This is one of my favourite cakes, partly because it's so deceptively simple. Good with Lemon curd. Even better the next day
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Cream the butter until it noticeably increases in volume and becomes almost white in colour. This will often take several minutes, which may be longer than you're used to if you regularly bake cakes. A stand mixer definitely helps here (use it on medium high). Your goal is to incorporate a lot of air into the butter so that the cake will rise when it bakes.
Next, add the sugar and continue creaming for a few more minutes (maybe 5 minutes or so). The sugar tears little holes in the butter as it mixes in, adding more air and further helping the cake to rise.
At this point you can either:
- Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each one.
- Separate the eggs, and mix the egg yolks one at a time.
Add the flour, bit by bit, mixing on low, until it's just barely incorporated into the batter. You don't want to over mix the batter as doing so will activate the gluten in the flour and toughen the cake.
If you separated the eggs, beat the egg whites in a new bowl with a hand mixer until they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter bit by bit until it's all used up.
Coat a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray, and scrape the batter into the pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and bake the cake for about an hour, until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.