Get inspired with Erin Fox’s seasonal cherry blossom cake
May arrives with a burst of cherry blossoms sprinkling the tree tops. Cherry blossoms are one of my favourite spring flowers. As soon as they appear, they’re gone again in a flurry of pink and white confetti. You’ll find the same with this cake; as soon as it has been iced and decorated, it won’t be long before it magically disappears! Use any recipe you wish for the cake. I used a basic vanilla sponge with cherry jam buttercream.
Vanilla sponge instructions
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
225g unsalted butter softened
225g golden caster sugar
4 eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g unsalted butter softened
200g icing sugar
2 – 3 tbsp cherry jam
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease the cake tin extremely well and place on a baking tray.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and place to the side.
In another bowl, beat the butter with the vanilla and the sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs along with two tablespoons of the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Fold in the rest of the flour and pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a wooden skewer emerges clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool, then wrap it in cling film and give it a spell in the fridge for one hour.
To make the buttercream, beat the butter and icing sugar in a bowl for five minutes. Add the jam and then beat again.
Cut the cake in half horizontally and spread the buttercream on one half with a palette knife. Place the other half on top and spread the remaining buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake. Give the cake a spell in the fridge for 30 minutes before covering with the fondant.
Cherry blosson icing instructions
You can make the cherry blossoms up to three weeks in advance. If you can’t get Mexican modelling paste you can use a little rolled fondant. Just stamp the flowers out the night before decorating the cake and colour with the edible shimmer the next day.
Cherry blossom cutters small and medium
Foam petal pad
Mexican modelling paste
Sugar flair edible shimmer in dusky pink
Chestnut gel food colouring
Gel food colouring in bluebell
494g packet of rolled fondant
100g icing sugar sifted
1 egg white
Chestnut food colouring
Roll the Mexican modelling paste out as thinly as possible and cut out the blossoms. Use a ball tool or a cocktail stick to press into the centre. Leave the blossoms aside on a sheet of baking parchment to dry.
Once the blossoms have dried, brush them with the dusky pink shimmer. Colour some of them completely pink and the rest with just a little shading.
Roll out the fondant and tint with the bluebell colouring. Knead and roll out again until the colour is even, adding more colouring to get the shading you want. Leave to rest on the work surface for 15 minutes before using.
Once the cake has been covered with buttercream, roll the fondant out into a rectangle and gently lift this and place it over the cake. Smooth down the sides and the top with your hands then trim away any excess fondant. Leave the fondant to stiffen for a few hours then cut the cake into six equal slices. Wipe the knife each time after cutting to keep the fondant clean.
To make the royal icing, beat the icing sugar with a little of the egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add a splash of water if it’s too stiff. Beat in the food colouring until the colour is even.
Fill a piping bag with the brown royal icing and pipe long extending branches on the top of each cake slice.
While the icing is still wet, place the blossoms on the ends of the branches. Allow to dry and then serve.