Saturday 2 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee Crown Cake

I wanted to bake something to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and my mum's birthday which was the same weekend. I had an idea of a royal crown cake and browsed a few images online until I came up with an idea and a plan. Then a week later, the Mail on Sunday magazine only went and published a 'how to make a Jubilee crown cake' guide... damn it! In the end it was a handy reference guide anyway so I can't complain.

I found this butter in the supermarket and thought it was very appropriate for some Jubilee baking.

I had decided to make a Victoria sponge for the cake itself and that happened to be the one given in the Mail on Sunday article as well, so I decided to just follow their quantities, even though I wasn't following their instructions on how to assemble the cake.

450g butter, softened
450g caster sugar
450g self-raising flour
8 eggs
2 tsp vanilla flavouring
2 tsp baking powder

Cream the butter and the sugar... have I mentioned how much I love my Kitchenaid? :-)

Add eggs

Add flour, vanilla and baking powder

Here are the first two cakes after they came out of the oven. They sank a little in the middle which was strange, but in the end quite helpful as it made them easier to stack with the cakes that rose more.

The other two cakes

So to assemble the crown, I sandwiched all four cakes together with buttercream
 Then I carved the cakes at a downward diagonal to make a shape that was wider at the top than at the bottom

I decided that purple was a suitable regal colour (and annoyingly so did the Mail on Sunday... I promise I wasn't copying their cake!) and so coloured a kilogram of sugarpaste.

I rolled out some more fondant and cut it into long strips to go up the sides and over the top of the cake. I sprayed it with silver lustre spray and left it to dry. The Mail on Sunday article recommended using gold edible lustre which you mix with vodka to make a kind of paint - but I think the spray is a lot easier! And I wanted to make mine silver rather than gold.

 Oops, a bit of stray buttercream to clean off...

The Mail on Sunday piece also suggested using jelly diamonds, which come in different colours - I wanted to stick with the silver theme so I found these edible jelly diamonds online instead. They're proper 3D diamond shape and made of a clear jelly - they were a little fiddly to use but I think they worked really well.

I also wanted to make a ball and cross to go on top of the crown, so I started by rolling out a small piece of sugarpaste...

Which I then cut into a cross like this

Out came the silver spray again!

I also bought a diamond plunger cutter and used it to cut small diamonds out of the leftover sugarpaste

I made a ball out of fondant and sprayed that gold as well, and placed the cross on top. I think it looks quite good on top of the cake (shame about the rest of the cake....!)

I stuck the jelly diamonds with some edible glue on the strips on the sides and top of the cake, and stuck the fondant diamonds I had cut out around the side.

One idea in the Mail on Sunday piece which I really liked suggested crushing a packet of Fox's glacier mints and arranging the pieces around the edge of the cake like a fur trim

But as usual, my sugarpaste skills are far from perfect... my confidence was knocked a little recently by a rather nasty comment on a previous post, so I feel like I should point out here that I'm a complete amateur, I never pretended to be perfect and as long as I am enjoying what I do, why should it matter? :-)

It didn't look as good as the one in the magazine, but then these things never do.. at least not when I'm concerned! I still quite like the way it turned out, anyway. It would have been better to use a darker purple and make the silver strips a bit wider, and as usual the fondant tore a bit when I put it over the cake so I did have to do a repair job on one side. Never mind!

As a finishing touch, I arranged the jubilee cake balls and corgi cake balls around the edge.

Happy Diamond Jubilee, and happy birthday mum!

The letter for June's Alphabakes challenge - hosted this month by Ros - is V, and since this cake is a Victoria sponge I'm making it my first entry for the month (I'm sure I'll do at least one more!)

I am also entering this in Homemade by Fleur's Blogging Jubilee Baking Competition.  The competiton is sponsored by Appliances Online and the deadline is tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's entries and already have spotted a few that I think are potential winners!


  1. Caroline, I think this looks great - it may not be 100% perfect, but I think you're really brave to try something like this (I'm not so sure I would, but I would like to someday!) I love the colour, and I think the cross on the top looks fab.
    I've only just read the nasty post - and oh what a surprise it was anonymous. Ignore it, as it is clearly only designed to upset you. The other comments giving tips and suggestions were far more constructive.
    People have to learn somehow, and I love reading your posts as it inspires me to have a go at something I've never tried before. :)x

    1. Thanks Susie - that's really encouraging! I know not everyone blogs about their baking failures (or then again not everyone has failures!) but I want to share those as well, part of the point of this blog is to tell people what not to do! But also to get advice which is really good, as you say constructive comments are very helpful. And I'm glad if I've inspired you to try something new!

    2. Yes I totally agree with you there! I always include my baking failures as I think you learn just as much from what not to do, as from what to do, and if it helps someone else, then that's all I want. I will usually mention too, whether I'd tweak a recipe to improve it the next tim. I was amazed when one of my posts about a baking fail got some fantastic feedback and advice from the author of the book I used for the recipe (One Girl Cookies). Feedback like that is invaluable, but nasty comments we can just do without. I think they say more about whoever leaves them than what they are actually commenting on! :) x

  2. I don't think people realise these cakes are harder to make than they look.
    I love the look of your cake and I bet your mum will be chuffed to bits with it as its home made and made with love.
    Its my mums birthday too on 3rd June and I have made her a cake...not sure its as regal as this one though. This is just the jobs for a jubilee birthday. xxx

    1. My mum really liked it, and said she would never have been able to do this. It was nice to be able to surprise her with something!

  3. Goodness me, what a lot of mum birthdays this weekend. It's my MIL's bday today, but we are celebrating tomorrow as she is away on a trip to the zoo today :o at 88 she puts me to shame with the variety of her social life. I love the corgis, fantastic crown to.

    1. Thanks Janice! We had six people round today but only managed to eat about a quarter of the cake!

  4. What a super cake Caroline. Your mum is one lucky lady. I found covering a cake with fondant tricky too. Something that really helped me was a set of cake smoothers. They are really great for smoothing out any imperfections and making the icing nice and shiny. Thanks so much for entering my bloggers Jubilee competition.

    1. Thanks Fleur- can't wait to see all the entries to your competition!

  5. Wow I think you did a great job with the cake - your mum must have been so pleased! I'm impressed that you were brave enough to tackle this cake - I'm sure it's not as easy as it looks. I love your silver and purple colour theme and the cake balls look cute at the bottom. Great entry for AlphaBakes too :)

    1. It was pure chance that I was already planning the victoria sponge when the letter V came up for Alphabakes! Makes my life easier :-)

  6. Hey I love it! Caroline I like your posts because you are a blogger with integrity who really is making an effort to learn a craft (and everyone knows how difficult sugar craft is), you are honest (you never try to photoshop your clicks)and I really enjoy your witty posts.
    this cake is great for jubilee celebrations and the cake balls are super cute.

    1. Thanks for your comments, much appreciated! It never occured to me to try to photoshop my pictures... I wouldn't know how to! But I really don't mind people seeing my mistakes, if I was only posting the ones that turned out perfectly I think a lot of people would assume I was just showing off!

  7. You made the cake! It looks suitably regal and I love the corgis!!! :-) I bet your mum loved it!

    1. She really liked it - but it was nowhere near as good as yours! Honestly, Laura, how do you do it?! How long have you been cake decorating? You could easily turn pro!

  8. Hello: So impress I would not see myself getting even closer to it is really nice. You've mention edible jelly diamonds? Where do you bought them from, May I ask Is not the Isomalt ones
    Thank for the tutorial I would like to try on a bracelet and shoe cake.
    Go girl..

    1. Thanks! The jelly diamonds are soft sweets, made from gelatine - I got them from a cake decorating website but I'm afraid I can't remember which one! But I've found some on ebay for example, you should be able to get them from several places:


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