10 Easy Cake Recipes For Students To Impress Their Mates!

After some easy cake recipes for students ? There are many skills that you can begin to develop when you first move away from home and into your own student accommodation, and one of them is baking!

One way to really wow your new flatmates is to do some baking, bake some exciting and tasty cakes that they’ll devour and praise you as a Master Baker, ready to go on GBBO!

If you are interested in making some cakes to impress your mates but you don’t have much experience in baking, we thought we would help you out with some easy cake recipes for beginners.

The following list of cake recipes covers all the standard cakes that you should get to know if you plan to impress with a bake and prove a solid foundation for you to become a great cake maker in the future.

1. Chocolate fudge cake (student-friendly recipe)

easy cake recipes for beginners chocolate fudge cake

Every baker needs a simple chocolate fudge cake recipe as it is always guaranteed to please a crowd with its fudgy, squidgy goodness. If you can get the icing and the bake spot on with this one, you’ll never be short of friends again!


  • 175g of self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 150ml of semi-skimmed milk
  • 150ml of sunflower oil
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Ingredients for the icing

  • 225g of icing sugar
  • 100g of unsalted butter
  • 2 and a half tablespoons of milk
  • 40g of cocoa powder


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180c (160c fan). Oil and line the base of two sandwich tins (18cm). Take the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder and sieve into a bowl, mixing in the caster sugar too.
  • Create a well in the centre of the mixture and add in the sunflower oil, milk, eggs and golden syrup. Beat until the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour the finished mixture into the two tins and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until risen and firm when touched. Leave to cool for 10 minutes and leave on a cooling rack.
  • For the icing, beat the unsalted butter in a bowl until it has turned soft and gradually sieve and beat in the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Add milk just until the icing is fluffy and spreadable.
  • Place the two cakes together like a sandwich, using the butter icing to stick it together. Take the remaining icing and spread over the top of the cakes and the side.

2. Lemon drizzle cake

lemon drizzle cake easy cake recipes for beginners

A classic lemon drizzle cake is hard to resist. The zest and the zing is wonderful.


  • 225g of unsalted softened butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g of caster sugar
  • 225g of self-raising flour
  • 1 zested lemon

Ingredients for the ‘drizzle’

  • 85g of caster sugar
  • 1 and a half lemons – juiced


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180c (160c fan).
  • Beat the butter and caster sugar together until it becomes creamy and pale in colour. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the mixture and slowly mix them through
  • Sift the self-raising flour into the mixture and mix in the lemon zest until it is all combined.
  • Line a loaf tin (8 x 21cm) with greaseproof paper and pour in the mixture, using a spoon to level the surface.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes. Insert a thin skewer into the centre and if it comes out clean, the cake is ready to come out. Cool in its tin and move onto the drizzle.
  • Mix together the caster sugar and lemon juice to make the drizzle. Prick the warm cake with a skewer or fork all over the surface and then pour over the drizzle so it sinks into the cake and creates a crisp, sugar topping. Serve once cool.

3. Carrot cake

carrot cake

Carrot cake is easy to make, easy to freeze and save for later, and surely it counts as part of your five-a-day right?


  • 140g of grated carrot
  • 100g of raisins
  • 175g of light muscovado sugar
  • 3 large, lightly beaten eggs
  • 175ml of sunflower oil
  • 1 large, zested orange
  • 175g of self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Half a teaspoon of grated nutmeg

Ingredients for frosting (optional)

  • 175g of icing sugar
  • 1 and a half – 2 tablespoons of orange juice


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180c (160c fan). Oil and line the base and sides of an 18cm square cake tin with baking parchment
  • Add the eggs, sunflower oil and sugar into a mixing bowl and lightly mix with a spoon, stirring the raisins, carrots and orange zest in too.
  • Sift in the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and bicarbonate of soda and mix everything together until the mixture is soft and almost runny.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until it feels firm and springy when touched in the centre.
  • Cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then turn out to cool on a wire rack.
  • Beat the icing sugar and orange juice until smooth and drizzle the icing back and forth in diagonal lines over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.

4. Microwave mug cake

microwave mug cake easy cake recipes for beginners

For students in a rush and who need a quick chocolate / cake fix …

If you are feeling a little bit lazy and just want a quick cake fix, this might not be the recipe that blows your mates socks off, but it is so simple and delicious and takes just a few short steps it appears like magic! You’ll never find an easier cake recipe for beginners!


  • 4 tablespoons of self-raising flour
  • 4 tablespoons of caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips, nuts, raisins (anything of similar size that you fancy as an extra filling!).


  • Take the largest mug you can find (you know those giant Sports Direct mugs? They are perfect for this!) and add the self-raising flour, caster sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Add the egg and mix it as much as you can, though there will still be some dry mixture.
  • Add the milk, oil and mix until smooth, before adding in the chocolate chips, nuts or raisins and mixing some more.
  • Place the mug in the centre of a microwave and cook on high for around 2 minutes or until the cake has stopped rising.

5. Classic Victoria Sandwich

classic victoria sponge

A cake that is the perfect centrepiece for any party, having the traditional Vicky sponge as part of your baking lists will be a great thing to have.


  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 200g of softened butter
  • 200 g of self-raising flour
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

Ingredients for the cake filling

  • 100g of softened butter
  • 140g of sifted icing sugar
  • 170g of high-quality strawberry jam
  • Icing sugar
  • An optional drop of vanilla extract


  • Pre-heat the oven to 190c (17pc fan).
  • Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with baking paper.
  • Beat the caster sugar, eggs, self-raising flour, softened butter, baking powder and milk in a large mixing bowl until the mixture has turned into a soft batter.
  • Divide the mixture into the tins and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.
  • Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.
  • For the filling, beat the softened butter until it is smooth and creamy, gradually beating in the icing sugar and vanilla extract once this is done.
  • Spread the buttercream over the bottom of one sponge and top with the strawberry jam. Place the second sponge on top.
  • Dust with icing sugar before serving.

6. Vanilla Cake

vanilla cake easy cake recipes for beginners

This moist cake is full of vanilla syrup and makes a great base for a wide range of celebration cakes.


  • 250g of unsalted butter
  • 250g of caster sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 85g of plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 100g of full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 250g of self-raising flour
  • 3 tablespoons of semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla paste or seeds scraped from a vanilla pod

Ingredients for the syrup

  • 50g of golden caster sugar
  • Half a teaspoon of vanilla paste or seeds from a vanilla pod


  • Pre-heat the oven to 160c (140c fan).
  • Grease a round, deep tin (20cm) and line the base and sides with baking paper.
  • Beat the sugar, butter, salt and vanilla until pale and fluffy, pour in the eggs one at a time and keep beating the mixture well between each egg.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of plain flour if the mix is not fluffy. Beat in the Greek yoghurt and then fold in the mixed flours, followed by milk.
  • Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes until the cake is golden (insert a skewer into the middle and if it comes out clean it is ready).
  • For the syrup, gently heat 50ml of water with the sugar and vanilla in a pan until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Once the cake is baked, leave it to cool for 30 minutes in the tin, then poke holes all over the cake before pouring the syrup over to completely soak the sponge.
  • Leave to cool completely and then fill and ice it. It is a great base to add icing and other variations of toppings as you explore and develop your baking skills.

7. Banana bread

banana bread

Still looking for easy cake recipes for beginners? A moist banana bread is one for the ages. Simple to make and a two-bowl set-up makes this an easy clean-up operation too.


  • 285g of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • Half a teaspoon of salt
  • 110g of butter
  • 225g of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 over ripe bananas, mashed
  • 85ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 180c.
  • Sift the bicarbonate of soda, salt and flour into a mixing bowl.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a separate bowl until light and fluffy and then add in the milk, vanilla extract, eggs and mashed bananas and mix thoroughly. Fold in the flour mixture.
  • Grease a loaf tin and pour in the cake mixture.
  • Bake for an hour or until golden brown and risen. Cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

8. Chocolate And Hazelnut Cake Squares

Chocolate And Hazelnut Cake Squares

A simple cake recipe that is perfect for many an occasion.


  • 150g blanched hazelnuts
  • 165g soft unsalted butter
  • 225g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 300ml soured cream
  • 150g chopped milk chocolate


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180c (160c fan) and line a 20cm x 30cm traybake tin with baking parchment.
  • Toast the nuts on a baking tray for 7-8 minutes until golden.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Lightly beat the eggs and the egg yolk with a fork and keep adding a little bit at a time to the mixture.
  • Mix in the cocoa, flour and baking powder in a bowl and sift half into the beaten mixture to combine. Add the soured cream to the mixture and mix again, adding the rest of the dry ingredients and a pinch of salt. Mixing well again.
  • Chop the hazelnuts and stir 100g into the mix along with the chopped chocolate. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until springy to the touch. Add the remaining chopped hazelnuts on the top of the cake before serving.


9. School Cake Sprinkles Sponge

School Cake Sprinkles Sponge

A trip back to our days in Junior school, this simple classic school cake really takes us back to our childhood and gives us that warm feeling in our belly.


  • 200g of softened butter
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 200g of self-raising flour
  • 50ml of milk
  • 200g of icing sugar
  • Coloured sprinkles
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • Hot custard to serve (optional)


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180c (160c fan) and butter a 20cm x 30cm cake tin, lining it with baking parchment.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Add in the eggs, milk, flour and vanilla, beating the mixture again until it is a smooth batter.
  • Put the batter into the tin, spreading to the corners, and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer can be inserted and removed clean. Leave the sponge to cool on a wire rack.
  • Mix the icing sugar with water to make it thick, spread over the cooled cake and top with loads and loads of sprinkles. Leave to set for about an hour before cutting into squares. Serve with custard if you like.


10. Fruitcake


One of our fave easy recipes for beginners is simple fruit cake that is great to use up ingredients from your cupboard that might otherwise be wasted.


  • 175ml flavourless oil
  • 100g of light brown muscovado sugar
  • 225g of plain flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Half an orange, juiced
  • Half a lemon, juiced
  • Half a teaspoon of allspice
  • 200g mixed dried fruit
  • 200g apricot jam
  • Icing sugar


  • Pre-heat the oven to 160c (140c fan). Grease and line the base of two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment.
  • Stir together the oil and sugar, before adding the flour, baking powder, butter, spices and all the juices and mix well together with a wooden spoon.
  • Gently fold in the fruit and divide the batter between the tins.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until you can insert a skewer and remove it clean.
  • Leave to cool and sandwich the two cakes together with the apricot jam, dust with icing sugar on top before serving.

These easy cake recipes for beginners are a great starting point to expand your baking skills and wow your new university friends. Did you know it’s Plastic Free July? Check out our latest blog for 10 easy plastic swaps you can make now!

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