A bit of a retro feel with the cake itself but I was at least able to restrict myself to 2 distinct flavours/colours of sponge rather than go too over-the-top with loads of flavours and colours!
As with most of my cakes, I aim to have distinct flavours to accompany the colours: a coloured sponge that tastes just of plain cake, no matter how lovely the cake, doesn’t tick the boxes for me: so a red cake has to taste of something fruity such as raspberry, strawberry, blackcurrant etc….
In this cake I have plumped for raspberry-flavoured sponge and lemon-flavoured sponge, using natural fruit powders, lemon zest and natural food colourings. A thin layer of sharp lemon buttercream covers the cake as well as sandwiching together the three layers.
While you can use checkerboard cake tins, I find that base-lining a tin with greaseproof and piping the mixture in concentric circles of different flavoured sponge – starting from the centre – gives a very good effect; as the mixture is not too runny there is no danger of the different mixtures bleeding into each other – see pictures below. For piping the mixtures I use disposable piping bags and cut off about an inch from the bottom.
Alternatively, you pour one flavour into a large cake tin and the other flavour into another tin. Once baked you can cut out and then re-assemble concentric rings of different flavoured cake as in the pictures below:
Decorate the cake in any way you want or leave the cake as it is, coated in a fruity buttercream; a simple exterior revealing a fun interior can be quite appealing, but with my love of zingy fruit flavours I also like to coat the cake in dried raspberry pieces.
Rather than have one large cake here, I have gone for two smaller 10cm cakes, for which you need six 10cm circular cake tins (or wide, shallow ramekins). These cakes each have 3 layers. You can bake in batches and re-use the tins with more of the cake mixture if you don’t have enough tins.
Alternatively you can make one large 9″ cake, using three 9″ cake tins. For a large cake, a 10-egg mixture will give good cake depth.
Cake (makes two 10cm cakes)
- 3 eggs
- 175g each: sifted self-raising flour, unsalted butter or margarine, caster sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder, sifted
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoons each of lemon powder and raspberry powder
- a few drops each of natural yellow and red food colouring
- grated zest of 1 large lemon
- 1 tablespoon freeze-dried raspberry flakes
- 100g softened unsalted butter
- 200g sifted icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons each of lemon or raspberry fruit powder – or vanilla extract
- dried raspberry flakes
You will also need six 10cm circular cake tins or ramekins, base-lined with greaseproof, and two piping bags
- Preheat oven to 160C (fan)
- Mix together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and milk until combined – don’t over-work the mixture of the cake will not be light. Split into two portions.
- Add the lemon powder, zest and a little yellow food colouring to one portion and mix in gently. I like little more than a tinge of colour rather than a foray into the world of psychedelia but go for whatever depth of colour you want – although the colour does fade a little when baked. Put this mixture into a piping bag.
- Add the raspberry powder, raspberry pieces and a little red food colouring to the other mixture and mix in gently. Put this mixture into another piping bag.
- Snip off the ends of each piping bag to give a hole of about an inch diameter. In the first tin, pipe concentric circles of alternate colours eg) red in centre, then surrounded by yellow then surrounded by red. I go for 3 thick rings but there are few limits here! (cake 1)
- In the second tin, pipe the other way round ie) start with yellow in the centre (cake 2)
- If going for three layers, in a third tin, pipe the same way as the first tin (cake 3)
- Level off the mixture carefully and bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes until well risen, just pulling away from the sides and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Turn onto cooking rack and leave to cool fully.
- Peel off the greaseproof and place cake 1 on a board. Add buttercream to the top and smooth. Place cake 2 on top of this, with a layer of buttercream on top, followed by cake 3 (if having 3 layers). Cover the top and the sizes with buttercream, and a light sprinkling of raspberry flakes. Or go to town and coat the cakes in raspberry flakes…….