Serves 20
adjust servings:

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For the sponge

For the buttercream

To decorate

  1. Preheat the oven 180 ̊C/160 ̊C fan/gas mark 4. Line four 20cm tins with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Fold in the flour, baking powder, milk and sprinkles until just combined.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly amongst the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer is inserted and comes out clean. Allow the sponges to cool completely.
  5. In a large bowl, beat together all of the ingredients for the buttercream until smooth. Add a splash of milk if the icing is too thick. Set aside 80g buttercream for piping later. Remove 100g of buttercream and spoon into a bowl. Stir in some red or pink food colouring until you reach the desired colour.
  6. To assemble the cake, place one sponge onto a cake board or serving plate, using a teaspoon of buttercream on the board to help the cake stick. Spread on some of the pink buttercream and add the next sponge on top. Repeat this step.
  7. Using a palette knife or offset spatula, spread the white buttercream over the top and sides of the cake, making sure to fill in any gaps. There will be crumbs in the icing, so place the cake into the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
  8. Once set, spread over more buttercream to cover any crumbs and smooth out the buttercream. Push some sprinkles around the base of the cake, pushing them into the sides. 
  9. Spoon the reserved buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe swirls of buttercream around the top edge of the cake and top with some extra sprinkles. Add your favourite birthday candles before serving.

Test Kitchen Tip: This is a great base recipe that can be used for multiple cakes. Remove the sprinkles to have a plain vanilla sponge or add your favourite zest to make it a citrus-kissed cake.