I am guilty of constantly pinning beautiful cakes on Pinterest, thinking I will get round to making one of my own but never actually doing it. My sister’s graduation party finally gave me an adequate excuse to make a large cake. I am a big fan of the naked cake trend. Yes it sounds naughty. It simply means bare sponges on display rather than iced cakes. This seems more authentic to me and I love the endless ideas that talented bakers come up with for decorating naked cakes. I made a simple Victoria sponge cake. This is my go to cake as it is a crowd pleasure and so simple to make. My favourite bakes are the ones where you can just bung everything into a bowl and mix (laziness has a part to play in why I prefer this method). I always use the same recipe from none other than the queen of baking, Mary Berry. It never lets me down! You can find her recipe in both her books and online.
To decorate the cake I used icing sugar, fresh fruit, flowers and meringue kisses. These flowers were just picked from the garden (as I ran out of time to order edible flowers) so were removed from the cake before serving! You can buy edible flowers from places such as Maddocks farm organics. You can order from them online and this saves you the hassle of trying to track down a local shop.
The recipe for the meringue kisses came from The Meringue Girls. If you haven’t come across their recipes yet go and check out their website and Pinterest account. Who knew meringues could look that pretty! It is a straight forward recipe which involves only a few ingredients. To make the pink striped effect, I used a piping bag and painted on pink gel colouring onto the inside of the bag in strips. The meringue mixture is then added into the bag before piping.
To top it off I made a gold, reusable cake topper. Cake toppers are on trend at the moment, especially for weddings, so if you would rather buy one than make your own you will find plenty of businesses to buy one from. I would recommend looking on Etsy or Not on the high street. For my cake topper I typed out a word on the computer and picked a font. I wanted to use a hand-written style font (this type is called Debby). Print it out to scale on A4 paper. This will be used as your template. I laid my template on top of thick card and cut around the stencil using a scalpel. There are a number of ways you can make your design colourful. You can buy coloured card, print out a pattern, use coloured vinyl, or go mad and glitter the whole thing! Cocktail sticks were then attached to the back to allow the topper to easily slide in and out of the cake.
- Cake ingredients (whatever sponge recipe you like)
- Thick card
- Template (either printed or hand written)
- Meringue ingredients
- Multiple cake tins (same size)
- Cake stand
- Fresh fruit
- If you do not have a piping bag there are ways to make one with materials you already have at home so there is no need to spend more money. I have never been able to master the technique of turning your baking sheet paper into a piping bag but my trick is simply using a clear sandwich bag. Just snip of one of the bottom corners with scissors.
- Make sure you choose a sponge recipe that will work well for layering. You need the sponges to be able to stack on top of each other with ease.
Go the extra mile
- It doesn’t have to be words that are used for your topper. Why not cut out stars and have a range of sizes and heights sticking out of your cake.
- You can colour your sponges before baking using food gel. By adding more gel to each sponge mixture you can create a gradient effect in your sponges.
Stick to skewers in and the ends of the cake and create mini bunting using string and coloured paper (cut into triangles) to hang over the cake.
- Experiment with different fruit and decorations. Melt chocolate and drip it, carefully, down the sides of the cake for a wow factor.