I committed the ultimate sin this week and forgot to make my lovely 19 year old daughter a birthday cake! So while we were visiting my parents this weekend, my mum and I whipped this little number up between us. My mum made the sponge and I put it all together using bits and pieces she had in the cupboard. My daughter is a “sporty” person and not keen on “girlie” cakes, she also loves marzipan and anything green. So the Marzipan Jewel Cake was born. She loved it, the family thought it tasted delicious and now you can make it too. The recipe for the sponge cake below is a standard Victoria sponge so stick to the recipe for good results. However, the decoration can be adjusted to suit your taste. I think this a quick and easy cake to make and a great alternative to pink “girlie” birthday cakes, and perfect for marzipan lovers everywhere.
Marzipan Jewel Cake
For the Sponge:
- 8oz/225g Stork margarine
- 8oz/225g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 8oz/225g GF self-raising flour (Doves), sieved
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
For the decoration:
- 4oz/100g icing sugar
- 2oz/50g butter or margarine
- 4 tbs good quality jam
- 6-8oz/150-200g marzipan
- Food colouring (preferably the “paste” type) – I used green and orange
- Preheat the oven to 190c/180c fan/gas 5.
- Grease and line two 8″/20cm sandwich tins with baking paper.
- Place all the ingredients for the sponge into a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until combined and smooth (approx 2 minutes)
- Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the buttercream, place the butter into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until soft. Add the icing sugar and 2 tsps of warm water and stir slowly until mixed, then continue to beat the mixture until pale. Cover the bowl until ready to use.
- Divide the marzipan into three (it helps to weigh it) and add enough food colour to two of the pieces to give a deep colour when kneaded thoroughly.
- Divide each of the three pieces of marzipan into eight pieces (again it helps to weigh it – seriously!) Roll each piece into a ball and place to one side.
- To assemble the cake, place one of the sponges on a serving plate and spread with the jam – be sure to take it right to the edge. If the jam is a little stiff, warm it for a few seconds in the microwave. If it is very “fruity” you may wish to sieve it first. Place the remaining sponge carefully on top of the other.
- Spread the buttercream over the surface of the cake with a palette knife, again taking care to take it right to the edge but not over it.
- Arrange the marzipan balls firstly on a board or plate in the order and position that they will go onto the cake, then transfer them carefully onto the cake.