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Easy Vanilla Cake by Nielsen-Massey

Our favourite

3 Reviews

  • Vegetarian

About the bake

This layered vanilla sponge cake has been decorated with a speckled effect, made to look like the shell of an egg. This technique is really fun to do and gives a really nice finish to the buttercream.   

35Total Time
130Prep Time
135Bake Time


  1. Step 1:

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 5). Put some water in a cake tin or roasting tin and set in the bottom of the oven. Prepare three 7" sandwich tins by lining with baking parchment.

  2. Step 2:

    Cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon or electric hand whisk, until pale and fluffy.

  3. Step 3:

    Add the eggs in 3 parts, beating well after each addition so that the egg is well incorporated. Add the vanilla. Sift the flour into the mixture and fold in lightly with a metal spoon, until the mixture is even. Add the milk and mix.

  4. Step 4:

    Spoon the mix into tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

  5. Step 5:

    Whilst the cake is cooling make the vanilla syrup by heating together the sugar and vanilla in a pan until all of the sugar has dissolved. 

  6. Step 6:

    Carefully poke holes in the top of your sponges and pour over some of the syrup allowing the sponge to soak it up.

  7. Step 7:

    To make the buttercream; beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste until soft and fluffy. Add a small dash of the food colouring gel and mix until you reach the desired colour. You can add a drop of milk to loosen the buttercream if needed.

  8. Step 8:

    Layer the sponge with buttercream, then coat the whole cake in buttercream. Pop in the fridge to chill before adding an additional layer of buttercream. To get a smooth finish, run a pallet knife under boiling water before smoothing round the cake. 

  9. Step 9:

    Once your cake is smooth. Melt 10g of chocolate in a small bowl. Use a paintbrush to flick specks of the chocolate onto the buttercream to get a specked finish. Apply this technique all over your cake. We've used a Cadbury's flake and some mini eggs to decorate the top.


  • For the Sponges

    • 400g Unsalted butter (softened)
    • 400g Billington's Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
    • 6 Free range large eggs
    • 400g Allinson's Self Raising Flour
    • 2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
    • 3 tbsp Whole milk
  • For the Vanilla Syrup

    • 100g Billington's Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
    • 1.5 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste
  • For the Buttercream

    • 300g Unsalted butter (softened)
    • 600g Silver Spoon Icing Sugar
    • 1.5 tbsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste
    • Tiny blob Blue food colouring gel
  • For the Decoration

    • 10g Dark chocolate (melted)
    • 1 Cadbury's flake
    • 5 Cadbury's mini eggs


  • 3x 7in sandwich tin
  • Mixing bowl
  • Paintbrush

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