Alive and Cooking

Birthday Cake

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(Serves 8)

Plain Sponge
400g plain flour
400g caster sugar
3 drops vanilla essence
Zest and juice of ½ a lemon
6 eggs

Chocolate Sponge
200g plain flour
1 passionfruit
1 kiwifruit, sliced
2 sheets puff pastry
100g couverture chocolate
1.2 litres thickened cream, whipped
80ml brandy
1 punnet of strawberries
½ canteloupe, thinly sliced
Icing sugar for dusting

200g caster sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
3 eggs


Slice each puff pastry sheet into 3 strips. Using pastry cutters, cut 3 shapes out of each strip. (I used stars and hearts.) Place the pastry cut outs and remaining pastry strips onto a lined baking tray. Cover with baking paper and place another baking tray on top, to ensure the pastry doesn’t puff up too much.

Place in a preheated oven at 200°C for 12-15 minutes.
(Plain Sponge) Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and creamy. Slowly mix through the flour until combined.
Pour half of this mixture out onto a flat lined baking tray and spread to an even thickness, about 2cm.

Place the remaining mixture back on the blender, add vanilla essence, lemon zest and juice and combine. Pour this mixture out onto another lined baking tray. Place both sponges into a preheated oven at 200°C for 10-14 minutes.

(Chocolate Sponge) Beat together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in the flour and cocoa slowly until combined. Pour into a 23cm spring form cake tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 10-14 minutes. Cut the choc sponge in half horizontally. Allow all sponges to cool thoroughly.

(Brandied Fruit) Place 3 quartered strawberries, passionfruit pulp, kiwi and ¼ canteloupe into a pan and heat. Add the brandy and allow to flame. Stir the fruit and gently simmer for 5 minutes.
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Mix with 1/3 of the whipped cream.

Lay a chocolate sponge down, and spread over some brandied fruit and some syrup. Pipe a layer of whipped cream.

Place the plain sponge on top (cut to the same size as the choc sponge). Layer with the brandied fruit and drizzle of syrup. Pipe a layer of chocolate cream around the edges.
Add the choc sponge, then layer with some sliced raw canteloupe and pipe a layer of cream.

Top with the final sponge. Decoratively pipe chocolate cream around the edges and decorate with freshly sliced strawberries, kiwi and cream rosettes.

Dust the pastry hearts and stars with icing sugar. Use the loose cut outs to pile on top of the cake and the strip sections to form decorative walls on the cake.

Birthday Cake