Easy Vanilla Butter Cake
Melted butter, to grease
450g (3 cups) self-raising flour
150g (1 cup) plain flour
440g (2 cups) caster sugar
300g butter, cubed, at room temperature
310ml (1 1/4 cups) milk
6 eggs, at room temperature
3 tsp vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 140Â°C. Position a rack on the second lowest shelf of the oven. Brush a round 25cm (base measurement) cake pan with the melted butter to lightly grease. Line base and sides with non-stick baking paper.
Place the self-raising flour, plain flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla essence in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric beater to beat on low speed for 30 seconds or until just combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is thick and all the butter is incorporated. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
Bake in preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack for 2 hours or until completely cool.
Notes and Tips:
Have the butter at room temperature, soft enough to beat, but not melted. The undecorated cakes will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Variation 1 – rich chocolate cake: Reduce the self-raising flour to 300g (2 cups). Sift 95g (1 cup) cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda, and add with the flours. Increase the milk to 435ml (1 3/4 cups). Omit the vanilla essence.
Variation 2 – orange cake: Reduce the milk to 185ml (3/4 cup) and add with 2 Tbsp finely grated orange rind and 125ml (1/2 cup) orange juice. Omit vanilla essence.
Variation 3 – carrot cake: Add 1 tsp ground cinnamon with the flours. Reduce the vanilla essence to 1 tsp. Add 285g (3 cups) coarsely grated carrot and 100g roughly chopped walnuts.
Variation 4 – banana cake: Sift 1 tsp bicarbonate soda and add with the flours. Reduce the milk to 125ml (1/2 cup). Add 390g (1 1/2 cups) mashed very ripe banana with the milk. Reduce the vanilla essence to 1 tsp.