I recently made a birthday cake and it was so successful and so easy to make, I decided to share so that you too can whip up a real showstopper with very little stress.
The work – if you can even call it that – can be divided into three sections: the cake, the filling, and the decoration.
The main reason this was so straightforward to make is the simplicity of the cake itself. It’s a Biscoff cake. Not just Biscoff flavoured, but actually made from Biscoff spread, with the addition of a couple of eggs and some baking powder. And that’s it. You mix it in five minutes and bake it in just 20 minutes. And it tastes as glorious as you might imagine.
1 x 400g smooth Biscoff spread
2 large eggs
1.5tsp baking powder
- Heat the oven to 180°C, 160°C Fan.
- Grease and line your baking tin(s) with parchment paper. Size/shape doesn’t really matter. For the cake in the picture I doubled the recipe and divided it between the two number tins to give roughly the same depth of batter in each.
- Remove the lid and all of the foil covering (very important!) on the jar of Biscoff and zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds. This will make it just warm enough to pour and mix easily.
- Pour the warmed spread into a bowl, add the whisked eggs and baking powder and mix thoroughly. As the spread cools it will become thicker, so you need to make sure the baking powder is thoroughly mixed in.
- Pour the mixture into your tin(s) and bake for 20 minutes (for a one-layer cake or traybake) or 30 minutes if making a deeper/larger batch. Remember: signs a cake is done are that it doesn’t sound bubbly when you listen, the sides of the cake shrink away from the tin, and a toothpick comes out clean and free of wet cake batter.
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
I went with three – one for richness, one for freshness, one for laziness. The rich filling is Russian Buttercream, which is a combination of butter and sweetened, condensed milk. Since I was going for an overall caramel theme, I chose to make a version using Carnation Caramel condensed milk (Banoffi Pie filling). For the fresh element, some unsweetened whipped double cream is the simplest and a great contrast against the richness of the Russian Buttercream. Alternatively, you could use the combination of double cream, creme fraiche and cream cheese suggested below. The lazy element was crunchy Biscoff spread, straight from the jar.
Caramel Russian Buttercream
250g unsalted butter
1 x 397g tin of Carnation Condensed Milk Caramel
salt to taste (optional)
- Cut the butter into cubes and allow it to come to room temperature.
- Beat in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment for 5 minutes until light.
- Add the caramel and continue whisking until fully combined.
- Add a sprinkling of salt to taste (optional).
- Spoon into a piping bag fitted with whatever tip you prefer and set aside.
600ml double cream – whipped
200ml double cream
200g cream cheese
200g low-fat creme fraiche
1 tsp vanilla extract
icing sugar to taste
- Put the creams, cheese and extract into a bowl and whisk together until firm.
- Add icing sugar to sweeten. It won’t need much – 2-3 tablespoons is about right.
- Set aside.
1 x 400g crunchy Biscoff spread
Assembling the cake
- Slice the cooled cake(s) in half horizontally.
- Place your bottom layer on your serving plate/platter.
- Spread a thick layer of whichever fresh cream you chose onto the cut surface of the cake.
- Remove the lid/foil from the jar of crunchy Biscoff spread and zap in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it pourable. Stir well.
- Make an indentation in the cream and drizzle some Biscoff spread down the middle of the cream.
- Spread a thinner layer of fresh cream onto the other cut surface and lay the top layer onto the bottom layer.
- Spoon the remaining cream into a piping bag fitted with any tip you like, preferably different to the bag with the Russian buttercream.
- Pipe random swirls/kisses of both Russian buttercream and the fresh cream onto the top of the cake, until the whole surface is covered.
- (Optional) Drizzle a little of the crunchy Biscoff spread all over.
- Add your decorations – see below.
This couldn’t be simpler – blobs of the cream and buttercream over the top of your cake, and then scatter on various theme-flavoured items, all which can be easily bought. Confession: I didn’t make a single decoration myself, which meant the decorating took all of 10 minutes.
- Biscuits: Believe it or not, I couldn’t find any plain Biscoff biscuits, because all the supermarkets were stocking the new Biscoff Sandwich biscuits. So I got some of those instead – which incidentally went down a storm. ProTip: stick your biscuits (if using) in the buttercream, rather than the fresh cream, as it will delay them from becoming soft.
- Popcorn: Who doesn’t love the traditional, toffee-coated popcorn? (ButterkistButterkistRahRahRah!). Again, scatter these more onto the buttercream than the fresh cream, again for retaining crispness longer.
- Salted Caramel Fudge – storebought, cut into small cubes and sprinkled abundantly.
- Sugar stars and rosegold shimmer sugar to finish.
Other caramel decoration ideas/suggestions
- Maltesers – original, naked (without chocolate) or buttons
- Crunchies, or make your own honeycomb.
- Caramac bars.
- Tunnock’s caramel wafers
- Belgian Chocolate Thins – they look like Pringles but are made out of chocolate with various flavourings including caramel