Chocolate or vanilla? 

If you had to chose, where would you fall? 

Luckily, if you are on the market for a single serve cake and you fall resolutely into one camp or the other, I have recipes for both sides of the cake fence!  My Chocolate Pecan Cake for One proved so popular, I’ve readers who make it regularly for pud. Now I can’t imagine an eating world without chocolate in it but vanilla cake lovers shouldn’t go without a true indulgence either. 

vanilla jam swirl cake for one-8


This little cake is a soft, sweet cake made without egg but instead, a dollop of creme fraîche or sour cream (and I have a recipe for creme fraîche as chance and good fortune have it!). These sort of cakes have the most magical texture, so soft and moist they really are my favourite kind. Taking inspiration from a traditional Victoria Sponge which would be hard to make just one serving of, there is jam and cream to look forward to with this recipe. I swirl some of my favourite jam on top of the sponge before baking and make a simple cream cheese vanilla filling. I love blackcurrant conserve and that’s what I’ve used here but you can use whichever flavour you like best. Simple to make, using only a bowl and measured solely in tsp and tbsp measures, this is a fast way to enjoy the floral soft sweetness of vanilla with it’s best friends – jam and cream – too. 

Vanilla Jam Swirl Cake for One
Serves 1
A generous little vanilla cake with a jam swirl baked right in, filled with a cream cheese frosting. Are you kind enough to share?
For the cake
  1. 4 tbsp self-raising flour
  2. 2 tbsp caster sugar
  3. 1 tbsp oil (rice bran, veg oil, rapeseed, canola all good here)
  4. 2 tbsp milk
  5. 2 tbsp creme fraîche or sour cream (half fat versions are fine)
  6. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 2 tsp jam of your choice
For the filling
  1. 2 tbsp cream cheese
  2. 1 tbsp double cream
  3. 2 tsp icing sugar*
  4. Dash of vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Grease two 250ml ramekins and criss cross two long strips of greaseproof paper across the base so you have handles to get the cakes out - this is crucial as these are soft, tender little cakes.
  3. Simply measure all but the jam into a medium sized bowl and whisk briefly to combine. Divide between the prepared ramekins and level the surface.
  4. Gently place a tsp of the jam on each cake and swirl to give a nice pattern and even coverage with a skewer - try to leave some sponge untouched as it spreads on baking.
  5. Bake for 16-17 mins and test for doneness with a skewer - do not prod with your finger as the hot jam will burn you (not that I am speaking from experience...). A skewer shouldn't have any raw batter clinging to it and the cakes will be just about shrinking back from the sides.
  6. Leave to cool on a rack for 15 mins then remove from the ramekins using the greaseproof handles you made carefully as they are delicate and leave on the rack to finish cooling.
  7. Beat the filling ingredients together in a small bowl with an ordinary dinner fork - for such a small volume, you don't need a whisk and a fork works brilliantly. Taste for sweetness (see note below).
  8. Place one cake jam side up on a plate, dollop on the filling, then top with the second cake.
  1. *= I like my cream cheese frosting to taste of the cream cheese so I add very little extra sugar. Taste a little and add more to your taste but bare in mind the cake is sweet especially from the jam so you need less than you think.
Every Nook & Cranny
vanilla jam swirl cake for one
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