Three weeks ago a friend was having a birthday BBQ and I made a lemon and blueberry cake. I wanted it to be a special so I decided to make a lemon and blueberry piñata cake. With piñata cakes you cut out the middle and fill it with sweeties, or in this case blueberries, so that when it cut it open they all spill out. I wanted to cut small holes in the cake and fill those with blueberries so that everyone got their own personal little piñata piece of fun.
I had momentarily forgotten that lemon and blueberries are my husband’s favourite cake flavours. When he heard about the cake he said “When’s my birthday, oh… not for another ten months, oh…. I’m going to have to wait ages for a cake of my own?” A few weeks later I realised Father’s Day was approaching. This cake would make an ideal Father’s Day cake.
I have made a few changes to the original cake I made. The first cake was a Madeira sponge, whereas this cake is a Victoria sponge, which means it has less flour in it. The first cake was thick and I cut it into three layers. I have learned that for a super light, super fluffy cake it’s better to bake the layers in separate tins, and that’s what I’ve done in the recipe below.
Next week I’m going to publish a post on Victoria and Madeira sponges. If you are new to cake making I’m hoping this will be a helpful post. It will be full of hints and tips on sponge cake baking in general.
Here are some tips for making this cake in particular:
Having baked the three cake layers separately, I used a shot glass to remove holes of cake from the middle layer. I filled these holes with blueberries. You don’t want a half empty hole when you cut through it, so be sure to pack the blueberries in.
I used the removable bottoms of the cake to help move the layers of cake from the cooling rack to assemble the cake.
To make the butter icing you beat softened butter and icing sugar together with an electric whisk. Cakesbakesandcookies.com suggests using a damp tea towel to cover the bowl while you whisk. This prevents the kitchen from looking like a snowstorm has passed through after you finish.
When decorating the cake with the strawberries, take some strawberries and cut about a third of the fruit off, and cut some as just thin slices of strawberries. Leave the stalk on because the green is part of the overall look.
Ensure you keep the shot glass rounds of cake that you have cut out of the middle layer. There is just enough butter icing to do the cake and then top the spare rounds of cake. With a cup of tea this makes a fitting reward for finishing the cake.
Lemon and blueberry pinãta cake
340 g / 12 oz butter
340 g / 12 oz caster sugar
6 large eggs
340 g / 12 oz self raising flour
3 tsp baking powder
250 g / 9 oz blueberries
280 g / 10 oz strawberries
310 g / 11oz butter
570 g / 1 lb 4 oz icing sugar
2 lemons, juice and rind
16 – 20
Carbohydrate per 1/16 – 77g carbs
Carbohydrate per 1/20 – 62g carbs
3 x 20 cm / 8” round tins
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F / Gas mark 4.
2. Grease and line the three cake tins.
3. In a large bowl beat the butter until it’s soft with an electric whisk, alternatively use a strong arm and a wooden spoon. Add the caster sugar and beat until it’s all combined and the mixture has turned a pale yellow colour. This may take up to a minute of beating, the aim is to get lots of air into the mixture.
4. Add an egg at a time and beat well to combine.
5. In a separate bowl combine the flour and the baking powder.
6. Sift the flour on top of the butter mixture and using a metal spoon fold the flour into the butter mixture. The moment the flour is combined stop mixing, as further mixing is likely to remove the air you added earlier.
7. Using the metal spoon, spoon the mixture into the three baking tins. Gently smooth the top and put straight into the pre heated oven.
8. The cakes will take 20 – 25 minutes. The cakes are done when they have shrunk back from the side of the tin, spring back under the weight of your finger and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Resist the temptation to open the oven door early.
9. While the cakes cook, make the butter icing. In a large bowl beat the butter until it’s smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and then beat until the icing is smooth. (See tip above.)
10. Grate the rind of the lemons and squeeze the juice. Add both rind and juice to the icing and beat again to combine.
11. When the cakes are done, leave them in the tins for 15 minutes to cool and then remove from the tin onto a cooling rack.
12. When the cakes are completely cool, take the middle layer and cut a number of 3 ½ cm / 1 ½” holes through the sponge in a circle round the cake. I use a shot glass to do this, but I sharp knife would work similarly well.
13. Position the bottom layer of cake on your serving plate/dish. Top with 190 g / 6 ½ oz, or a 1/5 of the lemon icing and spread out evenly.
14. Carefully position the middle layer on top of the bottom layer.
15. Fill the holes with 160 g / 5 ½ oz of blueberries. Spread over this layer of cake another 190 g / 6 ½ oz, or a 1/5 of the lemon icing.
16. Put the top layer of cake on top of the middle layer. Add another 190 g / 6 ½ oz, or a 1/5 of the lemon icing and spread out.
17. Use the remaining icing to cover the sides of the cake.
18. Decorate the top of the cake with the strawberries and then the remaining blueberries.
19. Pop in the fridge to set the lemon icing hard. Remove well before serving so the cake can return to room temperature.
Once you have started eating the cake, it keeps well for three to four days in an airtight container.
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