One-Pot Cake a Kid Could Bake

MacMan likes Nigella…..Lawson, that is. Thankfully he didn’t marry me expecting Nigella-esque culinary skills.

I’m all about the simple. I can cook to a recipe but I usually find it so painstaking, I prefer to wing it, at least with savoury meals.

One kitchen activity I’m willing to dabble in though (to a point) is baking. Maybe it’s the memory of all those times I spent watching my mum bake when I was young. Cakes, cookies, licking the spoon, ahhhh……..bliss.


When I was about 10, I was given a cookbook which was part of a Puffin series of books called “Practical Puffin”. I loved that book and trying out various recipes. The hamburgers were great. I mean the illustration showed a hamburger stack with potato chips in it. What more could a kid want?! I was tempted to try the edible flower section and always marvelled at how they made the cheese. I’m pretty sure the book, as with the rest of the fascinating series of Practical Puffin books, are out-of-print now.

Of all the recipes, though, my all time favourite was the standard cake. I still make it today, and all it’s variations, and thought I’d share it with you.

I love this recipe because it’s so simple. You can make the plain cake, or add some of their suggested flavourings such as a grated apple, or two tablespoons of cocoa. Make up your own even! It does require adult assistance with the melted butter at the start and the use of the oven, but a child could otherwise do the rest (I’ll leave it up to you to decide how much help your children might need). The further bonus is you can do the entire recipe in one pot, no mixer required. Makes the process and the cleanup so very easy.


Key Ingredients

Two tablespoons of butter

Two eggs

Almost full cup of sugar (I personally use a lot less or none, like this day when I added mashed banana instead)

A heaped cup of self-raising flour

Half a cup of milk


Suggested Flavourings (optional)


A mashed banana

A few drops of vanilla

Two tablespoons of cocoa

A handful of sultanas

A grated apple

Orange juice and grated peel (leave out half the milk)


The Recipe


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat.


2. Stir in the cocoa now, if applicable.

3. Take the pan off the heat and add the sugar (I skipped this step since I used a mashed banana which I added with the flour)

4. Add the eggs and stir well.


5. Add the flour and flavourings.


6. Slowly add the milk or juice stirring all the time until smooth and shiny. I added nutmeg at the last minute here too, but you could add it at the previous step.


7. Pour the mixture into a greased cake tin or muffin pan or use paper cases. I chose to add choc drops and a couple of M&Ms as embellishments.


8. Bake in oven at 175 degrees celsius for approximately 35 minutes for a single large cake or about 15-20 minutes for muffins. Skewer the centre of cake and it will come out clean when cake is cooked.


9. Cool cake or muffins.


10. Eat as is, or ice and decorate.


The proof is in the tasting and we had two very happy taste testers.

LilS-MG MissT-MG

And look at all I have to wash, muffin tins aside!



Do you have a childhood recipe you still use?




I’m linking with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for IBOT.

I Blog on Tuesdays


56 thoughts on “One-Pot Cake a Kid Could Bake

    • Thanks, Tasha. I became more conscious of my sugar intake after having gestational diabetes. I just cut back sugar or swap it out mostly nowadays. Just now to tackle my chocolate addiction!

  1. What a brilliant recipe 🙂 I’ve still got my cookbook from when I was a child and remember making many meals of spaghetti from the recipe in it. Think it is about time my 8yo started having a go at that.

  2. Nice! I usually wing it with recipes too but baking needs precision. I do have a few go-to recipes and there’s a to-die-for flourless chocolate cake I used to make all the time in uni. I kinda loss the recipe in the move here but I’ll see if I can find it or at least find a gd substitute to share 🙂

    Bet you can’t wait for your kiddos to help u in the kitchen too! 🙂

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    • Yes, I remember being told baking requires precision and you are right. I have tweaked a little and whilst it usually works, it hasn’t sometimes. I’d love to see the flourless chocolate cake recipe. You had me at “chocolate”!

  3. oooo!!!! I had a book similar to yours when I was younger – I wonder if my mum still has it.. must go investigate!

    You’ll be able to look it up on google/ebay/amazon…

    I find the most strangest old recipe books on there.. and I love them!

    Great one pot recipe!! Yum…

    • Once I moved out of home, I carried this one with me as I moved around. But I did find other Practical Puffin books at my mum’s home a few years back. We moved a fair bit as kids and lots got thrown out (boo-hoo, especially since I’m sentimental) but I’m hanging onto all these for my girls! I did spot them on Google but mostly via library lists. Hope you find yours, Yvette!

    • Hope you enjoy baking this, Sonia. I just baked a loaf version with applesauce, sultanas and a few choc chips for good measure this afternoon. This swapped out the sugar. Took 7 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to bake. Bub loved it for afternoon tea.

    • I’m sure there are many “heirloom” recipes some families pass on. My mum hand wrote a bunch for me, not too long back. I have yet to use them all but remember them from my childhood. I just find it hard using recipe books with no pictures!

    • Hope you enjoy making it sometime, Sannah. I baked it again this afternoon as a loaf cake and it took about 7 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to bake and only gave me a pot, cake tin and 3 utensils to wash. So easy!

  4. What a great recipe, Veronica ! Thanks for sharing (and also adding the tips about using mashed banana). I am terrible at baking and always willing to try any simple no-fail cake. This looks perfect ! 🙂

    • Let me know how you go with this “no-fail” recipe, Grace. It really is quite simple. You can also cut back rather than cut out the sugar, depending on what other flavourings you add. Enjoy.

  5. I’m not a confident cook but because I don’t want to pass that on to my kids, I have been making a real effort and trying to make sure they’re all involved. We made raisin buns yesterday, banana muffins last weekend and vegemite scrolls for Australia Day! Now that all of the playdates have started, I think I’ll give your basic cake a try – it looks quick and easy!

    • Wow! You’re doing well with all that baking. I love that you made raisin buns and vegemite scrolls. I don’t normally do bread, but I did make bagels and loved them. Tempted to share that recipe but it’s a pretty involved process, especially prepping it for the blog. Hope you enjoy baking the cake sometime.

    • Sure is, Deb. I just sourced a one-pot everyday brownie recipe from Nigella today. Gonna have to try that one too. Looks easy and little mess to clean up afterwards!

    • I don’t know anyone else who remembers those books, so you’re the first, Carli. And yes, I decided to treat myself to a few little things (part of my ideas for slivers of me-time). It’s a bit costly but I love the treat in my nice little pot. I’ve got my faves I restock every so often. You a T2 drinker too?

  6. Love the book. I used to get recipes for my husband and I from kids’ cooking books when I was first married (and had no cooking skills). I have built on my skills since then, but I think those kinds of recipes are a great base! Love a recipe you can adapt easily to your own taste.

    • I’m all about the simple, as I said, Julie. Sometimes I do wish I was more naturally talented (usually if I see Junior Masterchef) but what I have works for us. Enjoy the cake recipe’s versatility!

    • Hope you enjoy making the recipe, Chantelle. I made it again today as an applesauce and sultana loaf cake and it took about 7 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to bake. Easy “can’t be bothered” type of recipe indeed!

    • I don’t have too many childhood keepsakes, especially books, since we moved when we were young a few times, but I do have this one. I’m so glad I can pass this piece of childhood onto my girls, Tahlia.

    • Wouldn’t minimal washing up be a bonus for any parent?! I wish I had many more books from when I was a child, Debbie, but we moved just too often and my parents threw a lot away (like my entire Enid Blyton collection! UGH!) I’m glad I kept this one.

  7. How precious to still have your little childhood cookbook! Looks like a great easy recipe, the thing I love about cooking with kids is that it keeps them occupied, they learn things and I get something achieved as well! The mess is so worth it for these things 🙂

    • It is a precious thing to have this childhood keepsake. Lots of my others were thrown out as our family moved.

      The recipe really is very easy. A few others have already made it and found it so. I hope you enjoy it’s simplicity and versatility.

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