Ian’s Nutty Blue cake

This recipe began life as a much more complicated version that I mucked up, so I decided to simplify it. Worse still, I got the colouring wrong at first and had several disgusting black sponges. Fear not though, this one works well and produces a cake that not only looks stunning, but tastes great.

Servings: 12 – 15 slices             Time: 1hr 15 min + cooling & chilling times (up to 90 minutes)  Difficulty: Easy overall, care needed when adding the colouring gels


    For the cake
  • Oil for greasing
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • blue and purple food colour paste or gel*
  • 125g chopped nuts of your choice
  • For the filling/icing
  • 150g butter, softened
  • 250g full fat cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • Vanilla extract or other flavourings if desired (optional)
  • 400g – 500g icing sugar


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4. Grease and base line two 20cm/8″ loose-bottomed round cake tins. Dust lightly with flour.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat well, until smooth.
  3. Add food colouring to the milk then add the milk to the main mixture. Beat well. Adjust colour as necessary, adding more paste or gel. Stir in the chopped nuts.
  4. Divide the mixture equally between the two tins. Level the surfaces then bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then turn out to cool fully.
  5. For the filling/icing beat the butter until smooth. Add the cream cheese and mix well to fully combine. (NB Add flavours now if desired)
  6. Sift in 75% of the icing sugar and mix well, beating until light and fluffy. Check taste and amount then decide whether or not to add the remaining icing sugar. If you do, beat again.
  7. Trim the two sponges if necessary then combine using about a quarter of the mixture. Put in the fridge for at least thirty minutes to firm up.
  8. Use a small amount of the remaining icing to crumb coat the cake then return to the fridge for another 30 minutes or longer.
  9. Use the remaining icing to coat the cake then decorate as desired.

* For my first attempt I used lots of tubes of Dr Oetker food colouring, but they didn’t really give me what I wanted. For the cake in the picture I used small amounts of “Sugarflair” colouring: Royal Blue (approx. 75%) and Grape Violet (25%)

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