[Updated on 24 May 2021]
Cakes are a much-loved dessert, often associated with teatime, celebrations, or simple enjoyment. While going out and having a slice of cake isn't so easy to do now given the current circumstances, you can make up for it by whipping up your own cake to enjoy at home! To help you out, we've rounded up a list of easy cake recipes that are simple to make and delicious to eat ? ?
Some quick notes on baking cakes at home
- We've selected recipes that don't require complicated ingredients or technique, suitable for all bakers including beginners. Most of these are made either in a loaf pan (the rectangular pan) or an 8-inch (about 20cm) round or square pan, all three of which are baking ware basics that are good to have and pretty easy to find (you can usually find them even at the supermarket!). Some of the recipes may use slightly larger or smaller pans - you can still make them with the pans you have, just choose the one closest in size and note that you might have some variations in terms of the thickness of the cake and how long it takes to cook.
- Many of these recipes are pound cake recipes (recipes that historically used a pound each of butter, sugar and flour), which are easy to pull together and don't necessarily require frosting or complicated icings to serve. Having said that, if you were making the cake for a special celebration and want to dress the cake up, you can easily do that too - just whip up a topping of your choice (such as a buttercream frosting, chocolate glaze or ganache, glazed icing or a cream cheese frosting) and use that to decorate your (cooled) cake.
- While having a hand mixer or a stand mixer would make these recipes a breeze to do, that doesn't mean you have to have one! Remember, people were making cakes by hand long before mixers came about - you'll just need a lot more elbow grease to whip it up by hand using a wooden spoon or whisk. Having said that, hand mixers really are quite affordable nowadays and will be a worthy investment for all you cake-making adventures ?
- How do you tell if your cake is cooked through? Recipes usually call for using a cake tester (a thin skewer made out of metal) to be poked into the cake - if it comes out clean (with no wet batter clinging onto it), then you know it's cooked. If you don't have a cake tester, use a toothpick or a strand of dry spaghetti instead!
1. Butter cake
As far as cakes go, there really is no simpler recipe than a butter cake! Made with basic ingredients (namely butter, sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder, milk and vanilla), you end up with a comforting and delicious cake that's perfect to enjoy with tea or any other hot beverage. If you're a beginner baker, this is the perfect place to start! You'll find an endless variation of butter cake recipes online - some include additional ingredients like sour cream or yoghurt to make a moister cake, while some may use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour for a finer crumb. But for a basic recipe, try this one from Bee over at Rasa Malaysia. If you're looking to up your butter cake game, try this version by Anita on Daily Cooking Quest in which egg whites are beaten separately before being folded into the batter, which results in an even more aerated and lighter texture.
2. Banana cake
Another go-to easy cake recipe has to be banana cake. Not only do bananas add a nice sweetness and flavour, making a banana cake is a great way to use overripe bananas at home too - the riper your bananas, the sweeter and moister your cake will be! For a nice basic recipe, try this one on All Recipes (do note that the recipe yields 2 8-inch round pans of cake, so if you want just one pan instead, remember to halve the ingredients!). It uses walnuts in the batter (always a great pairing!), but even if you don't have them it'll still be a great banana cake. You could even mix in chocolate chips in if you wanted! Want to make your banana cake extra decadent? This recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction pairs the banana cake with a cream cheese frosting ?
#HHWT Tip: The recipe calls for buttermilk - if you can't find buttermilk at your supermarket or you don't want to buy a whole carton of it, it's easy to just make your own using regular milk and white vinegar or lemon juice!
3. Chocolate cake
Ahh, chocolate cake - a classic favourite that is much loved by adults and kids alike. Similar to butter cake recipes, you'll find an endless variation of chocolate cake recipes online, though you'll find that many (particularly American) recipes for this dessert calls for the cake to be made in layers (i.e. enough batter for 2 pans, usually 8-inch or 9-inch in size) that are baked and cooled before being sandwiched and covered with a chocolate buttercream frosting. If that sounds up your alley, go for it! Try out this recipe by Cafe Delites which looks absolutely magnificent.
#HHWT Tip: If you're not used to frosting a cake, don't worry! You don't even need special palette knives if you don't have it - just use a spatula and spread out evenly on the top on the sides. Rather than going for a smooth finish, or for the rustic look instead, letting the rough swirls and spread of your spatula determine how your frosting looks - it's much easier to do than aiming for a perfectly frosted cake!
If you don't happen to have 2 cake pans of the same size and don't feel like going through the hassle of sandwiching your cakes, try this recipe by Taste.com.au instead - the batter comes together in one bowl and is baked in a single plan, before being topped with a quick and easy chocolate frosting.
#HHWT Tip: Not in the mood to make frosting? Decorate your (cooled) chocolate cake with a dusting of icing sugar (just sift it using a fine-mesh sieve over your cake) instead!
P.S. Looking for an easy brownie recipe instead? Try this fudgy brownie recipe that's simple to make!
4. Apple cake
Have some apples lying in your kitchen? Turn them into your next iftar treat by making apple cake! Usually flavour with cinnamon and vanilla in addition to the apple, an apple cake is easy to make and well worth the effort. There are a variety of ways to make apple cake - some used chopped apples, while others have the apples sliced thinly which is also used to decorate the top. Some recipes call for a crumble topping (made with sugar, butter and cinnamon), while others may use the sweet glaze to drizzle over the top instead.
Dicing apples tend to be faster and easier than slicing them thinly, so for those whose who want to just chop up their apple, try this recipe by Jess on Sweetest Menu which uses a diced red apple, a crumble mixture, as well as oil (instead of butter) and greek yoghurt for moisture. The recipe doesn't even call for a mixer - you can just whip it up by hand in a bowl! For those who are up for slicing their apples into thin wedges or may not have greek yoghurt on hand, try this recipe by BBC Food - it uses the apple wedges to prettily decorate the top of the cake.
5. Coffee cake
Fun fact: Coffee cake, in the recipe world, can mean two things - either it's a coffee-flavoured cake (i.e., coffee is used as an ingredient), or it can also to refer to a type of cake (usually a pound cake of some sort, even if it doesn't include a coffee flavour) that's typically enjoyed along with a cup of coffee instead! Luckily, whichever kind you make, they are usually pretty easy to whip up.
For a coffee-flavoured coffee cake, try this simple recipe by Love Foodies - made with instant coffee and baked in a loaf pan, it's easy for beginners to make. Want to try a 'coffee cake'? Check out this recipe by Anna Olson - it's a butter pound cake (using sour cream for added decadence) that has a streusel topping made with flour, butter, sugar and pecans.
6. Blueberry cake
If you can score a couple of punnets of blueberries at the supermarket (especially if they're on sale!), it's the perfect excuse to make blueberry cake! Bluberry cake is essentially butter cake with blueberries added in, so you know it's as easy as it is delicious. The blueberries add a nice tart addition to the cake, plus some glorious purple colour! For a straightforward recipe, you can follow Rasa Malaysia's recipe which simply adds fresh blueberries to the top of a butter cake.
7. Orange or lemon cake
Are you a fan of citrus in your cakes? Then make a lemon or orange loaf! Again, it's similar to a regular pound cake, but recipes usually call for the zest and juice of the citrus in question to flavour the cake accordingly. For an orange cake, try out this recipe by Del's Cooking Twist and for lemon cake, try out this recipe by Ina Garten. You can skip the glaze if you want to, but if you like that added sweetness to balance out the tartness of the lemon, then go for it!
8. Victoria Sandwich
A Victoria Sandwich is a classic British cake where two sponge cakes are sandwiched with jam in the middle and dusted with icing sugar on top. It's definitely an impressive dessert, but actually quite easy to make! You will, however, need two baking pans of the same size - using one pan to bake half the batter first and then using it again to bake the remaining half isn't usually ideal as leaving cake batter to stand might result in the raising agents of the cake (like the baking powder/soda or the air beat into the batter) not working as well.
So if you have two baking pans, whip this up! Use this recipe by BBC Good Food to get you started. If you wanted to take it up a notch, you can even add whipped cream to the middle in addition to the jam (like in this alternative recipe by BBC Good Food.
#HHWT Tip: Don't have self-raising flour? Make your own using all-purpose flour and raising agents!
9. Pandan gula melaka cheese cake
For a more traditional cake flavour, let's try to bake pandan gula melaka cheese cake at home! Besides preparing basic baking ingredients, other things you need are coconut cream extract, pandan juice, vanilla essence and more. It's pretty easy to do and you can check out Che Nom's Kek Pandan Gula Melaka recipe that includes a visual step-by-step guide on how to do it!
10. Carrot cake
Wrapping up our list of easy cake recipes you can try at home is the well-loved carrot cake! You don't have to worry about messing up the steps because it's pretty straightforward. You can follow Anna Olson's easy carrot cake recipe, and you'll be dishing out this delicious dessert in no time!
Baking your own cake at home is not just an easy and totally doable activity, but one that can yield some amazingly delicious treats! So whether you’re looking for your next iftar dessert, suppertime treat or a cake for a special occasion, it's time to whip up one of these easy bakes and enjoy it with your favourite hot beverage!