The combination of summer raspberries and autumn blackberries makes this cake just perfect for this time of year. And as I’m going to have just started my year abroad in Germany on my 21st birthday a week on Monday, I’ve decided this is my birthday cake. Happy birthday to me! I adore ground almonds in cake – they make it really moist – and as the icing is a mix of buttercream and cream cheese frosting, the cake isn’t too heavy. Swirled with berries, the middle layer is particularly delicious
I’m going to be honest with you, the two-tone nature of this cake didn’t turn out exactly as I’d hoped. The plan was for the top layer of sponge to be pink, but that didn’t really happen. If I made it again, I’d try adding more pink food colouring (maybe my error was that we didn’t have pink so I just used a bit of red), but you could just leave out the colouring altogether. Marzipan fans are going to love this pretty cake, and I think it’s just perfect as a party centrepiece. Except I’m not having a party. Oh well, more cake for me! *shoves cake in mouth and cries at lack of party
225g unsalted butter, softened
275g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
275g plain flour, sifted
150g ground almonds
2tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
few drops pink food colouring
Icing and filling
50g butter, softened
100g cream cheese
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
250g icing sugar
handful toasted flaked almonds
1. Grease and line two 20cm round springform tins with greaseproof paper and heat the oven to 180C. Cream the butter and sugar together with a handheld electric mixer until light, pale and creamy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between each.
2. Combine the flour, almonds and baking powder in a separate bowl and add it to the wet mixture a third at a time, adding a third of the milk after each addition of the dry mix (basically, add some dry mix, beat well, add some milk, beat well, and so on.) Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts.
3. Transfer half the mixture to a separate bowl, fold in the food colouring and mix well until you get the desired shade. Divide between the two prepared tins (plain mix in one, pink in the other) and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out just about clean.
4. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before going round the side of the tins with a knife. Leave to cool for 20 mins before turning out of the tins on to a wire rack to cool completely. I find the best way to do this carefully is over an upturned, stable jug, or something similar.
5.When the cakes are cool, make the icing and filling: beat together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla and almond extracts until just combined. Now beat in the icing sugar until light and fluffy. Transfer 1/3 to 1/2 of the mix to a separate bowl and mix in half the berries (not very many), breaking them up as you go and swirling in the colour – this will be the filling. The berry icing will be quite runny from the fruit juices, so pop it in the freezer for ten minutes or so to firm up.
6. Place the plain sponge on a serving plate and spread with the berry filling then top with the pink sponge. Cover the top with the plain buttercream, and spread using a palette knife to get a smooth finish.To decorate, sprinkle the flaked almonds on top and carefully place the remaining berries into a little pile in the middle.
Because of the fresh fruit, it’s a good idea to keep this baby in the fridge, but take it out a few hours before you want to eat it. No-one likes cold cake now, do they?