Blue ombré birthday cake

Blue ombré birthday cake

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This year I want to challenge myself with my baking, and try new things, (including bread!), as well as improving old recipes of mine. This sponge is a good way to start any year, as it’s light and fluffy, gently speckled with vanilla seeds, and covered with a striking and beautiful icing, which will be enjoyed by everyone!

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This birthday cake, which I made for my sister before I went back to uni this week after the Christmas holidays, was inspired by the fresh colours of January. I always feel that January is a pale blue kind of month – slightly washed out, slightly icy, but still a pretty colour. This cake is simple, with a vanilla sponge and jam filling, but it will appeal to everyone, and is a great staple.

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Blue ombré birthday cake

For the cakes:

340g butter

340g caster sugar

2tsp vanilla bean paste

6 eggs

340g self-raising flour

150g strawberry jam

For the icing:

120g butter, softened

500g icing sugar

30ml milk

1tsp vanilla bean paste

Blue gel food colouring

Blue macarons and candles to decorate

3 x 20cm cake tins, greased and lined with baking paper

Preheat the oven to 180°C

  1. For the cakes, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric whisk, until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each egg, and adding a spoonful of flour if it looks like it might curdle.
  3. Sift in the remaining flour once all the eggs have been added, and fold it in.
  4. Spoon the mixture equally into the 3 tins, and cook for 20-25 minutes, until risen and the sponge springs back when lightly touched.
  5.  Meanwhile make the icing – put the butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla in a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  6. Divide the icing into 4 bowls, and colour accordingly – you want one left white, one with 8 drops of blue gel in, one with 16-20 drops of blue gel in, and the final bowl with enough blue gel to turn it a dark blue colour.
  7. When the cakes are done, remove them from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. When cold, even up the tops with a serrated knife until even, then layer the, up on a cake stand with the strawberry jam.
  9. Now you are ready to ice! Ice the top of the cake and ¼ of the way down the side with the white icing. Then spread the palest blue another ¼ of the way down, slightly blurring the join with your palette knife.
  10. Repeat with the remaining two blue icings, then draw your palette knife round the whole cake to create a smooth finish.
  11. Decorate with macarons and candles and serve!
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