Cakes are a traditional Mothering Sunday gift – dating back to when servants would bake a cake to take home to their mother, often on the one day of the year they were allowed home. The most common cake was the Simnel cake – a fruit cake decorated in marzipan – which was then saved for eating until Easter.
This recipe is for a much lighter cake decorated with pastel colours of spring. With four layers and three different flavours of butter icing it really shows someone how much they mean to you (or how much you like cake!) but it is just as nice if you choose one flavour of buttering icing between two sandwich layers.
For the cake (Serves 16):
- 350g softened unsalted butter
- 350g golden caster sugar
- 6 medium eggs
- Zest of 3 lemons, plus the juice of two
- 350g self-raising flour
- Icing sugar to dust
For the icings:
- 40g raspberries
- 60g blueberries
- 3 passionfruit
- 225g softened unsalted butter
- 225g icing sugar
- You’ll also need two (or four if you have them) 20cm round sponge tins, greased and lined with baking paper.
1.) Preheat the oven to 170°C, fan 150°C, gas mark 3.
2.) In an electric mixer, or using a hand mixer, or even a wooden spoon and alot of energy, whisk the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Then beat in each egg one by one, followed by the zest of two lemons and juice of one – you can always add more depending on your taste.
3.) Sieve in the flour a bit at a time and carefully fold it in.
4.) Divide the mixture into the prepared tins – if you have four you may be able to bake them all at once, otherwise, you’ll need to do this two at a time.
5.) Bake each for 25 – 30 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean.
6.) Cool for 5 minutes and then turn them out on a wire rack to cool completely.
7.) In the meantime make the icings:
8.) For the raspberry, push the raspberries through a sieve, catching the puree in a bowl.
9.) For the blueberry icing, put the blueberries into a pan with four tablespoons of water and heat gently until the blueberries release their colour. Then sieve and save the puree.
10.) For the passionfruit icing, halve the fruit and push the seeds and pulp through a sieve – again reserving the pulp and discarding the seeds.
11.) Then beat the butter for the icing with a wooden spoon until it’s light and fluffy, before gradually sifting and beating in the icing sugar. Divide this into three bowls and gradually incorporate a small amount of the raspberry, blueberry and passionfruit into each one. Be careful as some have stronger colourings that others.
12.) Then you’re ready to assemble! Put one cake on your serving dish and spread a thick layer of blueberry icing, top with another cake and spread with the passionfruit icing, add one more cake and spread with raspberry icing before topping with the final cake.
13.) You can then decorate with a dusting of icing sugar, any remaining berries, edible flowers, ribbons or anything else you’d like.This could also make a pretty cake for an Easter celebration – just decorate with mini eggs or even a couple of fluffy chicks.