Darina Allen’s Great Grandmother’s Butter Sponge

Darina Allen’s Great Grandmother’s Butter Sponge


byDarina Allen


"A buttery sponge cake was standard fare to serve with afternoon tea at my Grandmother’s house in Donoughmore, Co. Kilkenny, and a great many other Read More
Prep Time

Cooking Time


8 - 10 people



  • 125g (4 ½ oz) butter, softened
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, preferably free-range and organic
  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  • 110g (4oz) homemade raspberry jam (see recipe)
  • 300ml (10fl oz) whipped cream
  • caster sugar to sprinkle







  1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/375˚F/Gas Mark 5.
  2. Grease 2 x 18cm (7 inches) sponge cake tins with melted butter, dust with flour and line
    the base of each with a round of greaseproof paper.
  3. Cream the butter and gradually add the caster sugar, beating until soft and light and quite
    pale in colour.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well between each addition. (If the
    butter and sugar are not creamed properly and if you add the eggs too fast, the mixture
    will curdle, resulting in a cake with a heavier texture).
  5. Sieve the flour and baking powder and stir in gradually. Mix all together lightly and add a tablespoon of milk to moisten.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 tins, hollowing it slightly in the centre.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until cooked – the cake will shrink in slightly
    from the edge of the tin when it is cooked and the centre should be exactly the same
    texture as the edge. Alternatively, a skewer should come out clean when put into the
    centre of the cake. Turn out onto a wire tray and allow to cool.
  8. Sandwich the 2 bases together with homemade raspberry jam and whipped cream.
    Sprinkle with sieved caster sugar. Serve on an old-fashioned plate with a doyley.



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