I just found this post that I wrote but never posted…..
Cook Time: 40 minutes
A good friend has recently moved into a new flat and to celebrate they held housewarming party. When I asked her what she wanted me to bring her words were ‘cake…obviously!’ So I started to look through recipe books to find a nice big cake to bake. But then I started thinking ‘hmmm…maybe I could do something a little more ambitious’. And, I decided this the day before the party! In my lunch break I scoured the internet, saw this amazing looking cake and decided to make a copy.
So on my way home I popped into the lovely cake decorating supply shop to get a few bits and pieces and got down to work. I started the cake at around 5.30pm and finished just in time for Celebrity Juice. This may seem like a long time to some, but I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. There was no great pressure on creating a perfect looking cake (thank god!) and I just sat at the table in the living room so I was nice and comfortable.
I chose a lemon cake as it was one of the girls favourite and I think it’s a nice fresh flavour to go with the sweet icing.
The cake was really easy to make. It’s a Mary Berry recipe and would be lovely with the crunchy topping suggested on the website I found it on. However, as I was topping it with fondant icing I decided to top it with a lemon buttercream. I also chose to dollop spoonfuls of lemon curd in the middle of the mix to create a gooey lemony centre.
- 225 g butter – softened
- 225 g caster sugar
- 275 g self-raising flour – sifted
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 4 tbsp milk
- 2 lemons – grated zest only
- Lemon curd – optional
- Cut a rectangle of non-stick baking parchment to fit the base and sides of a 30 x 23 x 4 cm roasting tin. Grease the tin and line with the paper, pushing it neatly into the corners of the tin. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Measure all the ingredients for the tray bake into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes, until well blended.
- (This is where I added just half the mixture to the tin and then added spoonfuls of lemon curd dotted over the surface before topping with the rest of the mixture) Turn the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula to remove all of the mixture. Level the top gently with the back of the spatula.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and is beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes then lift it out of the tin while still in its lining paper. Carefully remove the paper and put the tray bake onto a wire rack placed over a tray.
- 250g icing sugar – sifted
- 80g unsalted butter – at room temperature
- 25ml whole milk
- Juice of half a lemon
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
- Turn the mixer down to slow speed and add the lemon zest and juice.
- Add the milk to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time. Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed.
- Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.
- Once the cake is cooled spread over the cake
To decorate it exactly like mine, you will need:
- Baby Blue Regalice Icing (for the background – I rolled it thinly and found 500g was enough)
- White Regalice Icing
- Black Regalice Icing
- Grey Regalice Icing
- Flower and Modelling Paste (for the faces)
- Food colouring – green, pink, red, yellow and brown (use these with the white icing)
- Rainbow dust – Peach delight (to colour the paste for the faces)
Firstly I put the cake on a cake board. I actually forgot to buy a cake board at the shop and didn’t have one big enough so I made one out of a cardboard box wrapped in tin foil! I rolled the blue icing thinly and carefully dropped it over the cake to cover.
Then it was just a case of cutting out the shapes in the relevant colours to make the picture. To write ‘home sweet home’ I used a wooden kebab stick. With the pointy end, I just dotted the letters in. If you try and write them it drags the icing so I found this was an easier way to make sure the writing was legible.
To make the faces, I coloured the paste and then watched this short video. I didn’t copy it exactly (I didn’t shape the head as I just wanted a simple round shape) but this helped with a few basics. And I didn’t have the tools they have so again, I just used my imagination and altered it to the level I wanted it to be.
This was my first attempt at making faces and although not perfect, I was pretty happy with how they turned out.
The cake went down well at the party so well worth the effort!!