I was jumping up and down LIKE A CHILD when I thought of this cake – its not something I’ve seen elsewhere, I just thought of it.
The cake came out almost exactly as I’d dreamed – a red and green layer velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and fondant holly berries and leaves, sprinkled with festive silver edible glitter frost.
To make the actual cake, I used the classic Delia sponge recipe, doubled, and added cocoa to make it a velvet cake (I’m sure this isn’t the technical definition of a velvet cake but it tasted good!)
- 350g soft butter
- 350g sugar (caster or light brown caster)
- 310g plain flour
- 40g cocoa powder (the lumps will NOT mix in so always use a sieve!)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp bicarb of soda
- 6 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Start by creaming the butter and sugar, then measure out your flour and cocoa…
Add the eggs to the butter mixture on at a time, and then add your flour mixture. Blend it up!
Next, I grabbed another bowl and put roughly one third of the cake mix into it (since I wanted one green layer and two red). If you’re more of a perfectionist than a bodger (me), feel free to measure out the mixture so that its completely accurate.
Once the mix is in the bowls, add your food colouring! I use sugarflair colouring as its the most concentrated one I’ve found – if you’ve never used it before, you can get it from cake supply shops where it will cost you between £2 and £3 a tub (its very concentrated so should last a while) or on ebay for 5 for £10.15
Just keep slowly adding and mixing your batter until the colour is what you want. I added A LOT of the Christmas Red colour to get the red this bright.
Yum! While that bakes, make the frosting. I used the Hummingbird Bakery cream cheese frosting. It is SO YUMMY.
- 300g icing sugar, sifted
- 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 125g cream cheese, cold
Stick the ingredients in a large bowl and blend away, by hand or with a mixer.
Time to assemble the cake! One of my cakes was larger than the other two as I used one larger cake pan. So to make them all the same size, I put one of the smaller cakes on top of it, and used it as a guide to cut off the excess cake. Worked well and the cake held together.
First, position the bottom layer of the cake on a large plate (its easier if this is also the plate you want to serve it on).
Add a dollop of frosting and on on your second and third layers. At this point my top two layers kept sliding off and I realised that my bottom layer wasn’t level. So I had to perform cake surgery by removing the top two layers and levelling off the bottom layer with a bread knife (just by cutting vertically across the cake until it was more of a level surface.
After that they all held together and were less lopsided! Continue frosting the cake (try to use around a third of the frosting as this is just a first, crumb layer). Don’t worry about how it looks too much yet, just try to cover it as evenly as you can, then put it in the fridge to firm up.
When that first layer has firmed, (probably anything after an hour, I did mine the next morning), add a second layer of frosting (the cream cheese frosting keeps very well in the fridge). Try to get it as even as you can, but don’t worry too much, whatever it looks like, it will taste DELICIOUS. Put it back into the fridge to set some more and start making the decorations (or just EAT).
To make the holly leaves, I got this holly cutter from the cake decorating company in Nottingham. It was around £3.30. As with everything you can also get them on eBay! The fondant/sugarpaste I used was Renshaws and I also got it at the cake decorating company and it was £1.50 for each colour. You can also get it in white (increasingly from the supermarket), and colour it yourself but I went for the convenience option.
I’d never really worked with fondant before but it was extremely easy – I just rolled out about a third of the packet using a normal large rolling pin and started cutting. I then dipped each leaf into a sprinkling of edible silver glitter so that my leaves had some frost! The glitter is between £2.50 and £3 per very small tub, but it goes a very very long way.
I used red fondant to make the holly berries – I just pinched off little balls, rounded them in my palms and added a little glitter to them.
First, I added holly leaves and berries to the top of the cake – they could have been more even if I’d planned the layout properly before I started.
Then I went around the side of the cake adding holly and berries -again it turned out pretty even despite a lack of planning. I think the frosting looks…. rustic?
Since I frosted the cake on the serving plate, once I’d done, I used some kitchen towel soaked in hot water to wipe up as much of the frosting from around the cake as I could, and then concealed the rest of the mess with christmas tree sprinkles, also from the cake decorating company in Nottingham.
I think its the best cake I ever made! I can’t wait to make a rainbow version….
Marty liked it too!
Are you planning on doing any Christmas baking? This cake is very festive but isn’t a traditional fruit Christmas cake as like a lot of people I’m not keen on those.