The ultimate classic vanilla sponge cake recipe with an Easter twist

Home » Lara Daly » The ultimate classic vanilla sponge cake recipe with an Easter twist

27 March 2021

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What’s lilac, layered and yummy all over? The perfect vanilla sponge smothered in pastel buttercream, which stars as the centrepiece for an Easter high tea.

This is the only vanilla sponge recipe you’ll need, ever – straight from Granny’s cookbook archives. (To create a tower cake, as in the photo, bake multiple cakes and stack them, with a layer of icing between each layer.)

Cake ingredients

125g butter

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence

1⁄2 cup caster sugar

2 eggs

1 1⁄2 cups self-raising flour, sifted

1⁄3 cup milk

Buttercream ingredients

140g butter, at room temperature

280g icing sugar

1-2 tablespoons milk

Food colouring


1 Heat oven to 180°C.

2 Beat the butter and vanilla until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the first egg, beat until fully combined, then repeat with the second egg. Add half the flour and half the milk and mix until well combined. Add the remaining flour and milk and beat lightly until smooth.

3 Spoon the batter into a round cake tin and bake until the top of the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

4 For the icing, beat the butter until soft, then add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add the remaining sugar and 1 tablespoon of the milk. Add more milk if the icing needs loosening. Add a drop of pastel-hued food colouring and mix until well combined and evenly tinted.

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