NZ Forest Native Birds

Quick, Easy Sponge Cake

No folding in of dry ingredients! What more can a reluctant cook want? Yet this cake is as light and airy as any traditional sponge cake. Use metric cups (250 ml) for this recipe.

1 cup flour
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs
3 TB melted butter
2 TB milk
½ rounded tsp baking soda
1 rounded tsp cream of tartar

Sift flour into the basin of your cake mixer, add other ingredients except baking soda and cream of tartar and beat on high for three minutes. (While mixture is being beaten, you can prepare your sponge tins.) Add baking soda and cream of tartar and beat a few seconds to mix it well in. Bake at 190ºC (375ºF) in sponge sandwich tins for 15 to 20 minutes. To make lemon or orange sponge, replace milk with lemon or orange juice and add the grated rind of the fruit.

Tip 1: grease the sponge sandwich tins with butter and dust the sides lightly with flour. The flour gives the mixture something to cling to when it rises.

Tip 2: Ever tried to grate the rind of a lemon? If you don’t have a special zester, use one of those potato peelers that have a swinging blade to remove the rind. Press lightly so you don’t include the white pith. Then chop the rind as you would fresh parsley.

When cold, spread jam over one of the sponges and top this with a generous layer of stiffly whipped unsweetened cream. Place other sponge on top and sift a small amount of icing sugar over it.

Butterfly Cakes

Cook the mixture in medium sized muffin pans. My pans are non-stick so I use a cooking spray rather than greasing them with butter. The cakes will take about the same time to cook as in sandwich tins and the mixture makes 12 fairly large cakes. To make butterfly cakes dig out the centre of each cake with a knife, cut it in half, fill the v-shaped hole with whipped cream, then place the cut pieces to look like a butterfly’s wings. Use a piece of jelly or a blob of jam for the butterfly’s body and dust the top of the cakes with icing sugar. For another variation, see my lamington recipe.

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