This week’s Pieday Friday recipe was created quite by accident last weekend. I had an afternoon to myself and was feeling a little ‘meh’. Not down-in-the-dumps but definitely unmotivated. So what better way is there to cheer myself up than by baking a cake, eh? I dragged myself off the sofa and started to gather my ingredients together ready to bake. Having determined that I did already have everything I needed to bake a cake (for once!) I set to work finding my baking equipment. This was the first stumbling block; my cake tins were nowhere to be seen. I’ve probably not baked a cake for a good few months, and I must have tidied the pans away into my caravan to stop them from cluttering up my kitchen. But could I find them now that I wanted to use them? Nope. Instead I had to use one larger tin than usual and hope for the best. I figured that I could cut it in half and sandwich it back together rather than baking two 7 inch cakes like I usually do. You might already be able to tell from the photos that this plan didn’t really work as my larger tin produced a much flatter cake!I had lots of strawberries in the fridge thanks to a rather fruitful patch growing in the garden, which had all ripened at once in the hot sun. I’d also picked up a couple of punnets of cherries in the supermarket, now that they are in season and are on sale at bargain prices. When I say ‘a couple’ I mean four in a week. So after days and days of munching on fresh cherries, I was starting to think about other ways of eating them up that didn’t involve breakfast cereal. So I decided to use up all my lovely ripe strawberries and cherries in this cake.
Ingredients: 100g self-raising flour, 100g margarine, 100g caster sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, chopped strawberries and cherries. For the buttercream topping: real butter, vanilla extract and icing sugar mixed together until white, fluffy and spreadable.
- Cream the margarine and sugar together for about 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.
- Mix in the vanilla.
- Add one egg at a time, with a little sifted flour.
- Sift in the rest of the flour and mix until combined.
- Pour a third of the cake batter into a greased, lined cake tin.
- Sprinkle in some chopped cherries and strawberries.
- Cover with more batter and then add another layer of fruit.
- Top with batter and smooth the surface a little.
- Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 25-30 mins, checking with a skewer to see if the cake is done.
I’m a little baffled as to why it ended up being so flat, considering that I beat my sugar and margarine together for so long and I actually bothered to sift my flour (I’m usually too lazy for all that faff!). I think that the combination of not having two pans to divide the batter, and the pan being wider than usual, or possibly the moisture in the fruit, all contributed to the flatness of the cake. Even so, it tasted really good, and finding little juicy nuggets of fruit in my sponge is one of my favourite treats.I did bother to cut the cake in half and spread buttercream and strawberry jam inside the cake. I then iced the cake with a layer of buttercream and added some sliced strawberries to the top. Nothing fancy because it was just a cakey treat for me to enjoy on a Saturday afternoon. I realised that, if my cake had risen a little more, it would actually look a lot like the cake emoji! Maybe that subconsciously inspired me to bake! I was also inspired by the Bumpkin Betty baking club, because the theme for July was Family Favourites, and a lovely sponge cake is certainly a favourite in our household. In fact, dad has the same strawberry sponge cake every year for his birthday so it seemed like the perfect recipe for this theme. Check out the #BBBakingClub for yourself and please join in with next month’s theme!Let me know if you have a go at making this recipe and whether your cake turns out all light and fluffy, or whether it stays a little flat like mine did? Leave me a comment below, and I’m off to try baking it again, with better results next time, I hope!