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Festivals & Celebrations: Summer Festival Flower Cake

By Bake Club

1 Comment

Preparation time 3 hours (plus cooling)

Cooking time 40-45 minutes (for 18cm/7in layers), 30-35 minutes (for 13cm/5in layers)

Servings 16-20

This beautiful tiered naked cake, would make the perfect centrepiece for a summer party celebration. Decorated with fresh summer berries and edible flowers, it needs to be assembled on the day it is to be eaten but the sponge layers can be baked ahead and then frozen until needed.

  • For the 18cm (7in) sponge layers:
  • Oil, for greasing
  • 325g (11½oz) unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
  • 400g (14oz) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 400g (14oz) plain flour
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 175ml (6fl oz) whole milk
  • For the 13cm (5in) sponge layers:
  • 225g (8oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 300g (11oz) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 300g (11oz) plain flour
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 125ml (4fl oz) whole milk
  • For the vanilla buttercream:
  • 200g (7oz) unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
  • 400g (14oz) icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • To decorate:
  • 350g (12oz) jar of strawberry or raspberry jam
  • 200g (7oz) assorted berries (e.g. strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • Edible flowers (e.g. borage, leaf radish and elderflower blossom, depending on availability)
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  
  • Making the sponge layers

    4 steps

  • 1

    Making the sponge layers Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C)/350°F/gas 4. Grease four 18cm (7in) round sandwich tins and line the base of each with a disc of baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.

  • 2

    Making the sponge layers Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour if the mixture looks as though it is starting to curdle. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together and stir in half until just combined. Add the vanilla and milk and stir in with the remaining dry ingredients until evenly mixed in.

  • 3

    Making the sponge layers Divide the mixture evenly between the 4 tins, levelling the tops with a spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer pushed into the centre of each sponge comes out clean. Cool the cake layers in the tins for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 4

    Making the sponge layers Repeat steps 1-3 using the ingredients to make four 13cm (5in) cake layers in the same way but only baking them for 30-35 minutes. Chill the cake layers in the fridge before assembling.

  • Making the vanilla buttercream

    2 steps

  • 1

    Making the vanilla buttercream Beat the butter in a mixing bowl until softened. Gradually sieve in the icing sugar, beating well after each addition with an electric mixer on low speed, until all the sugar has been combined with the butter. Finally whisk in the vanilla extract.
    How to make buttercream

  • 2

    Making the vanilla buttercream Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for a further 5 minutes or until the frosting is light and fluffy. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a 3cm (¾in) plain nozzle.

  • Assembling the cake layers

    7 steps

  • 1

    Assembling the cake layers Trim the top of each cake layer level and ensure all the layers the same height. Place one 18cm (7in) layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Pipe a line of buttercream around the top edge of the cake and spoon jam inside the buttercream border. Spread level with a palette knife.

  • Expert Tip

    The cake layers will be less fragile and therefore easier to assemble if they have been chilled in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm them up.

  • 2

    Assembling the cake layers Place a second 18cm (7in) cake on top and repeat until all four 18cm (7in) layers have been filled and placed on top of each other.

  • 3

    Assembling the cake layers Place a 13cm (5in) cake layer in the centre of the 18cm (7in) cake. Press the point of a cocktail stick at regular interviews around the base of the smaller cake to mark its position before carefully lifting it off.

  • 4

    Assembling the cake layers Push 4 cake dowels through the 18cm (7in) cake until they touch the cake stand, space the dowels evenly and inside the marked circle where the 13cm (5in) cake will sit.
    How to insert dowelling

  • 5

    Assembling the cake layers Mark the dowels with an edible pen level with the top of the cake, remove the dowels and cut through them at the marked lines with a heavy knife or hacksaw. Push the dowels back into the cake - they will support the smaller cake when it is placed on top and prevent it sinking into the cake below.

  • 6

    Assembling the cake layers Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the base of one 13cm (5in) cake layer and position it on top of the larger cake. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all four 13cm (5in) layers have been topped with buttercream and jam and stacked on top of each other, reserving a little of the buttercream for decoration.

  • Decorating the cake

    3 steps

  • 1

    Decorating the cake Pipe small rounds of buttercream around the edge of the top layer of the cake. Use a palette knife to spread each round of buttercream towards the centre to create a flower pattern.

  • 2

    Decorating the cake Decorate the cake tiers with fresh berries and edible flowers. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

  • Expert Tip

    It is very important to only use edible flowers that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides to decorate the cake – ones picked from your own garden are the best. Only add the flowers just before serving the cake as they will start to wilt as soon as they come into contact with the buttercream and berries.

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Comments

  • paul britton 9 months ago

    Doesn't the sponge go soggy if you freeze it?


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