Homemade Birthday Cake!

Good evening again!

I’m afraid I am going to be posting more than just the one blogpost tonight. As you can see, I am having a huge catch up session!

I do not normally do a lot of baking. I used to bake a lot when I was younger but now I am at University I do not have time to bake as I used to! However, I did make some time this week to make this four sponge layer cake for my boyfriend’s birthday on Wednesday!

This is what the cake looked like before the lights switched off and the candles lit:

birthday cake

My partner is very particular when it comes to cake and sweet things; he is not keen on icing such as buttercream icing or fondant icing. Additionally, he does not like chocolate cake or flavoured sponges… The list goes on! He is so picky that I still am yet to find a cake which I can buy and that he would enjoy. However, his fussiness gives me an opportunity to improve my basic baking skills which I do not mind at all!

I am very familiar with a sponge cake mixture, although, I have never made enough mixture for a four layers! I used this recipe as a guideline: http://www.womanandhome.com/recipes/292545/strawberry-and-lemon-triple-layer-cake-recipe.

The recipe ingredients:

  • 250g (9oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 250g (9oz) caster sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g (9oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 rounded tsp baking powder
  • finely grated zest 2 lemons

My ingredients:

  • 350g Margarine (Stork)
  • 350g Caster Sugar
  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 350g self-raising flower
  • 1 rounded tsp of baking powder
  • Finely grated zest 1 lemon

Firstly, I weighed out the margarine and sugar into a large bowl. Then, creamed it with the back of a wooden spoon to make a yellow paste. I cracked the eggs into a plastic jug, whisked till light in colour and fluffy, then, gradually poured into the bowl of creamed margarine and sugar whilst combining the mixture together. Afterwards, I weighed and sifted the flour and baking powder and added that to the mixture and finally grated the zest of one lemon and combined all the ingredients together. My flatmate gave me some advice on how to ensure a light, fluffy sponge. He advised that once all the ingredients are together try not to over- mix them otherwise the sponge will become dense and surprisingly it worked!

Once the mix was beaten until smooth, I traced the shape of the sandwich tins onto a piece of greaseproof paper and cut out a circular shape. Then I greased the tin with some margarine and then placed the circle into the base of the tin. This is to prevent the bakes cake from sticking to the tin! Afterwards, I divided the mixture into four sandwich tins. Although, I only had two so I had to bake the sponges in two batches!

Once the first batch of sponges had been baked, I rested them on a cooling rack whilst the other batch went into the oven to bake. I couldn’t wait to lick the bowl! It tasted so good and with the addition of the zest there was a mild zing to the sweet mixture!

Once all the sponges were baked and cooled, I used Tesco Finest Strawberry Jam to spread a generous amount onto each layer of the cake. On the top layer I dusted icing sugar and then used a syringe looking instrument to write ‘Happy Birthday Will’ in blue icing. Lastly, I added twenty candles; four were football candles and the rest were plain blue ones. My partner is a football fanatic and supports Ipswich hence the choice of the blue. To write in icing was so difficult and it was my first attempt… EVER! It didn’t look as neat as I had envisioned however the candles did a great job of covering up all the mistakes!

This cake was a much simpler version of a Victoria Sponge. I thought that the lack of icing would mean that the cake was a lot dryer, however, the jam made the layers of the cake even more moist but didn’t make it overwhelmingly sweet! Most important, my partner loved it and had three slices that night! This is a great alternative if you know someone who is not keen on overly sweet cakes.

If you have any suggestions on other simple cake recipes I could try, please comment below. I would love to have more excuses to bake!

Best wishes,

Chloe

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