Jubilee Cake

Things have been busy here, my lovely Aunt has been visiting from Australia and I’ve been busy entertaining, some of those recipes will make it onto my blog. One Saturday for dessert I tested out my Jubilee Cake, which I designed for the The Times Jubilee Cake Competition. My official name for my Jubilee entry is The Sovereign Strawberry Cake. I class strawberries as the best of British fruit, they are delicious, colourful, typically British and in season in June. Strawberries can be a bit more expensive than the usual fruit you might add to a cake, it’s not like adding a handful of raisins, a ripe banana or even chopped apple. Adding plenty of delicious ripe strawberries is, to me, a luxury and something to be saved for a special occasion – nothing more special that a cake to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.

My recipe is easy to make and easy to decorate, but looks very regal with its strawberry crown and silver “diamond” decorations. I hope this inspires you to get baking for the Jubilee weekend.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 275g unsalted butter, softened
  • 275g golden caster sugar, sifted
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 275g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 150g strawberries, chopped

Icing:

  • 2-3tbsp strawberry jam
  • 125g unsalted butter, very soft
  • 125g cream cheese, very soft
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 large strawberries
  • silver dragees

Method:

  1. Line and grease a 20cm round cake tin and pre-heat the oven to 180°c
  2. Beat the butter until soft and smooth, add the sifted caster sugar and cream together, adding the vanilla essence and mixing well.
  3. Add half of the beaten eggs and half of the flour, at a time, gently folding this into the butter and sugar, until all is incorporated.
  4. Spoon in the chopped strawberries and stir gently to distribute evenly throughout the cake batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and place in the centre of the oven for 40mins. Check on the cake towards the end of the baking time, the golden caster sugar will give it a darker colour, but gently insert a cocktail stick into the centre, if it comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven, otherwise continue to cook for another 5 mins.
  6. Leave the cake in the cake tin for approx 5-10 mins before removing to a cooling rack.

Icing:

  1. Wait for the cake to completely cool and then heat the strawberry jam in a saucepan over a low heat until it becomes liquid, you may need to add a couple of teaspoons of water.
  2. If your jam is thick with strawberry fruit use a sieve to strain the jam. Take the sieved jam and using a pastry brush cover the whole cake, this adds to the delicious strawberry flavour and seals the cake of crumbs for icing later.
  3. Leave the jam to set and dry while you make the icing.
  4. Beat the butter until completely soft and smooth, there should be no lumps or it will not mix smoothly with the cream cheese (I prefer to do this in a food mixer).
  5. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined.
  6. Add a little icing sugar at a time until all is incorporated, finally adding the vanilla and mixing it thoroughly. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  7. Once the jam has had at least an hour to set on the cake, use a palette knife to add the first layer of icing to your cake. Gently spread on the icing, wiping the knife each time on kitchen paper so that you do not put jam or crumbs from the cake into the fresh icing.
  8. Leave the first layer of icing to set on the cake by placing it in the fridge for 30 mins. Then add a thick second layer of icing and smooth it over by dipping the knife into hot water, wiping it on kitchen paper, and then gently gliding it over the icing.
  9. Next slice the strawberries into half and arrange as a crown on the centre of the cake. Carefully arrange the silver dragees around the crown and the edges of the cake, a pair of kitchen tweezers are helpful for this task. To add the dragees to the top of the strawberries put a tiny dot of icing on the tip of each strawberry and then add the dragees.
  10. Display your cake on a beautiful cake stand or a pretty plate and enjoy!
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