• 175 g (6 oz) slightly salted butter, softened
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1–2 tablespoons milk
  • 250 g (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 325 g (11 oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • drop of pink food colouring
  • 2 teaspoons boiling water
  • 5 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 200 g (7 oz) small sweets, such as dolly mixtures
  • sugar sprinkles

Beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder in a bowl until pale and creamy. Stir in a little milk so that the mixture drops easily from a wooden spoon when tapped against the side of the bowl.

Divide the mixture evenly between 2 greased, baselined and floured 18 cm (7 inch) sandwich tins (see page 13) and level the surface. Bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for about 25 minutes or until risen and just firm to the touch. Loosen the edges, turn out on to a wire rack and peel off the lining paper. Leave to cool.

Make the buttercream. Beat together the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla, pink food colouring and measurement water and beat well. Sandwich the cakes together using the jam and a quarter of the buttercream. Spread the remaining icing over the top and side of the cake. Scatter with the sweets and sugar sprinkles. Add birthday candles, if liked.

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