Recipe Makeover: All-in-one sponge cake

by Clare Fairs, January 13, 2016

I’ve had my own Great British Bake Off at home this month experimenting with switching butter for our hillfarm cold pressed rapeseed oil – even I’ve been surprised by the results!

Take a careful look at the photos of these two cakes. One is made with butter, the other with hillfarm oil. Can you spot any difference?

For many people January is all about healthy eating after the excesses of Christmas, but on these dark cold days I still crave sweet comforting cakes – especially when I come in from walking the dog.  I often make a simple all-in-one sponge, it’s whipped up in no-time but my usual recipe contains 220g butter but with 51% saturated fat that’s a lot of butter – compared to cold pressed rapeseed oil’s 6%.

This week I made two cakes to exactly the same recipe and simple all-in-one method but one used butter, the other 160ml of hillfarm oil. As these photos show there is no difference at all in the bake or rise of the cake – they look identical.

I took the two cakes over to the office to ask the team to blind test them and see if they could work out which was which. Everyone agreed that the cakes looked the same, when sliced they had a very similar colour and crumb. The taste of the two cakes was only subtly different, some people couldn’t spot a difference at all, others said they wouldn’t have noticed a difference if they hadn’t been looking for it.


I was delighted that everyone liked the cake made with oil – everyone liked the slightly nutty flavour, and thought it seemed less greasy than the one made with butter, and of course pleased to know that it made the sweet treat more healthy!

I for one will be using hillfarm oil in my baking on a more regular basis. Try my easy All-in-one Sponge recipe – we’d love to know how you get on with it so send us your photos and tell us what you think.


hillfarm - growing and cold pressing British rapeseed culinary oil in Suffolk. Copyright © 2016 Hillfarm Oils Ltd. Site by Infotex