Forest cake is a seasonal centrepiece for teatime

Forest cake is a seasonal centrepiece for teatime

This woodland cake is just the centrepiece for a springtime afternoon tea. It also makes a great cake for Easter Sunday. Just add a few mini eggs and chicks to the cake if you want to make it more seasonal. You will need:

  • 175g self-raising flour;
  • 1tsp baking powder;
  • 50g cocoa powder;
  • 225g butter softened;
  • 225g golden caster sugar;
  • 4 eggs;
  • seeds of half a vanilla pod.
  • 150g caster sugar;
  • 150ml water;
  • half of one scraped vanilla pod’
  • 200g butter;
  • 250g icing sugar;
  • 50g cocoa powder.
  • three 15cm cake tins or two 20cm cake tins greased and lined with baking parchment.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees and grease and line the cake tins. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Mix the cocoa with two tablespoons of boiling water and leave to cool. In another bowl, beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla seeds until pale and fluffy. Add the flour and eggs and mix until combined.

Divide the mixture in half and then mix the cooled cocoa mixture into one half. Divide the chocolate mixture between the three tins and then pour the remaining vanilla batter on top.

Use a fork to swirl the cake batter to create the marbled effect. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer emerges clean.

While the cakes are baking, make the syrup. Place the sugar, scraped vanilla pod and water in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar and then remove the pan from the heat. Leave aside to cool.

When the cakes are out of the oven, prick the tops with a wooden skewer and then brush over the syrup. Leave the cakes in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Once they’re cooled completely, place them in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before icing.

Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Beat the butter, vanilla, cocoa and icing sugar together for five minutes on a high speed.

Trim the tops off the cake and layer with the buttercream. Using a palette knife, spread the rest of the buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. Dip the spatula in hot water and then smooth the icing all around the cake. Place the cake in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before you add another layer of buttercream.

To create the log effect, use a very fine palette knife to make marks all around the cake. Make a spiral on top of the cake.

Next add your decorations. Sprinkle some of the ground pistachios on tops of the cake and around the bottom for the moss.

Place the primroses and fern leaves at the bottom of the cake, and the toadstools and ivy on top.

See how the decorations are made online at