Friday, 18 December 2015

Hidden Design Igloo Cake

I saw this cake on a Christmas advert this year, and had to give it a go myself. It's a lemon and chocolate hidden design cake, looking from the outside like an igloo, but when you cut into it, you see the cute face of a penguin. My only regret is that I didn't have black fondant icing to make my own mini penguins (sob). 

Sorry for there not being too many pictures - I honestly expected the cake to fail completely on my first attempt...

Makes one big 23cm cake


For the lemon madeira cake:
  • 175g softened butter or margarine
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 4 eggs
  • Zest from 1 lemon

For the chocolate cake:
  • 80g softened butter or margarine
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 95g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 25g ground almonds
  • Zest from 1 orange

For the filling/frosting:
  • 100g softened butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For the marshmallow fondant:
  • 200g white marshmallows
  • 360g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water


1. Make the lemon madeira cake. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/ gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of a 23cm circular cake tin, and place 4 paper cases into a deep muffin tin.

2. Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Fold in the self raising flour and ground almonds. As soon as no more speckles of flour can be seen, take out 4 tablespoons, and pour the rest into the prepared tin.

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until lightly golden and there is a crack across the top of the cake. Leave in the cake tin for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool fully.

6. Take 1 tablespoon of the 4 tablespoons of reserved mixture, and place in a small bowl. Add orange food colouring (concentrated gel, not the water-based liquid if possible).

7. To the remaining 3 tablespoons, add black food colouring (you may need to add quite a lot of it to get the strong black colour needed.

8. Place the orange cake mix into one of the paper cases, and divide the black mixture between the remaining three cases. Bake for 20 minutes, until firm to the touch.

9. Make the chocolate cake. This is essentially a cocoa madeira cake.  Grease and line the base of a 23cm loose bottomed cake tin. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. 

10. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

11. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder. Add the orange zest and fold in until no more flour/cocoa is visible and the mixture is a deep chocolate colour.

12. Pour into a prepared 23cm circular cake tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until springy to the touch, and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

13. Make the marshmallow fondant. In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the marshmallows and 1 tsp water. Microwave in bursts, checking every 10-20 seconds, until melted.

14. Add half of the icing sugar and stir in (you may get covered in icing sugar if you are over-zealous with the beating at first).

15. Add the other half of the icing sugar, and bring the mixture to a stiff consistency (it will feel similar to store-bought fondant, but taste 10 times better).

16. Knead until smooth, then set aside.

17. Make the buttercream. Put the softened butter in a bowl, then sift in the icing sugar. Add the lemon juice and beat until smooth. Set aside.

18. Once the cakes have baked, chill the layers for about an hour until cold.

19. Take the lemon madeira cake out of the fridge, and slice horizontally into three.

20. To the bottom layer, cut out  a circle in the centre of the cake about 5cm in diameter.

21. To the middle layer, cut out a circle roughly equidistant from the edge of the cut of the middle layer and the outside of the cake. Only make it about 2cm in diameter (see diagram).

22. Place the chocolate sponge on a cake board.

23. Spread a small layer of the buttercream on the top of the sponge, then add the bottom layer of sponge. 

24. Slice off the bottom from the orange cupcake, and press this into the  central hole made in the bottom layer.

25. Very gently, spread another layer of buttercream on the cake (try not to disturb the cake underneath). Add the middle layer of sponge.

26. Break up the black sponge into pieces and press around the circle - make sure there is a tight fit. You should have some spare black sponge (which will be used for the door).

27. Spread another thin layer of buttercream, then top with the final layer of cake.

28. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Trim the top and sides of the cake to make it rounded (like a hemisphere).

29. Spread the remaining buttercream over the cake (this will act as glue for the marshmallow fondant, as well as giving beautiful lemon flavour to the cake).

30. Roll out the fondant to about 3 mm thickness. Reserve around a 10cm square for the igloo door. Drape the rest over the cake.

31. With the reserved square, make the igloo door. Roll out the remaining fondant into a sausage shape. Curve it so it goes back on itself (it is the outline of a door). Stick to the front of the cake. Use the remaining black cupcake to fill the door in.

32. Use a blunt knife to make brick outlines on the igloo. This wasn’t my neatest work I’ll admit – next time I make it it will be pristine!

33. Dust with icing sugar.

34. Enjoy!

You could even make little penguins out of black, white and orange fondant – they’d be super cute J
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