My sister has been doing a lot of cooking recently to put into her new blog, The Disaster Kitchen. One of the things she cooked was a cake. The first cake she cooked, and she will admit this, wasn't brilliant. Apart from anything it tasted kind of herby... To be honest that was mostly to do with her spoons, but because she followed the recipe, rather than doing what we normally do, it meant she used the spoons rather than electric whisks.
Now what we normally do, is follow the Cake Ratio. This is the Cake Ratio:
Basically, different multiples of the basic 2:2:2:1 ratio for self raising flour to sugar to butter and to eggs makes different sized cakes. 2:2:2:1 makes a cake to share between two people. I've not tried this yet, but my sister says its good, so I may have to soon! 4:4:4:2 is for a cake that you make in a single bowl. We usually use this for quick cakes we cook in the microwave, like golden syrup sponge cake (or pongey as we call it for some reason I'm not entirely sure of). 6:6:6:3 is for the classic sandwich cake (I don't know what the actual name for them is) where you put jam or butter cream or chocolate sauce in the middle.
And that is the simplicity and magic of the cake ratio. Just throw everything into a bowl, add a bit of milk, and whisk it until it is smooth. Then cook in the oven or the microwave, and enjoy!