We’ve had a fabulous weekend celebrating my sister’s 40th birthday. It was a gorgeous day on Saturday and we all went to a very lovely local hotel where we had a beautiful meal and some bubbly.
As I have mentioned before, I am the least capable person in the world when it comes to anything vaguely related to cooking or baking but with Mum and Dad being away on holiday until the day before the big day, I was put in charge of the cake. WHY? Argh!
By the time I found out about this, it was too late to get anyone else to make one so I had to bite the bullet and make my best effort. It turned out pretty well and my sister was delighted with it so I thought I would share with you all how I went about it just incase you are similarly domestically challenged and ever find yourself having to provide a cake for any occasion!
My sister doesn’t like butter icing but I was reliably informed that she did like this Betty Crocker Cream Cheese style icing.
I decided that I would use this as a basis for the cake and thought about how I could make it look like anything other than a mess! One of my friends is a cake-making pro over at Minky Kitten Cakes and I remembered that she had recently shared a picture of a fruit-topped cake which I thought my sister would like (as she loves fruit). Using her picture as my inspiration, I proceeded to make the easiest (and most impressive!) cake I have ever made!! I surprised myself!
You will need:
- A cake! (I wouldn’t dare to suggest that I know how to make a good cake but, for the sake of disclosure, I made a large-ish cake as there were around 20 people attending. I used 2 x 28cm diameter cake tins and made a victoria sponge mixture using 10 eggs, 500g flour, 500g caster sugar and 500g butter. I split the mixture between the 2 tins and cooked at 180 degrees for around 30 minutes. I spread jam and icing between the two and stacked one on top of the other.)
- A tub of Betty Crocker cream cheese style icing
- 1 punnet strawberries
- 1 punnet raspberries
- 1 pun net blueberries
- 4 packets white chocolate biscuit fingers (I needed just over 3 but this will obviously depend on the size of your cake)
- Some pretty flowers
- Icing sugar to dust top
You know how they say that a picture can speak a thousand words? Well, I think this picture says everything that ever needs to be said about my cake-baking skills:
Moving on…Note how the cake is lop-sided and the icing haphazard to say the least? Well, the best thing about this cake is that none of that matters! It is all about to be covered up by loveliness!
When you have baked and covered your cake in icing, you simply prop your chocolate fingers against the side of the cake all the way around and then tie your ribbon around them to hold them in place. As it happened, I was buying flowers for a friend at the florist this week so I asked them to make a bow to tie on my cake at the same time. They were very helpful and gave me some extra ribbon as well as leaving the ends of the bow long enough to tie around the cake. I secured the bottom layer of ribbon with icing at the join and then tied the bow around as a second layer, which worked well because it was thinner.
I bought some flowers at the supermarket four days before I would need them. They were still closed when I bought them and I purchased them early to allow time for them to open out. I bought a mix of pink peonies and roses but you could use any flowers you like.
When I had finished tying the chocolate fingers, I left the cake overnight and then, on the morning of the day we would be eating it, topped it with the fruit (which I also purchased on the morning for freshness). After washing and drying the fruit with kitchen towel, I sliced the tops off the strawberries and placed them fairly randomly around, pointing sky-ward. I then literally ‘sprinkled’ the raspberries and blueberries in the gaps. It was as easy as that!
I cut the flowers off at about 3 inches, dried the ends off and just stuck them down in the gaps between the fruit. There was no rhyme or reason to this, I just kept popping them in until I thought it looked ok.
Finally, I dusted the top (including the flowers!) with a light layer of icing sugar.
And voila! The easiest cake ever. If I can make it, literally anyone can! And it received some fantastic compliments! Apparently, the kitchen staff were even taking photos of it! Who would have thought it?
Anyone have any other tips for fantastically easy makes that an imbecile could manage? Those are the ones I need to hear about!! 😉
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