Saturday, March 28, 2020

Very Easy White Butter Cake, a Family Recipe and Never a Failure.

 I'm back to baking this weekend and it feels great. This delicious cake to mind, when ingredients are so hard to come by in the supermarket during this critical period of increased stocking up by so many people, and rationing of the number of ingredients we can buy is the new normal. It was a favourite of my Mum's to bake, and of ours to eat. Mr. HRK loved it as well once he appeared on the scene and we started dating. All the ingredients are in my pantry staples, although strangely flour is hard to come by now as well. Who would have ever thought that in my lifetime the supermarket shelves would be devoid of such a staple as flour, and that I would be purchasing it from the corner shop for twice the price.

 This was one of my Mother's favourite cakes to bake and now I realise that possibly part of the reason was that  there are no "fancy" ingredients in it and it's a cinch to make. My mum was a very good cook and there were always home baked cakes and biscuits in the kitchen, but often made with fairly simple ingredients, which was the norm when I was growing up. Mixed dried fruits, dried apricots, sultanas, various chopped nuts,  apples, corn flakes, weet bix, rolled oats, coffee powder, canned pineapple, and cocoa were some of the staples in her pantry available to add to the normal basic ingredients of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. In her baking I rarely saw her using dark chocolate (80%) , alcohol (except at Christmas time), dried cranberries, frozen berries like raspberries and blueberries, or almond or hazelnut meal. Items we generally take for granted under normal circumstances, but how things have changed.

There is a new normal now, and until this corrosive corona pandemic is over, I am making my life easier and only cooking with what is readily available and with what is in my pantry, as much as possible. It's back to basics my friends, which can still be damn delicious and interesting.

This cake can be served just with butter or iced. I had some lemon icing left over from a carrot cake which I had stored in the frig, so I have used that as I was running out of icing.

Let's Cook:

Preheat your oven to 170 deg. Fan Forced, 190 deg. Conventional, or 375 deg. Farenheit.


110 g softened butter (1/4 lb)
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 cup castor sugar (ordinary white sugar can be used)
1 1/2 cups sifted good quality SR flour, or use baking powder and plain flour to make your own
Few drops vanilla essence


Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper. I used an inherited  22 cm x 14 cm loaf tin.

Place all ingredients in your Mix Master bowl and beat for about 4 minutes until all are well mixed. The mixture will look white and fluffy.

Spoon into your lined baking tin.

Bake the cake batter in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes. Test whether it is cooked or not with a skewer. When the skewer comes out clean it is cooked. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes and turn out carefully onto a cooling rack. Leave to cool before icing if you are serving this up to friends. This didn't happen in my kitchen of course, as we were hovering around it waiting for morning tea, so it was iced when it was still warm, which resulted in a delightfully gooey icing and cake combination with a sprinkle of coconut. This isn't what my Mum would have approved of at all, Bless her Heart.

I know you will love it.

What are you doing with your extra time at home? Last week cooking wasn't my priority as I started sewing again. We also had quite a worrying and time consuming drama with our beehive, but that story can wait for another time. Hopefully we are now back on track. With plenty of time on my hands it's good to know I can devote some of it to a sewing project.  It occurred to me that if I ended up sick in hospital what on earth would I wear that I feel really comfortable in? It's not the time to go shopping for new clothing and I felt the need for some new night wear so I started making a new nightgown (nightie) and actually finished it yesterday. I do have pyjamas, but nightgowns are very comfortable to sleep in. I used a home drafted pattern given to me by a very clever and lovely family friend living in Sydney, who was trained in England in weaving and designing fabric, and drafting and dressmaking around fifty years go, give or take, back in the day when it was recognised as a very worthwhile career for women and perhaps some men. She went on to do very well in the British fashion industry. Annie understands Warp and Weft and was trained to weave and design her own fabrics on the now superceded cotton weaving machines. Such a great story. She now makes some beautiful clothing for her grandchildren, lucky them and occasionally still makes silks for jockeys and some of her own clothing.

Not feeling very confident about my first sewing venture in a while, I decided to make this a trial run out of less expensive fabric I had, hoping I would still be able to wear it at home though. So I used a cotton sheet with a nice pattern which I don't use any more, and a piece of plain fabric for the back of the garment which colour coordinated with the front. Along the way, I learned on Youtube about making and cutting my own bias tape from the same fabric instead of using store bought bias binding, and many other useful things I can tell you. Mr. HRK thinks the finished product still looks like a sheet, LOL,  but I am pleased with it, and now I'm feeling confident to use some nicer and more expensive fabric for the next one. The main thing is I really enjoyed doing it, learned a lot, used my brain in a different way,  and the week went really quickly, whilst still social isolating.

We also went out and bought some seedlings yesterday from Bunnings, there aren't many available so my purchases only included beans, mint and parsley. I planted them this morning so it might be seeds from my seed bank from now on.

Have a nice weekend everyone and stay well. Thanks for dropping by, I would love to hear from you.

Best wishes,
Pauline x


  1. wow ... that turned out so gorgeous and all you need to do is to dump everything in the fun and easy! A must try for me! Thanks for sharing your family recipe, Pauline.
    Stay safe and healthy!

    1. Thanks Angie. I hope you manage to try it, it's a winner.

  2. Pauline, I had the same thought about going to hospital and needing PJs as my old ones are worn out. I had a look in the stores for some cotton ones but none were available weeks ago and now most of the clothes shops have closed down here so I will just have to wear a gown if the worst happens 😳 Love the cake. Mum made a similar one when we were growing up.

    1. Thanks Chel. There's a lot of online shopping still available but I still don't trust buying clothes that way. I also think the mail has really slowed down. Take care, Pauline

  3. i'm amazed that flour is so hard to come by. isn't it weird? are all those people who have never made a homemade cake or their own bread suddenly gonna start? so funny. Keep well!

    1. Thanks Sherry, It's a good thing if people are suddenly trying to bake and cook,and with time on their hands perhaps they are. I just hope their aren't weevil infested cupboards as a result. Best wishes, Pauline. xx

  4. All those familiar common ingredients are in great demand in the US, especially flour and yeast, because the nearly 50% of meals that were being eaten out of the home are now being prepared and eaten in, and many people have more time to cook. We expect things to even out, as the very natural tendency to stockpile what one needed made the change in demand at the markets even more pronounced and caused empty shelves.

    Sewing is a good choice for these times: most of the sewing is to make masks as you can't and shouldn't buy the ones in scarce supply for medical professionals. I made one from a tee-shirt which has good filtering capacity, but I didn't have any elastic, it has to be tied on.

    be well... mae at

    1. Thanks Mae, I must find a pattern for masks and give them a try. It seems inevitable here as well that we will need masks , Using tee shirt material seems a good option. Stay well, Pauline xx


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