Sally Wise takes you back to basics with a simple but versatile plain cake recipe.
1½ cups self raising flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup milk
125g melted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Turn oven to 160°C (fan forced) and grease and line the base with baking paper of an 18 to 20cm deep sided cake tin.
Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat for two minutes with an electric beater (or 3 minutes with a hand whisk). Pour into the prepared tin.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave to stand in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, invert and leave to cool.
Substitute ¼ cup lemon juice for ¼ cup of the milk.
This cake can be iced with lemon or vanilla icing. When cool, it can also be cut in half horizontally and filled with jam and/or cream and the top of the cake dusted with sifted icing sugar.
If you bake this cake in a 20cm square tin, it can be used to make lamingtons. The cake is best left for a day before using for this purpose.