Melted butter, to grease pan

3 cups self-raising flour
1 cup plain flour
2 cups sugar
2 cups butter, cubed, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups milk
6 eggs, at room temperature
3 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°F. Position a rack on the second lowest shelf of the oven. Brush a round 25cm cake pan with the melted butter to lightly grease. Line base & sides with non-stick baking paper.

Place the self-raising flour, plain flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs & vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric beater to beat on low speed for 30 seconds or until just combined. Increase the speed to high & beat for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is thick & all the butter is incorporated. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan & smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.

Bake in preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven & set aside for 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack for 2 hours or until completely cool.

Have the butter at room temperature, soft enough to beat, but not melted. The undecorated cakes will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Rich Chocolate Cake:

Reduce the self-raising flour to 2 cups. Sift 1 cup cocoa powder & 1/2 tsp baking soda; add with the flours. Increase the milk to 1 3/4 cups. Omit the vanilla extract.

Orange Cake:

Reduce the milk to 3/4 cup & add with 2 Tblsp finely grated orange rind & 1/2 cup orange juice. Omit vanilla extract.

Carrot Cake:

Add 1 tsp ground cinnamon with the flours. Reduce the vanilla extract to 1 tsp. Add 3 cups coarsely grated carrot & 1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts.

Banana Cake:

Sift 1 tsp baking soda & add with the flours. Reduce the milk to 1/2 cup. Add 1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe banana with the milk. Reduce the vanilla extract to 1 tsp.

Serves 15 (Cake)  Makes 50 cupcakes.

Good Taste - July 2001, Page 54
Recipe by Michelle Southan