Category: Cakes

Raspberry and Almond Layer Cake

Raspberry and Almond Layer Cake

raspberry and almond Layer Cake

Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake. Is there anything better? I mean even Rihanna released a song about it….! But Birthday Cake probably tips the scale! I made this raspberry and almond layer cake for my mum’s birthday last weekend. Fresh raspberries gave the tang, ground almonds made it super moist and the buttercream and sprinkles made it extra birthdayish! Who says sprinkles are only for kids?!

raspberry and almond Layer Cake

Almond and raspberry is SUCH a classic combination and one of mums favourite flavours so I knew I wanted to incorporate that in the cake. I ended up baking fresh raspberries in the sponge, which gave such a good tart hit. I added ground almonds too which made the sponge extra moist, AND I added two teaspoons of almond extract to give it that extra punch. I can never have enough almond, but feel free to reduce it to one teaspoon if you’re not as obsessive as I am!

I’m still so obsessed with swiss meringue buttercream and the silky effect it creates. I love how the swirls on top almost look like a 99 ice cream you’d get when you were little! I went for vanilla to complement the raspberry and almond but not overpower it. Though you’d be forgiven for thinking the buttercream was mint or pistachio flavoured with the mint green hue. That was just a mistake! I was trying to make my buttercream whiter, so I added in (what I thought was) a tiny drop of blue food colouring. As you can tell, that plan didn’t quite work out. But, I’m actually pretty happy with the colour in the end! It encapsulates the childhood birthday cake style I was looking for!

raspberry and almond Layer Cakeraspberry and almond Layer Cake

Filling wise, I decided to go classic birthday cake and use jam and buttercream. I used the buttercream as a dam around the edge of the cake, and then filled the centre with raspberry jam – Bonne Maman to be exact, only the best! I’m so glad I did to, as the tartness of the jam worked so well in cutting through the rich buttercream.

raspberry and almond Layer Cake

The sprinkles were much harder to add on than I imagined, so learn from my mistake and if you have a tilting turntable use it to its full advantage to stick them on! I on the other hand ended up essentially chucking the sprinkles at the cake and finding them all over my kitchen instead….!

All in all, taste wise this is one of the best cakes I’ve made (if I do say so myself)! So if you’re a fan of raspberry and almond definitely give it a try! Also, give my timelapse video below a watch where you can see me assemble the cake 🙂

Raspberry and Almond Layer Cake

Yield: 1 three-tier 8" cake

12 slices

Raspberry and Almond Layer Cake

Ingredients

    Sponge
  • 305g cake flour (if you can't find cake flour use plain flour, and substitute 4tbsp of the plain flour for 4tbsp cornflour)
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 2tsp almond extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 300ml buttermilk
  • 220g raspberries
    Buttercream
  • 150ml large egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 450g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2tsp blue gel food colouring (if using)
    Filling
  • 200g raspberry jam
    Decoration
  • multi-coloured sprinkles

Instructions

  • Firstly, preheat the oven to 175C/ Gas Mark 4 and grease and line three 8" baking tins.
  • In a small bowl sift together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Toss the raspberries in one tablespoon of the flour mix, and set both aside.
  • In a pyrex bowl beat the butter with a hand mixer until smooth and lightened in colour. Then add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, this will take a few minutes. Add the almond extract and then add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating between each addition. Then with the mixer on low, add the flour mix in three batches alternating with the buttermilk. Ensure you begin and end with the flour mixture. Do not over mix at this stage, stop mixing as soon as the last streaks of flour are incorporated. Gently fold in the majority of the raspberries, then evenly divide the batter between the prepared tins. Sprinkle the remaining raspberries on top of the batter, pushing them down slightly.
  • Bake for 27-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, before removing them from their tins to cool completely.
  • For the buttercream, whisk together the sugar and egg whites in heat-safe bowl until combined. Then using a bain-marie, heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until it reaches 155-160F on a candy thermometer. If you don't have a thermometer the mixture will be very hot to the touch and the sugar will have dissolved.
  • Once the mixture has reached the right temperature, take the bowl off the heat and using an electric mixer whisk on high speed for about 10 minutes until you reach medium-stiff peaks and the mixture has returned to room temperature.
  • With the mixer on low, add in the butter a tablespoon at a time ensuring each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. The butter must be at room temperature for it to be properly incorporated.
  • Once the butter has been mixed in, add the vanilla extract and mix again for a few minutes until the buttercream is silky smooth and light. Then add the food colouring if using, and mix for a few minutes until fully incorporated. Add 1/4 of the buttercream into a piping bag and snip off the end to have a plain round nozzle. Add another 1/4 of the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip (I used the Wilton 2D).
  • To assemble, place one sponge onto a cake board and using the buttercream in the plain piping bag, pipe a circle 'dam' round the edge of the cake. Then fill the gap with half of the jam. Place the second sponge on top and repeat with the buttercream and remaining jam.
  • Next, crumb coat the entire cake with buttercream and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Then cover the cake with a thick layer of buttercream and using a bench scraper, scrape off the excess to leave a smooth exterior. Using the piping bag fitted with the star tip, pipe swirls around the edge of the top of the cake. Then finally, add sprinkles to the swirls and the bottom half of the cake.
  • http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/10/17/raspberry-and-almond-layer-cake/

    Buttercream Flower Wreath Layer Cake

    Buttercream Flower Wreath Layer Cake

    buttercream flower

    I have a confession.

    I am obsessed with watching Instagram videos of cakes. Specifically cakes being lavishly smothered in buttercream, covered in intricately piped buttercream flowers or ganache dripped round the edges. Its taking over my life.

    Craig is so sick of watching them over my shoulder, but its my absolute guilty pleasure! Its super satisfying and so therapeutic.

    So when it came to making my sisters birthday cake, Instagram was my first source for inspiration. Buttercream flower wreath cakes are all over Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube…you name it! So I thought I’d give it a try. I actually practised the roses on some cupcakes a few weeks back (blog post to come!) and let me tell you it is notttt as easy as people make it look! But practise makes perfect and all that!

    buttercream flower

    I used swiss meringue buttercream for the flowers, the light texture is perfect for this kind of piping. Although in the August weather you do need to work quickly so it doesn’t get too warm, it makes it impossible to pipe the delicate petals then!

    I made about 25 buttercream flowers in total, though I only used 19 in the end. I made roses, ranunculus, chrysanthemums, blossoms and topped them all off with leaves! The leaves were piped direct onto the cake though – thats the fun final touch!

    To make the flowers you absolutely need a flower nail. They’re usually included in most piping sets, so you might already have one! If not, you can buy them easily on Amazon. You also need to cut a load of squares out of baking paper, I promise its not as labour intensive as it sounds. Once you have both those things and an array of piping tips you’re all set up!

    buttercream flower

    I watched a lot of YouTube videos by Cake Style for amazing tutorials on loads of different buttercream flower types. Once you have the plain roses down you can make quite a few pretty variations, but its the chrysanthemums I struggled with. The tutorials make them look so easy but its definitely not my strong suit, which is annoying because they can look so pretty!

    I was pretty pleased with the flowers I created in the end though, and its definitely evoked a passion in me to create more flowery creations! Piping tips wise theres a few you need to have in your repertoire, but if you’re going to get any the Wilton 104 is the one to get. The 104 is what I used to create all the roses, ranunculus and blossoms. You’ll need Wilton tip 81 for the chrysanthemum’s and for the leaves Wilton tip 70.

    Honestly though, I was sooo pleased with how it turned out! You know how usually you have the idea for a cake, and then when you come to make it its nothing like the vision? This actually was my vision!! I made it the day before I presented it to my sister though and I had nightmares all night of ridiculous things happening to it. Like the candles causing the whole cake to go up in flames – could that even happen!?

    buttercream flower

    I think i’ve waffled on long enough about the flowers now, you probably want to hear about the actual cake!? It was a white chocolate sponge, with the nicest crumb texture! The recipe I was adapting called for cake flour, which isn’t something I’ve seen in the UK. After a bit of googling it turns out that you can substitute cake flour by the following: for every one cup of plain flour, take two tbsp’s out and replace it with two tbsp’s of corn flour. Cake flour has a lower protein content than regular plain flour, which gives cakes a softer, lighter texture whilst still retaining structure. I think i’m converted.

    For the buttercream I decided to pair a classic flavour combination with the sponge; raspberry! I also figured a raspberry swiss meringue buttercream would keep the cake light and not cloying. Especially with all those buttercream flowers on top! Also, if I’m honest the smooth and silky buttercream is just a million times easier to spread on a layer cake.

    I followed my swiss meringue buttercream recipe as normal, and then for the last step added fresh raspberry puree that I’d strained. This gives a really fresh flavour, and means the buttercream is food colouring free! I also added freeze-dried raspberries in the layers for an extra raspberry kick – well I say that, thats what I intended to do! But I forgot to do it on the first layer – doh! – so lets all just pretend I did it on both!

    buttercream flower

    Two final notes!

    The raspberry SMB recipe errs on the side of caution so you’ll definitely have some left – I had a full tupperware box! But you can pop it in the freezer for up to 6 months – hooray! Just make sure its defrosted and back to room temp before using it.

    And finally, I decided to live my Instagram dream and film the assembling of the cake. So if you want to see it all come together, watch below! (Apologies in advance for the slight out of focus :(!)

    Buttercream Flower Wreath Layer Cake

    1 three-tier 8" cake

    Ingredients

      Sponge
    • 172g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 300g caster sugar
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 2tsp vanilla extract
    • 345g cake flour (or if you can't find that; 345g plain flour, minus 6tbsp plain flour, plus 6tbsp corn flour)
    • 1tbsp & 1tsp baking powder
    • 3/4tsp salt
    • 300ml milk
    • 6oz white chocolate
      Swiss Meringue Buttercream (for flowers)
    • 120ml large egg whites
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 340g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2tsp vanilla extract
      Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
    • 240 egg whites
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 675g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 345g frozen raspberries, defrosted
    • 1tsp caster sugar (or more to taste)
    • 1/2tsp lemon juice
    • 6g freeze-dried raspberries (one tube from the supermarket)

    Instructions

    For the Cake:
  • Firstly preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4/180C and grease and line three 8" baking tins.
  • Using a bain-marie, melt the white chocolate over a low heat and then set aside to cool.
  • Sift together all the dry ingredients and set aside. Then, place the butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on a high speed until creamy and light in colour. Add the sugar and continue to mix until fluffy.
  • On a medium speed add the egg yolks, vanilla and melted white chocolate. Then with the mixer on low, alternate adding in the dry ingredients and milk in three batches, ending and starting with the dry ingredients.
  • Mix until just combined, then pour into the prepared tins. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden.
  • Leave to cool a little in the tins, and then put them on a cooling rack to completely cool.
  • For the Buttercream Flowers:
  • Whisk together the sugar and egg whites in heat-safe bowl until combined. Then using a bain-marie, heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until it reaches 155-160F on a candy thermometer. The mixture will be very hot and the sugar will have dissolved.
  • Once the mixture has reached the right temperature, take the bowl off the heat and using an electric mixer whisk the mixture on high speed for about 10 minutes until you reach medium-stiff peaks and the mixture has returned to room temperature.
  • With the mixer on low, add in the butter a tablespoon at a time ensuring each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. The butter must be at room temperature for it to be properly incorporated.
  • Once the butter has been mixed in, add the vanilla extract and mix again for a few minutes until the buttercream is silky smooth and light.
  • Separate the buttercream into different bowls, mix in required food colouring and place into piping bags, making sure to set aside the leaf green buttercream to use later.
  • Then using a flower nail and piping tips create an array of flowers, on squares of baking paper. Place the squares onto baking trays and place in the freezer while you make the rest.
  • For the Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • Follow the swiss meringue buttercream recipe for the flowers, up to and including adding the butter in. Strain the raspberries through a sieve into a bowl, so you are left with the puree without the seeds.Mix in the sugar and lemon juice, and then pour the mixture into the buttercream.
  • Mix this on low at first, and then gradually increase the speed. It may take a few minutes for the puree to combine with the buttercream, so keep mixing until its fully combined.
  • For Assembly;
  • Place one sponge onto the cake board and spread with a layer of raspberry buttercream and half of the freeze-dried raspberries. Then repeat with the second sponge layer. Then place the final sponge layer on top.
  • Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of the raspberry buttercream and then place in the fridge for 20 minutes to set.
  • Then cover the cake with a thick layer of raspberry buttercream and using a bench scraper, scrape off the excess to leave a smooth exterior.
  • Place some of the raspberry buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a ring on top of the cake for the flowers to sit on. This gives the flowers some height, rather than all lying flat on top of the cake.
  • Remove the buttercream flowers from the freezer, and peeling off the baking paper squares arrange them on the cake.
  • Finally, pipe leaves wherever needed on the cake for the finishing touch.
  • Notes

    Excess frosting can be frozen for up to 6 months, and then defrosted fully before use.

    White chocolate sponge adapted from The Cake Blog

    Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe adapted from Layered by Tessa Huff

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/08/21/buttercream-flower-wreath-layer-cake/

    Welsh Cakes

    Welsh Cakes

    welshcakeswelshcakes

    Ah the humble welsh cake. A teatime treat, that has been popular in Wales since the late 19th Century (or so Wikipedia tells me!).

    I went to university in Wales, Bangor in North Wales to be precise and I have a lot of love for the country. The countryside is beautiful, the accents are amazing and they have some pretty good food. Welsh rarebit and bara brith to name a few. And obviously, the welsh cake is up there.

    But that’s not the reason I made them! Actually, I saw on Facebook that someone had made a tower of welsh cakes into a beautiful arrangement for a substitute wedding cake! Aside from thinking it was a wonderful idea, it made me reallyyy want to eat some again. I’d never made them before, but I figured this was as good a time as any to learn how!

    welshcakeswelshcakes

    They’re definitely a store-cupboard bake, which makes them so easy to knock up for an afternoon snack! I kinda see them as flat scones – they’ve got pretty much every ingredient just less of the milk and more of the currants. Don’t let ‘flat scones’ put you off though, these are delicious in their own right. Served warm with a smear of butter; they’re an absolute delight!

    The method is super simple, sift the dry ingredients together – including a teaspoon of mixed spice which complements the currants perfectly. You then rub in the butter, and add the fruit. You then add the egg to form a dough. At this point you can add a splash of milk if its a little dry, but mine was fine without!

    Then you’ll need to begin rolling out the dough and cutting out the little cakes. My dough was fairly sticky at first, so make sure to flour your surface area. When it came to cutting, I used a 2.25inch round fluted cookie cutter, which made 20 little welsh cakes.

    welshcakes

    Now we come to the slightly tricky part, the cooking! It seems strange to say cooking when I’m talking about cakes, but these welsh cakes are cooked in a frying pan – or traditionally a bake stone. With a smear of butter in the pan, you cook them on either side for about 3 minutes on a medium heat. You need to watch your little cakes to make sure they’re aren’t browning too quickly, but they’re still cooked all the way through. It’s a tricky one to get first try, and mine were a little burnt. It’s nothing a sprinkling (or in this case a dollop!) of caster sugar can’t fix however, which is your last and final step. Aside from devouring them obviously!

    Let me know how you get on, or if you’ve had welsh cakes before! 🙂

    Welsh Cakes

    Yield: 20 welsh cakes

    Ingredients

    • 225g self raising flour
    • 1tsp mixed spice
    • 75g caster sugar
    • 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 110g currants
    • 1 large egg
    • a little milk, if needed
    • a little extra butter, for cooking
    • a little extra caster sugar, for sprinkling

    Instructions

  • Firstly, sift together all the dry ingredients. Then rub in the butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Then add in the fruit, and mix to combine.
  • Beat the egg, and then add it to the mixture, mixing until it forms a dough. Add a little milk, if the dough seems dry.
  • Lightly flour your work surface, and roll out the dough to about 5mm thick. Using the fluted cutter, cut the dough into rounds, trying not to twist the dough too much. Re-roll the trimmings until all the dough is used.
  • Next lightly grease the pan with butter and place over a medium heat. Cook the welsh cakes for 3 minutes on each side in batches until all are done. They should turn a medium brown on the outside and be slightly crispy.
  • Finally, sprinkle caster sugar over all the welsh cakes.
  • Notes

    Served best warm with butter.

    Adapted from Delia Smith's Welsh Cakes.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/06/05/welshcakes/

    Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Salted Caramel Drizzle

    Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Salted Caramel Drizzle

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzlechocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    Chocolate? Check.

    Tons of frosting? Check!

    Salted Caramel? CHECK.

    Anyone else already hungry? I know I am, and I’ve eaten at least two slices of this beauty already! Sometimes you just need cake, and with a cocktail party on the cards for the Bank Holiday weekend it was the perfect excuse to try a new recipe.

    This chocolate layer cake with vanilla frosting and salted caramel drizzle is a decadent dream, and inspired by two of my new cake blogging crushes. Firstly, Tessa Huff of Sweet Style CA and Rosie of Rosie’s Dessert Spot – both make insanely beautiful cakes and are definitely worth a follow right now! Go!

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzlechocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzlechocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    This was my first attempt at a drip cake, and even though I’ve watched like a bajillion videos and read SO many blog posts on them, I think some more practise will be in order! Getting the right consistency of ‘drip’ and ensuring you add the right amount is trickier than I imagined it would be.

    An excuse to practise by making another cake is hardly a trial though right? I’ve become a little (read ALOT) obsessed with layer cakes at the moment, and can’t stop watching videos of frosting being perfectly smeared onto stacks of cake. So apologies if it gets a little cake heavy round thee parts soon! Though, is an apology for more cake really needed??

    If you make any element of this bake though, go for the salted caramel drizzle. Its the PERFECT recipe, and makes more than you need which came in really handy for our household when my sister brought over brownies!

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzlechocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    This chocolate layer cake recipe is SUPER moist! Its one of those bakes that needs to be left in the pans for a good 10-15 minutes after taking them out the oven. The sponges are also super bouncy, meaning you have to be delicate in transferring them to your cake stand. But once they’re cooled and encased in light fluffy buttercream they are so delicious – and even better the day after baking!

    This buttercream is so light and fluffy – but you have to be prepared to whip that butter for a good 5 minutes or so to ensure it! You need to whip the butter to the point where it looks like frosting, which is confusing for the mind when you decide to taste it!

    So have I convinced you that you need to try this yet?

    chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle

    Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting and Salted Caramel Drizzle

    Ingredients

      Cake
    • 312g plain flour
    • 82g cocoa powder
    • 2&1/2tsp baking powder
    • 3/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1tsp salt
    • 155ml vegetable oil
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
    • 2tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2tsp almond extract
    • 340ml whole milk
    • 227ml hot strong-brewed coffee
      Buttercream
    • 500g unsalted butter
    • 1kg icing sugar
    • 1tbsp vanilla extract
    • 2tbsp whole milk
      Salted Caramel Drizzle
    • 150g caster sugar
    • 2tbsp golden syrup
    • 2tbsp water
    • 113ml double cream
    • 2tbsp unsalted butter
    • flaked sea salt to taste
    • 1tsp vanilla extract

    Instructions

  • For the Cake:
  • Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease and line three 8" baking pans.
  • In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Then set aside until needed.
  • Using a hand mixer beat together the oil and sugar for about two minutes. With the mixer still running, add the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla and almond extract ensuring you scrape down the sides to incorporate all the mixture.
  • On a low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Again, ensure you scrape down the sides to incorporate all the mixture.
  • Remaining on a low speed, stream in the coffee until just combined.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the three prepared pans. Bake in the oven for 23-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the sponges bounce back.
  • Let them cool on a wire rack in the pans for at least 10-15 minutes, before removing them from the pans to completely cool.
  • For the salted caramel:
  • While the cakes are cooling begin making the salted caramel drizzle by placing the sugar, golden syrup and water in a heavy-bottomed pan and stir to combine.
  • Heat over a high heat, occasionally swirling the pan, until it turns a medium gold amber colour - this will take about 10 minutes. Once the caramel starts to deepen in colour, remove the pan from the heat. Slowly and carefully whisk in the cream, the mixture will bubble up so stand clear and keep stirring.
  • Add the butter, whilst continuing to stir until melted. Then add the salt and vanilla to combine, I added around 4 large pinches.
  • Pour into a heat-safe container (a pyrex bowl, jug or a jam jar will do) and set aside to cool and thicken.
  • For the frosting:
  • Put the unsalted butter into a large bowl and using a hand mixer beat for a good 6 minutes, until it is super creamy. Then slowly add the icing sugar in batches, beating continually with the hand mixer until all incorporated.
  • Add the milk and vanilla extract, and continue beating with the hand mixer until it is super light and fluffy.
  • For the assembly, place one sponge onto your cake stand and using a palette knife spread a layer of frosting on top. Repeat this with the next two layers.
  • Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream, and then using a cake scraper or a palette knife drag it around the cake to achieve a smooth finish, removing any excess buttercream.
  • Finally, pour the salted caramel over the top of the cake, coaxing it to slowly drip over the sides.
  • Notes

    Excess Buttercream - As you scrape the cake to achieve a smooth finish, you will undoubtedly remove alot of the buttercream. Rather than wasting this, you can place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Once you're ready to use the buttercream again, place in the fridge overnight to defrost completely.

    Adapted from StyleSweetCA's London Fog Cake.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/05/30/chocolate-layer-cake-vanilla-frosting-salted-caramel-drizzle/