Let’s bring back a little bit of nostalgia, in the form of the school dinner cake!
I know that I, and many friends have such fond memories of this particular cake. A cake that we thought was a local, or city school cake but it turns out that we all had it! Nationwide! And in some parts, even further afield!
Ok, it’s a basic vanilla sponge with icing and sprinkles, nothing groundbreaking but it evokes such happy memories of my youth and I suppose, a fun and freedom from the constraints of adult life!
Well, I hadn’t thought about it for years but there I was, with a splitting headache at 9pm and something in me thought, I want to make a school dinner cake.
It’s such a simple and quick recipe so I got to it and it turned out so wonderfully. I never had any intention of posting the recipe, it was just a case of lazy late night baking for me, but when I passed some out to family the following day, the feedback had so much joy and so much love and I’ve since had comments on Instagram requesting that the recipe be shared so, of course, here it is!
I hope it brings you as much happiness as it does me!
- 225g Butter or margarine (room temperature)
- 225g Self raising flour
- 225g Caster sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 3-4tbsp Whole milk (a splash)
- 1tsp Vanilla extract
- 1tsp Baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 300g Icing sugar
- 6-8tbsp Whole milk
- 1tsp Vanilla extract
- Baking tin
- Large mixing bowl
- Whisk/Wooden spoon
- Parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F
- Line your chosen baking tin with baking paper and set aside.
- Using a whisk, cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
It is important that your butter is at room temperature when you do this so please remember to take it out of the fridge in plenty of time beforehand!
- Slowly mix in your eggs, one at a time and whisk gently between each one until the mix is smooth.
- Next, add your pinch of salt and 1tsp baking powder along with your flour to the mix and continue to mix gently on a slow speed.
I like to add my flour in stages until all of the flour has been added.
You may prefer to use a spatula to fold this in.
And don’t worry if it begins to look quite dry, we will fix that in the next step!
- Add 1tsp vanilla extract and a splash of whole milk, around 3-4tbsp, before folding in again.
If the mix looks a little too thick, add a touch more milk to loosen it up. It is quite a thick mix though so don’t go overboard!
- Pour your cake mix into the tin and place in the oven for around 25-30 minutes or until golden.
Once the cake is cooked through and slightly springy to the touch, take it out of the oven and allow to cool for approx 10-15 minutes in the tin before removing and cooling on a wire rack.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, you can mix your icing.
For this, mix together 300g icing sugar, 6-8tbsp milk and 1tsp vanilla until smooth.
Personally, I would recommend adding 5/6tbsp milk and seeing how the consistency is and add more if you feel that you need it.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to use milk, you can use water.
- Pour your icing into the middle of the cake and spread out with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Don’t worry if this pours down the edges, I think it just adds to the finished look!
Next, cover with your sprinkles and allow to set before cutting into squares.
Keep in an airtight container and eat within 1-2 days for best taste.
I do find it’s best to eat on the first day if possible as the sponge can begin to feel a little heavy and ‘wet’ if stored for too long.