- 430g (2.5 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 265g (1 ¼ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 125g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 375ml (1 ½ cups) full-cream (whole) milk
- 125ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt (or sour cream)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 8 drops red food gel
- 250g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 250g (2 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar
- 2–4 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 4 drops brown food gel
- 2 drops orange food gel
- 1 cup strawberry jam
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140C (280F) or 160C (320F) for a conventional oven. Spray an 8” cake tin with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper. Set aside.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix together using a hand mixer until well combined.
- Next add the softened butter and mix on low speed until mixture reaches a crumbly sand like texture. Add the eggs, milk, oil, Greek yogurt, red food gel and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until no dry ingredients are showing. Scrape down the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds. It’s at this point that you can add any additional flavourings or coloured gels to the batter. Fill the 8” cake tin with the batter.
- Bake for 50-60 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If the pick comes out with wet batter, bake for a further 10 min at a time until fully baked.
- Allow the cake to cool to room temperature inside the cake tin and then chill it in the fridge overnight. Chilling your cake overnight makes it easier to trim and decorate. Once chilled, take the cake out of the cake tin. Trim the top of your chilled cake using a large serrated knife. Use a 7” cake ring or something similar in size to make an indent on the top of your cake. Use a sharp knife to trim your cake on an angle all around your cake. Turn the cake over. Use a tablespoon to carve out a shallow bowl shape in the cake.
- Put the offcuts into a large mixing bowl. Add 4 tbsp of frosting in the bowl and use a spoon to mix until well combined and a soft dough like texture. Roll up little cherry sized balls of the mixture using the palms of your hands. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Continue making the cake balls until you run out of mixture.Chill the cake balls in the fridge.
- Add a dab of frosting on an 8” cake board. Spread around using an offset spatula. Add the cake on top and add more frosting in the shallow bowl. Use a tablespoon to spread the frosting around the bowl part and an offset spatula around the top and outside of the cake. Get it nice and flat and even. Place in the fridge to chill for 3 hours or overnight.
- Place the cake balls in the bowl section of the cake. Brush with warm strawberry jam. Place in the fridge to chill. Add another layer of frosting around the outside of the cake and get it nice and smooth using an offset spatula.
- Fit the end of a piping bag with a flat tip. Pipe frilly frosting around the edges of the cake. Then pipe lines of frosting over the top of the cake in a lattice shape/pattern.
- Slice up to serve. Cake will last for 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Add your softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can also use a hand mixer for this recipe, but if you do use a hand mixer, just make sure your bowl is large.
- Mix the butter on low speed to begin with, then switch to the highest speed and mix for 5 minutes until the butter is fluffy and turns pale in colour.
- Stop your mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl using a spatula.
- Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and mix again on low speed. LOW SPEED PEOPLE! The last thing you need is to end up in a sugar dust storm! (I’m speaking from experience…)
- Once all the sugar has been incorporated, it’s safe to turn your mixer up to high speed.
- Continue beating on high speed for about 5–6 minutes, or until the butter turns pale in colour and becomes fluffy again.
- Add the orange and brown food gel and mix until evenly coloured.