So the Bake Off final. Everybody reading this must have watched it, right? I knew who I wanted to win (Nadiya), though I think they all made amazing showstoppers! It made me get my thinking cap on about what I was going to produce for the Bloggers final. I never managed to join the final last year so I didn’t want to miss out this time, though I know I am up against some brilliant competition!
I knew I was going with a showstopper classic British cake, and I had a few ideas before I actually took inspiration from a cushion and decided I would make myself a house warming celebration cake…
So for the first time this series, I made like a proper Bake Off contestant and got my notepad and pen out and drew what I had in mind. I think it has turned out pretty similar to my imagination! It could do with a few improvements here & there, mainly with the icing, but I absolutely hate fondant icing cakes. Overall though, I’m pretty pleased with it after being at it on & off for 48 hours (children and general life kept getting in the way!).
9 inch sponge
- 500g butter
- 500g caster sugar
- 500g Tesco self raising flour
- 10 Tesco free range eggs
- 2tsp Tesco Madagascan vanilla extract
- 200g butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g self raising flour
- 4 Tesco free range eggs
- 1 tsp Tesco Madagascan vanilla extract
- 340g butter
- 680g icing sugar
- 1.5tsp Tesco Madagascan vanilla extract
- 1 jar of Tesco Finest strawberry conserve
- 1kg pack Tesco white ready to roll icing
- 10 inch Tesco thick cake board
- thin circular lollipop sticks (to use as dowels for stacking the cakes)
- 500g pack Tesco chocolate ready to roll icing
- 500g pack Tesco red ready to roll icing
- ‘Snowflake’ shimmer pot/small tipped paint brush
- fondant tools
- fondant flowers
- letter cutters
- edible glue
- silver ribbon
- licorice/black icing writing pen
- Tesco porcelain cake stand
- Preheat the oven to gas 2-3/160C/315F. Grease and line 2 x 9 inch cake tins and 2 x 6 inch cake tins (or if you only have one of each tin like me then you can do one after the other, as I did each cake in two parts rather than cutting one in half).
- For the 9 inch cake, cream the butter & sugar together, then add the flour, eggs, and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. I used my stand mixer for this so I just chucked it all in together.
- Separate the mixture between the two tins and then bake for 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Repeat the three steps above for the 6 inch cakes, but bake for 45 minutes.
- While the cakes are cooling, prepare your butter icing for the filling and crumb coat.
- Whisk the butter until creamy, then add half of the icing sugar and mix well.
- Add the rest of the icing sugar and the vanilla extract, and mix for around 5 minutes until light & fluffy. Set to one side.
- If needed, turn the cakes over and then level out so they are both the same height, either using a very sharp knife or an adjustable cake leveler.
- On one half of the 9 inch and 6 inch cakes, spread generously with the jam.
- On the other halves, spread with some of the butter icing. You will need some for the crumb coat.
- Carefully stack each half of the 9 inch cake on top of each other, fixing to the cake board using a little butter icing.
- Carefully stack the 6 inch cake and set onto a plate, or I used some grease proof paper.
- Crumb coat each cake by spreading and removing a thin layer of butter icing, then leave to dry for a few hours.
- Once ready to decorate your cakes, coat them both in another layer of butter icing – it can be a bit thicker this time. This will help the fondant coating stick to them.
- Roll out the white icing to slightly bigger than needed for the 9 inch cake.
- Using the rolling pin, carefully lift the icing onto the cake and smooth out across the top and around the sides, you can use a cake smoother if you have one. Carefully trim any excess icing.
- Repeat the above steps for the 6 inch cake.
- Poke one of the lollipop sticks into the centre of the 9 inch cake, lightly marking where it comes level with the top of the cake. Carefully remove and then cut down five sticks to this size.
- Poke the sticks right into the cake, making sure to go no wider than where the 6 inch cake will sit. These will act as dowels to stop the cake from sinking.
- Using a little butter icing like on the cake board, do the same on top of the 9 inch cake and carefully place the 6 inch one on top.
- You will now need to make the house!
Decorating – house
- Using 3/4 of the pack of chocolate icing, gently shape into a rectangle. Using a flat ended fondant icing tool, or a small sharp knife, make brick patterns all the way around the icing.
- Using the remainder of the chocolate icing (leaving a tiny bit for the door step and window ledges) do the same as for the house and make a roof and a chimney, fixing the roof to the house, and the chimney to the roof, with a little butter icing or edible glue.
- Using a little butter icing or edible glue, fix the house to the top of the 6 inch cake.
- Using the excess icing from the cakes, make a small door and two windows, and then fix to the front of the house using edible glue.
- Draw on a door handle and window outlines.
- Using the paint brush, dab some of the shimmer into the window outlines.
- With the remainder of the chocolate icing, roll a door step and two window ledges and fix to the door and windows with edible glue.
- Place some fondant flowers around the house. I used a mixture of ready made shop bought ones which I poked in to the icing, and some that I had in the cupboard which I had made myself, fixed on with edible glue.
Decorating – writing
- If you don’t have letter cutters, you could just make the letters yourself. To make mine I rolled out some of the red fondant icing very thinly and then stamped them out with my cutters.
- Very carefully, turn the letters over and spread a little edible glue on, then fix to the sides of the cakes.
- Finally, wrap some ribbon around the edges of the cakes and cut to size, then fix together with edible glue.
- Ta-da! You have a house warming celebration cake!