School Dinner Cake

Do you remember being in the queue in the dining room at lunchtime when you were at primary school? What was the food you looked forward to the most? Or did you loathe school dinners? I loved them! But then again I’m not that picky, and will eat almost anything.

I always had a sweet tooth, still do, and I would be far more interested looking down the line to see what pudding was offered, (38 years later the habit hasn’t diminished. I’ll still peruse the pudding section in a restaurant first). So twice a week, or thereabouts, there was usually a square piece of sponge smothered in custard. Heaven!!!

Here is a recipe for a plain sponge cake baked in a large rectangular tin. You can cover it with icing if you wish, or put a square or 6 into a bowl and have it with custard. This will make lots of cake, and it’s great for kids parties, family celebrations and Labradors.


350g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

330g sugar

200g margarine

4 eggs

180ml milk

1 tsp vanilla extract


480g Icing sugar

Enough water to make a dropping consistency, (It is most accurate if it drops off the spoon in about 4.3 seconds. See, I can be precise when I choose too).Ā  It needs to coat a spoon, so be very careful with the amount of water you add. 1 tablespoon at a time is a safe bet.


Preheat the oven to gas mark 170C/340F. Line a rectangular tin (about 23 x 29cm) with baking paper.

Sieve the flour into a bowl and add all the other ingredients. Mix really well with a whisk. Use a handheld mixer if you have one. I haven’t, so I needed a bit of patience. (Don’t give the bowl to one of your children, unless you trust them. My boy was eating the cake mix when I came in the retrieve it!)


Pour into the tin, smoothing out and then put into the oven on the bottom shelf for around 40 minutes. Please check though after 30 minutes, because all ovens are different.

When a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean, it is done. Let it cool completely if you are covering with icing. If you are eating the cake with custard you can proceed with Gusto! (If he turns up!) Sorry, I love that joke.



I am a mother of two children, and have had many experiences in my life that I have been through and had to overcome. I feel it would be beneficial (at least to me, and perhaps you) to share my experiences. Iā€™d love to hear your comments and suggestions. x

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