Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas celebration and a wonderful start to 2017. What are your New Years’ resolutions?
In 2017, I hope to breathe extra life into Eat, Little Bird. What started out as a little hobby where I could share my favourite recipes and dabble in some food photography has, over the past five years, blossomed into a successful creative venture and I am excited to push the boundaries a bit further in 2017.
My first goal is to publish more regularly, with 1-2 new recipes every week! Since my youngest child started attending daycare late last year (for only a few days a week), this has allowed me to focus more on the blog, and the feedback I have received so far is that you are all enjoying the regular new stream of recipes 🙂 And it makes sense – my goal is that each time you visit this website, you will find new posts and recipes to enjoy.
The Recipe Index has also been updated with a new search function to allow you to more easily look for recipes by meal type, cuisine, and even by ingredient!
And for those who like to save their recipes in Yummly, I have now added a Yummly button at the top of each post (you will see the social media icons under the post title and date). If you are not familiar with Yummly, it is a website which allows you to save and collect recipes from your favourite food blogs and recipe websites. Once you have opened a Yummly account, you can save a recipe to your Yummly profile by simply clicking on the Yumm button which most food bloggers will have displayed together with other social media sharing buttons. You can also find recipes on Yummly itself by viewing recipes which other people have added (or “yummed”). What is great is that you can organise your saved recipes into collections which you can name yourself, such as Easy Dinner Recipes, Cakes & Desserts, and so on. To view my recipes and easily add them to your collection, click here to view the Eat, Little Bird Yummly page.
In the past few months, several readers have contacted me with recipe requests, and nothing delights me more than to hear from my readers and any suggestions they might have for this blog. The blog is, after all, for you to enjoy, so if you have any ideas or recipe suggestions, or even your own recipes which you wish to share, I would love to hear from you!
To celebrate the start of 2017, I thought it would be fitting to share one of my favourite cake recipes. The cake in the photos is what I made for the family to celebrate my son’s birthday a few months ago. He had a little party with his friends for afternoon tea, and had requested the same chocolate Dinosaur Cake which I had made for him the previous year. So for the evening, I wanted to make something a bit different (and less sugary!), but still celebratory.
And this Vanilla Cake is the recipe I turn to most often when I just want to make a plain cake but jazz it up with a fancy icing or other. I make this cake most frequently in summer when I will simply cover it with freshly whipped cream and decorate it with sweet strawberries or other seasonal fruits. My son happens to love physalis berries, which are pretty much the only berries worth eating at the moment where we live, but you can decorate this cake however you like and with whatever frosting you like.
What I especially love about this cake is that it does not contain any butter, so the sponge is very light and fluffy. It reminds me of the sponge cakes that you can find in Chinese or other Asian bakeries, and maybe that is why I like this recipe so much – it’s a cake which I was fond of eating as a child.
How did my son like this cake compared to the chocolate Dinosaur Cake? He ate every crumb and asked for more ❤️
- For the sponge cakes:
- 6 eggs
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 200 g (7 oz) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200 g (7 oz) plain flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- For the cream frosting:
- 250 ml (1 cup) double cream
- 250 g (9 oz) mascarpone
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- fruit to decorate the cake, such as strawberries, raspberries, Physalis berries
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Butter and line two 20cm (8 inch) round cake pans with baking paper.
- Separate the eggs. Place the eggwhites into the bowl of a stand mixer, and place the egg yolks into a separate mixing bowl (preferably a second bowl of a stand mixer).
- Add a pinch of salt to the eggwhites and whisk until stiff peaks form.
- Add the caster sugar and vanilla to the egg yolks and beat gently. Fold the flour and baking powder through the egg yolk mixture.
- Gently fold through the whisked eggwhites into the batter, a few large scoops at a time.
- Pour the batter into both cake tins evenly, and bake for 15-20 minutes until the cakes are lightly golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cakes to cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes before removing them from the cake tins. Let the cakes cool completely before icing the cake.
- Make the frosting by whisking the cream until it is softly whipped. Add the mascarpone and vanilla extract, and continue whisking until the mixture is thick enough to ice the cake.
- Place one cake on a serving plate or cake stand, and place four strips of baking paper underneath. The baking paper is to keep the serving plate or cake stand clean whilst you ice the cake.
- Generously spread some of the cream frosting over the top of the cake.
- Place the second cake on top, and spread the remaining cream frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Carefully remove the strips of baking paper.
- Decorate the cake with fruit of your choice. The cake is also lovely simply decorated with coloured sprinkles.
As this cake does not contain any butter, it is lactose-free and suitable for anyone who has a lactose or dairy intolerance. However, the mascarpone cream frosting contains lactose. To make this cake completely lactose-free, I would suggest something like this Whipped Coconut Cream.
Share your photos!
If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird