For the 12cm square/15cm (6″) round sponge cake
200g Butter (unsalted) (softened)
200g Billington’s Unrefined Golden Caster sugar
4 Egg(s) (free range)
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
200g Self-raising white flour
350g White sugar paste icing
For the 20cm square/23cm (9″) round sponge cake
300g Butter (unsalted) (softened)
300g Billington’s Unrefined Golden Caster sugar
6 Egg(s) (free range)
1.5 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
300g Self-raising white flour
800g White sugar paste icing
For the 25cm square/28cm (11″) round sponge cake
400g Butter (unsalted) (softened)
400g Billington’s Unrefined Golden Caster sugar
8 Egg(s) (free range)
400g Self-raising white flour
2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
1kg White sugar paste icing
For the cake filling
750g Strawberry jam
250g Apricot Jam
• Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan, gas mark 4) and grease and line your tins. If you are filling your cakes, you can bake in sandwich tins or slice after baking.
• Step 2:
To make the sponge cakes: Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and add the sugar. Beat together, preferably with an electric whisk until the mixture is wonderfully light and fluffy. This can take up to 5-7 minutes, so this stage should not be rushed.
• Step 3:
Beat in the vanilla extract and eggs one at a time, with a spoonful of the flour with each one to prevent the mixture from curdling. Fold in the remaining flour with a metal spoon until you have a soft, smooth cake batter. Fill the tins with the correct sponge mix for that sized tin.
• Step 4:
Place in the oven and bake the 6″ cake for 25 minutes, the 9″ cake for 30 minutes and the 11″ cake for 40 minutes.
When cakes are cooked they should be pale golden in colour. When baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Wrap in cling film to keep for up to a day in a cool dry place. If you want to make the cakes in advance – wrap and freeze.
• Step 5:
Once the cakes are cool, slice and fill with strawberry jam.
• Step 6:
To ice the cakes, pipe a little royal icing in the middle of the cake board to help secure the cakes. Lightly dust the work surface and rolling pin with sifted icing sugar. Roll the marzipan, turning the icing 90 degrees after every roll to get an even thickness. Roll to a thickness of a £1 coin.
• Step 7:
Lightly brush the outside of the sponge cakes with boiled apricot jam to help the marzipan stick.
• Step 8:
Using the rolling pin, lift the marzipan and ease it over the cake. Use your hands to smooth the marzipan into place, making sure there are no air pockets. Trim away the excess marzipan from the base of the cake using a small knife.
• Step 9:
Repeat step 8 with the sugar paste icing placing it over the marzipan layer. Lightly dust your hands with icing sugar and gently run over the cake with your hands to even out any lumps or bumps.
• Step 10:
To build the tiers, cut a template the same size as the second layer and sit in the position of the second tier. Mark each corner with a needle. Push a plastic dowel into the cake and mark with a pencil where it comes out of the cake. Lift out of the dowels and trim the dowels about 1-2mm above the mark then stick them back into the cake.
• Step 11:
Pipe some royal icing onto the centre of the bottom tier to secure the second tier. Carefully place the second tier onto the bottom one. Mix some icing and pipe a thin line along the bottom edge of each tier. While wet, run a finger over the line to smooth the icing and fill any gap between the two cake layers. A ribbon can also be added here to hide any unevenness that may appear. Repeat the process for the top tier.