I like to make the cake myself for special occasions. And by “special occasion” I don’t only mean birthdays, but also bigger family events. In 2013, I made our wedding cake and last week, Janka’s baptism cake was the challenge. I wanted something nice but easy-to-make. In this post, you can read how the cake was made.
This recipe isn’t sugar-free but I’ll give you some tips on how to make it low(er)-carb at the end of the post.
I imagined a kind of a fruity flavor, but there’s always a debate on who likes what (or if they like fruit at all), so I decided to make a slightly lemony sponge and vanilla mascarpone frosting and as a surprise, I also put some strawberry jam in the cake.
For the sponge:
– 4 eggs
– 250 g sugar
– 300 g flour
– 200 ml orange juice
– 200 ml vegetable oil
– 1 sachet (15 g) baking powder
– zest of half a lemon
For the frosting:
– 500 g mascarpone
– 400 ml heavy cream
– 150 g confectioner’s sugar
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 2 Tbsp. strawberry jam
For the decoration:
– gel food colouring
– edible sugar beads
For this type of sponge cake, I always use a hand whisk because I don’t want to overmix it.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Whisk the eggs with the sugar until the mixture becomes pale yellow. Mix in the oil and the juice well, add the lemon zest, then the flour and the baking powder. Line the bottom of two 25 cm cake tins with parchment paper. (Again, I was too lazy to wash up the tin, so I used the disposable ones that I used for my chocolate-coffee cake.)
Pour half of the batter into one tin and the other half into the other tin and bake them for about half an hour. Let them cool completely. I put my sponges into the pantry for a night.
For the frosting, beat the cream until stiff. Put the mascarpone, the confectioner’s sugar, and the vanilla into a big bowl and whisk them until the mixture becomes smooth and fluffy. Fold the whipped cream in and put the frosting into the fridge while you get the sponges ready for frosting.
Cut the dome of the sponges to get straight tops. Spoon the jam into a small plastic bag and cut the corner. Spoon some of the frosting into a piping bag with a big, simple round piping tip in it. Onto one of the sponges, “draw” a circle with the frosting along the edge, then comes a jam circle, another frosting circle, and jam should go in the centre. Put the other sponge on top and frost the cake with the rest of the frosting. I ran all around the cake with a cake comb to create a pattern but you can leave it smooth. Leave the cake in the fridge while you make the decoration.
Here comes the exciting part! We’re making the decoration. I tinted some of the fondant pink using a drop of red food colouring and left the rest white. I didn’t measure how much fondant I used altogether as I made two of each decoration element to have a backup in case one of them broke of tore.
I rolled out the white fondant to half a cm thick on some cornstarch. I cut the letters of Janka’s name and a dove using a cookie cutter. I rolled out the pink fondant to half a cm thick as well, cut a 6*25 cm rectangle and arranged the letters on it. Once I was satisfied with the arrangement, I “glued” the letter onto the rectangle using some water.
For the cross, I cut a 1.5*20 cm stripe with a pizza slicer from the white fondant and cut a V-shape from both ends of the stripe as if it was a ribbon. I also needed two 1,5*8 cm stripes – I cut these with the pizza slicer as well, but I left the ends straight. I folded all the fondant ribbons in half loosely. I didn’t press them, so they could get a nice loop. With the wider end of a piping tip, I also cut a small circle. I cut a base for the cross from the pink fondant using a tart tin. I bought this 12 cm tart tin at Tesco years ago.
I “glued” the long fondant ribbon onto the centre of the base with some water. I placed the two shorter ones (the shorter crossbars of the cross) onto both sides and hid the joint with the small fondant circle that I had cut with the piping tip. I dampened the top of the circle with a tiny amount of water and created a cross from edible beads.
I placed the cross on the top of the cake and put the “name plate” onto the side. I placed the dove next to the name plate.
You can make the decoration in advance. Put them onto parchment paper where they dry in a few hours and it’s also easy to remove them from the parchment as they don’t stick to it.If you don’t have cornstarch, confectioner’s sugar works just as well for rolling out the fondant.
If you don’t have cornstarch, confectioner’s sugar works just as well for rolling out the fondant.
For the low(er)-carb version, half of the flour should be all-purpose flour and the other half should be whole wheat flour. Substitute the sugar with the same amount of xylitol or erythritol and use sugar-free jam.