This cake is relatively straightforward to make, but it looks very impressive. The cake layers can be made in advance and frozen (once layered between pieces of parchment paper). Don’t let the piped effect put you off making this cake. If preferred, the buttercream can simply be spread on for a more simple finish.
Serves: 17 people
1 tsp Baking Soda
450 g Caster Sugar
50 g Cocoa Powder
2 large Eggs
300 g Plain Flour
600 g SuperValu Icing Sugar
150 ml SuperValu Sour Cream
150 g Unsalted Butter
plus extra for greasing
300 g Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
250 ml Water
For the Buttercream:
250 g SuperValu Raspberries
fresh or frozen
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Grease 4 x 20cm loose-bottomed sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper. Set the tins on two baking sheets. If you don’t have four tins, then split the recipe in half and make two at a time.
- Pour the water into a medium pan, add the butter and sift in the cocoa powder. Heat gently and stir until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
- Put the sugar, flour and baking soda in a large bowl and stir to combine. Beat the eggs, sour cream and vanilla in a jug, then add to the flour. Add the melted butter mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth and combined. Divide evenly between the prepared tins, levelling them with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, swapping the trays around on the shelves halfway through (if cooking all four at once). Once cooked, the cakes should be springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before carefully removing and leaving to cool completely on wire racks.
- Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Place the raspberries in a small pan and mash completely with a fork. Place the pan on a medium heat, bring to a gentle bubble and continue to cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until reduced by half and thickened. The final mixture should weigh about 125g. Remove and leave to cool completely.
- Beat the butter in an electric food mixer until pale and fluffy. Once the raspberry purée is completely cool, beat it in until well blended. Sift in the icing sugar in stages, beating it in well before adding the next. Spoon 200g of the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain nozzle (or a hole cut to this size if using a disposable bag). Set aside until ready to use.
- When ready to assemble, pipe a ring of buttercream in a circle right at the outside edge of one of the cakes. Pipe the rest of the bag of buttercream inside the ring and spread it smooth to fill the centre. You can just spread the buttercream all over if preferred, but the piped outer ring gives a neat finish once assembled. Repeat with another two layers, using 200g of buttercream each time.
- Spread a little buttercream in the centre of a serving plate or cake stand and stack these three layers neatly on top of each other on this. Top with the remaining cake, then spoon the remaining buttercream into the piping bag and pipe dots of it all over the top. Piping in circles works best, starting with the outside edge and working inwards. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- This can be served straight from the fridge, or if you prefer to eat a softer buttercream, then remove about 1 hour before serving.
TIP - Use blueberries, strawberries or mixed berries instead of raspberries if preferred. Just ensure the purée is cooked enough so that it’s almost jam-like rather than watery before adding to the butter.