Classic Birthday Cake (UK measurements)

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, this simple birthday cake recipe is ideal for any design or decoration. Get the recipe, in UK weights and measurements, below.

A classic birthday cake

In my many years of blogging I’ve seen birthday cakes go from a humble sponge cake to elaborate 3D affairs, sometimes even with multiple tiers.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to create show stopping cakes when I can but sometimes the occassion calls for something a little more understated.

The sponge is light, fluffy and moist. There is vanilla flecked throughout which combined with the butter in the cake batter gives a lovely rich flavour.

Filling and Decorating

This recipe is a real classic. Its the perfect base for carving if you do want to make something 3D and holds up well if you are planning on covering it with fondant icing.

I always like to put a layer of fruit compote or jam between the two layers. Sometimes I will decorate with buttercream all over, other times I do a crumb coat of buttercream before doing a layer of fondant icing. It really is up to you!

The recipe

Birthday Cake

This classic birthday cake has UK measurements - no more cups!

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword butternut squash, caster sugar, eggs, self raising flour
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 people
Author Emma Walton


  • 150 grams self-raising flour
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 150 grams butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (160 C), and get out two 18cm sandwich tins and grease them thoroughly (or alternatively line with grease proof paper.

  2.  Next cream together the butter and the sugar.

  3. Make sure you do this thoroughly and wait for the mixture to turn a much paler, creamier yellow. 

  4.  It will then be really soft to the touch.

  5. Beat the eggs up and slowly add them to the butter and sugar mix, only a little bit at a time. 

  6. Whisking the mixture together thoroughly in between each addition.

  7.  If you add too much too quickly the mixture may curdle but don't panic! Keep whisking, if that doesn't help a pinch of flour should do the trick!

  8. Next sift the flour and the salt into your bowl! All at once! And gently combine the mixture folding lots of big air bubbles in. Make sure there are no hidden clumps of flour and that the mix is thoroughly combined.
  9. Divide between the two, and gently push the mixture to the edges to get a nice flat surface, perfect for decorating!
  10. Cook in the centre of the oven for 30mins.
  11. Once they are a nice golden brown colour you know they are done! But just to be safe poke with a knife or metal skewer - if it comes away dry you know they are ready!
  12. Pop on a cooling rack to cool before decorating.

More cake inspiration

6 thoughts on “Classic Birthday Cake (UK measurements)”

  • Thanks ilikeyoursundress! I use the rather unorthodox approach of using a MEAT CLEAVER to smooth it out lol! The rents don't have any fancy baking supplies so no spatula for me :PEm x

  • Hey 🙂 Your blog looks great, I'm glad you found mine through the student room – what would be students do without it? Really like how you've done the pricing on the baking – that's a really good idea and I think it makes your blog unique from the others (and it's very handy too!) Sadly Cambridge Uni only has a Sainsbury's but I shall base pricing loosely on yours, it is pretty hard to keep track of spending on baking ingredients!Good job on the icing on the cake too – looks yummy! 🙂

  • Hi Xinemei! Glad you like the pricing idea!! Baking can be the most expensive part of cooking 😛 thats another reason to make it an occasional treat haha! Hopefully I can show it is still possible on a student budget :)I must try your fish cake next!!!

  • Hi Nit Nat Noo! I also use 9" tins sorry for not clarifying! Are you really whisking the mix well when you've added the eggs? The mix should really double in size! Are you also using self raising flour? I hope you find the solution!!!

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