115g(½ cup) margarinesuch as Stork or use softened butter
120ml(½ cup) milksemi skimmed or skimmed ideally
1tbsplemon juiceor sub with more milk
2tspvanilla extractor vanilla bean paste
Preheat the oven to at 160°C (320°F) while you prepare the batter. Mist an 8 inch deep cake pan with cake release and line the bottom with baking paper. Alternatively you can use two shallow 8 inch cake tins (if you would rather not slice the cake in half).
Sift the flour, sugar, cornflour and baking powder into a mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir to combine.
Add the butter, eggs, milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat together using an electric hand mixer or your stand mixer, using a spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Mix until the batter is smooth, about a minute.
Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan(s) and level. Bake 45 minutes if baking a single sponge cake or 22-25 minutes if you have divided the batter into two cake tins.
Check for doneness - insert a skewer or toothpick in the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If the skewer comes out wet or with moist crumbs continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes in the pan then invert onto a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool down completely before using.
Use a cake leveler to slice the cake in half horizontally if you have baked a single deep sponge. Check out the notes for more recipe tips!
If your are using self raising flour then leave out the baking powder.
Don't overfill the cake pan – about half full is right.
Brush the cake layers with simple syrup to add moisture. To make simple syrup combine equal amounts of water and sugar in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves (do not allow it to boil).
Flavor your simple syrup with vanilla or any other extracts. Alternatively use coffee, tea or liqueur to brush on the cake layers, depending on what you are using as a frosting!