Tuesday 6 August 2013

Summer Berry Cake with Stencil Decoration

I made this cake for an afternoon tea team-building event at work, based on a Peggy Porschen recipe I found online. It also gave me the chance to try out some cake stencils I got for Christmas.

Peggy Porschen has a cake shop and baking academy in Belgravia near where I used to work - I often used to walk past the shop, which is pink, though I never really found an excuse to go inside and have cake on my lunchbreak or the way to work! Peggy also featured in the finale of the last series of the Apprentice, giving advice to aspiring baking business owner Luisa Zissman. I thought it was quite funny that "Peggy Portion" was trending on Twitter; a lot of people seemed to think her name was spelled that way and that it was perfect for a cake maker!

The recipe that I used is here, though my cake unfortunately turned out nothing like the picture!

You need:
200g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
pinch of salt
seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla flavouring
4 eggs
200g self-raising flour

For the buttercream:
250g butter, softened
250g icing sugar
3 tbsp mixed berry jam plus extra to fill the cake

Preheat the oven to 175C and grease and line a cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar with the salt and vanilla. Then mix in the eggs.

Fold in the flour.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

You're supposed to slice the cake into three - or make three separate cakes - but I made one and sliced it in half.

Spread one layer of the cake with mixed berry jam.

Make buttercream by creaming the butter and icing sugar, then mix in 3 tbsp of the jam

I got this pack of cake stencils for Christmas and hadn't used them yet. There are a selection of designs and you just sprinkle cocoa powder or icing sugar over the top.

First spread the buttercream on top and around the sides of the cake, using a cake smoother or spatula to smooth the sides. Then place the stencil on top and sprinkle over the cocoa powder.

Carefully lift the stencil off and you should be left with the pattern. I think I used too much cocoa powder here. Also, the instructions said to grease the underneath of the stencil so it would catch any excess rather than letting it fall onto the cake and I stupidly skipped this part - I was doing this at 7am before work, as I thought if I put the cocoa on the night before it might sink into the buttercream. I will follow the instructions properly next time - has anyone else tried to use a stencil on a cake before?

I am sending this to the No Waste Food Challenge - I don't eat jam so whenever I buy a jar it's usually for a cake, and then I have to find something else to use it up in, so this cake saved me from having to throw the jar away! The challenge is hosted this month by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary on behalf of Turquoise Lemons.


  1. I bet the cake tasted fantastic nonetheless! I've never tried using stencils. Maybe using them on the bottom of the cake (flatter surface) so there is less of a gap between the stencil and cake might help? Thanks for sharing with the No Waste Food Challenge - an excellent way to use up jam! :)

  2. well it looks so pretty but i've always failed at stencilling... I think you need to get fairies to do it for you... i've used an old piece of lace before and it can look quite pretty... nice recipe x

  3. Well I think that looks pretty spectacular. The stencils are really affective.

  4. looks good.

  5. Looks very messy and unattractive

    1. Yes, it is messy - that's the point I was making, I found the stencils very hard to use. Have you used them before and have any advice on what to do? Or were you just offering an opinion on the cake? I don't think it's unattractive anyway, it's still cake! :-)


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