Never did I celebrate a birthday till date without cutting a cake. My first birthday in US was a wonderful yummy chocolate cake from Stop & Shop. The very thought of all the thick chocolate on it makes me feel hungry even right now. Childhood was different… birthdays meant grand parties at home with all the school and neighbourhood friends.. balloons and birthday caps and home-made cakes. The house felt like a bakery shop then, smelling wonderful. My mom would start making cake in the old style oven, then cut it into various shapes.. sometimes it was a big mickey mouse or maybe just a round plain one. Then she would fill it up with cream and icing.. and after all the artistic touches, finally some gems and then use the icing nozzle to write my or my brother’s name on it. As I grew up, I started helping her too… the icing and artistic shapes were gone but the normal sponge cake remained. My best memories would be mixing the cake batter… I loved to scoop out some of the batter to lick.. it was yummy! Though everybody would make faces stating that it was not cooked and it’s not good for my stomach, but I just loved it. Me, my mom and bro would wait till midnight while dad slept till the cake was baked completely… and I still remember a night when we actually cut the cake at midnight.
Those were the glorious old childhood days. These days it is so much easy to order a cake. but I do miss all the fun. As I started getting comfortable in the kitchen and with the oven, I decided to attempt to bake a cake. Again a quick call to mommy and it did not sound too difficult as well. So we got a baking tray and hurray within an hour or two I could smell the similar whiff of bakery in my house too… It was so nostalgic… thanks mommy…!
This is something that me and my husband love. Nothing better than this healthy home made sponge cake. Though we do get readymade cake mixture at the stores here, we both love the authentic way. Here it is for you all to give a shot!
- Eggs – 6
- All purpose flour (Maida) – 3 cups
- Sugar – 3 cups
- White oil – 3 cups
- Baking Powder – 3 tsp
- Vanilla essence – 2tsp (adding too much might lead to a bitter taste)
- Cherries or dry nuts – as per preference
- Milk – 1/4th cup
- Oven (I use the conventional oven available in US kitchen, so you may want to check the temperature for the kind of oven you possess.)
- Add baking powder to the Maida and keep it aside.
- In a bowl break all the eggs and beat it well till bubbles start appearing. Use a hand blender if available.
- Gradually add the sugar in turns and keep whisking the mixture well.
- Add the Maida and baking powder gradually in turns and keep beating so that there are no lumps.
- Add oil, milk and vanilla in turns and blend it well.
- Add dry nuts if you want to and mix it to the batter and garnish a few at the top.
- Lightly grease the baking pan with cooking oil and sprinkle some flour on it so that the cake does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Pour the batter into the pan, it would be 2 inches deep.
- Preheat the oven and then bake the mixture at 350 F for 40-45 minutes. Check the readiness of the cake by poking it with a fork or toothpick. The cake is ready if it comes out clean (Since ovens vary, you can bake it for a couple of minutes more or less).
- Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Once it had cooled off use a knife gently on the edges of the cake to unmould it from the tray and flip it on to a fresh plate or tray.
- A cake with 3 eggs can be baked easily on a 9 inch by 9 inch baking tray, that is what I generally use. However I am mentioning the measurements for 6 eggs which will need a larger baking tray.
- You may use color as well as per preference though it is optional. You can also use coco powder to get a chocolate color. I sometimes keep half the batter as it is and in the other half add 1-1.5 tsp coco powder (adding too much might lead to a bitter taste) and then put the batter in 2 layers in the baking tray. This gives me a bicolored or a choco-vanilla cake. You can experiment with colors, but always remember that using coco powder might lead to the cake getting burnt at the bottom so the layer with coco powder should always be on the top.
- The batter should be well beaten, only then will you get the perfect (unbelievably soft) sponge cake. I usually beat it with my hand but you may use a blender if available.
Do not forget to inhale the scent of the cake while it is baking. Trust me its heavenly!