This was one of those cakes that kinda fell together. An amalgamation of well-known flavours and a few different textures that seemed to really work. It’s certainly a ‘showstopper’ kind of cake and wouldn’t look out of place at a Christmas/New Years dinner table, or a birthday party. This particular cake served as my brother’s 25th birthday cake – we wasted no time in reminding him that he is now a quarter of a century old. The glitter is super festive/glam in keeping with the December theme!
Cake decoration is a very personal thing. If you’re a regular decorator it’s likely you’ll have developed a style and flair that you add to your cakes, so that people know they’re your cakes. If you’re not a seasoned cake decorator, there is no reason you can’t add your own style to cakes that reflects your own personality, or indeed the person who the cake is for. I hope this cake inspires you to get in touch with your creative side and gives you a few ideas if you’re stuck! It kinda reminded me of a more polished, less complicated version of my own birthday cake. (If only my brother were more polished and less complicated than me…)
The cake itself is my usual, ride or die chocolate sponge cake that I use in ALL layer cakes. It’s an adaptation of a hummingbird bakery recipe that I’ve been using for years. Adding additional flavours allows you to personalise the cake and adapt it to fit any flavour profile. The cheesecake filling is, IMHO, the best filling for a large celebration cake. It’s not as sickly sweet as buttercream and adds a different flavour and texture – not dissimilar to mousse. To add another depth of flavour, add another spread or sauce in between each layer – why not 😉 ’tis the season, after all.
The stars of the show
Makes one 6″ cake to feed 12-16
For the cake:
80g salted butter, softened
280 golden caster sugar
200g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
240ml milk, whole or semi-skimmed
2 large eggs
1 tsp instant coffee powder dissolved in 1tsp hot water
1 tbsp vanilla extract
For the Biscoff Cheesecake Filling:
125g Mascarpone Cheese
140g Cream Cheese (I used Philadelphia)
150g butter, softened
1 jar Biscoff smooth spread
100g icing sugar
For the stiff buttercream:
100g icing sugar
3 tbsp biscoff spread
Coconut caramel spread (from Marks and Spencer)
For the chocolate shards:
50g white chocolate
50g plain chocolate
1. Grease and line a 6” cake tin with baking parchment. Heat the oven to 160FAN.
2. To make the cakes, mix the softened butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and cinnamon until it reaches a sandy consistency using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer.
3. In a jug, add the milk, coffee, vanilla and eggs and whisk together. Add to the dry ingredients and mix slowly, making sure to scrape down the sides.
4. Once the cake batter is ready, weigh the entire thing and divide it by four (mine worked out to be around 230g per cake layer, but be sure to weigh your own). Bake each cake in the oven for about 25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Leave the cakes to chill while you make the cheesecake filling.
1. Beat the butter, cream cheese and mascarpone cheese together. Add about half the jar of biscoff spread and mix until combined.
2. To stabilise the cheesecake filling, you need to make a stiff buttercream and add it to the cheesecake mix. This increases the butter content and means that once chilled, your cake won’t collapse! Mix the 75g butter until soft and creamy. Sift in the 100g icing sugar and biscoff spread and mix until you get a stiff frosting.
3. Add this frosting to the cheesecake filling and cover the bowl in cling film and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
4. Once chilled, prepare a piping bag with a round nozzle and give the filling a final whip. Fill the piping bag and layer the filling in between each layer of the cake.
If you want to add an additional flavour, add it amongst the cheesecake filling between each layer. I used coconut caramel spread from Marks and Spencer and it complemented the cake perfectly.
To make the chocolate shards for the decorations, melt 50g white chocolate and 50g plain chocolate. Swirl them together over some baking parchment and add some sprinkles. Let it set and paint with glitter.
The edible glitter is a great, inexpensive alternative to gold leaf and you can put it EVERYWHERE 🙂 (I got mine from Tesco).
To make this a festive cake, you can use the melted chocolate to make tree shapes and leave them to set. These, stacked around the cake or placed on top would look lovely.
Keep it nice and chilled in the fridge!