winner.
The batter could also make about 24 cupcakes.