THE wedding cake

On 1st July, my brother got married, and my wedding gift to him and his now wife was their wedding cake.

For ease it was on a tiered stand rather than stacked and as neither of them like fruit cake, I made a lemon sponge layer, a Victoria sponge layer and a red velvet layer (recipes below)

All 3 were iced using techniques from Wilton’s ‘I taught myself buttercream flowers’ and colours from their wedding colour scheme.

I was rather pleased with the result.




Victoria Sponge (for the large layer)
6 eggs
12oz caster sugar
120z self raising flour
12oz margarine or butter (I use Stork)

Lemon sponge (the smallest layer)
4 eggs
8oz caster sugar
8oz self raising flour
8oz margarine or butter
zest and juice of 1 lemon

  1. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and smooth.
  2. Add eggs one at a time (with a little flour if it starts to curdle)
  3. Add remaining flour and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. (If making lemon sponge add lemon zest and 1tsp of lemon juice)
  5. Transfer to lined tins and bake at 180 degrees until sponge springs back at touch.

Red Velvet cake (I used the Hummingbird Bakery recipe and doubled the quantities below for the middle layer)
60 g unsalted butter at room temperature
150 g caster sugar
1 egg
20 g cocoa powder
40 ml red food colouring
½ tsp vanilla extract
120 ml buttermilk
150 g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp white vinegar

  1. Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed.
  2. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a very thick, dark paste.
  4. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).
  5. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk.
  6. Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again.
  7. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture.
  8. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
  9. Transfer to lined tins and bake at 170 degrees for 20-25 minutes until sponge bounces back when touched.

Wedding cake practice

In July I am making my brothers wedding cake and wanted to learn some new skills to make it pretty. Whilst browsing Instagram I came across a beautifully decorated cake using buttercream flowers – actually a promo for a teach yourself kit that Wilton sells. The first challenge I had was locating somewhere in the UK that actually sold it (massive thanks to the UK Wilton Customer Services team who helped me locate one!) once that was done, last weekend was a practice run.

Slightly over the top colours (some testing with my ColourRight colours) but generally, not a bad first go!


Ombre icing

Today is the birthday of one of my colleagues. Without going into too much detail, she’s had a pretty rubbish 12 months so I wanted to help her celebrate in style.

Inspired by The Great British Bake Off, I wanted to up the stakes when it came to both the baking/cake and the icing.

Cake wise, I opted for a traditional Victoria sponge base – with some whole raspberries throughout for a bit of variety, but icing wise, I was inspired by the ombre fashion.

9 medium sized eggs
16oz butter
16oz caster sugar
16oz self raising flour
200g raspberries
1tsp baking powder
240g unsalted butter
750g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
75g full fat milk

Method Cake

1. Cream butter and sugar together until light, fluffy and pale
2. Add eggs one by one (adding a little of the flour if needed to prevent curdling
3. Add flour
4. Add vanilla essence
5. Beat until light and fluffy
6. Split between 3 prepared (greased/floured/lined) cake tins (c25cm diameter)
7. Bake in a preheated over (c. 180) for 25-35 mins – until golden and a skewer comes out clean
8. Allow to cool


1. Soften butter
2. Gradually add icing sugar and milk
3. Once incorporated, beat on high speed for around 5 mins, until light and mousse like

I also did three tiers (not something I do very often, and made more difficult by the fact I only have sets of 2 tins!!).

Cake turned out well – and i’ll try the ombre again as it looked pretty!IMG_2917 IMG_2918


90th birthday celebrations

In July 2014 my grandmother turned 90 and hosted a garden party to celebrate the occasion… My contribution to the festivities was a birthday cake.

I decided to make shaped cakes (something I’ve not done before) but opted for the slightly easier option of shaped cake tins rather than cutting to shape.

I bought a 9 and a 0 – rather underestimating the size of the tins and ended up with these monsters…


The first challenge was working out the mixture volume which I did by guess work (way too much the first time) and then deciding on how I’d flavour them.

Rather than a Madeira recipe I opted for a standard sponge recipe (equal quantities of egg, flour, butter and sugar) and made one vanilla and one lemon.

Each tin had 10 eggs and the corresponding ingredients – mixed in 2 batches as my mixer couldn’t manage it all! And then decorated with sugar paste flowers.

It was well received by the birthday girl and all the guests (plus all the residents of her apartment block 2 days later!) 🙂



Practice makes perfect!

Never one to need a real excuse to make a cake, I was provided with the perfect opportunity this weekend as it was my boyfriends birthday.

Also since moving house I’ve struggled with getting the temperature and time combination right for the new oven – I think I’ve now got it nailed – longer than it should be at a lower temperature!!

As I’m getting slightly apprehensive about the wedding cake i’m making in june, i’m taking every opportunity to practice the perfect application of roll on icing! And this birthday was no exception! Standard Victoria sponge recipe with badly cut out birthday lettering (fortunately that won’t be required for the real thing!!)

Picture of the final result below!!


Victoria sponge
Cake mixture
5 med eggs
10oz butter
10oz caster sugar
10oz self raising flour

250g icing sugar
125g butter
Vanilla extract

Turn on oven to c180
Grease and line 2 cake tins

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add eggs one at a time, folding in.
Fold in flour gradually

Split mixture evenly into the 2 tins leaving a slight dip in the middle of each.

Bake for c.20-30 mins (dependent on your oven!)

To make buttercream
Soften butter then add icing sugar, beat until thoroughly combined.
Add vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.

When golden brown remove from oven. When slightly cooled remove from ribs onto cooling rack.
When completely cold, even off tops of cakes with cake wire or large knife.

Spread raspberry/strawberry (whichever red jam you fancy) on one of the flattened sides and buttercream on the other.

Sandwich together! And enjoy!