It was my mother’s birthday the other day, and we had a small friend over for a play, so leaving the house was not easy.
She was coming for dinner and there must be a birthday cake – don’t you think?
Personally any excuse for a cake is fine by me, but, I didn’t have any butter.
After scouring a few too many cookbooks, I found a recipe for a magnificent cake that uses oil instead of butter – so with a few tweaks and alterations, here is:
You will need:
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 3 eggs (separated)
- 1 + 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup olive oil (any oil will do)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- Grated zest of 1 or 2 lemons
With sparkling clean beaters beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
In a separate bowl beat together 3 egg yolks, vanilla essence, sugar, oil and grated lemon zest.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt (I have to be honest and say I just threw it all in the sieve and went from there).
Gradually add the flour mix and the water, one after the other. Bit of flour, bit of water, stir with a wooden spoon, bit of flour, bit of water, stir until all is mixed in.
Add the egg whites – one spoonful first to loosen the mix, then fold in the rest.
Bake in an oiled 30cm cake tin for 1 hour at 160 degrees. Cake is cooked when a skewer comes out clean.
I iced this cake with some cream cheese frosting that I had in the freezer, which I probably made with cream cheese, icing sugar and a bit of butter – beaten until well combined, but I couldn’t tell you actual quantities of any of that. It would be just as good with a plain sugar icing made with lemon juice and lemon zest sprinkled over the top.
Such a good cake. Light and moist and just a touch lemony.