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Classic vanilla sponge

Every home cook should be able to whip up a classic vanilla sponge, and our recipe is definitely one you need in your repertoire. Once you have the basic sponge down, you can ice it, drizzle it or sprinkle it with whatever your heart desires. The possibilities are endless!

MAKES 1 cake // COOKING TIME 70 min, plus cooling time

250g butter, at room temperature
185g sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
240g flour
Icing sugar, to dust

1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 20 cm Bundt tin.
2. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on high speed, or a wooden spoon, beat for 8 minutes, until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla essence, baking powder and salt. Add the flour a little at a time, beating after each addition until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until a skewer comes out clean.
5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully turn the tin upside down to remove the cake. Leave to stand on rack until completely cool.
6. Transfer to a plate or stand, dust with icing sugar or ice with butter icing.

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