The finale to any child's party is always the cake, and this brightly decorated giant ‘cupcake’ is sure to be a hit. Make the cake a day ahead, then decorate it on the day of the party.
Have your say
- 300 g (10½ oz) margarine, softened
- 575 g (1 lb 4 oz/2½ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
- 6 eggs
- 435 g (15¼ oz/3½ cups) self-raising flour
- 60 g (2¼ oz/½ cup) custard powder
- 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) reduced-fat milk
- 1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
- 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) orange juice
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) packet ready-made soft icing
- licorice straps and sweets, for decoration
- 80 g (2¾ oz) margarine, softened
- 375 g (13 oz/3 cups) icing (confectioners') sugar mixture
- 2–3 tbsp orange juice
- food colouring of your choice
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Lightly grease two deep 20 cm (8 in) round cake tins and line the bases and sides with baking paper.
2. Combine the margarine, sugar, eggs, flour, custard powder, milk, orange zest and juice in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low speed until the ingredients are just combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, or until lightened in colour. Spread the cake mixture into the prepared tins and bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes, or until the cakes are cooked when tested with a skewer (cover with foil after 1 hour if they start browning too much). Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool, leaving the cakes rounded side up.
3. To make the icing, beat the margarine, icing sugar and orange juice in a small bowl with an electric mixer until as light as possible. Tint the icing, then cover and set aside.
4. Cut the rounded top off one of the cakes, spread the cake with a little icing, then top with the remaining cake, rounded side up. Using a serrated knife, trim a little off the edge of the top cake to define a rounded top. Then cut the sides of the cake down from the top rounded edge of the cake at an angle to represent the sides of a cupcake.
5. Dust the work surface with icing sugar and knead the soft icing to soften. Tint the icing the colour of your choice, kneading the colour through the icing. Roll out into a rectangle with a rolling pin to 4 mm (¼ in) thick. You will need to cut two strips of icing about 30 cm (12 in) long and 2 cm (¾ in) higher than the side of the cake. Make vertical impressions in the icing with the back of a knife to represent a paper patty case, and indent along the top edge a little to form the rippled look of the rim. Spread some of the icing over the side of the cake and gently press the strips of soft icing onto the icing to look like a paper patty case, trimming at the joins. Spread the remaining icing over the top. Form the number of the child's birthday using licorice straps and decorate with the sweets, as desired.