Fiona Cairns’ strawberry & elderflower cake
For the cake:
• 450g unsalted butter, really soft, diced, plus more for the tins
• 450g self-raising flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 8 eggs, lightly beaten
• Finely grated zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons
• 450g golden caster sugar
• 4 tbsp elderflower cordial
For the elderflower cream:
• 1.2kg ripe, even-sized
• strawberries, cleaned, dried and hulled
• 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 600ml double cream
• 8 tbsp elderflower cordial
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 170°C/350°F/gas mark 4. To make the three-tiered cake, take three 20cm round sandwich tins. Butter the tins and line the bases with baking parchment. If you have only two tins, then make the cake mixture and divide it evenly into three batches, baking the third as soon as a tin becomes free.
For this cake, I use an electric mixer and beater attachment, but you can use a food processor, or a bowl, add the butter, eggs, lemon zest and sugar, and beat well, adding the cordial towards the end. Be careful not to over-mix, as you want a light cake.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer emerges clean. (To halve the recipe, bake in two 20cm tins for 20-25 minutes.) Remove from the oven, leaves for a couple of minutes, run a knife around the rim to loosen the cakes from the tins and turn out on to a wire rack. Remove the papers and leave to cool completely. Trim the cakes flat.
For the filling and decoration:
Slice 400g of the strawberries and toss in a bowl with the sugar and vanilla, leave all the flavours to mingle for 30 minutes.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form, adding the cordial slowly just as it begins to thicken. Place one cake on a cake stand and spread with a layer of cream and half the slice strawberries. Repeat with another cake, a layer of cream and the remaining sliced strawberries. Top with the last cake. Spread the remaining cream all over the top and sides.
Take the best-shaped strawberries and cut 10-12 in half. Place the halved strawberries, cut side up in a circle around the edge of the cake, and pile up the rest in the centre. Cut the remaining strawberries into slices – or in half – and press into the cream all around the sides.
For the cake:
• 200ml soya or almond milk
• 20ml cider vinegar
• 180g self-raising flour
• 20g ground almonds
• 200g caster sugar
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• ¼ tsp baking powder
• 80ml vegetable oil
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• Raspberry Jam
• Toasted almond flakes
• Glacé or fresh cherries
• Almond icing.
Makes: 12 large cupcakes, about 24 fairy cakes or 48 mini ones
Ms Cupcake’s vegan Bakewell tart cupcakes
Mix the soya milk and vinegar together and leave to sit for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Line your muffin tray with muffin cases.
In a bowl mix by hand the dry ingredients until fully combined. Add to the bowl the soya milk mixture, oil, vanilla and extract. Using a metal spoon quickly mix together until just combined (about 10 seconds). The mixture should still be a bit lumpy, so be careful to not over-mix! Tap the bowl onto the work surface to halt the raising agents from working too quickly (you will see the bubbles pop.)
Using an ice-cream scoop or a spoon, evenly place the batter into the lined muffin tray and tap the filled muffin tray on the work surface to pop the bubbles again.
Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack in the muffin tray for 10 minutes and then remove cupcakes from the muffin tray and finish cooling them on the wire rack until room temperature.
Once your cupcakes are cooled, spread a big dollop of jam on top of the cupcake and then pipe your almond buttercream on top to hide the jam below. Decorate using toasted almond flakes and top it all off with either a fresh or glace cherry.
Using an electric mixer (or a handheld mixer), whip together the margarine, vegetable fat and vanilla until creamy (about 1 minute). Add half of the icing sugar and continue mixing (slowly at first and then bringing up to speed). Mix until combined. Add the rest of the icing sugar and mix while dripping in the soya or almond milk until it is a smooth consistency. If the icing is too firm, then add a bit more milk and mix again.
Enjoy our recipes? Show us your creations on social media with the tag #RArecipes