Simple Yellow Cake

A simple cake that can be transformed a dozen ways.  Use shortening for a more subtle and crumbly cake or butter for a rich flavor.  Simply by changing the frosting from chocolate, to buttercream, to orange buttercream makes this a new cake everytime.  You can also fill with jam and buttercream to make it a yummy Victoria Sponge cake. 

I have a confession to make.  *Takes big breath.

Though my dream is to own my own bakery and cafe, I have never made a proper homemade sponge cake before unless it was from a boxed mix.  Phew!  That was awful to admit but I’m sure it will start the healing.  Most homemade cakes I’ve tasted are more dense then their boxed mix distant cousins.  But I finally jumped this hurdle by starting with a simple cake that can be transformed for any occasion.

I made this as a treat for a meet up with some my other mummy friends.  We try to meet up every week and share the joys and pitfalls of being new parents.  So a sugary treat is sometimes the only thing that is keeping us awake after our serious sleep deprivation.

In this version, I decided I’d attempted to tranform this into a Dreamsicle cake by smothering it in an Orange Buttercream Frosting.  Best decision I’ve made in ages!  It was the perfect fresh treat for a lovely warm spring day.  This recipe comes from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook 125th Anniversary edition cookbook.


  • 2 cups or 230 g all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup or 35 g of vegetable shortening or butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar or 215 g sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup or 240 ml milk


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F or 160 C.

2. Grease and lightly dust with flour a bunt pan or two 8 inch cake tins. This will also make about 2 dozen cupcakes.

3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and blend well.

4. In a large mixing bowl add the shortening or butter and sugar.  Mix on high for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.  I used shortening.

5.  Add the eggs one at a time on a lower speed.  Make sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next.

6. Add the vanilla extract and beat until blended.

7.  Alternate adding a bit of the flour mix and a bit of milk to the mixture.  Scrape bowl and beat again until all combined.

8. Pour the batter into the pan(s) or muffin cases and bake for 20-40 minutes.  Cupcakes will take less time then a bundt cake.

9.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes on a cake rack.  Then remove from pan and allow to cool on rack until completely cooled.

10.  If making a bundt then cut the bundt in half.  Frosting the top of the bottom layer before adding the top back on and frosting the rest of the cake.  If using the 8 inch pans then frost the top of one cake and then stack the other atop it before frosting the rest of the cake.

11.  To make this a Dreamsicle cake frost with Orange Buttercream Frosting.  Serving with seasonal fruit adds a lovely kick.

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