Vanilla buttercream sponge
For the sponge:
- 300g butter
- 350g caster sugar
- 225g self-raising flour
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the buttercream:
- Two measures of caster sugar: 450g and 220g
- 140g water
- 310g egg whites
- 2g salt
- 930g butter, unsalted
- 250g icing sugar
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 160 C.
Cream together the butter, sugar and salt until the butter has lightened.
Combine the whole eggs, the egg yolks and the vanilla extract. Slowly drizzle into the butter mixture and beat until smooth.
Add the flour to the mixture and stir until combined.
Divide the cake batter into two greased and lined 9 inch cake tins. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Combine 450g of sugar with the water and bring to a boil.
As soon as the water reaches boiling point, add the second 220g measure of caster sugar and the salt, and start whipping the egg whites.
When the boiling syrup has reached 116 C, remove it from the heat and drizzle into the egg whites while slowly continuing to whip them into a meringue-like consistency.
Keep whipping until the meringue is mostly cool, then slowly add the butter in large chunks.
Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract, and whip until smooth. When your cakes have cooled, spread the buttercream on, decorate as you like (raspberries and strawberries go down a treat) and enjoy!
We guarantee that this cake will go down a storm at your Big Lunch!
Brendan Cox, from the Jo Cox Foundation, with Eden Project Communities' Peter Stewart and the members of St Luke's community centre.