White Chocolate and Passionfruit Cake

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It was my birthday at the beginning of June and, having moved back home, Ruth is no longer in the vicinity so couldn’t provide me with a fabulous cake as she normally would.

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(Just a little reminder of the previous few!!)

Mum did ask what sort of cake I would like but as soon as I started describing it she point-blank refused to make it. So… I made my own (i have to admit, i was secretly quite pleased – it meant I could have exactly what I wanted).

I am all for making a cake that looks good but that is relatively easy to pull off, something that most people would be able to do without too much grief and stress.

Admittedly the flavouring of this cake was slightly less conventional and required some planning, but the decorating principles can be applied to any flavour or occasion.

I wanted to try to make an exotic flavoured cake and found a bottle of passion fruit cordial in the pantry (mum does sometimes keep a rather random selection of goodies) which gave me the initial inspiration as to what i would do.

I decided to attempt a passion fruit and white chocolate layered cake which would be filled with passion fruit curd and passion fruit buttercream and topped/coated with white chocolate buttercream.

For the white chocolate layers I followed this recipe (without the raspberries) from the bbc good food website – it had a nice texture but lacked in flavour. It was very sweet but not really identifiable as white chocolate. In hindsight I should have just made passion fruit flavoured cakes and missed out the white chocolate all together.

For the passion fruit cake, I followed Mary Berry’s victoria sponge recipce but added passion fruit essence which i bought here. When making a cake using such a subtle flavour, the easiest way to make a powerful impact is by using an intense flavouring – baking tends to dampen flavours and you would have to use so much real passion fruit juice that the batter would become too runny and the cake would not rise.11407007_10205721637416693_3477559119969654145_n

I then devised a recipe for passion fruit filling.

For this I bought a carton of rubicon passion fruit juice and used cornflour to thicken it, it was a bit of a cross between a curd and a custard.

Passion Fruit Filling

200 ml passion fruit juice
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cornflour
knob of butter

Mix the cornflour into a small quantity of passion fruit juice (enough to ‘dissolve’ it with no lumps)
Whisk the egg yolk into the remaining passion fruit juice
Heat the juice and egg mixture over a low hear, whisking all the time
When it is hot, pour in the cornflour and continue whisking
Cook for 2 mins, whisking continually
Pour into a bowl and cover the surface with cling film then leave to cool

For the passion fruit buttercream, I used our basic buttercream recipe and added the passion fruit flavouring a long with some passion fruit juice. I don’t think the flavouring was as necessary for the buttercream as it was for the cake because buttercream can hold more juice, just make sure you add any liquid slowly and stop as soon as you think it may curdle.

I then had 2 eight inch white chocolate cakes and 2 passion fruit flavoured cakes.When they were cooled I cut them all in half to give me 8 layers, I decided that layering 6 of these would give an appropriately sized cake. I used the left over passion fruit juice to drizzle over the cakes. Whenever possible I try to think of something that will help to keep the cakes moist, they dry out less quickly meaning they last longer ~(not that this is ever really an issue in my house…). I then layered the two sorts of cake alternately, filling with both the cooled passion fruit filling and the passion fruit buttercream.

For the white chocolate buttercream I used this recipe which worked really well. You can really taste the white chocolate but beware… it is sickly sweet! I crumb coated the cake and iced it with this buttercream.

Finalllllyy for the decoration. This really was very simple but looked incredibly effective – i would recommend it to any novice cake decorators.

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Firstly, I stuck chocolate fingers round the edge of the cake. Make sure you buy enough so that they touch all the way around otherwise the overall effect can be a bit messy. I think I used about 4 boxes to cover an eight inch cake.

You can also use twirls as seen on this cake we made for Anna,

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kitkats

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…or any other neat looking chocolate bar.

I tied a ribbon round the edge to keep the fingers in place.

Top tip: use pins to secure the ribbon in place! (But don’t forget you put them there otherwise you can end up pricking yourself and yelping rather embarrassingly in the middle of a full restaurant… but we don’t need to go into that)

I stole Ruth’s idea from above and put raspberries in a ring on the top. I could have done this over the whole of the cake, as you can see it gives an easy but very pretty finish. However, I wanted to do something a little different. So…. I scooped out the flesh and juice of 6 passion fruit. I then strained the pips and put the juice in a pan with a little arrowroot (a thickener rather like cornflour but that leaves your liquid clear rather than going cloudy). This causes the juice to go thick, jelly like and a bit sticky. I added the pips back in and poured it into the middle of the raspberries. You need to add enough arrowroot to make the passion fruit viscous enough that it will not slide off into the raspberries but stay together in the middle.

Eh voila

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I had a lovely meal at a local Italian with my parents and my friend who was visiting from Mexico and the cake was a hit. The raspberries were a good addition because the cake was very sweet so it cut through somewhat.

We have a lot of cakes to blog about so keep checking for updates – hopefully with the summer holidays round the corner we will manage to do a bit of catching up.

Here are a few piccys to get you all excited:

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Lizzy 🙂

 

Elsa cake and Frozen party!

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Elsa Cake

I recently found myself pondering about what cake I will make for my daughter’s 5th birthday party, and I realised I hadn’t yet blogged about her 4th. Eeek! So, 8 months late, but better late than never! “🎶Can’t hold it back anymore🎶”.

Like pretty much every 4 year old girl, my daughter was desperate for a ‘Frozen’ party (latest Disney craze). She had a couple of friends over to our house on her birthday and, as usual, I got carried away with the ‘theme’.❄❄❄❄ ⛄

Elsa Cake

I made this lovely Elsa cake with the help of my sister Anna. It was pretty straight forward, although the final details took me a long time! “Where shall I put this last snowflake?!?!” (screams at midnight). ❄❄❄

I had to make the cake pink….that was my daughter’s request.

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Stacked and carved cake

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Buttercream crumb coat!

I bought duck egg blue Renshaw fondant, as it was pretty much the right shade (I messed about with the colour a bit, but it was much easier than starting with white).

One Elsa doll, two pots of glitter and several snowflakes later…..voilàl!

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Elsa cake

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Elsa doll was thoroughly wrapped in clingfilm before going in the cake!

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Frozen food

I made various ‘Frozen’ themed treats for their party lunch. No Frozen party would be complete without ‘ice’ (blue jelly), ‘snow’ (ice cream), ‘snowmen’ (marshmellows) and snowflake sprinkles!

'Ice' block jelly

‘Ice’ block jelly

To make the blue jelly into blocks, I followed the instructions on the pack and poured it into a small, square baking tray. I cut it into blocks once it was set, then left it into the fridge again, to firm up as blocks. The children loved building icy towers and generally playing with their food, before gobbling it up!

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Olaf cake pops

 

Frozen Games

I organised a few Frozen inspired games and activities:

– Pass the snowball (pass the parcel, but wrapped up in blue and white tissue paper) 🎁

– Frozen statues (freeze into pose when music stops) 🎶

– Musical Trolls (curl up like a troll when music stops) 🎶

– Corners (picture of 4 characters from the film, one in each corner of the room. Run to the one I shout out. Include other instructions like ‘make icy powers’, ‘freeze’, ‘curl up like a troll’, ‘curtsey’ etc)

– Frozen colouring, printed from the disney website

– Make and decorate snowflakes

– Pin the carrot on Olaf ⛄

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Pin the carrot on Olaf

– Melt Anna’s Frozen hearts.❤ This involved freezing Haribo heart-throbs into ice cubes. Put all the cubes in the middle of the table. Give each child a plate. They melt as many as they can on the plate and in their hands, until all the ice cubes are gone. Afterwards, they count and eat the hearts they have thawed. I made enough for each child to melt approximately 6. They loved it, and it kept them quiet for a few minutes!💙

“❤Only an act of true love can thaw a Frozen heart❤”

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Frozen Haribo hearts

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Melting Anna’s frozen heart game

Party bags

I bought some plain blue boxes and stuck printed off snowflakes onto them. Inside I included various treats, including a bag of ‘hearts’ and a piping bag, filled with bits and pieces to build an edible Olaf.⛄”Do you wanna build a snowman?”

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Frozen party favour

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Do you want to build a snowman…?

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My daughter’s edible Olaf

“🎶 Let it go, let it go….🎶”

Ruth 🙂

Heart Surprise Cake

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 This weekend i ventured down south to Bristol for a friends 21st. Now that i have a bit of a reputation regarding cakes, i didn’t feel i could turn up without one but was swiftly running out of ideas. After the checkerboard cake i made last time i wasn’t sure how i was going to top it.

Luckily i was saved: days prior to leaving, the next issue of the BBC Good Food Magazine arrived and in it was a recipe for a loaf cake which, when you cut into it, has a heart running through it.

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The way it is achieved is by cooking a pink cake, cutting out pink hearts and then lining them up in a second loaf cake to be baked again inside a different coloured cake batter. The actual recipe said that i should make a pink loaf cake, cut it into slices and cut out a heart shape from each slice using a biscuit cutter. I decided this sounded like a large percentage of the cake wouldn’t be used so decided to change the method slightly.

I cooked a two egg cake (in fact i used the exact quantities from the basic cupcake recipe) and added about half a teaspoon of red gel food colouring. I then baked this for about 13 minutes at 180 degrees in a 9″ x 12″ rectangular baking tin. I have to admit, i did commit the ultimate baking sin and kept opening the oven door to see if the cake was cooked as i had no idea how much shorter it would take than a batch of cupcakes. Despite the cake being thinner than cupcakes, it took a lot longer to cook than i expected.

If you are using a liquid food colouring, you will need to use a lot more in order to get the same intensity of colour. I would recommend adding a bit more flour so that the mixture is not too runny.

Cutting hearts out of the tray bake

I let this cake cool, put it on a chopping board and cut out hearts using a biscuit cutter. My cutter was bigger than the one called for in the recipe but this didn’t seem to matter.

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I then mixed together the second lot of cake batter. In the good food recipe, this was a cake with ground almonds – i didn’t tamper with this because i thought they could be crucial to the structure.

Ingredients:

  • 175g unsalted butter (I used margarine)
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 140g self raising foour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 100ml milk

Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan
  2. Grease and line 900g loaf tin
  3. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time (if you are not using an electric mixer whisk the eggs lightly before you add them)
  5. Sift together the flour and baking powder and stir them into the mixture along with the almonds
  6. Mix in the milk and vanilla essence to form a smooth batter

I then added a very thin layer of the batter to the bottom of a greased and lined loaf tin so that i could stand the cooked hearts in it.

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I placed the hearts on top of this layer. I would recommend lining a couple of hearts up at a time and then placing them into the tin together – trying to place them in one at a time makes it very difficult to get them exactly lined up.

Placing in the hearts

I put in as many hearts as i could to make sure they would all support each other and stay stood up.

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I then spooned on the second cake batter over the top and round the sides and popped it in the oven at 160 degrees for 1hr 10 mins.

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When i took out the cake, it had domed meaning that there was a split in the cake where two hearts had come apart from each other. However, icing can hide a multitude of problems and the hiccup was covered up well.

When checking the cake is cooked, you need to remember that the very deepest point in the middle of the cake is actually the hearts (which are already cooked). So sticking in a knife or skewer at this point will inevitably come out clean – you need to choose a testing point somewhere around the hearts.

The icing in the magazine was a ganache (cream mixed with melted chocolate) but i didn’t have any cream so decided to make a chocolate fudge icing a la Mary Berry.

To do this:

  • Melt 2oz butter in a pan
  • Sieve in 1oz coca powder and cook on a low heat for 1 min
  • add about 3 tblsp milk
  • sieve in 8oz icing sugar and mix until smooth

While this icing is hot it remains quite runny so you can pour it over the cake. However, it cools and sets rapidly so you need to be quick. If you don’t manage to ice it fast enough, get a metal knife and a cup of hot water. Dip the knife in the water to warm it up and use it to smooth the icing.

I made this cake twice – i did a trial run for my brother’s birthday. The first time i sprinkled the cake with cocoa powder which was easy and covered up any cracks in the icing, the second time i sprinkled some flaked almonds on the top. If you want to do this, make sure you do it quickly as they will not stick to the icing once it has dried.

When you cut into it there was a lovely heart both times – it wasn’t necessarily perfect all the way through but the wow factor was there. Now i’ve just got to think about what i’m going to do for the rest of my friends birthdays – eeeek!

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This cake is definitely easier than it looks to achieve so i would recommend it if you are trying to impress someone – definitely a good valentines day recipe! I think you could change the hidden picture if you want, so long as it is not too complex. I think that if you chose a shape with lots of edges or holes (such as a star) it might be difficult to get them all to stay in the same orientation.

Keep an eye out for Ruth’s next blog – i have seen the pictures and feel rather inferior…. 😉

Lizzy

Similar recipes can be found here:

Hidden Heart Cake

Hidden Heart Cupcakes

Parma Violet Cake

parma violet cake

Parma Violet Cake

On my recent visit to France, I treated myself to several violet flavoured goodies – chocolate, ice cream, raspberry and violet mousse… (see here for my poppy ‘coquelicot’ cupcakes, also inspired by my visit to France).

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Poppy and Violet Chocolate

My absolute favourite goody was a beautiful bottle of Crème de Violette which I managed to get from a French supermarket. Mixed with lemon tonic and a dash of peach schnapps it makes an awesome violet cocktail.

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Violet Cocktail

As soon as I tasted it, I was transported back to childhood and the sweet, distinctive taste of Parma Violets. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do after I finish the Crème de Violette, which is happening sooner than anticipated (oops!), it’s become my go-to cocktail of choice. I knew I should have bought two! I’m contemplating making some Parma Violet vodka and Parma Violet sugar syrup, so I’ll let you know how that goes when/if I do.

Going along with the revival of violet flavoured treats, my brother bought some gummy violet drops from the  Oldest Sweet Shop in Pateley Bridge, which is a regular family holiday haunt of ours. He didn’t get much of a look in – I was quick to snaffle them, as, all of a sudden, a cake was calling me (what a surprise)!

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Gummy Violet Drops and crushed Parma Violets decorate the cake

Parma Violets are like Marmite…love them or hate them. If you’re in the ‘love’ camp, you’ll totally appreciate this cake!

Ruth 🙂

Parma Violet Cake

A lemon sponge, sandwiched with lemon curd and violet butter icing, topped with violet glacé icing. Decorated with gummy violet drops and crushed Parma Violets. I added lemon zest to the cake and a thin layer of lemon curd to the middle, which just cuts through the sweetness nicely.

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Parma violet and lemon cake

To make this cake, you will need:

2 x 8 inch / 20 cm cake tins

Greaseproof paper

Weighing scales (digital scales are best for total accuracy)

Sieve

Bowl & Wooden spoon OR electric mixer

Measuring spoons

Pestle and Mortar

Cake Ingredients:

225g soft margarine

225g caster sugar

4 large eggs

225g self-raising flour

2 level  tsp baking powder

2 tbsp milk

Zest of one lemon

Lemon curd

Violet sweets to decorate

Butter Icing Ingredients:

50g unsalted butter, at room temperature

100g sifted icing sugar

1 tbasp milk

1 tbsp Crème de Violette

3-4 packets of small Parma Violets, crushed to a powder with a pestle and mortar and sifted to make sure there are no lumps.

See basic butter icing recipe for the method. Add the Parma Violets and beat them in with the milk and Crème de Violette at the end. Incorporate the liquid slowly to make sure the butter icing doesn’t split, you may not need it all.

Glacé Icing Ingredients:

175g sifted icing sugar

Approx 2 tbsp Crème de Violette mixed with a dash of lemon juice

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees / 160 degrees fan (or the temperature you use to bake cakes in your oven, each oven is different)

2. Prepare two  8 inch / 20 cm cake tins with a disc of greaseproof paper in the bottom. Make sure you butter the bottom of the tin to get your greaseproof disc totally flat.

3. Cream together the margarine and caster sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add the lightly beaten eggs and sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl. Add the lemon zest and milk.

5. Now beat everything together briefly until everything is just nicely incorporated. You don’t want to overbeat at this stage -overbeating the flour makes the cake crumb less tender.

6. Divide the cake batter between the two tins (yes I do weigh it to make sure they’re the same – perfectionist, moi?). Use the back of a spoon to make sure the batter is as level as possible.

7. Bake for about 25 minutes, until slightly golden and the cake springs back when lightly pressed, and a skewer should come out clean.

8. Leave in the cake tin to cool for a couple of minutes, then remove and leave to cool on a baking rack.

9. Brush the cakes with Crème de Violette / violet vodka / violet syrup (whatever you can get your hands on or make).

10. Put the bottom cake on the cake stand and put a thin layer of lemon curd on it.

11. Make the butter icing (see ingredients and link above for method) and spread on top of the lemon curd. Put the top layer on (flat side up).

12. Make the glacé icing, by adding the liquid a few drops at a time to the SIFTED icing sugar, mixing all the time with a fork until it’s the ight consistency. I keep it quite thick so it doesn’t all run over the sides.

13. Pour the glacé icing onto the top of the cake and let it run to the edges. Depending on how thick / thin you have made it, you may need to help it out with a knife that’s been dipped in hot water.

14. I decorated the cake with Violet Jellies and crushed Parma Violets.

Buying violet ingredients (I can’t vouch for them as I bought them in France, but they look similar):

Violet concentrated flavouring: http://www.cakedecoratingstore.co.uk/violet-parma-flavouring.html

Crème de violette: http://www.thedrinkshop.com/products/nlpdetail.php?prodid=5397

Violet syrup: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Monin-Premium-Violet-Syrup-700/dp/B003UIBVRK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380976032&sr=8-1&keywords=violet+syrup

Parma violets: http://www.oldestsweetshop.co.uk/free-from-diabetics/suitable-for-vegetarians/parma-violets

Gummy violet drops: http://www.oldestsweetshop.co.uk/violet-drops

Inspired, but can’t get hold of the violet ingredients? Check out these recipes that use just Parma Violet sweets to get the flavour:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/978634/parma-violet-victoria-cake

http://casacostello.com/2013/03/15/cake-of-the-week-parma-violet-cake/

http://halfdozendesigns.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/parma-violet-cupcake-recipe-and-give.html

http://www.domesticsluttery.com/2013/01/baking-for-beginners-parma-violet-and.html

Pastel Confetti Rainbow Cake

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Pastel Confetti Rainbow Cake

The time had come to make Lizzy’s 20th birthday cake and I was feeling more than a bit daunted by the prospect. I knew it was going to be admired (hopefully) and wolfed down by zillions of her cool, studenty friends, but I can never shy away from a cake challenge. So, the question was, what to do?!

I’ve had a pack of these adorable pastel confetti sprinkles knocking about in the cupboard for a while now, just waiting for the perfect cake to adorn.

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Pastel Confetti Sprinkles

I knew I just had to use them for Lizzy’s cake, they are so ‘her’ – sweet, girly and fun. Together with the Barry M nail polishes I gave Lizzy for her birthday (aren’t they so pretty and summery?) it all started becoming clear….a pastel cake of some description was in order.

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Pastel Nail Polishes

I’ve dabbled with multiple layer cakes in the past. Here is the Neapolitan cake I made for a Clandestine Cake Club ‘ice cream’ theme gathering. If you haven’t heard of the Clandestine Cake Club yet, have a look at their website – there might be a club near you. It’s all about cake!

Neapolitan Cake

Neapolitan Cake

I made this bright rainbow cake for my daughter’s 1st birthday after seeing it on Whisk Kid‘s blog.

Rainbow cake

Rainbow cake

Having just about recovered from that bake-athon, (2 years later ;)) I had recently started toying with the idea of making another one, only this time I knew exactly what I would be taking on!

And thus, the pastel confetti rainbow cake was born…..

Warning – this is not a cake for the faint-hearted, either to bake or to eat.

The effect is not too difficult to achieve (shhh), and the results are simply stunning. It does take A LOT of patience to bake all the layers, and, if you have perfectionist tendencies (like me) it can be a tad stressful in the assembly! I actually made 8 layers…but more on that in a second.

When starting on the epic journey of making a multiple layer cake, keep in mind that even if it’s not ‘perfect’, everyone will be blown away by it anyway!

Rainbow cake

Pastel Confetti Rainbow Cake

I’m no artist, so achieving a shade I was happy with was trial and error.  Adding blue colouring to the yellowish cake batter makes a murky green colour, so the trick is to add a dab of violet colouring, and, hey presto, blue. First time round the blue didn’t seem to be very, well, blue. Naturally, I got impatient and sloshed too much gel paste in, resulting in a colour that was far too vivid for this cake! The first yellow layer came out wonky, so once again I started from scratch…..my little girl was in 7th heaven with her blue and yellow ‘calamity cake’!

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Time permitting, I probably would’ve made 10 layers (!), as I didn’t quite achieve the shade of blue or pink I was hoping for, but you’ve got to know when enough is enough – time to step away from the cake!

Don’t be alarmed if the cakes look brown when they come out of the oven, this is just the outside. Inside the beautiful colours will be revealed, I promise. I didn’t take any photos of the various stages this time, so have a look at this Rainbow Cake Tutorial by Finch bakery.

This cake needs a Himalayan MOUNTAIN of butter icing, like I said, not a cake for the faint hearted! If you prefer, you could sandwich the cake layers together with jam which would use about half the amount of icing.

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Personally, I like the contrast of white icing between the colourful layers, and I love that the white icing hides the rainbow inside, with the sprinkles acting as a tantalising hint as to what lies beneath. Imagine the reaction when the first slice is cut! I got the idea of the piped border with sprinkles from Sweetapolita, the queen of layer cakes. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you should swing by soon – the photos are a.m.a.z.i.n.g, such inspiration.

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I decided to put some dessicated coconut around the side of the cake, to add some texture and flavour – and, if I’m being honest, it was stressing me out that I couldn’t get the butter icing totally smooth. One of Lizzy’s housemates declared that the coconut ‘really made the cake’, so this turned out to be a great last minute addition, and also meant I didn’t have to spend hours smoothing the sides, bonus 🙂

Getting to Lizzy’s house with baby, cake and presents in tow was a bit of a mission, but so worth it to celebrate her birthday, and to hear the ooohs and aaaahs when the cake was finally cut open!

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‘That is insane’, ‘the coolest cake ever’, ‘totally awesome’ – I think I passed the student critique with flying pastel rainbow colours. Phew!

And Lizzy, you may not be a teenager anymore, but at least you know you’ll never be too old for fun-tastic cakes 🙂

Happy Birthday!

Ruth 🙂

P.S Lizzy also got some piping nozzles, a proper piping bag and a cupcake machine for her birthday – so there’ll be no more complaining about cupcake catastrophies due to the oven in her student digs or value freezer bags used for piping (but that’s a whole different story)! Watch this space to see how the cupcake machine works out…

Top Tips for making a coloured cake:

*Invest in some gel paste colours, you only need to use a bit, so even though they’re pricey, they last for ages and they don’t affect the flavour or consistency as much as liquid colours.

*The shade of the batter is pretty much the shade the cake will be, so don’t put it in the oven until you’re happy with the colour (if anything, I found the colours were slightly more vivid when you cut the cake open).

*To achieve a blue, you need to add a dab of violet to the blue, otherwise it’ll be green due to the buttery colour of the batter.

*For lilac/lavender add a touch of pink to violet.

*The standard pack of Wilton gel colours doesn’t include orange, so you can either buy it individually or mix red and yellow.

*Cream together the butter and sugar until it’s very pale – I find this helps to get a better shade as it makes the batter less yellow.

*Have a prop to copy the shades you want – I used the confetti sprinkles and the nail polishes.

*Don’t worry that the cakes look brown when you take them out of the oven, this is just the outside – inside will be the colour.

*Make the cakes as level as possible before putting them in the oven.

*Digital scales make measuring out easier. Weigh out the whole batter, divide and separate into bowls, so that each layer is the same thickness.

*And remember, even if it doesn’t turn out perfect, everyone will love it anyway! 🙂

To make this cake, you will need:

2 x 8 inch / 20 cm cake tins

Greaseproof paper

Weighing scales (digital scales are best for total accuracy)

Sieve

Bowl & Wooden spoon OR electric mixer

Measuring spoons

Lots of bowls

Piping bag and star nozzle (if you want to do a piped border)

Plenty of time and patience

Cake Ingredients:

350g soft margarine, or very soft butter

350g caster sugar

6 large eggs

350g self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

Gel food colours

Sweetened dessicated coconut (if you want to put coconut round the sides, like I did)

Butter Icing Ingredients

400g unsalted butter, at room temperature

800g sifted icing sugar

4 tbsp milk

1 – 2 tsp vanilla extract

See basic butter icing recipe for the method.

All-in-one method (slightly adapted):

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees fan (or the temperature you use to bake cakes in your oven, each oven is different)

2. Prepare 2  8 inch / 20 cm cake tins (more if you have them) with a disc of greaseproof paper in the bottom. Make sure you butter the bottom of the tin to get your greaseproof disc totally flat. The cake layers are very thin, so creases in the greaseproof paper will matter!

3. Cream together the margarine and caster sugar until light and fluffy. This is an important stage, it helps to make the batter less yellow which means it’s easier to get the shade you want at the colouring stage.

4. Add the lightly beaten eggs and sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl. Add the vanilla.

5. Now beat everything together briefly until everything is only just incorporated. You don’t want to overbeat at this stage -overbeating the flour makes the cake crumb less tender. You are still going to have to stir in the colour, so bear this in mind.

6. Weigh ALL the batter, then divide this amount by 6. This is the amount you need to weigh into 6 separate bowls (perfectionist, moi?). It might seem like a faff, but this is the best way to make sure all the layers are even, so it is worth it for the end result, trust me.

7. Add a little of the colour to each batter until you are happy with the shade. Try not to overbeat. The colours do loosen the batter.

8. Put the cake batter into the tin and use the back of a spoon to make sure the batter is as level as possible. Take some time over this.

9. Bake for between 12 – 14 minutes. The cake should spring back when lightly touched and a skewer should come out clean. They are quite thin layers, so be careful not to over bake.

10. Leave in the cake tin to cool for a couple of minutes, then remove and leave to cool on a baking rack.

11. Once cooled, level off the tops of the cakes with a knife, if they are domed.

12. Make the butter icing and stack the cakes one on top of the other, putting a thin layer of icing between each layer. Remember to start with the colour you want at the bottom.

13. Crumb coat the top and outside of the cake and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours. A crumb coat does just what it suggests, a very thin layer of butter icing which acts as a seal for all the crumbs, so that when you  put your final, thicker layer of icing on the cake no colourful crumbs will get mixed up in it!

14. Ice the tops and sides of the cake with a thicker layer of butter icing, on top of the crumb coating. Pat the coconut on the sides and pipe the border if you fancy.

15. Go sprinkle crazy

The baking world has been going rainbow crazy! Take a peek at these rainbow cakes for more inspiration: