A bit of a move away from the healthier recipes – first pancakes and now cake! But it was my mum’s birthday so I wanted to try something special. I’ve termed this the Jessica Cake because this is a cake my friend Jess has made for me a few times and I absolutely love. She’s the best baker I know and was a much loved colleague by all for all the delicious things she used to bring in for us! She uses raspberries which my mum loves and a cream cheese icing recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. Other than that, I’ve just used the standard Victoria sponge kind of proportions for the cake itself.
I think this one turned out pretty well for a first attempt – I had to travel with this cake by train to take it to my parents house and it got the seal of approval by some passers by and the train conductors! And most importantly, my mum loved it too!
For the cake:
– 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature (plus a little extra for greasing your cake tins)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 4 eggs
– 200g self-raising flour
For the icing:
– 300g icing sugar
– 50g unsalted butter, room temperature
– 125g cream cheese, cold
– 1 punnet of raspberries (I bought two, but one would’ve been enough)
How to make it…
1. First, preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4/5. Then, get a mixing bowel and cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Then mix in one egg at a time, before folding in the flour.
2. Then, line the bottom of your cake tins with baking paper and grease well with butter. Pour the mix into two tins and bake for around 20 minutes. It should go a lovely yellowy golden colour and still have a bit of spring in it when you feel the top. When you take the cakes from the oven, leave them in their tins for a few minutes and then put them on a cooling rack. Leave to cool for as long as possible before icing, preferably a few hours.
3. When your cake is cool, you can start making the cream cheese icing. First, mix the icing sugar with the butter until they’re well integrated. The original recipe recommends you do this with an electric mixer or handheld electric whisk but be careful doing this due to the messy nature of icing sugar – I used both a mixer and a spoon. Next, add in your cream cheese. This time you will need to mix it with an electric mixer/ handheld electric whisk on a medium or high speed, for at least 5 minutes or until the icing becomes light and fluffy.
5. Time to decorate! First, ice the top of your first cake and add most of the raspberries, saving some raspberries for the decoration. Then add another thin layer of icing on top, paying special attention to the edges where you’ll find you can get a lovely oozing effect if you pour the icing between the raspberries. Next, add the second cake on top and ice this too. If you want to use pink decoration like I did, save a little bit of icing and keep adding raspberries in until you’re happy with the colour (I only used about 4). You’ll need to leave the pink icing to set in the fridge for a few hours before use.
6. If you’re baking this the night before, stop at this point and leave the cake overnight. If using the pink icing, leave this in the fridge overnight. This will prevent both the colour from the raspberries and the pink icing from running. Then, decorate in the morning. Otherwise, leave the icing to harden a little before adding the raspberries.
Happy birthday Mama!