Monday, 28 May 2012

Let's Celebrate with Jubilee Sprinkles!

All these lovely red, white and blue sprinkles, chocolate crowns and cake. But looking back at the photos maybe I should have tried to get the Queen's profile in the sprinkles too? I don't know know how much Jubilee fever I can stand but anyone who can do a job for 60 years needs an accolade. I'm sure Her Majesty is just fine with her profile on a postage stamp. After all how much time do I have?

Not enough as I need to get ready for another bake sale and the additional Jubilee work on top. However, I thought you may like this almond based lemon cake which I have used for some gluten free jubilee cakes and a friend's birthday cake. I'm not keen on the texture of gluten free flour in a plain cake but the addition of the almonds and yogurt really improves the texture . It is a slightly denser batter but it's useful for holding it's shape and cut outs.

So lets get  a little more English and add some real English strawberries. We have wild strawberries growing in our garden but now strawberries from the county of Sussex have arrived in the stores and wow! they are wonderful; bursting with sweet intense  flavour. You may find cheaper Spanish ones in the supermarket but you won't get the best taste. 

I also used this lemon and almond cake as a decorated sheet cake for my friend's birthday cake; a single layer cake with a lime buttercream top and white chocolate buttercream finish. I also own an edible image printer which meant I could find a lovely picture to eat as well! However, it was the refreshing strawberries on the side that we enjoyed just a much. Then again it's hard to improve on the strawberry that nature gives us I find it creeping into my designs all the time! 

Text Only Printable Recipe

Strawberries with Lemon and Almond Gluten Free Cake and Cupcakes


225g  (8oz) Butter
225g  (8oz) Caster sugar 
4 Large eggs
225g  (8oz) Self raising flour (Gluten free)
90g  (3oz) Ground Almonds

150g Natural Yogurt (small pot)
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of one lemon

For lemon drizzle*;
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp caster sugar
* you can double this if you like more zing on your cake

Icing for decorations

White chocolate icing*
110g  (4oz) Icing sugar
60g (2 oz)  Butter
110g  (4oz) White chocolate or white candy melts
1 tsp chocolate extract
* For large cupcake swirls double icing quantities

Large  cake icing top
110g  (4oz) Icing sugar

60g (2 oz) Butter
Tinted with Lime Green flavouring and colour
Strawberries for decoration

For cupcakes
Strawberry Jam/Jelly for centre of cupcakes
Fresh strawberries for centres


Preheat oven 160c/140c Fan/325F/Gas Mark 3.

Grease and line a cake tin - makes one sheet cake -1 oblong tin size 30cm x 23cm or
it makes 18 - 20 cupcakes. Deep cupcake cases and pans work best for this recipe.

Cream the sugar and butter together. Add the zest of both lemons, then the eggs, one at a time. Fold in half the flour and the almonds. Stir in the lemon juice. Fold in the rest of the flour and almonds . Add yogurt to the mix. Put into your chosen baking container.

Place in the centre of the oven. Check after 20 minutes. Cook until risen and a skewer comes cleanly out. Dissolve sugar and lemon juice together and brush over cake/s. Allow to cool and make icings. 

Make simple buttercream first if making sheet cake. Gently whisk butter, and icing sugar together. Add flavouring and colour of choice  and whisk until it forms a light whipped cream texture. Add enough water for this to be a spreadable consistency.  Spread over top of cake. Make white chocolate buttercream icing, pipe round sides and decorate with strawberries.
If making cupcakes take out the centre of the cupcake so a strawberry fits in the hole snugly.  ( You will have a bag full of cake centres at the end of this or you will have eaten a lots of cake - save if you can for cake pops maybe!) First line the hole with strawberry jam/jelly, pop the strawberry in and brush strawberry jam on the top. 

Chocolate extract
 a worthwhile investment! *
Make white chocolate buttercream icing next  for the cupcakes, make double quantity for the cupcakes to get big swirls. This is a nice firm buttercream ideal for holding strawberries on the top of cakes too. I've had good results using chocolate melts as well as ordinary white chocolate. Make buttercream in the usual way plus 1 tsp of chocolate extract and add melted chocolate gradually, allow to stiffen slightly before piping especially if using candy melts. The real depth of flavour comes with adding the chocolate extract* to the buttercream mix. Pipe swirls on top of cupcake and add your sprinkles. Cupcakes will be wearing crowns on Saturday!

Shhhh ........Don't they look like Fourth of July Sprinkles in that jar?