Five-minute tea cake


  • 20g butter
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant milk powder
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 3/4 cup cold water
  • melted butter, extra, to serve
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar mixed with cinnamon, to serve
  • OR fruit or jam and whipped cream, to fill, icing sugar, to dust


This cake can be made in two sandwich cake tins and filled with cream and jam or fruit, or made as a single cake dusted with cinnamon and sugar. Once you've made it a few times, it probably does only take five minutes, but it took each of our recipe testers a little bit longer!


Preheat the oven to 180ºC and grease the cake tin or tins. Put the butter into a heatproof measuring jug and stand the jug in a saucepan of hot water until the butter has melted. Meanwhile, sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add the milk powder, the sugar and a pinch of salt and stir to combine.
When the butter has melted, remove the jug from the pan and whisk the egg and water mixture into the butter with a fork. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture, beating for 2 minutes with a wooden spoon. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins or tin and bake for 20 minutes (or 30–35 minutes if making a single cake), or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Leave the cakes in the tins for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. If making a single cake, while it is still warm, brush the top of the cake lightly with melted butter then dust with the cinnamon and sugar mixture if desired. If 'sandwiching' the cake, allow it to cool completely before topping one half with whipped cream, fruit or jam, then placing the second cake on top. Dust the top of the sandwiched cake with icing sugar.
Cook's tip: melting butter by standing it in hot water is a technique worth remembering. It is much gentler than microwaving, where there is a risk of milk solids separating.

Have you tried this recipe?

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