Someone around here is about to turn one. ONE! *sob* While I will try to restrain the feels from spilling out all over the place I cannot make any promises. Our last and tiniest poppet is no longer so tiny. Last weekend, in advance, we celebrated the big day with balloons, a weight of party food and plenty of cake.
Despite my deep and unwavering love of cake, cake making has not always been a forte. For B1’s first birthday a neighbour made her an incredible multi-layer cake covered in fondant flowers and ladybugs. For B2’s first birthday I ordered a sprinkles / 100’s + 1000’s covered number from Pasticceria Papa. Both delicious and beautiful, but neither homemade. So, with a bit of trepidation, I decided to make B3’s first birthday cake myself. Give it a whirl, as they say. Besides, I’m not a complete novice (see here and here) and I’m much older and wiser these days. Errr….yes. You know where this story is going – the night before the party I completely botched the cake. Disaster.
What to do about a botched cake? Cry. Cry and cancel the entire party. OR – fashion a remedy, cross your fingers and hope it turns out okay. Thankfully, after choosing the latter, this botched cake did turn out okay. In fact, I am so tempted to botch it exactly the same way again I am going to share the recipe with you here. Because in food blogging you can transform “botched” into “adapted”. Someone give me a high-five.
A few quick notes about this deliciously botched cake: Next time I will try using culinary grade lavender oil instead of dried lavender (which I bought from my health food store as lavender tea). This should enhance the flavour as well as solve the issue of having little lavender bits through the icing. You could cover this cake with fondant flowers if you are so inclined but I went with edible flowers (available here) because I’m no good with fondant. Plus, I’m not a huge fan of the flavour of fondant. If I have to choose between pretty cake or yummy cake I choose yummy cake every time.
Lemon + Yoghurt + Lavender Cake
3 cups sugar
juice and finely grated rind of 3 lemons
2 cups of grapeseed oil
1 3/4 cups of plain, unsweetened yoghurt
4 cups self-raising flour
75 g soft butter
150 g cream cheese (not spreadable)
100 g mascarpone
juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon
4 scant cups of icing sugar
few drops of culinary-grade lavender oil / 2 teaspoons fiercely crushed culinary-grade lavender flowers
optional: 5 Tablespoons of lemon curd
Preheat oven to 160 degrees centigrade or 320 degrees fahrenheit. Blend together sugar, eggs, oil and yoghurt (you can use a food processer or a stand mixer or a hand-held mixer, take your pick) Add flour and salt and blend until just combined. Transfer to 2 x 21 centimetre greased cake tins and bake for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until springy to touch. Pour lemon juice and rind mixture over the cakes while they are hot. Then cool completely before turning out of tins to ice.
Icing – Blend icing ingredients – excluding lemon curd – until smooth. Cool to a spreadable consistency. Level the tops of your cakes using a bread knife + steady hand or a cake leveller. Ice the top of the first cake, adding lemon curd on top of the icing if you fancy it. Place the second cake on top of the first, tops together i.e. the second cake’s flat bottom at the very top of the sandwiched cakes. Spread the rest of the icing over the top and sides. Decorate with edible flowers.
To our dearest one-year-old girl – may you have a long, sweet life, making many mistakes and mending them in your own way. May you embrace imperfection (celebrate it even!) and never forget to laugh, love and have fun. We adore you.