Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked November 26th 2012

Easy Vanilla Cake – probably a silly question

I want to make the tatty teddy cake and have been advised to make the BBC Good Food vanilla cake recipie as I can’t make chocolate as my daughter doesn’t like it. The vanilla cake on BBC Good Food says 20cm (8 inch round cake..which took me a while to find) and I’ve looked up Lindy Smiths conversion to get the 8 inch round into a 10 x 10 inch square (will cut an two inches off when cooked to make it 10 x 8 as Paul has used) and it basically the conversion says to double the quantities but…10 eggs seems excessive for one cake! Have I added it up wrong?

Also, instead of ganache can I use buttercream on the outside of the teddy due to the chocolate situation or is there another trick I’m missing?

Thanks for this, still finding my way around the site, just watching the videos at the moment rather than attempting them but wanted to attempt the cake base tonight as a trial run!


Hi JoeB

If you’re not using fondant to support the layers, it may be better to position the cake on the board before you start piping as transferring can be a bit tricky. I’d be concerned that the jointed parts would move and crack. Just think it would save a bit of time and be safer. G’d luck with it.


My advice would be to be a little cautious with the bbc vanilla cake. It is really delicious but I’m not 100% it will be firm enough to carve.

I use this recipe:

3 cups self raising flour
1.5 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup oil
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
2tsp vanilla

which fills an 8inch tin, and gives a nice deep cake. I’m not great on the conversions and tend to just guess, but I think I doubled this for the tatty teddy.


Hi JoeB here is the link for the Jane Hornby easy vanilla cake recipe http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/10860/easy-vanilla-cake, it is for an 8″ cake. The recipe is on the right hand side and instructions on the left below the picture. the recipe can be scaled up using the ready reckoner or the cakeOmetre in this blog http://www.cakeflix.com/blog/how-to-work-out-what-size-cake-tin-to-use. There is also Mrs Jones’ vanilla cake recipe in the tutorial library. The recipe for her cake is for two 10″ cakes which can be scaled for one large 12″ by using the convertors in the blog link. I made the teddy from one 12″ round cake because I didn’t have an 8 x10 tin. A square tin can be used if it is easier for you. If you make a 12″ the cake has to be cut into two halves for the template to fit. There was cake left over so we ate some and made cake pops too.
You can use butter cream instead of ganache but make it slightly stiffer than what you would use for filling. Once you’ve covered the teddy with butter cream pop it in the fridge for a few hours for the BC to harden. That makes it easier for fondant to be applied. Hope this helps.


Thanks for this, feel a bit silly for having gone out to buy a square tin now when I had 12 inch rounds in the house!

I did look at Mrs Jones 10 inch round but before finding the converters so still couldn’t figure it out on my own…going to toss a coin as to which to go for BBC or Mrs Jones!

Won’t be able to bake it tonight thought as didn’t think for a second I’d need as many as 10 eggs – oops.

Thanks also for the tips on buttercream hardening, will try that if I don’t pipe straight onto it as some have done on the site…will see how brave I feel on the day.


Eek! Help!

I’ve made the vanilla cake recipe from BBC, doubled it to fit the 10 x 10 inch but it says bake for 90 minutes…it’s now been on 120 mins and the top has split slightly and I can see the top few mils are still very wet…how much longer should I have added to the cookingtime…am paranoid I’m now murdering the rest of the cake and baking it dry!

A skewer is coming out dry but I can definitely see the very top middle centre isn’t done!


Hi JoeB

I don’t know what temperature you are baking at, sounds to me like the sponge is almost done. Keep baking and check every five minutes until done. It will bake through so don’t worry. The recipe says to bake for 1hr 20min for an 8″ on 160c or 140c fan assisted. Your cake is 10″ so it will take a bit longer. Once the cake has cooled just follow the remainder of the instructions. Please could you post again with results. x


Hello Kirsty

For your cake do you mix everything in one bowl altogether ?


Hi kbrown

The recipe which Kirsty has put up uses oil. s/r flour and baking powder so this combination of ingredients is typical of a one bowl mix. It doesn’t need aerating as in the creaming method so only mix until just combined on a medium speed of a stand mixer.


Thank you for all your advice! It was in the oven on gas mark 3 for 2 hours…but turned out okay. Was worried as have never put a sponge in the fridge before but it was definitely needed and cut beautifully this afternoon….the advice about putting it on a board was brilliant!

One thing I did struggle with was the template had two heads but Paul had three sections to the head, but in the end with the buttercream it still looked okay but I may try the third next time…making it again in January so this was the experiment!

I iced the teddy today and three neighbours have now tasted the cake and the feedback has been excellent. I used buttercream rather than ganache but will attempt ganache soon.

Feel I’m too much of a beginner to attempt some of these but my teddy looked and tasted great, even if i did have a major panic making it 🙂

Thanks again for all you advice, this is a great site and hope to work my way to beautiful cakes soon!


Hi JoeB

Great news! Please do try the ganache next time it’s so easy, less messy than butter cream and sets harder. Just keep baking and decorating, it’s soooo much fun and stressful too!!, but it gets easier with every attempt and you get to eat lots of yummy cake. Don’t forget everyone is here to help. x

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