White Iced Birthday Cake
Preheat your oven to 180⁰C/160⁰C fan oven/gas mark 4. Grease and line 4x 7inch baking tins.
Put your softened butter and sugar into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale in colour and fluffy in texture.
In a jug, beat together your eggs, Vanilla Extract and milk. Add to your creamed butter and sugar along with the flour and ground almonds.
Mix until well combined.
Divide your cake batter equally between the 4 tins and bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. To test if the cake is ready insert a skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean then it is ready.
Cool the cakes in the tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes then turn out and cool completely.
When the cakes are cooled place one cake layer on a 10 inch cake board or cake plate securing it with a little bit of buttercream to stop the cake sliding around. Pipe or spoon a 1cm thick ring of vanilla buttercream around the outside edge of the cake then within the ring of buttercream, spread a thin layer of jam.
Place the second cake layer on top and repeat the buttercream ring and jam layer. Then repeat with the third cake layer.
Add your fourth layer of cake and then crumb coat the whole cake with the buttercream by spreading buttercream first on the top of the cake and then work your way down the sides until the whole cake is covered in a thin layer of buttercream.
Put in the fridge to chill and set for 1 hour.
Whilst the cake is chilling make your coloured fondant polka dots.
Take 400g of the white fondant and divide into 4 balls.
Colour one ball of fondant with a couple of drops of the yellow food colour gel to create a pale yellow colour, kneading the fondant until the colour is evenly distributed. Wrap the yellow ball in clingfilm and put to one side until ready to use.
Colour the second ball of the fondant with a couple of drops of the blue food colour gel to create a pale blue colour, kneading the fondant until the colour is evenly distributed. Wrap the blue ball in clingfilm and put to one side until ready to use.
Colour the third ball of the fondant with a couple of drops of the green food colour gel to create a pale green colour, kneading the fondant until the colour is evenly distributed. Wrap the green ball in clingfilm and put to one side until ready to use.
Colour the final ball of the fondant with a couple of drops of the pink and orange food colour gels to create a pale coral colour, kneading the fondant until the colour is evenly distributed. Wrap the yellow ball in clingfilm and put to one side until ready to use.
Once your cake has chilled remove from the fridge and prepare your white fondant for covering.
Take 1kg of the white fondant. Lightly dust your surface with icing sugar. Knead and roll out the fondant icing in a circle about 0.5cm thick and 21-24inches wide so that it is wide enough to cover the cake.
Lift the icing using your rolling pin and drape over the cake. Smooth the top and the sides of the cake with the palms of your hands – smoothing the sides in an upwards motion to prevent the fondant from tearing. Trim away the excess at the bottom of the cake with a sharp knife.
To make your fondant polka dots, take your coloured fondant balls and roll out on a surface dusted with icing sugar to about 0.25cm thick. To cut out your dots you can use the wide end of a piping nozzle or use a small bottle cap. Dust your cutter in a little icing sugar and stamp out your dots – you will need about 10-15 of each colour.
To decorate the cake – first wrap the base of the cake with your ribbon, securing the ends either with a pin or a little bit of double sided tape.
Glue your polka dots in a random pattern to the cake using a little bit of water on the back of each dot as glue.
Once the sides of the cake are covered with polka dots it is ready to serve.