Old School Cake

by Hint of Helen
Old School Cake Recipe

One of the things I do miss about school is the cakes… both this vanilla sponge traybake and chocolate crunch were SO good, but the great news is you can easily make them at home!

This is my go-to cake – I make it to have with cake during the weekend, or even top it with candles for an easy birthday cake. Whatever the occasion it’s easy and fun to bake – and a delicious treat to share with friends and family.

The sponge uses a traditional recipe which calls for equal measures of eggs, flour, sugar and margarine. It always turns out great! This is a recipe my mum taught me as a child and I’ve been making ever since. This cake is also lovely with smarties on top instead of sprinkles.

Old School Cake Recipe

Like this recipe? Check out my other old school cake recipe for Chocolate Crunch

How to make old school cake with white icing

Scroll down for a printable recipe card and full ingredient list

Pre-heat your oven to 180C

1. Begin by weighing 3 eggs (with their shell on). Take note of this weight – as you’ll be using it to weigh out your other ingredients

2. Then, measure out the caster sugar, butter/margarine, and self-raising flour to the same weight as your 3 eggs

3. To a large mixing bowl, add the measured out sugar and butter

Sugar and butter

4. Mix these together with a wooden spoon or spatula until they’re combined

creamed butter sugar

5. Add the eggs, flour, and vanilla to the bowl

cake mixture

6. Whisk together and mix until the batter is smooth

cake batter

7. Next, line a deep baking tray / cake tray with parchment paper (also known as baking paper)

lined baking tray

8. Pour the batter into the lined tray, and smooth out into an even layer using a spatula or spoon

cake batter in tin

9. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes – 20 minutes – until a knife inserted in the center comes up clean and there is no ‘wobble’ when shaken

baked cake

10. Flip the cake upside down (if you can) this way the top is completely flat.

(If this is a struggle and there’s a risk it’ll break, skip this step)

up side down cake

11. Allow the cake to fully cool

12. Meanwhile, make the icing – do this by measuring out the icing sugar, and adding the milk 1 tbsp at a time – don’t be tempted to rush this bit, add the milk slowly and stop once it is the right thickness – then add in the vanilla extract


13. The consistency should be so when you lift a spoon, the icing drops and holds its shape for a second

(if it’s too thin, add more icing sugar – if it’s too thick, add more milk)


14. Once the cake is completely cooled – pour the icing on the top

old school cake icing

15. Gently spread it out using the back of a spoon until the cake is evenly coated

icing on cake

16. Evenly sprinkle the sprinkles over the top until you’re happy

sprinkles on cake

17. Then, allow the icing to set (cover it and place in the fridge for 30 mins – 1 hour). Then, once the icing is set (not running down the sides etc.) cut into equal-sized squares – clean your knife between cuts to make the edges clean.

old school cake
Yield: 12 Servings

Old School Cake

old school cake recipe

A delicious, old school vanilla cake recipe with white icing and sprinkles. Simple, delicious!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


The Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • Caster Sugar
  • Margarine
  • Self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

The Icing

  • 450g Icing Sugar
  • 8 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Multi-colored sprinkles


  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 180C
  2. Weigh the 3 eggs (with their shell on) and take note of their weight
  3. Now, weigh the sugar to the same weight as the eggs
  4. Weigh the margarine to the same weight as the eggs
  5. Weigh the flour to the same weight as the eggs
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the margarine and sugar, and mix until combined
  7. Then, add in the eggs, flour and vanilla extract
  8. Whisk together to form a smooth batter
  9. Then, line the cake tray with parchment paper
  10. Pour in the batter and smooth into an even layer using a spoon or spatula
  11. Put the cake in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes (until a knife inserted comes out clean, and the touch is spongey to touch)
  12. Allow the cake to cool completely
  13. Meanwhile, make the icing by combining the milk and icing sugar in a bowl - take your time and only add 1 tbsp of milk at a time, stirring constantly and stop once it's the consistency you need
  14. Once the cake is completely cooled, turn it upside down in the tin (so the bottom is facing up - this creates a flat surfact
  15. Pour the icing on top, and smooth out using a knife so its evenly spread (do this with the cake inside the tin you baked it in)
  16. Then, sprinkle the top with sprinkles
  17. Allow to cool in the fridge for 30 mins - 1 hour, so the icing sets and isn't runny
  18. Then, slice into squares! Clean the knife between each slice so your slices are neat

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Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 219Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 47mgSodium 148mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 0gSugar 37gProtein 3g

Nutritional data provided here is only an estimate. If you're tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

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Deborah Nelson 30th July 2021 - 2:55 pm

Very nice recipe, easy to make and very moist and tasty,

Eileen 27th April 2022 - 10:11 pm

Excellent cake mix, I use over and over again !

Nya 30th January 2023 - 7:10 pm

I’m only 13 however i love baking and this recipe is sooo good! x

Emcake ๐Ÿ’• 16th September 2023 - 1:39 pm

Such a lovely fluffy cake. Thank you for sharing the recipe! Will use it again for sure. I love that itโ€™s a cake by ratios so it can be made as big or small as required. I made a six egg cake which was roughly 300g of every thing. Two big tray backs for a bunch of sweet kiddies. It was so great! Thank you!

Helen 15th July 2024 - 10:46 am

This recipe is without a doubt the best. Could be easily be transformed into sponge cake. Thank you Helen.


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