Make showstopper cakes

Make showstopper cakes

Posted 8th Oct 2015

It's National Cake Week (5th to 11th October) and we've three showstopping cake recipes that should take centre stage at your next dinner party

Raspberry and Coconut Layer Cake

Serves 12

For the cake:
230g unsalted butter, softened
65g agave syrup
100g unrefined golden caster sugar
2 eggs and 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
240ml buttermilk
300g spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder (use gluten-free if preferred)
Pinch of salt
150g fresh raspberries

For the frosting:
140g coconut oil
160g unsalted butter, softened
350g golden icing sugar
5 tablespoons Meridian maple syrup

Extra fresh raspberries and coconut shavings to decorate

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC Fan. Line the base and sides of three 20cm sandwich cake tins with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl beat the butter until pale, soft and creamy. Whisk in the agave syrup then the golden caster sugar. Beat in the eggs and yolks one by one, then the vanilla extract and buttermilk. If the mixture looks like its curdling at any point, add a few spoons of flour and continue whisking.

3. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into the mixture and gently fold in. Fold in the raspberries then divide between the cake tins, gently spread to the edges and bake straight away for 30-35 minutes, or until it springs back when gently pressed in the centre. Once cooked, cool in the tins for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. While cooling make the frosting. Beat together the butter and coconut oil then beat in all of the other ingredients to make a firm frosting. Divide the mixture into thirds. Put the bottom layer on your serving plate or cake stand and spread one third of the frosting over it. Gently place the next layer on top and repeat until you have all three layers with a layer of frosting on top. Decorate the top with coconut shavings and fresh raspberries.

Recipe courtesy of



Chocolate Peanut Butter Celebration Cake

Serves 12

For the brittle:
250ml agave syrup
80ml coconut oil
90g salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the cake:
115g butter, room temperature
150g rice bran syrup
115g unrefined brown sugar
3 eggs
125ml low fat greek yoghurt
300g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
80g cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk

For the peanut frosting:
400g light cream cheese
100g smooth peanut butter
100g unrefined icing sugar
For the dark chocolate icing:
70g butter, room temperature
60g good quality 85% chocolate, melted
200g unrefined icing sugar
½ teaspoon Meridian molasses
2 tablespoons milk

1. Start by making the brittle. Measure the agave syrup and coconut oil into a medium-sized heavy-based saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring continuously until the syrup reaches hard crack temperature (150ºC/300ºF). Remove from the heat and stir in peanuts then pour onto a silicone or non-stick parchment paper. Put into the freezer for two hours to cool.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC Fan and grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins. In a large bowl beat the butter until pale, soft and creamy. Whisk in the rice bran syrup then the unrefined brown sugar. Beat in the eggs one by one, then the yoghurt. If the mixture looks like its curdling at any point, add a few spoons of flour and continue whisking.

3. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa and gently fold in, adding the milk towards the end to make a smooth batter. Once combined, spoon into the sandwich tins, spread to the edges and bake for 25 minutes until they spring back when touched. Cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. For the peanut butter frosting, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Slice the cooled cakes horizontally in half to make four equal layers. Put the bottom layer on a board or plate, cut side up, and spread with a quarter of the frosting. Repeat until you have four layers of cake and three layers of frosting.

5. To make the dark chocolate icing, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Divide the frosting into thirds and mix half of the remaining peanut frosting into one third of the chocolate frosting.

6. To apply the ombre icing spread the top of the cake with one third of the chocolate icing, spread the next third down the side of the cake just covering the top layer. Use the remaining peanut frosting at the bottom of the cake to cover the sides and fill in the gap in the middle with the mixed frosting. You will now have striped sides to your cake. Use a pallet knife to smooth the sides and blur the colours together to create an ombre effect.

7. Crack the brittle into big shards and use to decorate the top of the cake.


Recipe courtesy of



Four Layer Salted Caramel Cake

Makes a four layer 9” cake using 4 sandwich tins.

570g self-raising flour, sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
¾ teaspoons salt
375g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
225g dark Muscovado sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs
375ml milk, room temperature

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line four 9” sandwich cake tins with baking paper.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

3. Beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 1 minute between each addition.

4. With the mixer on low speed, add half the flour and then half the milk until fully combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk. Ensure you don’t over-mix.

5. Divide the mixture equally between the four tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.

6. Turn out onto a baking rack to cool completely then chill for at least 2 hours before icing.

For the salted caramel sauce:
170g unsalted butter
200g golden caster sugar
100g golden syrup
250ml double cream
1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt

1. Melt 70g of the butter, all of the sugar and golden syrup together in a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium to high heat. Leave to simmer for 2 minutes until the butter has melted, gently stirring every now and then.

2. Once the butter has almost melted stir the sugar continuously with a wooden spoon to break it up. If the sugar clumps together just keep stirring, it will melt. Pay close attention so it doesn’t burn, make sure you move all of the sugar around especially the centre and sides of the pan.

3. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a deep amber colour, at this point it can burn easily so keep a close eye on it. Use a thermometer to get the temperature up to 176 degrees.

4. Immediately add the rest of the butter and gently stir until melted. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the cream slowly. Stir until the cream is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

5. Stir in the salt.

6. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then pour into a glass bowl until it reaches room temperature. Pour 1/3 of the sauce into a separate bowl for the buttercream.

For the buttercream:
500g unsalted butter, softened
1kg icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 portion of salted caramel sauce

1. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy, add the sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.

2. Add the salted caramel sauce and beat in until fully incorporated.

To assemble your cake:
1. Once the cake has completely chilled, spread a little of the buttercream onto a cake board or serving stand.

2. Place the bottom layer of the cake onto the board. Spread the buttercream over the cake layer.

3. Place one of the cut layers on top of the bottom iced layer. Spread the buttercream over and repeat with the second cut out layer. Repeat with the next two layers. Ice the top of the cake and the sides.

4. Place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.


For the honeycomb:
4 tablespoons golden syrup
200g golden caster sugar
3 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

1. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin or tray.

2. Heat the golden syrup and sugar together in a large saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer on a low heat for 5-10 minutes.

3. You can test if it’s ready by dropping a little of the syrup mixture into water, it should become brittle.

4. Remove from heat and add the bicarbonate of soda. Working quickly mix it in as it will begin to foam up upon contact. Pour into the cake tin immediately.

5. Leave to set then remove from the tin by pulling up the baking paper. Cut into shards using a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.


To decorate the cake:

1. Gently melt the remaining salted caramel sauce and pour over the top of the chilled cake. Using an angled palette knife carefully spread the sauce over the edge of the cake to create drips.

2. Use the shards of honeycomb to decorate.


Recipe courtesy of Molly Bakes


Related articles
Posted 27th Jul 2018

Ensuring your puppy gets enough brain food

Ensuring your puppy gets enough brain food

Posted 27th Jul 2018

The wonderful gooseberry

The wonderful gooseberry

Posted 27th Jul 2018

Staying in the Norfolk Broads

Staying in the Norfolk Broads

Posted 23rd Jul 2018

A look at Dudley Canal Tunnel

A look at Dudley Canal Tunnel

July issue on sale 7th June

Subscribe to our newsletter