I went old school with this recipe, quite literally using my old school book 'All About Home Economics'. I got rid of all my school books bar this one and have used it regularly since leaving school, way back when..... Let's just say many years ago.
Recipe and cakemum tips below.
100 g margarine (I used butter)
100 g castor sugar
100 g flour (I used self raising)
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 eggs (I used large as that's all I buy)
optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp jam (warmed) for filling.
150 g icing sugar
Prepare 2 x 18 cm (7') tins. Light oven (aka preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan))
Cream margarine (or butter) and sugar together in a bowl, until soft and creamy.
Beat eggs in a small bowl, add gradually to the creamed mixture, beating after each addition. If there is a danger of curdling add a little flour, alternately with eggs. Add vanilla.
Sieve flour and baking powder onto a sheet of kitchen paper. Fold into mixture using a tablespoon.
If the mixture appears dry, add water.
Place half the mixture in each tin.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
Cool on a wire tray, spread with jam while still warm and sandwich together.
Put the icing sugar in a bowl, add a little boiling water, beat well (it should have the consistency of thick cream).
Spread over cake and decorate with cherries or chocolate buttons.
Orange Sandwich: Use grated orange rind in cake and decorate with orange glace icing
Lemon Sandwich: Use grated lemon rind in cake and decorate with lemon flavoured glace icing.
Some @thecakemum observations/tips:
Use butter or margarine at room temperature.
Pre-cut discs of baking parchment are available in most bargain shops (Dealz, more4less etc) and are handy time savers. To 'prepare tins', I grease the tin with a small amount of butter and place a disc on the base.
I weigh each tin when empty and put equal amounts of batter in each tin. Most people judge it by eye, but I like the sponges to be exact the same size. It also means that they take the same amount of time to cook.
To get a flat even sponge, I level out the mixture and have a slight dip in the centre as it tends to rise most there. I find that the slight dip in the centre gives a flatter more even sponge, that said I do think the dome shape on a sponge is nice, but some people prefer flat sponge cakes.
You could also put whipped cream or buttercream in the sponge sandwich. Please keep in mind that if you use fresh cream, the cake needs to be stored in a fridge.
When baking any recipe for the first time, I tend to check it in the oven a few minutes before it is 'meant' to be ready. I checked my sponge after 18 minutes and found it to be perfect. The cake had shrunk away slightly from the side of the tin and it bounced back when lightly pressed.
This cake also freezes well, just wrap it in greaseproof paper and cling film and freeze. When you want to defrost it, remove the wrapping and leave it on a cooling rack for 30-60 minutes.