What do you get if you add one Saturday, my best friend’s birthday and lots of sweets? This celebration cake apparently!
Inspired by one of Annika Latimer’s cakes (she’s fab go check her pictures out on her Facebook page), this cake did take most of the day but I was so pleased with the result.
The cake itself is a simple vanilla sponge sandwich, made with 3 eggs. Once the cake is cooled, sandwich together with buttercream (icing sugar, margarine, a splash of milk and a dash of vanilla essence… You know the drill).
Then apply a thin layer of buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes, until set. This first layer is called a crumb coat because once set it contains the crumbs and means a second layer will be wonderfully crumb free.
Once the first layer is set, cover the sides of the cake again with a second layer of buttercream, completely obscuring the cake. For this particular cake, there is no need to put the second buttercream layer on the top, as the ganache will cover this anyway. Chill again, for at least 30 mins.
I made the ganache as per this recipe by Cassie Best, although my chocolate didn’t all melt using this method and required some heat. Drizzle the ganache around the edges of the cake first and coax it off the top of the cake using the back of a spoon, to form (supposedly) natural looking drips. Then spoon the ganache over the remainder of the top of the cake and smooth it out. My ganache was a bit lumpy at this point and it didn’t look as perfect as I’d hoped, but honestly once the sweets are on, it doesn’t even notice!
Now comes the fun part…decorating!
Be sure to act quickly, before the ganache sets and start decorating! It’s probably best to start with the taller pieces of chocolate bar and then add the smaller bits around these. I poked the taller items into the cake to enable them to stand up, so don’t be afraid of doing this!
You can use any mixture of sweets and so on for decoration. This is a list of the ingredients I used.
Crunchie bar (broken up)
Kinder bars (broken up)
Fondant icing shapes
Haribo style gummy sweets
Bar of white chocolate
Fizzy rainbow strips
Coffee bean cake sprinkles
I included a some fondant icing shapes – butterflies, stars and roses. More on my method for making the roses here. I sprayed some chocolate buttons and pretzels with Dr Oetker Shimmer Spray in silver (I bought mine in Waitrose, but it is also available in more specialist shops and of course online). I used the shimmer spray on a plate in the garden, to minimise mess. Of course any mixture of sweets can be used for this cake, I particularly like the smarties as they’re colourful, and the pretzels as they’re an interesting shape.