Tag: Layer Cake

Speckled Egg Layer Cake

Speckled Egg Layer Cake

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Easter is my absolute favourite time of year for tasty treats. And Mini Eggs are the cream of the crop. Am I right?

So when I saw a few cakes on Pinterest embodying the speckled mini egg charm I knew I had to make my own version!

This speckled egg layer cake looks so festive and would be the perfect centrepiece on an Easter Sunday table. The speckled outer layer is ridiculously easy to create too, meaning you look like a professional without spending hours in the kitchen!

Both the cake and frosting are flavoured just with vanilla. Vanilla is such a wonderful punchy flavour Рbut only if you use a quality vanilla extract! Please steer clear of wishy washy vanilla essence Рit really lacks the pizazz needed for this cake. You can always make your own vanilla extract if you like; just pop a couple of vanilla pods in with a small bottle of vodka (yes vodka!) and leave in a cool place for 2/3 months. My mind was blown when I realised this was how vanilla extract was made, especially considering how easy and cheap it is to do!

The cake can be baked in advance, just wrap the cooled sponges tightly in clingfilm and then assemble the next day with the frosting. The frosting is super simple to make, and can be made as thick or thin as you like! I wanted a fairly smooth edge to my cake, so I kept it pretty thick so it would hold in place well. To adjust the texture, simply add more cream to thin it or more icing sugar to thicken.

As I was going for the speckled mini egg look, I tinted my frosting a pale green. You could go for any ‘typical’ mini egg colour that you’d like though. Lilac, dusty pink or even a stark white! To create the speckled look, I simply mixed 1tsp of cocoa powder with a couple of teaspoons of water until I created a paste. Using a pastry brush I then flicked the brush to create specks all over the frosting. You can coat it as much as you like at this point to create your desired effect.

So there we have it! My speckled egg layer cake! I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, and any excuse to eat more mini eggs works in my eyes! ūüėČ

Speckled Egg Layer Cake

Ingredients

    Cake
  • 431g plain flour
  • 3/4tsp baking powder
  • 3/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp salt
  • 345g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3tsp vanilla extract
  • 360ml buttermilk
    Frosting
  • 287g unsalted butter
  • 580g icing sugar
  • 80ml double cream
  • 3tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8tsp salt
  • green gel food colouring (or colour of your choice)
    Decoration
  • 1tsp cocoa powder
  • 2tsp water
  • mini eggs to decorate

Instructions

  • Firstly, pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 4/350F/180C and grease and lightly flour three 8-inch cake tins.
  • In a large bowl, briefly whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Then set aside. Next, using an electric mixer beat the butter on a high speed until smooth and creamy, about one minute. Then add the sugar and beat on a high speed for 5 full minutes until creamed together well. On a medium-high speed, add one whole egg at a time, beating well after each addition until all 4 whole eggs are mixed in. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Using a low speed on the electric mixer add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Ensure you only mix until everything is just incorporated, over mixing will result in a close-textured greasy sponge. The batter will be quite thick! Finally, whisk the 2 egg whites until thick, foamy and soft peaks form - about 3 minutes by hand. Then gently fold into the batter.
  • Spoon the batter evenly into each cake tin, then bake for around 25 minutes or until the sponges are baked through. Test by inserting a toothpick into the centre of the cake - if it comes our clean, the sponges are done. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack.
  • For the frosting, beat the butter on a medium speed until creamy in a large bowl. Add the icing sugar, cream, vanilla extract and salt - mixing on a low speed initially. Increase to a high speed and beat for 3 full minutes once the mixture has begun to incorporate. Add more icing sugar if the frosting is too thin, or more cream if the frosting is too thick. Also, add a pinch of salt if the frosting is too sweet. Finally, gradually add the food colouring until you get to your desired colour. Add a little at a time, as the colour can change surprisingly quickly!
  • To assemble, place one cake on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with frosting. Place the second sponge on top, and again evenly cover with frosting. Finally, place the third sponge on top and spread a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake to create a crumb coat. Place the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up.
  • Then place 3/4 of the remaining frosting into a piping bag, cut of the end and pipe a ring on the top of the cake and one large ring around the centre of the side. Spread this out with a palette knife, to create an even layer on both the top and sides. Then using a side scraper, run it around the edge of the cake at a sharp angle until the desired smoothness is achieved. This may take a little while to achieve.
  • Next, put the remaining frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe stars evenly around the top edge of the cake.
  • Finally, mix the cocoa powder with water in a small bowl to create a paste. You may need to add more water/cocoa powder to achieve the desired paste. Then using a pastry brush flick specks all over the cake. I achieved this by dipping the brush into the paste, and then running my finger down the bristles. You may want to practise this a few times in the sink first! Then, top each piped star with a mini egg.
  • Notes

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/03/23/speckled-egg-layer-cake/

    The Ultimate Carrot Cake

    The Ultimate Carrot Cake

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    Now forgive me for being vain, but this is honestly the best cake I’ve ever made. I mean, I like carrot cake…but this is the Ultimate Carrot Cake. It’s SO moist, light and the cream cheese frosting is just the perfect accompaniment.

    I’ve made it a few times now, and every time it goes within minutes with second helpings all round! Today being Mothers Day I¬†thought it was the perfect time to bake it for the family and it didn’t disappoint. The recipe is absolutely fool-proof, every single time its as delicious as I remember!

    This ultimate carrot cake uses sunflower oil rather than butter, helping it to keep super moist even a week later! The recipe also uses pine nuts rather than the more traditional walnuts and I won’t lie I wasn’t sure how it would work. But after considerable taste testing (for research purposes obviously….) I actually prefer it, it¬†adds a really nice texture and flavour to the cake.

    Cream cheese icing is one of my absolute favourites, especially if theres a red velvet cupcake beneath it. It just works so well, and this recipe in particular has the perfect ratio¬†of icing sugar to cream cheese making sure its not too sweet. Theres also just enough, so you don’t end up sparingly smearing it between the layers or having to lick the bowl clean of the excess – guilty!!

    The only problem with this cake is that its too light and moreish! You can have a load of slices without feeling guilty!! Oops..! Anyway, I hope I’ve tempted you enough to make this now. I promise it won’t disappoint!

    On with the recipe:

    The Ultimate Carrot Cake

    Ingredients

      Cake
    • 4 large eggs
    • 225ml sunflower oil
    • 175g light muscovado sugar
    • 3tbsp maple syrup
    • 2tsp ground cinnamon
    • 300g self-raising flour
    • 1tsp baking powder
    • 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 50g pine nuts, toasted
    • 350g (2-3) carrots, grated
      Icing
    • 400g full-fat cream cheese
    • 50ml double cream
    • 75g icing sugar
    • additional pine nuts for decoration

    Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line and butter three 8" baking tins.
  • Put the eggs, oil, sugar and maple syrup in a bowl and whisk with a hand-held electric whisk for 4-5 minutes until the mixture becomes creamy.
  • Sift together the cinnamon, flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then fold carefully into the mixture. Finally, gently fold the pine nuts and carrot in.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared tins and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For the icing, beat the cream cheese and double cream together until smooth, then beat in the icing sugar until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  • Once the cakes are completely cool, place one layer onto a cake stand or plate. Then using a piping bag, pipe dots of the icing around the outer rim of the cake layer and then a larger one in the middle. Using a palette knife smear all the dots inwards, and level out all the icing making sure to keep the rounded edges intact.
  • Lay the next layer of cake on top, and repeat the icing process. Finally, top the cake with the final layer and again pipe dots of icing around the outer rim of the cake. This time however, don't level out all of the icing, instead keep the 'smears' intact to create a flower-style on top of the cake. Use the remainder of the icing, to pipe a little in the middle of the flower and add pine nuts for decoration.
  • Best served on the day its baked.
  • Notes

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/03/06/ultimate-carrot-cake/