Updated: Nov 22, 2021
This week's bake is a hefty one! Baking a numbers cake is more effort and batter than I've probably put into any cake - but it looks fab and tastes great so it's worth it right?!
This number celebration cake is a fantastic way to celebration someone's birthday or anniversary. I'll warn you though - it's not a quick cupcake recipe you can whip up! So, if you're planning on delving into this, make sure you give it the time and energy it deserves.
Having said this, it doesn't require the same refrigeration time that my Victoria Sponge Cake recipe does, as the layers are thinner and it's a naked cake.
If you're feeling really fancy you can cover this with buttercream and fondant icing, but I thought that the naked look is really beautiful and simple.
You'll need to print out an A4 sized shape of the numbers you require, and then shape your sponges with a sharp knife. This also requires four 8" x 12" cake pans, although I used 2 and baked it in two batches.
Once you've shaped your cakes, I did the fiddly bits on the board itself, which meant that the sponge was easier to move about, but also resulted in lots of crumbs. Just take a paper towel and dampen it and you should find this helps you pick up the crumbs.
I really enjoyed having a go at this. Never having baked a carved cake before, it could have gone truly badly. BUT luckily it didn't. Once you get your head round the steps its honestly not too difficult!
The layers are a lot thinner than a regular cake, but this is really important because it makes the baking more manageable. You will end up with lots of left-over sponge, but that's one of the downsides of a carved cake. However, it gives you a perfect excuse to taste test!
This particular numbers celebration cake was decorated with fruit, mini meringues, and wafer flowers. But you can go to town and see whatever takes your fancy!
This cake is LARGE! So, make sure you have a good event to consume it because you won't be able to let it sit on the side for long. Because the sponge is carved there's a lot of surface area that can get dry, so it won't last longer than 3 days before it goes dry. A great tip if your cake doesn't fit in an airtight container, is to wrap your cake box in clingfilm which will slow down the drying out process.
I hope you enjoy this bake and enjoy eating it also! Let's get Caking It.
180C (170C fan)
8" x 12" cake pan
Yield: 24 slices
Prep: 30 mins
Bake: 15 - 18 mins
Assembly: 30 minutes
500g unsalted butter
500g caster sugar
9 medium eggs
3 tsps vanilla extract
500g gluten free self-raising flour
2 tsps gluten free baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
150g sour cream
Filling & Frosting
250g unsalted butter
500g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Gluten free flower wafers
Don't forget to wait until all the ingredients are room temperature before starting.
Preheat oven to 180C. Line 4 8" x 10" cake pans cake pans with parchment.
With an electric whisk, cream the butter until pale, then add the sugar and cream together until fully incorporated.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing with an electric whisk between each addition. Now add the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and xanthan gum with a fork, and then add this to the mixture, mixing until fully incorporated.
Spoon in the sour cream and fold until combined.
Split evenly between the cake pans and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Place in an oven for 15 - 18 minutes. A skewer or toothpick inserted into the cakes should come out clean.
This buttercream is so simple and yet it hits the spot every time.
While the sponges are cooling, move onto the vanilla buttercream.
Cream the butter until pale, and gradually add in the icing sugar through a sieve until it is all incorporated. You can do this either with a standing mixer, an electric hand whisk, or a fork. At this point the mixture should be a little stiff.
Add the vanilla extract and a splash of milk and mix until a good pipeable consistency.
Make sure the sponges are completely cool before assembling.
Using your number stencils and a sharp knife, gently cut out 2 of each number. Place one of each on your cake board and pipe a layer of buttercream on top. Place the other numbers on top and pipe on a final layer of buttercream.
Now you can decorate however you like! I use fruit, mini meringues, and wafer flowers.
Enjoy your beautiful cake!