Looking for the ultimate birthday cake? With layers of a silky smooth swiss meringue buttercream, a fluffy vanilla sponge, a white chocolate drizzle, choc-dipped ice-cream cones and persian fairy floss, this one is a real show stopper!
200g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
285g (11 ⁄ 3 cups) caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
490g (31 ⁄4 cups) self-raising flour
310ml (11 ⁄ 3 cups) milk
4 waffle cones, cut in half lengthways
50g dark chocolate, melted
Pink oil-based food colouring, to tint (see tip)
White chocolate, melted, to drizzle
Queen Strawberry Flavoured Crunch, to decorate
Persian fairy floss, to decorate
Swiss meringue buttercream
310ml (11 ⁄4 cups) bought pasteurised liquid egg whites
500g (2 1/3 cups) caster sugar
650g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
200g fresh strawberries, hulled, finely chopped, plus extra, halved, to decorate
7 Method Steps
Step 1Preheat oven to 170C/150C fan forced. Grease three 18cm (base size) round cake pans. Line bases and sides with baking paper.
Step 2Use electric beaters to beat butter
(200g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature), sugar
(285g (11 ⁄ 3 cups) caster sugar) and vanilla
(2 tsp vanilla extract) in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs
(4 eggs), 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until combined. Add flour
(490g (31 ⁄4 cups) self-raising flour) and milk
(310ml (11 ⁄ 3 cups) milk), in alternating batches, beginning and ending with flour, until just combined. Divide among prepared pans and smooth surface. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Set aside in pans for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 3Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Use a whisk to combine the egg whites
(310ml (11 ⁄4 cups) bought pasteurised liquid egg whites) and sugar
(500g (2 1/3 cups) caster sugar) in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure bowl doesn’t touch water). Cook, stirring often with a whisk, for 3-5 minutes or until hot to touch. (To test, place a small amount on a saucer and if hot to touch, it’s ready). Transfer mixture to a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed for 10 minutes or until almost room temperature. Switch to the paddle attachment. On low speed gradually add butter
(650g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature), beating well after each addition until smooth and creamy. Beat in vanilla
(1 tbsp vanilla extract) and pinch of table salt until combined. Transfer 2 cupfuls to a bowl. Fold through berries
(200g fresh strawberries, hulled, finely chopped, plus extra, halved, to decorate).
Step 4Line a tray with baking paper. Dip tops of cones
(4 waffle cones, cut in half lengthways) in dark chocolate
(50g dark chocolate, melted). Transfer to prepared tray. Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes or until set.
Step 5Trim and level top of cakes. Use a little plain buttercream to secure 1 cake, top-side up, to a cake board. Spoon 1 cupful plain buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe a ring around top edge of cake. Cover middle with half the berry buttercream. Repeat layering with another cake, plain buttercream and remaining berry buttercream. Top with final cake, top-side down. Spread a thin layer of plain buttercream over side and top of cake (this is called a crumb coat). Place in fridge for 20 minutes. Place half remaining plain buttercream in a bowl. Tint with colouring
(Pink oil-based food colouring, to tint (see tip)). Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Spoon remaining into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle.
Step 6Pipe rings of buttercream, in alternating colours, around the side of the cake, starting from the base and working up. Use an offset palette knife or cake scraper to smooth and create stripes. Switch the nozzle on the pink buttercream to a 1cm fluted nozzle.
Step 7Gently press cones into side of cake. Pipe swirls of buttercream, in alternating colours, on top of cones. Tint white
(White chocolate, melted, to drizzle) choc with colouring. Top plain swirls with pink choc, Crunch
(Queen Strawberry Flavoured Crunch, to decorate) and extra berries. Press Crunch around cake base. Just before serving, top pink swirls with fairy floss
(Persian fairy floss, to decorate).
We used an oil-based colouring as it can be used to colour both buttercream and choc. Find at cake decorating shops or online.