Saturday, 16 June 2012

Bunting cake - for a Queen - recipe

Its been the Queen's diamond jubilee (just in case you slept through it all) and it was also my mums birthday on 3rd June too...and my auntie's birthday on the same day coooooeeeee *waves* to the very youthful Aunty Irene! My mothers not a twin by the way but her sister was born on the same day, they share a birthday.

So I made her a cake...not the queen...not the aunty...the queen mother of course! I made her a fruit cake, you know a proper one from scratch and covered it in marzipan and icing as she likes that particular kind of cake and when I made something similar last year she scoffed the lot the greedy so and so thought it was just delightful.

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 of a bugger hard in getting off the backing paper, one pattern was stuck on for grim life.

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
4tbsp brandy
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)
sieved marmalade
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
sugar pearls/beads
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.


  1. Happy belated birthday to Edith. Hope she enjoyed her beautiful cake.

    Twitter @blueKitchenBake

  2. Happy Belated Birthday Edith!! This cake is STUNNING!! I bought some sugar sheets from cake international but neglected to buy the little triangle cutter to make the bunting! Doh! Ready made bunting seems like the way to go. Love the flowers too - I'm too scared to try something like that. I'm sure you know where to find me but just in case @bakingaddict or

    1. I couldn't cut my sheets with a metal cutter at all. ONLY A KNIFE! x

  3. Gosh lucky Edith, what a splendid cake to receive and a belated happy birthday too. That really is beautiful Sue, you are a real artist. I'd love some of those flags because I'm an avid collector of things that will be useful to decorate cakes, but I'd never manage to do anything half as beautiful as this. In fact if I managed half as good, I'd be really pleased.

  4. What a fab cake! It is my mum's 70th birthday this year & I am planning on making her a lovely cake! Happy Belated Birthday to your mum! xx @NicsNotebook

  5. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Edith , happy birthday to you

    Mums are so precious and the cake shows how loved you are

    Best wishes @crossmoorhoney

  6. You are very clever! Happy belated birthday Edith! ,mellysocks(at)aim(dot)com

  7. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Happy Birthday to Edith, and that cake is simply stunning Sue....such a professional finish and SUCH elegant decorations too. Karen xx

  8. Looks divine and so professional too! Happy birthday Edith!

  9. This is such a pretty cake...I bet your mum loved it!!! :-)

  10. Susan - That cake is spectacular! The post itself must have take you forever to write, never mind how long the cake took. Happy belated Birthday to Edith and Aunty Irene (and also to my daughter Violet who was 6 on the 3rd June too!) My husband shares a birthday with his sister (and one of our other daughters!) - am always fascinated by birthdays. I wish I knew about Cupcake Bling earlier - love those bunting flags. I can see me spending a LOT of time on their site. Thanks for entering Cake of the Week! Hx

    1. Thanks Helen it wasn't perfect in every way but it has developed an amazing flavour so I am told.
      Happy belated birthday to the very lovely

  11. Hi Edith, I'm so so sorry I missed your birthday, I hope you had a fab time and enjoyed your beautiful cake! My Mum has her birthday next month so if I am lucky enough to win she may get a lovely cake too. She would also scoff the mean enjoy a slice!

    Ps Hi Susan, what a wonderful cake, I found your blog through Cake of the week at Casa Costello xx

    1. Thanks Rach, I think mums tend to like a good rich fruit cake best of all. x

  12. stunning , both the cake and the blog :-) , I too found you @ casa costello

  13. Happy Birthday Edith! That cake looks amazing, you must have so much patience!

  14. Such a beautiful cake. I love the bunting. Bet your mum loved it too :)

  15. Belissimo! I am such a big fan of bunting and this cake is just perfect! I love the icing used to make the binting I never knew you could get such things so now I will have to go off and explore and I blame it all on you!


Please leave a comment...if you have tried one of my recipes I'd love feedback, and thank you for taking time to pop by to read my blog.

Susan x