To celebrate the launch of the lovely new Blooming Fancy collection I decided to make a pretty pink party cake topped with a giraffe in a party hat, of course.

This would be just the recipe if you are looking for something fun and summery to bake for the big royal wedding at the weekend! I dare say that had I posted this in time, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would in fact have sought me out to bake this for their wedding day…

Katie Alice - Blooming fancy - Vanilla layer cake with Rhubarb and rosewater jam and roasted strawberry frosting

Blooming Fancy is one of two new mini-collections launched for Spring 2018 and is a perfect showcase of my love for reviving forgotten vintage artworks with a modern twist. The collection is made up of a playful mix of co-ordinating prints - a traditional vintage floral with bright roses and forget-me-nots, a more stylised floral reminiscent of vintage Liberty prints which I love, a simple paisley pattern, a bold pink stripe in millennial pink and the star of the show - my hand-painted giraffe adorned in florals. 

The lovely new size tankard mugs are larger than the Festival Folk tankards, perfect for those who love a big cup of tea (who doesn’t right?) and feature the same beautifully detailed handle which was inspired by a little cup I found in an antiques shop in the lovely local town of Oakham. The matching plates have a pretty scalloped edge detail and all are made from a beautiful cream stoneware.

Katie Alice - Blooming fancy - Vanilla layer cake with Rhubarb and rosewater jam and roasted strawberry frosting

Anyway, on to the cake…

Vanilla cake with rhubarb and rosewater jam and roasted strawberry frosting

Roasted Strawberry Puree (Make ahead)

Pre-heat the oven to 200˚c. Wash, dry and hull a punnet of fresh strawberries and half or quarter them depending on how big they are. Line a small tray with baking paper and pop your strawberries on. Drizzle with a tablespoon of maple syrup or runny honey and give them a bit of a mix. Roast for 20 mins. When cool, tip the strawberries and their syrup into a blender and blend until smooth. Store in the fridge (for up to 2 days) until you make your frosting.

Rhubarb and rosewater jam (Make ahead)

I used this recipe for my rhubarb jam, and substituted the vanilla for 1 tablespoon of rosewater. It’s best to grab yourself a spoon and taste the jam as you add the rosewater as some brands are stronger than others (don’t forget to let it cool a bit before you deliver that spoonful of hot lava into your mouth). You could use shop bought jam but it really is so very easy to make your own and there seems to often be a neighbour or relative or chap at the pub trying to get rid of their glut of rhubarb! So, snap it up I say!

Cake –  recipe from Call me Cupcake 

50 g butter  //  3 large eggs  //  225 g granulated sugar  //  1/2 tsp pure vanilla powder (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)  //  1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp milk  //  180 g plain flour  //  1 1/2 tsp baking powder  //  pinch of salt

Heat oven to 175°C (350F). Butter and flour two 6 inch (15 cm) cake pans. Melt the butter and let it cool. Whip eggs, sugar and vanilla until very light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Heat the milk until lukewarm and add to the egg mixture. Whisk in the melted butter. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add dry mixture to the batter and stir until smooth. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake for 28-30 minutes, then let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in their pans before inverting them onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely.

Roasted strawberry buttercream frosting

300 g butter, softened  //  2 cups powdered sugar  //  1/4 tsp pure vanilla powder (or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean) or 1 tsp vanilla extract  //  1/4 cup heavy whipping cream  //  Roasted Strawberry puree to taste

In an electric mixer, beat the butter for a good 5 -10 minutes to get it really light and fluffy. Then mix in the icing sugar with the vanilla powder in two or three stages. Now add the cream, but don’t mix too much more at this stage. Now you can add your strawberry puree until you reach your desired colour and taste – just don’t let it get too runny. Set aside or if you are not assembling your cake straight away you can keep it in the fridge, but you will need to let it soften again before using.

To assemble

Get your pedestal cake stand ready - I used this one from the Vinatge Indigo collection. Cut your cakes so that you have four disks, if either of them have domed a bit when rising then trim so they will all sit flat.

Put the first cake layer on the pedestal making sure it’s central. Spread with a generous layer of jam and then with ¼ cup of the frosting. Repeat this until you have placed the last layer of cake on the top. Don’t spread jam on top of this final layer of cake. Use a little frosting to fill in any gaps around the side of the cake and neaten it up then pop in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to set a little before you fully ice your cake.

Decorate with whichever sprinkles or animals take your fancy!  

Katie Alice - Blooming fancy - Vanilla layer cake with Rhubarb and rosewater jam and roasted strawberry frosting

Katie Alice - Blooming fancy - Vanilla layer cake with Rhubarb and rosewater jam and roasted strawberry frosting

Enjoy!

Katie x