1-2-3-4 Cake

Last August I wrote a post entitled Cakes and cup cakes, in which I gave my ‘standard’ cake recipe, using equal weights of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. Recently. Pamela commented on the post to suggest an equally easy recipe for what she calls 1-2-3-4 cake. She wrote:

Preheat oven to 350F, butter and flour round cake pans. 1c. butter, 1c.milk, 1tsp vanilla, 2c. sugar, 3c. sifted all purpose flour, 3tsp. baking soda, and 4 eggs. Cream butter, sugar & vanilla together, adding eggs one at a time, add baking soda & flour & bake for an hour (or until the toothpick comes out clean). The icing was confectioners sugar, butter & milk (proportions to be determined by it looking & tasting right) whipped to a frenzy and placed between the layers & around the whole cake, with middle filling (or not) and flavouring/colouring in the icing to the honouree’s preference. If you like heavier cake leave out the baking soda.

Us Brits tend to use weight measures rather than volumes, but I like the idea of using ‘cups’ and have a set of them for when I want to use a North American recipe. I understand that they became widely used in the US because they are so much easier to use when travelling  – relative volumes can be measured out much more simply than weights, and it’s easier to carry a cup than a set of scales and standard weights. However, I digress…

Chocolate orange 1-2-3-4 cake

Chocolate orange 1-2-3-4 cake

I did tweak the recipe a little, using 2 tsps baking powder and 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda in place of the 3 tsps of baking soda (which I translated as bicarbonate of soda). In addition, I added orange essence to the cake mix. There was no mention of when to add the milk, so I mixed it in gently at the end. At the time, I wanted a couple of cakes, so I split the mixture between a loaf tin and two 7-inch round cake tins, which worked well.

I decorated both cakes with chocolate-orange butter cream in the centre (butter/icing sugar/cocoa/orange essence) and a chocolate topping (melted dark chocolate/double cream/orange essence). What a lovely cake it turned out to be and one I will certainly make again.

Cake-making is a great joy to me – partly because eating cake brings a smile to most faces but also because bought cakes (other than those from the people like the Women’s Institute) seem to be stuffed full of things that I don’t really want to eat. For example, Cadbury’s Cake Bars contain:

Milk chocolate (33%) [Sugar, Cocoa mass, Cocoa butter, Dried skimmed milk, Vegetable fat, Milk fat, Dried whey, Emulsifier (Soya lecithin)], Chocolate flavoured filling (17%) [Sugar, Glucose syrup, Vegetable oil, Vegetable margarine (Vegetable oil, Salt, Emulsifier (E471)), Fat reduced cocoa, Maize starch, Dried egg white, Flavouring, Emulsifiers (E471, E475)], Wheat flour, Pasteurised whole egg, Sugar, Glucose syrup, Humectant (Glycerol), Vegetable oil, Fat reduced cocoa, Soya flour, Dried whey, Raising agents (E450, Sodium bicarbonate), Salt, Emulsifiers (E475, E471), Milk protein, Preservative (Potassium sorbate).

I don’t know about you, but I’m much happier with the seven relatively simple ingredients (or 11 if you include my filling and topping) in Pamela’s cake! And if you make my original recipe, there are only four basic ingredients!

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3 Comments

  1. We have an abundance of eggs at the moment, I think I might have to get Number 1 to make your weight cake to get rid of a few of them. 🙂

    Reply

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