Juliet Sear’s celebration cake
A patriotic cake perfect for a platinum street party, courtesy of our baking queen Juliet Sear. Iconic layers of red, white and blue make this showstopper stand out. Soft sponge cake and delicious vanilla frosting fabulously finessed – every celebration deserves a little pomp and parade. It’s a classic cake worthy of wearing a crown.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan
Place the butter, sugar and vanilla into your mixing bowl and combine. Turn the speed to high (or if you’re using a wooden spoon, use plenty of elbow grease!) and beat until the mixture is very pale, soft and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in slowly to combine.
Incorporate the flour gradually, 1/4 at a time, mixing gently on a slow speed, until it has mostly combined. Fold with a metal spoon, if doing this by hand. Take care not to mix or beat vigorously or your sponge can turn out a little bit tough. Add the milk and mix gently.
Divide into three and colour one bowl red and one bowl blue, then place into the tins, level and bake for approximately 18-22 minutes – the cakes should be a light golden brown, springy to the touch. A sharp knife or metal skewer should come out clean and free of mixture. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tins then turn out onto a cooling rack.
While the cakes are baking, prepare the buttercream.
If you have an electric stand mixer, then use this with the beater or paddle attachment. Otherwise, use handheld beaters or a wooden spoon. Cream the butter with the vanilla extract until very pale, creamy and smooth.
Add about 1/4 of the icing sugar. To make sure the sugar doesn’t puff out in clouds and cover your kitchen, mix slowly at first. You can also place a damp tea towel over the bowl. Once the icing sugar is all mixed in, beat at a high speed for about 1 minute until the mixture is really creamy and pale. It will take you a few more minutes by hand.
Continue adding the sugar in 1/4 increments, taking care to beat it in well after each addition. Beat the buttercream at high speed for 1–2 minutes until it’s lovely and fluffy and pale.
Sandwich the cake using approximately 250g buttercream in between the first and second layer, then add a further 400g of buttercream on the top. Smooth over the top and sides as a crumb coat. Chill in the fridge to set while you get the buttercream ready for the decorative layer.
Tint 1/3 of the remaining buttercream red and 1/3 blue, leaving the last white.
Load into the piping bags with the large round nozzles and decorate as shown in the video.
For the sponge:
4 large Clarence Court eggs
225g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
2 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Strong red and blue food colouring gels
For the frosting:
600g unsalted butter, softened
1200g Silver Spoon icing
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Red and blue food colouring as above