Vanilla layer cake
500g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 250g caster sugar 5 eggs 4 tbsp vanilla extract 1 tbsp baking powder 300g plain flour pinch of sea salt 165ml double cream 500g icing sugar deep 20cm round cake tin
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3 and grease and line the cake tin. In a large mixing bowl, cream 250g of the butter with the caster sugar, using the back of a wooden spoon. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure they are fully incorporated each time. Mix in 2 tbsp of the vanilla extract, then sift in the baking powder and flour, folding in thoroughly. Stir in the salt and 150ml of the cream. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hr 10 mins until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 3-4 hrs. To make the icing, place the remaining butter in a large mixing bowl and gradually smooth in the icing sugar, spoonful by spoonful, using the back of a spoon, until integrated. Mix in the remaining cream and vanilla extract. Remove the cake from the tin and discard the baking paper, then carefully cut the cake into three equal slices horizontally. The top may need to be levelled off. Place one disc of cake on a serving plate. Spread a quarter of the butter icing on top, then cover with another disc of cake. Top with a third of the remaining icing and cover with the final cake layer. Cover the entire cake with icing, smoothing down the sides with a spatula. Leave to chill for 30 mins before serving.