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Nine easy cake recipes

14 September 2016 ( 09 June 2021 )

We’ve brought together some of our quickest and easiest cake recipes – perfect for anyone wanting to get started with baking for the first time, or a fun baking project to do with a child.

Easy cake recipes

Baking is a fun and rewarding pastime. Not only will you be making delicious cakes for your family to enjoy but you can also use it as a bonding experience with children and, once you've mastered the art, you've got the potential for home-baked gifts for every occasion. We've collected some of our favourite easy cake ideas together to help get you started - everything from a classic Victoria sandwich to lemon cake, chocolate cake and more.

These are all easy cakes to bake - they don't require unusual ingredients or time consuming steps so they're pretty simple to make at home, even for beginners. Having problems baking the perfect cake? Find out how to solve common baking problems such as cracked or sunken tops or overcooked batter with these baking tips.

Mary Berry's classic Victoria sandwich

Classic Victoria sandwich

One of the best cake recipes to master is the humble Victoria sandwich, with its sweet raspberry jam filling, light, fluffy sponge and a sprinkling of caster sugar. Try this recipe from baking queen Mary Berry, who also provides her top tips for getting the perfect Victoria sandwich.

Mary Berry's Victoria sandwich recipe

Almond and raspberry cake

Almond and raspberry cake

Once you’ve mastered the Victoria sandwich it’s time to move on to making a sponge interesting. Orange or lemon zest, dried fruit or chocolate chips can all liven up a cake batter. This easy peasy almond and raspberry cake replaces the flour with ground almonds making it gluten-free and giving it a wonderful nutty taste that goes perfectly with the fresh berries.

Almond and raspberry cake recipe

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Lemon drizzle traybake

Lemon drizzle traybake

Lemon drizzle is a crowd-pleaser, and serving it up as a traybake is ideal for large groups of people. The key to a good drizzle cake is to get the right ratio of tart juice to sugar and to pour it over the cake while it is still warm. You can help it along by poking holes in the top with a cocktail stick when it comes out of the oven. You might find lemon drizzles take a little trial and error to get just right because the amount of desired zest can vary so much from person to person, so if you find a cake too lemony or too weak just make a note of it for next time.

Lemon drizzle traybake recipe

Easy chocolate cake

Easy chocolate cake

A staple cake recipe for chocoholics everywhere , this easy chocolate cake can be filled with a chocolate ganache or buttercream filling. It’s a perfect all-rounder for an afternoon tea or birthday celebration and it's a great one for beginners because it's so hard to get wrong.

Easy chocolate cake recipe

Basic cupcakes with buttercream icing

Basic cupcakes

If you’re more interested in the decorating than the baking then cupcakes are the way to go. Use this basic vanilla cupcake recipe (feel free to add extras such as chocolate chips or citrus zest) and get creative with icing, sprinkles and cake toppers. Pile them high on a cake stand for a show-stopping display. 

If you're baking these for a special occasion you can get pretty decorative paper cases, but these can discolour in the oven, so bake your cupcakes in a basic (and cheaper) plain case and pop them into the decorative cases once cooled.

Basic cupcake recipe

Queen cakes

Queen cakes

A classic fruity little cupcake that uses dried fruit of your choice (sultanas, raisins or chopped cherries, for example) to make a sweet treat that’s ideal for grandchildren to help make.

Queen cakes recipe

Mary Berry's orange drizzle cake

Orange drizzle cake

This is a moist orange drizzle cake with a rich buttercream filling from celebrated cook Mary Berry. It makes a change from the more common lemon cake and it's good at any time of year, especially if you're looking for a fruity, zesty summer cake.

Orange drizzle cake recipe

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's pear and almond pudding cake

Pear and almond pudding cake

Serve a cake warm and suddenly you have a very easy dessert. This almond and pear pudding cake from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is ideal for serving as an autumn pudding when warm with a dollop of cream. Eat leftovers (if there are any!) cold the next day with a cup of tea.

Pear and almond pudding cake recipe

Recycled biscuit cake

Recycled biscuit cake

Okay, maybe this one is cheating a bit. It isn’t really a cake, but it is delicious – and very, very easy! It’s also a great way to use up a packet of broken biscuits.

Recycled biscuit cake recipe

From cakes to biscuits and everything in between, visit our baking section for a full range of baking ideas and recipes.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.