Madeira birthday cake (covered in roses)

Today is my Nan’s birthday, and I’ve been planning for a while to make her a surprise birthday cake – one of her favourites is Madeira cake so naturally I went with that. I had quite a few ideas for decoration, but decided to cover the whole cake in buttercream roses (she loves flowers and gardening).

Here’s the ingredients for the Madeira cake I made:

200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
200g self-raising flour
100g plain flour
zest of 1 and a half unwaxed lemons

I use a fan oven so pre-heated to 160C and prepared my 8 inch round, springform cake tin with baking paper on the base and butter on the sides – this cake will not stick!

Next, I creamed together the butter and sugar until fluffy and gradually added my eggs (one at a time, giving each on a good beat each time). I slowed the mixer to the lowest speed and folded in the flours, 2 tablespoons at a time. Finally I added the lemon zest. If you have a stand mixer – make sure you scrape down the sides of your bowl regularly with a spatula to make sure everything mixes in thoroughly.

The batter was then poured into the tin and gently smoothed before entering the oven for 1hr 10 minutes (the time will vary depending on your over, basically until an inserted cake tester comes out clean).

My recipe recommended waiting 24hrs before decorating, so I popped the cake in an air tight tub once completely cooled.

When I was ready to begin decorating, I covered the cake in Raspberry jam (seedless) and a layer of vanilla butter cream and popped it in the fridge for about 20mins while I made the rest of my vanilla buttercream. To get the two-tone effect on the roses I divided my buttercream mixture into two, and coloured one half with a tiny bit of red food colouring. When my piping bag was prepared with a 1M nozzle, I layered 1 scoop of pink buttercream, then 2 scoops of plain buttercream. Push these through the nozzle until you see both colours coming through – it’s an unpredictable result but it creates a nice three dimensional effect, it can be very subtle or quite dramatic (depending on the colour strength). Finally pipe rose swirls (starting from the centre and working out) over the whole cake, filling in gaps with smaller swirls. I chose to decorate the roses with a edible pearls and a sprinkling of edible glitter but it’s completely up to you!!

Enjoy 🙂

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