Economical vanilla ‘box’ cake

Economical vanilla 'box' cake

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  • Makes one 25 x 35-cm box cake or a three-tiered 20-cm layer cake or 24 cupcakes
  • Easy
  • 25 minutes

Whether you're looking to make a birthday cake for school or the office or just want a weekend treat, this easy vanilla 'box' cake will hit the spot.


  • 380 g cake flour
  • 300 g white sugar
  • 7,5 ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 2,5 ml salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 ml sunflower oil
  • 15 ml vanilla essence OR vanilla seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • 375 ml amasi OR buttermilk
  • 30 ml vinegar OR lemon juice
  • For the buttercream:
  • 500 g butter or baking margarine
  • 15 ml egg white powder (omit if not available)
  • 1 kg icing sugar
  • 60 ml boiling water
  • Vanilla essence OR other flavouring and colouring of choice

Cooking Instructions

To make the cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease and line a rectangular 25 x 35-cm beer crate box or baking tin.

2. Sift together the cake flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

3. In another bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, vanilla, amasi and vinegar.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix very well to make the batter.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared beer crate box or baking tin and bake for about 25 minutes until done (when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean).

To make the buttercream:

6. Beat the butter or baking margerine until light and fluffy, then add the egg white powder (if using).

7. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat well.

8. Gradually add the boiling water if the icing becomes too thick, and beat the buttercream very well for about 10 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy.

9. Add your flavouring of choice and beat again until incorporated.

This is an extract from Baking by Christine Capendale, published by Human & Rousseau, retailing for R420.

Find more cake recipes here. 

Christine Capendale Recipe by: Christine Capendale
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Christine Carpendale is a qualified home economist, dietician and cookbook author with more than 20 years of experience in the catering, speciality cakes, recipe development, food styling and food consulting industry. Her books include BAKING (for profit and pleasure), Meals and Everyday Delicious.

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