This simple basic mixture is very versatile and you can use it to make cupcakes, patty cakes or a light slab cake. If you trace the map of Australia on greaseproof paper and lay it over the top of the cooled cake, you can make a lamington cake for Australia Day. You can easily double the quantities required for the cake if you are using a larger tin - just make sure you get the arithmetic right! It's a good idea to bake the cake a day before and place it in the fridge or freezer so that it's not crumbly when you are cutting out the shape.
- butter - 125g, very soft
- sugar - 185g
- eggs - 2, organic or free range, at room temperature
- self- raising flour - 250g, sifted with a pinch of salt
- milk - 125ml
- vanilla essence - 1 teaspoon
- Chocolate Icing
- pure icing sugar - 250g
- cocoa - 2 tablespoons
- boiling water - 2 - 3 tablespoons
- vanilla - 1 teaspoon
- butter - 20g, melted and cooled
- shredded coconut - 2 - 3 cups
Preheat oven to 180degC. Line a slab tin (30cm x 20cm) with baking paper. You can also use a cookie tray (26cm x 38.5cm), which yields a larger cake and allows for a larger map.
Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat on high speed for three minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat to combine well. Spoon mixture into lined tin and smooth the top.
Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until risen and a light gold colour. Test for doneness with a skewer.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
When cool, place the traced map of Australia over the top of the cake and use a small sharp knife to cut out the shape.
Ice with chocolate icing and decorate with shredded coconut.
For the icing:
Sift together the icing sugar and cocoa. Make into a smooth icing with boiling water, vanilla and butter. If icing thickens, add a little extra hot water.