½cupunsalted butter((or 1 stick or 113grams) (softened - see notes))
1cupcastor sugar((also known as superfine sugar))
2cupsplain (all purpose) flour((250 grams))
4 teaspoonsbaking powder((check the recommend amount for your brand of baking powder - see notes))
½cupwhole milk((for a less dense cake - use ⅔ cup milk))
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
Butter and line the base of an 20 cm/8in round deep cake pan then dust with flour to ensure the cake doesn't stick.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. I like to sift onto a sheet of baking paper to save washing up.
Place all ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low for 30 seconds.
Scrap the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure all the flour has been incorporated. Be sure to scrape the bottom - sometimes the mixer blade doesn't full incorporate the ingredients at the bottom.
Mix again this time on medium speed for 3 minutes. The cake batter should lighten in color and be thick and creamy.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, tap the pan on the kitchen bench to remove excess air bubbles and place into the oven.
Bake for 35-45 minutes. It will be cooked when the cake no longer jiggles, is coming away from the side of the pan, springs back when pressed and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack. Flip so that it is up the right way and allow to cool.
A simple dusting of powdered sugar is all it needs. Can be served warm or cool. Best eaten with 3 days.
1/2 cup of unsalted butter is equal to a stick of butter for US readers.
To soften butter quickly, simply grate with a coarse grater. Allow to stand until softened which won't take long.
Baking powder can differ in each country. Be sure to check the packaging for the correct ratio of baking powder to flour. The Australian baking powder I used states to use 2 teaspoons per 1 cup of flour. Also remember that baking powder has an expiry date. Always use fresh baking powder!
If you have access to self raising flour you can substitute 2 cups of self raising flour for 2 cups of plain flour and 4 teaspoons baking powder.
If you would like a less dense cake add a little more milk - instead of 1/2 cup add 2/3 cup of milk. In this case, give the cake 5 or 10 more minutes in the oven.
To measure flour correctly for this recipe.
Spoon flour into measuring cup, then level off with a knife. Don't dip and scoop the measuring cup into the flour bag.