A Princess Castle Cake

I have baked many Victoria sponges and lemon drizzle cakes over the years but never attempted a 'celebration' cake. So, when my little Niece turned 2 in August, I couldn't wait to roll up my sleeves and make her a special (pink) birthday cake. I had in mind a pretty Princess castle cake topped with turrets (in the form of ice cream cones of course), pale pink frosting, flags or bunting and heaps of colourful sprinkles! After a quick search on the web for inspiration (the 8 thumbnail images below have been taken from Pinterest) I soon set to work on my homemade creation...

I needed to nip down to the shops to buy a square sandwich tin before I could begin baking. I have always used circle sandwich tins in the past, and I have lots of those! But for this castle, I wanted straight edges so that I could pop a turret on top of each corner of the cake once cooked. So, when I returned to the kitchen, I started things off by lining my newly bought cake tins with grease-proof paper. Although it is a little fiddly and time consuming, it is worth lining each side with the greaseproof paper accurately as I have demonstrated below. You'll need a little butter to glue the paper to the edges too. If you follow this simple method, you'll be sure to have a perfect square cake, without any bumps or damaged corners, every time.

Once the tins have been prepared and the oven switched on to 180 degrees, it's time to begin weighing out the ingredients. I wanted to have a layered cake so made two separate sponges. The first being a traditional Victoria sponge recipe. For this, you'll need:

4 free range eggs

225 g self raising flour

225 g unsalted butter

225 g caster sugar

2 tsp baking powder

*I have copied this sponge recipe from the very marvellous Mary Berry online. You can find the recipe here: www.maryberry.co.uk*

Put all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and get whisking until you have a smooth batter which drops slowly off of a wooden spoon. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

When the time is up, place the cakes on a cooling rack and move on to the next batch.

You'll need the same amount of ingredients for the chocolate sponge. However, deduct 100 g from the 225 g of caster sugar. Replace with 100 g of cocoa powder. So, that'll be 125 g of caster sugar + 100 g of cocoa powder. *I have personally adapted this recipe from Mary Berry's recipe above*

Repeat the same process as before and pop in the oven for 25 minutes.

Whilst the cake is in the oven, you can crack on with the pale pink butter icing. *I always follow the instructions on the back of the packet.*

For a large celebration cake, I suggest multiplying the ingredients. I added 3 drops of red food colouring to create the pale pink butter cream frosting you see here... 

The marshmallow pink frosting was so delicious that I couldn't help but scoop up a little on a spoon before spreading over the cakes!

Once the four cakes have cooled completely, sandwich the layers together with a generous spread of the butter cream. Make sure you spread the butter cream out to the edges of the cake like I have done here, it ensures every bite is full of frosting!

Assemble your decorations and unleash your creativity!

I dipped four ice cream cones into molten white chocolate and whilst they were still warm I decorated them with colourful sprinkles which attached easily to the gooey chocolate. To ensure the chocolate on the cones sets, I rested them upside down over shot glasses. In the meantime, I covered the top layer of cake with ready rolled icing which I dyed pink. Here are the results! (I was pleased with the turrets, but think I need to practice a little more on my presentation skills; the windows in the form of party rings may need readdressing in the future!) However, I think my little niece was pleased :)

I added chocolate fingers around the edges (to hide my untidy frosting!)

She was pretty excited when I presented her with her very own princess castle cake. The chocolate fingers didn't last long!

I had so much fun creating this, that I am already looking forward to the next family celebration.