So I made her a cake...not the queen...not the aunty...the
You really can use whichever cake recipe you like or one that is a particular favourite to make this cake. If a fruit cake is not for you then make any flavoured (vanilla, chocolate, lemon etc) sponge cake. A madeira recipe is quite a sturdy one to use for a decorated cake like this and it will withstand a bit of fondant icing on the top as its quite a dense textured cake.
If your cake of choice is NOT a fruit cake then you won't need any marzipan but you will need buttercream to help your fondant icing stick to your cake, and buttercream and possibly jam or a fruit curd to sandwich your cake together too.
The visual appeal with this cake is the bunting and the flowers...the flowers are quite easy to make with the right equipment (and there are lots of uses for these flowers once you make a batch). The bunting should have been very easy but the printed icing sheets I had proved to be a bit
for this cake...
Make a fruit cake to any tried and trusted recipe (I made a 7 inch round cake, and I adapted a Ruth Clemens recipe).
TIP: this cake is best when it has had time to age a bit and the flavours develop, make it at least two weeks before you need it. Store it in cling film in an airtight container.
425g golden sultanas
50g dried cranberries
200g dried chopped dates
150g unsalted butter
150g golden caster sugar
3 free range eggs
185g self raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
Method for this fruit cake:
1. Two days before I began making this cake, I soaked all the dried fruits in brandy, on day one I added 2 tbsp to the fruit and on day two I added another 2 tbsp to it. Leave it in a covered bowl in the kitchen and keep giving it a stir when you pass by. The fruit will plump up and smell divine.
2. Line your cake tin, remember mine was a 7 inch springform tin. Pre heat the oven to 130C fan.
3. Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs a little at a time, with a spoon of flour if the mixture curdles. Sieve in the dry ingredients and mix gently. Add the drunken fruit and mix well.
4. Fill the cake tin with the mix and bake for two and a half hours.
5. When the cake has cooled store it, as described above.
to decorate the cake...
2 x 250g packets of marzipan (if you make a fruit cake)
1 x 250g packet of white fondant icing
3 or 4 packets of printed icing sheets (these are small sheets) and you'll need to go to a cake decorating shop or online to find them (this is what I used to make the bunting flags on the cake)
homemade sugar flowers
edible cake glue
1. At least one day before you want to decorate a fruit cake you will need to cover it in sieved marmalade and then marzipan and let this harden slightly.
2. When you are ready to ice the cake, knead the fondant icing until smooth, then roll out to a rough size to cover the whole of the cake. You can gauge this by measuring the cake from one side over the top and down the other side with a piece of string. Cover the cake in fondant icing by draping it over your rolling pin and then onto the cake and then trim the excess.
3. Smooth the icing with a smoother and place on a cake plate or cake board if you are using one. Give this icing time to firm slightly.
4. To get the bunting effect cut out triangular flag like pieces of the printed icing sheets in various patterns. I just used a sharp knife and a clean ruler for this. Use a paintbrush and water to stick each flag to the cake in a semi circle fashion to give the impression of draped bunting flags around the sides. If you are clever with a piping bag you can pipe a line of bunting ribbing to connect the flags. Piping is not my strong point hence I went for this easier option flags only and no piping, it still looked OK I think.
5. Use homemade fondant icing flowers in a colour to compliment the bunting. I used a blossom cutter and press to get the shape of these flowers. Put edible pearl shimmer beads in the centre of each flower with cake glue and dust the top flowers with some contrasting lustre dust.
6. Add paler pink flowers with cake glue to the points where the bunting drapes meet together along the cake sides.
7. Use a small mound of the fondant icing on the top of the cake to add a few of the flowers in a cluster, finish off with a circle of the bunting flags around these.
8. Add a ribbon to the bottom of the cake and secure with a pin at the back. You could put this on a cake board for a more finished look.