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Moist birthday cake

Because there is usually so much to do before a birthday party I often make the cake a day or two before the party. But this runs the risk of the cake drying out. To prevent this happening I have mixed together a couple of birthday cake recipes that I have tried over the years to get the right amount of cake mix and enough moisture to last several days and several hours waiting on the side for the candles to light.  The sour cream seems to be magic! 
  • 220g self raising flour
  • 220g butter, room temperature, cut into chunks
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence or 1 tbsp cocoa powder, depending on what kind of cake you wish
  • 2 tbsp sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.  Grease and line a cake tin. 
  2. Place the flour, butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder and vanilla/cocoa in a mixing bowl and whisk with electric beaters till light and fluffy. It will end up better if you sift the flour in, but I don't tend to either have a clean sieve available or time and patience.  
  3. Add the sour cream and fold in quickly with a metal spoon, taking care not to overmix.
  4. Pour the cake mix into the cake tin and bake on the middle shelf for about 35 minutes or until it is done (check by piercing with sharp object and seeing if it comes out clean).  
  5. I tend to use just one cake tin, then cut off the top with a bread knife and put the icing inside. This saves on the number of tins to be greased, lined and washed up. Of course if you want to do a classic Victoria Sponge kind of cake then you could use two tins. Or use a mould and make a shape, like this fun train cake. Or whatever your imagination suggests.