Fluffy Vanilla Bean Sponge Cake

Grace Stevens – master baker, cake maker, and mother of four – celebrated her birthday on the 20th of April. She was determined to make her birthday one to remember, despite Lockdown.

No birthday would be complete without a birthday cake. Grace spoiled herself and her family with her irresistibly delicate, light and fluffy vanilla bean sponge cake.

Nothing says I love you like a beautifully decorated cake.  You can also give your cake a touch of simple splendour with some buttercream icing. Why not add any sweets and treats that you have in the house? Most importantly do not forget to get creative with the candles!

Vanilla Bean Sponge Cake


  • 3 jumbo eggs
  • 250ml castor sugar
  • 250 ml milk
  • 125 g butter, at room temperature
  • 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 260g cake flour
  • 15 ml baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 180 ⁰C. Line two 20 cm round cake tins with baking paper (or 24 muffin tins with cupcake wrappers)

2. Beat the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer on high for at least 10 minutes until light and fluffy.

3. Heat the milk, butter and vanilla extract in a saucepan until the butter melts. Do not boil the milk.

4. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl at least three times.

5. Turn mixer to low. Beginning and ending with the flour, pour the milk mixture slowly into the bowl while spooning the flour in one tablespoon at a time. Do this part as quickly as possible to avoid over-mixing your batter.

6. Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.
Cupcakes: bake for 12 minutes

7. Turn the cakes out of the tins and cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before wrapping in cling film.

Double this recipe to bake 3 x 20cm round tins or 5 x 15cm round tins.


Coffee & Walnut Cake:
Replace the milk with coffee
Add 60g finely chopped walnuts

Chocolate Sponge:
230g flour
30g cocoa

Lemon Sponge:
Replace Vanilla bean with zest of a large lemon

Find the whole Lockdown Birthday menu here: Celebrate Good Times In Lockdown

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