Beat ‘n’ Mix cakes

24 Aug

One bowl wonders. Ah yes, the easiest cakes in the world, the sort where you just chuck everything into one bowl, mix it all together and bake.

Minimum fuss and way less washing up too.

The great chef, Antonio Carluccio (whom I admire enormously) has an expression “MOFMOF”. All his cooking has to be MOFMOF! It stands for “Minimum of fuss, maximum of flavour” and I think it should be the kitchen motto for all of us. A Beat and Mix cake is just that. Minimum effort, maximum reward.

I’ll give you my basic recipe here and then explain how you can zhoozh up the recipe to make something completely different. This is what you’ll need:

A set of measuring cups – absolutely vital for my sort of baking. When I first learnt to bake in South Africa we almost always used cups for measuring dry ingredients. They are widely used in Australian and American recipes too, so definitely worth the small investment. Places like Lakeland sell them and Nigella does them in covetable colours.

Two 20cm round tins


1 1/2 cups plain flour
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4 cup caster sugar
175g butter at room temperature or Stork
1/2 cup milk
3 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence


1. First grease and line the tins with baking parchment, and heat the oven to 170C
2. Cream the butter (or Stork) in a large bowl. If using an electric mixer it should only take half a minute or so. If beating     by hand use a wooden spoon and give it a bit of wellie.
3.  Now place a sieve over the bowl and sift the dry ingredients straight in, followed by the milk, eggs and essence. No         need to sift the wet stuff, haha
4. Beat slowly at first so the flour doesn’t leap up the sides and get all over your face (or maybe that’s just me) and as the
ingredients are incorporated you can beat a little faster and faster.
5. Pour the batter into the tins as equally as possible, and use a spatula to get it all out of the bowl. It’s advisable to not be
too zealous with the spatula or you’ll have nothing to lick.
6. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Remember to check with a skewer or toothpick for doneness. Sticky batter on the stick means
leave it another five or ten minutes.
7. Cool on a wire rack while you decide how to ice it.


You can make a plain butter icing remembering the golden rule of ‘half fat to sugar’. In other words, if you use 200g butter you’ll need 400g icing sugar. If you use 300g butter you’ll need 600g icing sugar.

A few drops of vanilla essence in the mix will be lovely.You can also use almond essence, or rum essence, or And so forth.  You could also use pink food colouring. Other food colourings are also avavilable, but pink rules.

Once you’ve beaten the icing to a yummy smoothness use half to sandwich the two cooled cakes together, then slap the rest over the top. You can ice the sides if you wish but it’s a fiddle, so distract your guests from the un-iced sides by smothering the top of the cake in chocolate sprinkles,  pink edible glitter, cherries, smarties…..

Washing Up

Two cake tins, one large bowl, measuring cups, wooden spoon, teaspoon, sieve. And if the cake is divine you can get your grateful guests to do the washing up for you. A winning cake all round.


Remove two tablespoons of the flour before you add it to the mix and replace with two tablespoons of cocoa powder (NOT drinking chocolate) Voila, you have chocolate cake. Do the same thing with the icing and decorate with chocolate sprinkles for a triple choccie hit.

Mix a tablespoon of strong black coffee into the batter, and another into the icing and decorate with walnut halves for a lazy, easy coffee and walnut cake. You could crush 20g walnuts and throw them into the batter too.

Add the pulp of two passion fruits to the batter and another two to the icing and you’ll have a yummy passion fruit cake, or more correctly, Grenadilla cake!

These are just a few ideas. You could try your own. Let me know how you get on.

Happy baking!


2 Responses to “Beat ‘n’ Mix cakes”

  1. the caked crusader August 27, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Couldn’t agree more! Everyone needs a good basic sponge in their repertoire that can be dressed up or down as the occasion requires. Plus, minimal washing up is always welcome!

    • Edyth Miles August 28, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

      Thanks Caked Crusader. I really appreciate your comments 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: