I made this cake for the WI tent at the Diamond Jubilee Pageant in Battersea Park on 3rd June 2012. It was part of a 12 ft tower of a 1000 cakes. Lovely to have been a part of these amazing celebrations in this way.
It’s an easy sponge recipe and you can adapt the colours with different fruits and ribbons. This is a red velvet version but you can simply omit the food colouring and replace with milk.
For the cake
- 225g soft unsalted butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence – you can reduce this but I like a strong vanilla taste
- 225g self raising flour
- 2 tbsp red food colouring – get a strong one like Dr Oetker and not the supermarket own brand versions as they are too weak or use the gels.
- 1 tbsp milk
- 80g strawberry jam
For the decoration
- 75g soft unsalted butter
- 250g icing sugar
- 2 punnets of strawberries or fruit of your choice
- 4 packets of Cadbury’s white chocolate fingers
- 1.5m of ribbon – colour of your choice
To make it
- Put the butter into a KitchenAid with a paddle attachment and beat for 5 minutes. I set the timer for this. after this time it’s quite soft and fluffy.
- Add a quarter of the caster sugar and beat for 3 minutes, add another quarter and beat again and so on til all the sugar has been used up and then set the timer for another 5 minutes of beating.
- Meanwhile crack the eggs into a jug and beat lightly.
- Add the eggs to the caster sugar and butter mixture about a tbsp at a time making sure they are well combined before adding the next spoonful. This should take you a good 5 to 10 minutes and don’t be tempted to rush because the mixture will then curdle.
- Once all the egg has been added, take the mixing bowl off and then sieve over a third of the flour.
- Mix the food colouring and milk together in a small jug.
- Fold in the flour and about a third of the milk and colouring mixture.
- Repeat for the remaining thirds and you should have a lovely mixture which dollops off your spoon nicely.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the baking tins and flatten out the tops with a spatula or palette knife.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes – it should be quite springy to touch.
- Next make the buttercream icing. If you want a thicker layer just double the quantities.
- Beat the butter as above for about 5 minutes until it is soft and fluffy.
- Add the icing sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time until it’s all used up and then beat for 5 more minutes to get a light and fluffy texture.
- When the sponges are cooled completely, sandwich them together with the jam – and a little buttercream if you like.
- Then smooth over some buttercream over the whole cake. You really don’t need to be very neat about this because the chocolate fingers and fruit topping will cover it al up anyway!
- Next, line up the chocolate fingers all the way around the edges of the cake pressing them into the icing to hold them in place.
- Tie the ribbon around them firmly and pop the whole cake into the fridge for about 20 minutes for the icing to harden a little.
- When you’re ready to serve, place the strawberries on top and dust with a little icing sugar if you fancy.
That’s it really. Not too difficult but an amazing centrepiece for your party. :-)