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4, 4, 4, 2

Jam sponge

The easiest cupcake recipe was given to me by my mum, it’s easy to remember and it’s a good one to have in the memory bank for anyone who likes to bake with kids. If, like me, you always have in the cupboards self-raising flour, caster sugar, butter, and eggs, these cakes can be made within no time of a small person asking ‘can we bake?’.

It’s as basic as it comes. 4 ounces of each butter, sugar, self-raising flour and 2 eggs. 4,4,4,2. It sounds like a football team formation, but with a few extra players.

This can be scaled up if you want to bake a tin cake to 6,6,6,3. Obviously that’s 6 ounces of all ingredients and 3 eggs. 

It works like a charm too, I’ve never had any failures and we bake a lot.

If you want to be fancy you can add vanilla essence or chocolate chips etc etc etc etc.

The standard method of baking a cake applies. Cream the butter with the sugar until a few shades paler than when you first started. Then beat in the eggs one at a time (with a spoonful of flour to stop it splitting). Sift in the flour, give it a good mix and add it to your cake cases (or a greased and lined baking tin).

Bake on 180 degrees for 10-12 minutes for cupcakes or same heat but around 40 minutes for a tin cake.

My little helper and I made a jam sponge at the weekend using the 6,6,6,3 version. Once the cake was cool, I cut it in half and we filled it with a generous amount of strawberry jam. My daughter then got the best job of dusting the top with a generous helping of icing sugar.

The cake served 8 with a generous serving of custard. It can be baked ahead and kept in an airtight container, personally I feel cake shouldn’t be left for more than a day or two or it starts to dry out. I also feel it’s just a crime to not eat something home made asap.

Most kitchen scales, even digital ones, still have the ability to weigh in imperial but in case you’re wondering what 4 ounces is in grams; it’s 113.398.  Good luck remembering that one!

Go crazy with the icing, I said