Recipes

Vanilla Sponge Cake with Chocolate Icing

23rd December 2014

I hadn’t planned to make this cake for Christmas, let alone share it on my blog. It’s the simplest cake you can think of: vanilla sponge layers with chocolate icing.

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But I had a bowl of leftover frosting after making cupcakes for a party (recipe coming soon!) and I didn’t want to throw it away. So I quickly baked two small round vanilla sponges and made a cake using the chocolate frosting. In the spirit of Christmas, I decorated it with snowflake sprinkles that I had in a drawer and never used, plus some candied cherries to add a bit of festive colour. Voilà!

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The result was so pretty that I had to take a few photos and so here I am sharing the recipe with you now.

I will keep this post short, because I have a flight to catch in a few hours: like last year, I am going to Trieste in Italy to celebrate Christmas with my family! I can’t wait to see my grandma and eat the Christmas dinner and open all the presents! :) To all of you, wherever you are going to be this Christmas, I wish you the best time ever!

To make this cake I have used two different sources: Antonio Carluccio’s recipe on the Telegraph for the sponge and Joy the Baker’s blog recipe for the frosting.

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Ingredients
For the sponge

  • 250g butter, melted
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 25g cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the frosting

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 60g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 115g double cream
  • 30g Ovaltine
  • sprinkles and candied fruit for decoration

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC. Line a shallow round cake tin with baking parchment and grease with a little butter.

Using a balloon whisk, whip the melted butter into the sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly beat in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder together over the mixture, carefully folding it in with the balloon whisk. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden (check with a tooth pick to make sure it’s well cooked inside).

Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes or so, then remove it and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream together butter, cocoa powder and salt. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the icing sugar. Mix on low speed while adding milk and vanilla extract. As the sugar incorporates, raise the speed of the mixer to beat the frosting. Beat until smooth.

In a  glass, stir together the cream and Ovaltine. Turn mixer speed to medium and pour cream mixture into frosting in a slow, steady stream, until you’ve reached your desired consistency.  You may not need the full amount cream.

Cut the cake horizontally into two layers. Spread one layer of frosting over one sponge, top it up with the other sponge and cover the top and sides with the remaining frosting. Decorate with sprinkles and candied fruit.

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