Here’s something “Pretty in Pink”, perfect for a party. Not only are the three layers of sponge light, moist and tasty, they’re wonderfully colourful too. (I’m sure it would look and taste equally good in purple too.)
Serves: 12 – 15
Time: 55 minutes + cooling time for the actual bake then about 30 minutes to assemble and decorate + “fridge” time.
Level: A small step up from Easy
Equipment: 3 x 20cm/8” loose bottomed round tins
For the cake
- 400g (14oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 500g (1lb 2oz) caster sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 200ml (7fl oz) full fat milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 500g (1lb 2oz) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 food colourings of your choice
- 800g (1lb 12oz) buttercream (ready-made or mix your own + any flavours of your choice, e.g. 1tsp vanilla extract or rose water)
- 2 x Multi-colour sprinkles (half to go in the frosting, half to go on top)
- The photo shows white roses on top. (I’m a Yorkshireman and I first made it for Yorkshire Day, the 1st August.)
For the marshmallow fluff topping
- 100g (3½oz) mini marshmallows (or cut up large ones)
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 30g (1oz) unsalted butter
- Pink food colouring (or any colour of your choice)
1. Preheat oven to 180C / fan 160C / 350F / Gas 4. Grease and line the three tins.
2. Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat until light and fluffy, either by hand or with an electric mixer.
3. In a jug, beat together the eggs, vanilla extract and milk. Gradually, add this mixture into the butter and sugar while stirring. Next, sift over the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until just combined.
4. Divide the mixture into three equal portions in separate bowls and mix in your chosen colourings to each.
5. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. (Test with a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake. If it comes out clean, they’re done.) Leave in the tins for 5 – 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
6. Once cooled, dab a blob of buttercream on a board or turntable and sit one cake on it. Use about 400g of buttercream to layer the three cakes and crumb coat them. (Choose a nice flat cake to go on top, maybe one turned upside down.) Place in fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up.
7. You could reserve 100g of the remaining buttercream to pipe rosettes on top later. If so, use the other 300g as follows: Put it in a bowl and stir in the sprinkles. Cover the cake with this and – if necessary – chill in the fridge for a while.
8. Meanwhile, make the marshmallow fluffy topping. Use scissors to cut the marshmallows into small chunks and put them in a heatproof bowl with the butter and golden syrup. Set this over a pan of simmering water and stir regularly until melted to a smooth paste. Add in a few drops of food colouring and stir. Keep going until the desired colour is achieved.
9. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and snip off the end to create a hole about 5mm ( ¼” ) wide. Let it cool a little then pipe the mixture around the edge of the cake, encouraging the occasional blobs to run down the sides. Next, fill in the rest of the top.
10. At this point you can choose various options to continue decorating. Some possible choices are:
i.) Simply scatter matching sprinkles over the top
ii.) Use any remaining buttercream to pipe rosettes around the top (you can still scatter sprinkles here too.)
iii.) Celebrate Yorkshire Day by adding white roses – but only on the 1st August.