I had a bit of a baking fest weekend with my sister this year for Easter, our creations were some pretty huge and tasty hot cross buns and this giant of an Easter Cake. Rather than an Easter cake in the traditional sense it is a chocolate fudge cake but we gave it some Easter-style decorations to suit the occassion! It is a 2 layer cake, made with pink and chocolate marble cake, filled with raspberry jam and chocolate buttercream. It is then covered in chocolate buttercream using a petal technique and finished off with some fondant icing flowers and butterflies and some chocolate mini eggs. I think it is rather pretty!
If you would like to recreate this cake then here is how you do so. We made this in a 6 inch cake tin as I wanted height for the cake but equally it would work in an 8 inch cake tin, it would just be a bit shorter.
For the sponge you will need:
12oz butter or margarine
12oz caster sugar
12 oz self raising flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
pink food colouring
Beat together the butter and sugar in a bowl and add the eggs one at a time beating well after each one. Fold in the flour, 4 tbsp milk and the vanilla to the mixture. Now halve the mixture into 2 separate bowls. To one half add pink food colouring until you reach your desired colour. The other half will be the chocolate cake, I like to add the cocoa powder as I go rather than add a set amount, when I reach a chocolate colour I am happy with I stop, so play it by eye when adding the cocoa.
Pour the mixture into two 6 inch cake tins that are greased and lined. I used this tiger stripe technique for the cake marbling, it gives an effective stripy effect and I have posted instructions on how to do it here. You will need a wetter cake mixture than usual, so add more milk to the cake mix until you get a pourable consistency but not too runny. Another option is just to dollop the mixture in alternating pink and chocolate and give it a quick whirl with a skewer to marble it.
Bake the cakes at 180C for about 1 hour, they are done when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before trimming the tops so they are nice and flat.
Cover the top of one cake with raspberry jam (or other jam of your liking).
To make the chocolate fudge icing you will need:
500g unsalted butter (room temp)
1kg icing sugar (seived)
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp milk
cocoa powder (seived)
Beat together the butter and icing sugar until well combined. Ad the vanilla and milk and cocoa powder, again just add as much cocoa powder as you need to get the chocolatey-ness that you want, adding a little at a time. Beat well.
Cover the top of the other cake with chocolate icing and sandwich the two together.
Then cover the whole cake in a thin layer of chocolate icing.
Now time to cover the cake in chocolate petals. This is a really easy technique and very effective. Fill a piping bag with icing and snip off the end. Pipe blobs of icing onto the cake and use a spatula to spread it out to create a petal style. Just push the spatula onto the icing blob and spread in one direction. Repeat until the cake is covered!
Finish off the cake with some chocolate eggs and some fondant flowers and butterflies to make it look pretty!