Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Motherly Advice....home baking is good for the soul....

Hi come in, come in. Let me give you a big hug. Gosh you look nice today.

Yes, the house does smell good, doesn't it? It's that Vanilla Cake. You know, the one that you just mix all together in one bowl, and throw in the oven. Yes, it's my favourite too. Well except for the slow bake chocolate one...hehehe!

Here, I'm about to make another one, so you can help me...

Now remember, you have to use real butter for this one or it just won't be the same.

So you cut up that 4 ounces of butter...well 125 grams in our lingo...yes, just into cubes, that's it. It makes it easier to mix. Here, use Nanna's old bowl to mix it in. Yes, I love it too. I don't know why they make all the mixing bowls so wide and shallow these days. This one is so much better with it's tall cone shape, isn't it?

Now grab that Vanilla Extract. Yes, the one in the green and black bottle. The Vanilla Essence is okay too, but the Extract is so much headier in smell...different aren't they? The Essence sort of smells like chemicals, and the Extract is sheer heaven...

Would you mind grabbing the sugar up there in the big glass jar. You're taller than me and it'll save me getting the step ladder out. Yes the caster sugar. I do make this cake with normal sugar too, but I just happen to have the finer white stuff, so let's use it. Yep measure out a cup and a quarter, and into the bowl. Ta.

Here, I took the eggs out of the fridge ahead of time, so just crack all three into the bowl, and add a cup and a half of plain flour. Yep I'm using gluten free flour for this one, it makes no difference. You'd use your normal flour at home of course. Just add the baking powder and bicarb in all at once too Hon. Yep.

Now the half a cup of milk and just use the little electric beater on low to mix it all until the butter is all smooth. Awesome.

So I've greased and lined my favourite little cake tin. See it's red on the outside? I think it was Nannas. And the ovens all ready to go at 160C (320F), so in the batter goes, and just pop it in the oven. we've got an hour and a quarter, so lets go outside in the sunshine and wiggle our toes in the grass with a cuppa.

Yes I know....baking makes me feel good too. I used to bake with my Mum and Nanna, you know. It was just the best bonding time. Of course it saves money as well, but there's just something about a home baked cake that says love to me. It's such an Earthy and simple thing to do and there's worse things for kids to grow up with than memories of Mum baking! My most enduring memory of Nanna is of her standing in her tiny kitchen with her one single bench, beating eggs into cake batter with flour on her sweet cheeks, and her apron over her ample bosom. Hugs and kisses were part of the process, with her exhorting me to 'be now careful mit de spoon Darlink...' She was European remember and always retained a little of her accent. Yes, I still miss her, but what a lovely memory. Of course Mum was a great frugal cook, and she taught me how to make those whisper thin crepes, and aren't they the best thing ever...

Here, I'll write that Vanilla Cake recipe down for you...

...or you can print it off from here later if you like..

One Bowl Vanilla Cake

 125gms softened butter, cut into cubes (must be butter for this one, or it won't taste the same)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sugar (caster sugar is best, but any will do)
3 large eggs (although I've made it with just two and it still turned out)
1 1/2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
 1 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 160C.

Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin or loaf tin.

Beat all the ingredients together on low until combined. Then beat on medium until the mixture is smooth and changes to a paler colour.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 1/4 hours.

Allow to cool in tin, then invert and turn right way up for icing.


Okay, so all done...always smells gorgeous, doesn't it. And the house smells like that for two days after...yes truly!

Now just grab me that jar of edible rose petals? Yes I know...they seem expensive, but you get soooo many! I think I've had that lot for about two years and they're still going!

So just a light dust of icing sugar, then a sprinkle of rose petals.

There. It's a picture, isn't it? And tastes good too!

Now I'm going to pop this one into Nannas old biscuit tin for you to take home, okay?

You'd pay $7 a slice for that one at the cake shop, and we just made the whole cake for $ have to laugh, don't you!

Alright Sweetheart. Yes, you go, I know how busy you are. I'll see you next week.


Sharing at ...
Best of the Weekend
Sizzling Towards Sixty Anything Goes
Sizzle into Summer at DIY by Design
The Shabby Nest Frugal Friday
The Charm of Home


  1. Aah, that's lovely Mimi and I imagine the cake tastes yummy too.

  2. Hope this isn't a silly question - but what do you line your round tin with? This cake looks so delicious, and I love the simplicity of it. Can't wait to make it!

    1. No silly questions here lala! I spray the tin with cooking spray, and line it with baking paper. My Nanna used to cut the shape of the tin from brown paper and butter that liberally. Either would work. I hope you love the cake as much as we do. Come back soon. Love, Mimi xxx

  3. That cake sounds yummy and I can almost smell the vanilla wafting through the house. Thanks Mimi x

    1. I know, right? It's the most magical scented thing Debbie. Love, Mimi xxx

  4. Oh Mimi, it's been too long since I've commented, but I have to say this cake looks perfect. I can picture it lining the shelves of a classy bakery, just waiting to be taken home by some lucky lady and enjoyed over afternoon tea with her gal pals, while discussing the virtues of home baking.

    I'm printing it out!


    1. Hello Doreen my lovely. Gosh I enjoy your blog updates coming through on my email! This is one classy elegant cake, now, isn't it? I hope you like it too. Love, Mimi xxx

  5. Oh, Mimi...Your sweet comment on my just-posted pictures of my summer flowers brought me to your sweet blog, and your sweet post captivated me...for some reason brought a tear or two to my eye even! What a lovely, lovely way to share a recipe! I felt as though I was listening in on your conversation with an equally sweet granddaughter.

    Count me as your newest follower as soon as I get over there! :) ~Zuni

    1. Zuni, it was the one and the same Nanna that grew the Hydrangeas and Geraniums of my childhood...your blog post conjured immediate memories of them, so thank YOU. I hope you'll come back often. Love, Mimi xxx

  6. What a sweet post and the cake looks delicious! No one in my family baked but I love it. For the last about 10 weeks it had just been too hot here to turn the oven on. I look forward to cooler temperatures, so that it will be fun again to bake cakes, cookies and bread.

    1. Ah Julia, we have that sort of heat in Summer too. Thank the stars for air conditioning for I could not live without my baking. It's therapeutic if nothing else. Thanks for stopping by. Mimi xxx

  7. Baking with kids is never a wasted exercise, is it, even when they are all growed up. I love getting phone calls from my son, who lives in another state now, and he calls to find out how to make a particular dish, or what he can make with the ingredients he has on hand. It's lovely to be useful in that way:)

    1. So true Jo. My grown sons continue to cook to try to impress me when they ask me for dinner. I don't have the heart to tell them I'm happy with roast chicken and mash! Yes, we Mums try to remain 'useful', don't we. Mimi xxx

  8. Another fabulous recipe Mimi! I'm off to check your recipe archives and see if your slow baked chocolate cake is there...sounds yum as well. xo

    1. Hi Kaye. This one is truly divine. Different in texture to the chocolate one as well. A nice contrast. Love, Mimi xxx

  9. Yum! This looks delicious, and I love that it only takes one bowl. A chocolate cake, too?
    Oh boy am I going to be rolling around here! LOL Thanks for sharing.

    1. Patti, you will LOVE this cake! Thanks for stopping by. Mimi xxx

  10. Mimi, you forgot to put on the pretty aprons.

  11. So sweet in every way! And you are right: baking IS good for the soul: the soul of the baker AND the souls of those who enjoy the fruits of her loving labors. :) Thank you for sharing...stopping by from The Art of Home-Making Mondays!

  12. This cake sounds amazing!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  13. Dear Mimi:
    You know what I love about these tea cakes - they are small and get eaten. I typically bake a lot and go ahead and freeze part right away for later and that we there is always variety in the freezer. This would be lovely with lemon curd spread on top!!! Thanks for sharing your lovely posts here this week!

  14. I really love a plain white cake because you can do so much with it. The possibilities are endless. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  15. This looks so pretty and delicious! Thanks for letting me "help"!

  16. I am loving this homespun year! The Motherly Advice column is delightful! Thank you Mimi! :)

    P.S. If using the GF flour blend, do you add any xanthum gum or anything if your flour doesn't already include it?

    1. Jes, I've only ever used it in my early attempts to make GF bread. I think it improves some things, but for this, it wouldn't matter. I'm glad you're enjoying my Motherly

    2. Hi Mimi,I loved your Simple Savings posts and am so glad to have found your beautiful blog. My youngest has just started school and I am facing questions about my plans. I intend to continue being a homemaker but lacked vision of how add value to our family life. Thank you for your inspiration. My boys will love to come home to warm vanilla cake today!


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx