Easiest butter and jam cake

As a companion to the most recent post, here is the dessert that followed!  Although I enjoy experimenting with new cakes, I tend to fall back to old standbys for birthdays.  Pound cake is a family favourite, even though I have spent years trying to work out how to make it as light and fluffy as my grandmother's version.  But this year, Kit said to surprise him with something new.  So...I made him what turned out to be the world's simplest cake.  It is literally a vanilla sponge with jam in the middle and I almost felt embarrassed to put it on the table.  But it was so delicious that I soon got over that feeling.  I think the lemon extract is the key - it gives it a hint of something exotic.  I would also suggest using an interesting jam for the filler.  We had some Tiptree rhubarb and vanilla jam at home which worked very well indeed.

Plain And Simple Jam-Filled Butter Cake
(Adapted from Flo Braker)

1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (4oz) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup jam of choice
1/4 cup icing sugar

Before starting, adjust the rack to the lower third of oven and preheat to 350°. Grease and flour a 9-inch round springform pan and insert a round of parchment or waxed paper in the bottom.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl at medium speed until it is smooth and creamy.  Maintaining the same speed, add the sugar in a steady stream. When all the sugar is added, scrape the mixture clinging to the sides of the bowl into the center of the bowl and then continue to cream at the same speed for 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in appearance. Add the extracts in the final moments of beating the butter and sugar.

With the mixer still on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one thoroughly into the mixture before adding the next. When the mixture appears fluffy, reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the milk in two additions. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, and mix until smooth after each addition. Spoon the batter evenly into the pan.

Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out free of wet batter. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully release the springform and remove the metal ring from around the cake. Cool completely before removing the cake from the metal form.

Using a long serrated knife, cut the cake layer in half horizontally. Set the bottom cake layer on a serving plate and spread the jam over the cut surface. Place the top portion of the cake cut-side down on the jam-covered layer.

To decorate, sift icing sugar over the top. Or if this is really too plain, do as I did and make some buttercream icing to go on top.

 Happy (belated) birthday Kit!

1 comment:

  1. Suddenly this has taken over from Granny Dora's pound cake as Kit's number one fave. He loves it and in fact finished up the rest for breakfast the following day. Sometimes the simplest things are the best! Thank you Alex. I suspect we'll all be wanting this cake for our birthdays this year.