My twelve year old has made this basic vanilla cake four times in the past three weeks.
Man, it is so good when your kids are old enough to cook something, from scratch, without any help, and clean up after themselves.
This is a really basic cake recipe, and it’s very forgiving. If you don’t weigh the butter quite right or if you crack an egg and half of it ends up on the bench, it won’t ruin the cake, so it’s great for kids to make. It has no fancy or difficult steps so it’s also easy for older kids to make on their own.
It’s my 12 year olds favourite cake to make because she can make it entirely on her own, and she knows it will always turn out great.
The original recipe suggests using a 23cm (9 inch) cake tin but we likes to bake it in a ring pad and make a ‘do-nut cake’. Once it’s iced and covered with sprinkles it does look just like a giant do-nut! It cooks nice and evenly in the ring pan, but there is actually a little too much mixture for the size of the cake tin, so we make a a cake and three muffins.
Basic Vanilla Cake
This simple vanilla cake is the perfect cake for kids to bake.
- 125gms butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1 cup of self raising flour
- (or 2 cups of plain flour and 2 tsp baking soda)
- 1 1/2 teaspon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius and line and grease a 23 cm cake tin (or use a large ring pan and a couple of muffin cases for the extra mixture).
- In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy - use an electric mixer to make this step easier.
- Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix well.
- Add the flour and milk alternately, mixing well until combined.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared cake tin - this cake will rise quite a bit so only fill the cake tin 3/4s full!
- Bake for 40 minutes or unto a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- When cool, ice the cake with a basic mixture of icing sugar and milk and cover with sprinkles
Please note: this recipe uses Australian measurements and temperatures, if you need to convert measurements or temperatures you can find our printable cooking conversion chart here.
Zoe made this ‘do-nut cake’ for her Nanny’s birthday. Usually it’s Nanny who bakes and brings cakes and sweets when she visits, so it was extra special to bake something for her instead!
When I let my kids do their own thing in the kitchen the results may not be a perfectly formed or decorated masterpiece, it’s better than that – the results are confident, happy kids who are learning and practicing so many important skills and making something delicious too.
Do your kids like to cook?
What do your kids like to cook?
How do manage the mess that sometimes happen when you let kids cook?
Do you have older kids who can manage things pretty much on their own? What do they like to cook?
Leave me a comment a below and tell me about your kids cooking adventures!
You can find more tips, tricks and simple recipe for kids to cook here.
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Thanks for the recipe, it turned out really well. We reduced the sugar to 1 cup, baked it in a 23cm ring tin and it worked out perfectly.
Can you please post your icing recipe as well? We never have much luck and yours looks perfect. Thought I’d try this for the next birthday!
For this cake our icing was just plain old icing sugar and milk, and we just poured it on! Nothing fancy at all, and it was really just a fluke that it turned out so well! LOL
I’m attempting this recipe for the Election Day cake stall for our school, if kids can make it I can too!
Snap! I just pulled a batch of these out of the oven for our cake stall too!
We accidentally put too much milk in this batch but they still turned out good, so I reckon they are almost fail-safe! Good luck – and remember icing and sprinkles hides a lot of imperfections!
Kylie Lindstrom says
I’m giving this one a go today, mad woman that I am… baking in 30+ degrees C heat! It looks amazing and it’s always fun when you find a recipe that is so wonderfully kidproof!
I wanted to do a cake for my mom and I am only 11 so I had to find a very easy one this was the one
I hope it turned out great!
R Whitlam says
It smells great but when the top started to burn the inside was still a bit to raw but I’m sure it was just that i got the recipe wrong?
It sounds like you have your oven a bit too hot… some ovens are hotter than others. Try turning your oven down a bit and cooking it for longer.
R Whitlam says
Thanks I have tried it again since with the oven a bit lower and it worked perfectly thank you for responding?
Have you ever made this as a chocolate cake.
Yes! We just add 1/2 cup of cocoa… it’s not as rich and moist as some chocolate cakes though, but it does the job and is easy for the kids to make.
I don’t know how big 1 cup is so I can’t make sorry…
1 cup is 250 ml or 9 oz
This printable kitchen conversion chart might help if you are not familiar with cups and other Australian measures – https://picklebums.com/kitchen-conversion-chart/
I am a 9 year old. I tried this recipe once and it was fairly nice. The next time I tried the chocolate version of this cake after completing the original. It was burnt around the edges but inside was still raw. I tried what you said- to lower the temputure in the oven but the next time I tried it was worse.
Any comments ???
Sounds like you’ve been busy baking!
If the cake is burned around the edges and still not cooked in the middle usually the problem is that your oven is too hot. Reduce the oven temperature and cook the cake for longer, making sure you put the cake in the middle rack of your oven. You also need to make sure you are not over filling the cake tin, using a ring pan can also help. You could also try covering the top of the cake with foil for the first half of cooking if it is the top of the cake that is burning. Hope that helps.
Thank you !!!
I will try this out and post as soon as possible.
Actually that was the third time i had tried this recipe and the first two were great. ???
Thank you!!!!!!!! It’s my dad’s birthday and I really wanted to make something he will like. And I’m only a 9 year old so this is the best.
Hi!! It says on the ingredients list that you need one cup flour, one cup self rising flour, or two cups regular flour and some baking powder. Does the two cups refer to both regular flour and self rising or just the self rising part. Thanks!
That is two cups of flour in total for the recipe – either 1 cup plain flour and 1 cup self raising flour or two cups of plain flour and add 2 tsp baking soda. Hope that helps
I am a 10-year-old. I have been baking since I was 9. This was the first cake I ever made… I am making it again for my father’s 42 birthday, I am hoping to turn this into an ice cream cake..No clue how to do it. Any help??
Sorry about the typos
Do you mean you want to make the entire cake out of ice cream? In that case I’d look for a recipe online for ice cream cake.
Nur Bagharib says
Made this cake texture was good but it taste too much like baking soda as i didnt hv self raising flour Would try again with self raising flour.
Bake this cake with my 3yr who loves baking.
Thanks for a super recipe. I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday but split the batter in half and added cocoa to half. I swirled the two batters together in the tin to get a marbled effect. It worked out so beautifully that my daughter (12) made it for her dad’s birthday 3 weeks later?. We didn’t ice the second cake, but had it with cream or ice cream. This will be a birthday standard in our house now. Thanks again.