Sunday, November 18, 2007

Custard Sponge Cake

I first heard (or more accurately read) about this Nigella Lawson Custard sponge cake from Adski's birthday post. It looked like such a fun little cake, so I saved the recipe. This week, I got the chance to make it as it was my friend John's birthday. Although he is a middle aged man, I thought it would be fun to make this anyway since he's just a kid at heart.

So the verdict on the cake. It's very easy to make, although I probably won't use the food processor next time as it was really thick and hard to whiz. I think a beater would work just as well.

In terms of the cake itself, it's ok. The cake texture is a bit rough for my liking. The custard filling also isn't as smooth as I like. I guess that's because it's just made using custard powder rather than however real custard is made, usually with eggs I think. But you gotta love the chocolate frosting with the hundreds and thousands, it's so cool. Reminded me of the cakes from when I was in primary school. Ah the memories. So just for that fact alone, I would make it again as a birthday cake, but not if I want to eat a really nice cake.

Custard Sponge Cake

For the cake

* 200 g plain flour
* 3 tbsp custard powder
* 2 tsp baking powder
* ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
* 4 eggs
* 225 g soft butter
* 200 g caster sugar
* 2 tbsp milk

For the buttercream filling

* 125 g icing sugar
* 4 tsp custard powder
* 75 g soft unsalted butter
* 1½ tsp boiling water

For the chocolate icing

* 60 ml water
* 2 tbsp golden syrup
* 125 g caster sugar
* 175 g dark chocolate
* Hundreds and thousands

For the cake

1. Make sure everything you need is at room temperature before you start. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4, butter and line two 20cm sandwich tins.
2. Put all the cake ingredients, apart from the milk, into a food processor. Process to a smooth batter, and then add the milk 1 tbsp at a time to make a soft dropping consistency. Divide between the two cake tins and bake for 20 minutes. The cakes will have risen and feel spookily puffy; this is because of the cornflour in the custard powder.
3. Let the tins sit on a cooling rack for 5 minutes and then turn them out on to the rack, peeling away the paper.

For the buttercream filling

1. Process the icing sugar and custard powder to get rid of any lumps, and then add the butter, processing again to make the buttercream come together. Feed the boiling water down the funnel with the motor running to make the filling easier to spread. Then sandwich the cooled sponges together with the custardy buttercream.

For the chocolate icing

1. Combine the water, syrup and sugar in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve over a low heat. Let it come to the boil and then take it of the heat.
2. Break up the chocolate into small pieces and then add to the pan, swirling it around to cover in the hot liquid. Leave to melt for a few minutes, and then whisk the icing to make it smooth and shiny. Pour over the buttercream filled cake, letting it drip down the sides, and then sprinkle generously with the hundreds and thousands before the icing sets.


  1. Pity you didn't like this cake too much Thanh, because it looks great. Maybe with a good custard it might be successful... Vida x

  2. Vida, a better custard would help but the cake is still too dry I think. I'm sure there are other cakes that I can decorate the same way and keep that fun feeling to it.