Last weekend I had the great pleasure of being invited to Clandestine Cake Club‘s Third Birthday. As co-organiser of the Nottingham group, this was my opportunity to meet with other cake-clubbers from around the country, pick up some tips (and wonderful free gifts) from the sponsors, Renshaw, and of course, eat cake!
Although we had to travel to Liverpool, about a 2 hour drive, I still wanted to contribute some cake to the afternoon club. This seemed like a great time to crack open my Lakeland Giant Silicone Cupcake Case, which I bought in the sale about a month ago.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love this case (the lovely pink colour is always a plus), but it’s not what I’d describe as giant. The box notes that you should use a 2 egg recipe, which is very much on the medium side to me, and comparing it to the size of a medium egg… yes, it’s not huge. But perfect for what I needed!
For a third birthday I wanted to do something a bit special. And what is more special than rainbow cake! However 6-7 layers (depending on your variations of purple/indigo/violet) all individually filled and stacked… this was neither easy nor going to travel well. However as per my previously made rainbow cupcakes, I was sure this would work all in one big cupcake. As the mould was a relatively deep, I opted for a madeira cake recipe, that would remain moist and light, without the fragility of victoria sponge.
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (or lemon juice, if you prefer)
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of milk or water
– Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
– Add the eggs, milk and vanilla essence, and beat again
– Sieve in the flour and baking powder, and fold until just mixed (don’t over do it)- Divide the mixture into 6 (or 7!), and colour with gel food colours only (don’t use liquid colours, it won’t work)
– Layer carefully and smoothly, don’t be tempted to spread the layers with a spoon or you’ll end up mixing the colours
– Bake at 180 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the top is looking done before the inside is cooked, cover it with tin foil to prevent it browning.
I use a mix of Wilton and Home2Bake gel colours, all come out with lovely vibrant colours. First up, purple then blue… (the observant among you will notice a major baking error in this photo – not greasing the tin! Thankfully I realised quite quickly, scooped out the mix, greased, flour, and continue!)
And layering a colour at a time, finishing with orange and then red. In order not to mix the colours, I found a combination of pouring and spooning the mix was best to get it spread out evenly.
And the full cupcake ready to bake. In hindsight it was a little over-full, next time I’d take a couple of tablespoons out of the mix before colouring.
Unfortunately this was definitely too much mix – on checking the oven part-way through baking I found a big rainbow ooze coming from the side!
With no time to make another cake, I crossed my fingers and carried on baking until it was done. Thankfully when it turned out of the case the damage wasn’t obvious from the outside, and the extra oozed bit of cake actually came in useful as a platform for the topping!
Due partly to a lack of time, and partly as the cake looked so great on it’s own, I kept the topping quite simple. Firstly cutting fondant stars out of matching rainbow colours:
… and lining them round the top of the buttercream-topped cupcake. Edible glitter mandatory of course!
And of course no birthday cake is complete without candles!
I was so relieved to see the layers when it was cut open. Heaven knows where the oozy-mix had come from, but the colours lined up beautifully.
Of course we had an amazing time at the birthday party. Much tea was drunk, cake was eaten, and lots of excited chatter. Happy Birthday Clandestine Cake Club, and a big thank you to Renshaw for making the party possible!