Pre heat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark 4 / 350F. Grease 2 x 7inch (18cm) round cake tins with butter or margarine. Put a circle of baking paper on the bottom of each tin and grease the baking paper. (There is no need to fully line the tins.)
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy looking. (See Note 2.)
Add one egg and beat until combined. Repeat with the other eggs, adding them in one at a time.
Add in half the flour and fold it in gently.
Stir in the baking powder and vanilla extract.
Add in the remaining flour and fold in gently.
Put half the mixture in each cake tin and spread the mixture evenly over the base of each tin. Level the surface with a spoon or spatula.
Put the cake tins in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes. When they are ready, the cakes should be golden brown on top and pulling away slightly at the sides. To be sure they are done, push a skewer (or a teaspoon handle if you don’t have a skewer) into the cake. If it comes out clean the cake is done. If it comes out covered in mixture pop the cake back in the oven for a few more minutes and check again.
Leave the cakes to completely cool before decorating.
Decorating the cake:
Make up the buttercream by mixing the softened butter and sieved icing sugar together – you can do this by hand or with an electric beater. I always do it by hand – it’s not very much effort if you are only doing a small quantity.
When the cakes are cool assess which one is flattest. Trim this one down so it is completely flat (yes I know that means you lose a bit of one of your cakes but…well you’ve got to taste a bit to check it’s ok, right?)
Spread the jam all over the flat cake top and then top with the buttercream. Put the other cake on top and dust with icing sugar. I just use a sieve to do this, but you can use an icing sugar dredger if you have one.
I much prefer the taste of a cake made with butter, but the problem with butter is that, if it has been in the fridge, it is rock solid! However, I learnt a very simple trick from the amazing Mary Berry… Fill a bowl with lukewarm water (the temperature of a very little baby’s bathwater). Chop the butter into 1cm cubes. Drop the cubes into the water and leave them for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, tip the water out. (I use my hand to stop the little butter cubes coming out with the water.) And voila! You should now have perfectly soft butter.
You can absolutely make this cake with an electric mixer, simply put all the cake ingredients in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes until it looks like cake batter. However, I prefer to do things the old fashioned way (with a spoon and arm power!) and have given you my traditional method above.
Suitable for freezing (undecorated cakes only.)
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.