This cake is the classic 4444 that my mother would make. The 4×4 refers to 4 eggs with 4oz of each of sugar, flour and fat, this can be reduced to 3333 or made bigger! You can find this recipe in Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, which I use and find invaluable, or at BBC Food.
4 free-range eggs
225g/8oz caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting the finished cake
225g/8oz self-raising flour – I used light brown self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
225g/8oz baking spread, margarine or soft butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tins
good-quality strawberry or raspberry jam – or cherry!
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas 4.
- Grease and line 2 x 20cm/8in sandwich tins, grease tins. Line the bottom of the tins with a circle of baking paper.
- Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the sugar, flour, baking powder and butter.
- Mix everything together until well combined. The easiest way to do this is with an electric hand mixer, but I used a wooden spoon. Be careful not to over-mix – as soon as everything is blended you should stop. The finished mixture should be of a soft ‘dropping’ consistency – it should fall off a spoon easily.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the tins: this doesn’t need to be exact, but you can weigh the filled tins if you want to check. Use a spatula to remove all of the mixture from the bowl and smooth the surface of the cakes.
- Place the tins on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Don’t be tempted to open the door while they’re cooking, but after 20 minutes do look through the door to check them.
- The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check – they should be springy to the touch. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool in their tins for five minutes. Carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.
- Set aside to cool completely.
- To assemble the cake, place one cake upside down onto a plate and spread it with plenty of jam. If you want to, you can spread over whipped cream too.
- Top with the second cake, top-side up. Sprinkle over icing sugar or caster sugar.