Annie Rigg’s Flowering Garden cake

annie-riggs-flowering-garden-cake_39584

1 quantity Extra Large Basic Vanilla Sponge

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1 quantity Small Basic Vanilla Sponge

1 quantity Buttercream

purple, pink, yellow and green food colouring pastes

1 quantity Glacé Icing

assorted sweets, sprinkles and chocolate insects

green writing icing

33 x 23 x 6cm cake tin, greased and base-lined with greased baking parchment

12-hole bun tray, lined with paper cases

piping bags, fitted with a variety of nozzles

Extra Large Basic Vanilla Sponge

350g unsalted butter, room temperature

350g caster sugar

6 large eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

350g plain flour

5 teaspoons baking powder

4-5 tablespoons milk, room temperature

Small Basic Vanilla Sponge

125g unsalted butter, room temp

125g caster sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

125g plus 2 tablespoons plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons milk, room temp

Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer or with a handheld electric whisk until pale, light and fluffy, about 2-3 mins. Very gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition and scrappin down the bowl with a rubber spatual from time to time. Stir in vanilla extract.

Sift together the flour and baking powder and add to the cake mixture in two batches, mixing until smooth. Add the milk and mix until smooth.

Buttercream

350g unsalted butter, room temp

700g icing/confectioners’ sugar, sifted

vanilla extract, optional

Cream the butter in an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a handheld electric whisk until really soft. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until pale and smooth. Add a few drops of vanilla extract, if using.

Serves 12–14

Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) Gas 4.

Make the Vanilla Sponge mixtures (separately) and spoon the Extra Large quantity into the prepared cake tin and divide the Small quantity between the paper cases. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean – 45 minutes for the cake and 20–25 minutes for the cupcakes. Leave the cakes to cool in the tin or tray for 10 minutes before turning out on to wire cooling racks. Turn the cakes the right way up and leave to cool completely.

Use a long, serrated knife to level the top

of the cake if necessary. Put the cake on a serving plate and cover with two-thirds of the buttercream, spreading evenly with a palette knife.

Tint half the remaining buttercream with your choice of food colouring pastes (page 17) and use to cover the tops of the cupcakes (you will not need all the cupcakes and any leftovers freeze very well). Use piping bags with star-shaped nozzles to pipe flower patterns on the cupcakes.

Divide the Glacé Icing between 4 small bowls and tint each one a different colour with the food colouring pastes. Fill piping bags with small nozzles with the icing and use to decorate the flowers. Finish off with sweets and sprinkles. Position the cupcakes on the top two-thirds of the frosted cake and use the green writing icing to make flower stalks.

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Tint the remaining buttercream bright green with green food colouring paste and use to pipe lines resembling blades of grass along the bottom of the cake.

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