Simple perfect plain cake in a heart-shaped pan


This is how my food and nutrition teacher aka home economics madame taught me how to make cake many years ago. I have made cake like this umpteen times before I started corrupting my batter with all kinds of flavours and ingredients like coconutcarrotapple and even pumpkin. Today, I am going back to basics. Back to where the cake craze began. Back to the perfect plain cake I have baked with or without an oven.


Back in the day, I will pour sand into a large pot and heat it up on a three-stone fireside which is the traditional cooking place in Cameroon. That heated sand in a pot was my DIY oven. I will then mix my batter and bake my way into stardom. Everyone in our home and including our neighbours will be “campaigning” to eat some. After feeding them I will wrap the leftovers and hide far away somewhere to serve my dad after his evening meal, to serve guests or to just enjoy!

Oh memories!

Perfect plain cake recipe

I love this plain cake, as simple and unadorned as it is. It is what my taste buds knew as cake right from. It is slightly airy, sweet but not overwhelmingly sweet. It is perfect! Also, check out this Vanilla Sponge Cake!

Friends, this post and video were supposed to be published last Saturday but I had a crazy busy week and couldn’t get them in on time. So sorry about the delay.

5 from 9 votes
Simple perfect plain cake in a heart-shaped pan
Perfect Plain Cake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

A super simple basic cake recipe than even a baking novice can bake!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: International
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 368 kcal
Author: Precious Nkeih
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose sifted flour (320 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons margarine (or butter)
  • 1 cup liquid milk (whole, skim or evaporated)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Oil a baking pan (8 by 2 inch) and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. Beat all eggs in another bowl then add to the sugar and margarine mixture, add in vanilla and beat well.

  4. Add in half of the flour, the nutmeg and baking powder and mix until well incorporated. Add in the remaining flour and mix well.

  5. Finally, add in the milk and mix until evenly distributed in the batter.

  6. Pour the batter into prepared cake pan and bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  7. Enjoy!

Pin this recipe:

I have baked this plain cake more times than I count and every single time it comes out perfect. This is how my Food and Nutrition teacher taught me how to bake cake in my school days. It is really the perfect plain cake recipe! Get the recipe on #baking #desserts #cakespre-signature-pro


  1. Thought I was the only one who did food and nutrition back then. Though I’m not crazy for cakes, this is one of my favs. Love it sis

  2. Lol at ‘corrupting young batter’ I studied food and nutrition too! I loved those days, trying and failing recipes is always so much fun.

    Damiloves blog

  3. Ohhh. Home Economics teacher!
    i learnt this method too.. including using the sand on the stove.

    This genuinely made my mouth water even though I’m not a hugeee cake fan. Just maybe I’ll make some this Christmas.

  4. Yeah! I like plain cakes most times. The icing and all the gooey decorating stuff can be a bit too much sometimes.
    At times, even when I have a party, I would rather buy the plain cake. Tastes amazing and my guests get to eat cake, not half cake, half icing which they throw away most times.
    It’s like I am the only one that didn’t do Food and Nutrition. Lol.
    Hi dearie! Waves.

    • I totally feel you, Bisi.
      I remove the icing from the cake when I go to a party and I’m served cake. It is usually TOO sweet.
      You didn’t do Food and Nutrition? What then did you study??? Lol
      Waving back at ya!

  5. Hey Pre,
    Food & Nutrition was fun, i still have wonderful memories of the cookery lab in QRC Okoyong with Rev Sr Una whipping up lots of amazing recipes. Nice plain cake recipe there. Season greetings oh!!!

  6. I did home economics in my junior secondary classes and we were taught this hot sand method of baking. I had this colourful apron that I use for practical then.
    Me I like butter icing o, I can lick it for Africa. I make this plain cake once in a while and eat it as breakfast with tea.
    I might gather courage to do it again soon.

  7. Hey Pre, i need a go to icing recipe
    Tired of always doing butter icing
    Kids need a change this Christmas.
    Take care

    • Cream cheese frosting is great!
      Don’t know if you can find cream cheese in pays. Please check the fridge section in super markets and ask shop attendants for it. It is my favourite kind of frosting. Just cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract(optional). The recipe is in the carrot cake post here on the blog. Please use the search bar on the right column and search for “carrot cake”.

  8. I love plain cakes, would love to try it. One question: What size pan is that? Can you give me some idea of its volume — How many measuring cups does it hold? Thanks!

  9. Thanks for the recipe ma. Please, what’s 21/2 (half) cup equivalent to in kg or gram

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  11. Hello dear,
    I just love your recipes ? can u pls convert in ml/kg?
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    10 tablespoons margarine (or butter)
    1 cup liquid milk (whole, skim or evaporated)


  12. Hi anty pre now DAT I don’t have oven but gas how will I do it its my first time lol I want to try
    And for the cup measurement na WC kind cup ehhh

    • Hi Ashley, pour sand to about 1/4 of a large pot then heat it up and place your cake pan in the middle of the pot. Cover and bake on your gas cooker. That’s the way I used to bake when I had no oven.
      About the cups are you in Cameroon? The short glasses used in selling in the market will work. 1 glass = 1 cup. Please let me know how it goes, dear.

  13. Berinyuy Paula

    Waoo that’s simple but nice thanks for posting

  14. I love cakes so much especially the plain ones but unfortunately i dont know how to make them. Thanks for this recipe i will definitely try it right away.

  15. Gbenebichie Helen B

    Hmm, I also did food and nutrition with an excellent result. I practiced every thing we were thought in school when I got home on holiday. I found baking very interesting too. This recipe is Really nice and traditional. It’s my best. Yummy.

  16. I remember those food and nat days lol, aka home economics. Am
    Lucky to have come across this natural recipe… some of the foreign ones are just somekind* lol, with unnecessary ingredients

  17. Love it love it, love it. recipe is good and cake came out well. Thumbs up

  18. Wisdom Alfred

    I finally strayed down here 😀. I’ll be faithful to make use of this helpful platform. Thank you Preciouscore.

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  20. I made the best plain cake using your recipe…your the best aunty precious.I am not on instagram to send the pics…

  21. Today I bake well thanks to your kitchen.My cake was not just good but amazing.I wish you will one day do cake crimes!!! Thanks again

  22. Please wats vanilla extract?

  23. Hello, I tried making cake but my came out too soft. What could have been d cause

    • Hi Lezor, it looks like you didn’t follow my exact recipe. With my exact measurements and cooking time the cake shouldn’t come out soft. Hope this helps.

  24. Shella Elio

    Hi Precious you are such a wonderful cook.You make cooking look so smooth and effortless.Thanks to you have started loving to cook more and even challenge myself in the kitchen by trying new things.The smile on my husband’s face everytime I present something new makes me wonna do more.
    Today i put aside my fear of baking and baked my first cake ever using your recipe at the age of 30plus.Seriously better late than ever.It was so worth it and delicious.
    Thanks for all you’ve being doing.You’ve changed my life as a wife and mother.Kudus👏👏

    • Hi Shella,
      My reply is months late – so sorry I missed your comment. Your words warm my heart. So glad my cooking inspires you and makes a difference in your home. Thanks for taking out the time to let me know. Hope you continue to enjoy my recipes.

  25. wow, I tried this out with other two friends, failing was not an option..

  26. Hi Precious,
    This is my first time to bake and I like to try your recipe but I had a question here;
    Is all-purpose flour also call plain flour??


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  29. Thanks for sharing Mme, what is 10 spoons of butter in grams please? I don’t have those measuring spoons you chefs use.

  30. Thanks for this Recipe..ive been making the best plain cakes lol…yummy

  31. Can I use this recipe for cupcakes please???

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