So a friend and I spent Saturday making this cake for him based on a very basic (but pretty damn good!) Victoria sponge recipe adapted from the Love Food Cakes book (published by Parragon Books) and some decorating inspiration from Google images! This little cake book is perfect if, like me, you aren't a brilliant baker but every now and again need a simple recipe for a tasty cake that you can't get too wrong
So anyway, we made this hilarious cake which went down a treat, and as the birthday boy is called Nick, another friend then came up with a fantastic name for it... the 'Nick 'n' Mix' Cake!
2 tbsp baking powder
350g unsalted butter, softened
350g caster sugar
6 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla essence
a little milk if necessary
ready to roll icing (enough to cover the cake)
a pack of flat strawberry strips
a large cup of pic 'n' mix
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease two rectangle cake tins (the recipe is for two 8inch round tins but I've doubled it for this cake, so if the long side of your tin is about 8-12inch then it should be about right) and line with baking paper.
Then divide between the two cake tins and bake for about 30-40mins or until risen, firm and golden brown (we had to cook ours for over an hour because I only had one tin and not enough time - any baker will tell you this is not how to cook a cake - but it did work alright so its up to you!) However you do it, just make sure that you can stick a knife in the middle and it comes out clean, then you'll know it's cooked through. Leave the cake/s to cool on a wire rack.
While the cake is cooling you can make your butter icing - I haven't given any quantities because I just keep mixing the icing sugar into a dollop of butter until it tastes good, but most icing sugar boxes will give the quantities. Add a couple of drops of vanilla essence while you are still mixing.
Once cool then use a bread knife to carefully saw through the middle of the cake (if you've done one big one) and to cut off the dome of the cake - you are aiming for a completely flat surface on the top of both halves. You also want to cut the sides of the cake at a slight diagonal, so that one half of the cake (the top end of the bag) is wider than the bottom.
Thinly coat one of the halves with jam and the other with butter cream, then pop one on top of the other. If you've made enough butter cream then coat the cake in a thin layer to stick the icing.
Next roll our your icing and drape over the cake. Fold in the bottom for a paper bag effect, then cut all the way round three sides with a pizza cutter or sharp knife, leaving an overhang on the top end of the cake (the wider end). We also used a pair of scissors to get the zigzag effect along the top edge.
Heat up a bit of jam then spread a thin layer along one side of your strawberry strips to stick them to the cake in stripes.
Roll out another little bit of icing to write on, cut into an oval shape and stick this on top of the stripes. Finally, pour out your pic 'n' mix and stack up next to the cake, making sure that the icing bag goes around the top of the pile. Then pop in the candles and get singing!!