In hindsight it was probably quite an odd thing to do, but to in my mind it was perfectly logical to make my own birthday cake. The fact of the matter is, I have Cake Distrust Syndrome (it’s pretty self-explanatory) but I generally worry that if someone else were to bake me a cake it would either be inedible and kill me, or, be better (difficult to imagine, I know). I did draw a line at providing my own candles but maybe for my 28th year I should become less competitive……
Taken from the Hummingbird Bakery Book
- 120 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 300 g caster sugar
- 2 egg
- 40 g cocoa powder
- 80 ml red food colouring (mine wasn’t that ‘red’ so you may need to play around)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 240 ml buttermilk
- 300 g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 tsp white vinegar
- 600 g icing sugar, sifted
- 40 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 250 g cream cheese, cold
- x 3 20cm cake tins greased and lines
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
- Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a very thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk.
- Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating the icing sugar and unsalted butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat it until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
- Ice two sponges together and then cover the top and sides with the remaining butter icing.