HER MAJESTY'S 90TH BIRTHDAY CAKE RECIPE
Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain shares the royal worthy recipe
I didn’t ever think I was going to say these words all in one sentence: ‘I made the Queen’s 90th birthday cake!’ Being asked to do this was probably one of my proudest moments. However, when the realization struck, I was rather flummoxed. I mean, what kind of cake could I possibly make that the Queen would enjoy; what design, size, flavour, colour, type of cake should it be? After deliberating for days, I decided to opt for a classic drizzle cake, but flavoured with oranges rather than lemons, with a vibrant purple fondant and decorated with roses. I knew that my cake was never going to be as opulent or have as much grandeur as some of the Queen’s past birthday cakes, but I’m incredibly proud of it. Here is a smaller, simpler version for you to try at home – you can choose whether to go for a simple drizzle cake, or to decorate it with the fondant and the roses.
For the cake:
- 700g plain flour, sifted
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 500g unsalted softened butter, diced
- 500g caster sugar
- 8 medium eggs
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Zest of 3 oranges
For the buttercream:
- 400g unsalted butter, softened
- 800g icing sugar, sifted
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 4 tablespoons whole milk
For the fondant drizzle:
- 150g white fondant, grated
- 25ml water purple food colouring
For the orange drizzle:
- Juice of 3 oranges (you need about 200–300ml)
- 150g caster sugar
- White sugarpaste roses, varying sizes, or real roses
- Edible glue or glucose syrup
- Edible silver glitter
Prep: 50 minutes to 1 hour Cook: 1 ¼ to 1 ¾ hours.
Sponges can be frozen before decorating and drizzling.
For the cake, line and grease 2 x 20cm spring form tins. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C. Add all the ingredients to a bowl one by one then, using a handheld or stand mixer, mix everything together for 3 minutes till you have a smooth batter.
Divide the mixture between two tins and level off the tops. Bake for 1½ hours to 1¾ hours, but check it after 1 ¼ hours as it will depend on your oven.
While the cakes are cooking you can get on and make the buttercream and drizzles. To make the buttercream, add the butter to a mixing bowl and mix on high for 2 minutes. Add the icing sugar a little at a time and mix on a medium speed. Add the milk and orange zest and mix on a high speed for 3 minutes until you have a light and fluffy buttercream.
When the cakes are golden brown, with a slight peak at the top, and a skewer inserted comes out clean, they are ready. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin. Turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Cut the domed tops off both sponges and level them off. Carefully slice both cakes across into two, giving you four sponges.
To make the orange drizzle, add the orange juice and sugar to a jug and mix well. The sugar will not dissolve completely. Spoon the mixture equally over the 4 sponges.
Lay the four sponges out, making sure that one of the two with crusts faces down and one faces up. Then generously cover the top and side of each with the buttercream. Put the crust-side-down slice on a cake base or plate then carefully place the other layers on top, finishing with the crust-side-up slice. Place the whole cake in the fridge or in a cool place for about 15-20 minutes until the buttercream has crusted over.
Now make the fondant drizzle. Add the grated fondant and water to a pan and heat on low to medium, stirring continuously, until it has melted and become a liquid. Add the food colouring a little at a time until you have a vibrant purple colour. Transfer into a bowl and leave to cool completely. Add a drop or two of cold water to loosen if needed.
Pour the cold purple fondant over the top of the cake, drizzling it gently down the sides. Then finish off the decoration by brushing the tips of the sugar paste roses with edible glue and dipping them in glitter. Arrange them in a crescent shape around one edge of the top of the cake. Or simply decorate it using real white roses.
Nadiya will be cooking live at the BBC Good Food Show London – Olympia 11th-13th November and Birmingham – NEC 24th -27th November. Tickets on sale now: https://www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com/