When I made this cake, I simply wanted to name is ‘Bubblegum & Marshmallow’. I felt it needed nothing else and was enticing enough to whet the appetite and get you baking it. When I showed my mum, she asked me if it was a celebration cake. “Well it looks like one”. What does a celebration cake look like, I thought. For me, anywhere there is a celebration, there should be cake. And anywhere there is cake, the same applies. So yes, I answered. It is a celebration cake. For it is a cake, so we should celebrate.
What does a celebration cake look like, I thought. For me, anywhere there is a celebration, there should be cake. And anywhere there is cake, the same applies. So yes, I answered. It is a celebration cake. For it is a cake, so we should celebrate.
I did not make this cake. Well, I did. But more specifically, it was a cake made by my 8 year-old self. My inner child. It’s every sweet treat I loved when I was younger. It’s dominant flavour, bubblegum, was very much a treat. I wasn’t allowed it often, but when I was, I revelled in it. And there was always a competition of who could blow the biggest bubble. The marshmallow screams to me those times round a fire, roasting them until they began to melt. They were sticky and sweet and fun. It was the rare occasion that playing with your food was deemed acceptable. Finally, the sprinkles create a crunchy shell. As I child I found it difficult to have ice-cream without sprinkles and on this cake they create the perfect eye-catching colour punch.
But all in all, this cake is quite simple in appearance. I could have gone to town on the decoration but I simply felt it wasn’t needed.
The cake mixture was simply a revised version of my Watercolour Cake recipe, with a crumbly and delicate sponge flavoured with some vanilla extract for simplicity to allow the bubblegum to shine through.
280g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
170g butter, unsalted and softened.
3 large eggs (room temperature)
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g softened, unsalted butter
500g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp whole milk
a few drops of bubblegum extract
1 egg white
2 x handful small marshmallows
a few drops of bubblegum extract
100s and 1000s.
Grease 2 deep 6″ cake tins with butter and dust with flour – making sure the bottom and sides are covered with a thin film of flour. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan). Pour the lemon juice into a small bowl and/or the milk on top of it. leave for 10 minutes. It should have curdled when done. The acidity created in the milk will give you a fantastic crumb.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl and set aside. In a second bowl, beat the butter until pale and incorporate all the sugar, beating with a mixer or wooden spoon until combined.
In the egg and sugar mixture, add the eggs. One at a time, and mixing in-between eachone until combined. Once all the eggs are combined, pour in a third of the flour and then half of the milk. Stir. The second lot of flour and the rest of the milk. Stir again. Finish with the last lot of flour and mix slowly until it’s all incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and mix again.
Pour the mixture evenly into the pans and bake in the oven for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the cake tins for a while before turning out and leaving to cool completely.
While the cakes are baking, make the buttercream – beat the butter for 5 minutes with an electric wish, stand mixer or wooden spoon. Add half of the icing sugar and mix together until smooth. Add the remaining half and beat once again. Add the milk and a few drops of the bubblegum extract. You want the taste of bubblegum to be quite strong because it will get diluted by the cake, but you shouldn’t need a great deal at all. Go by taste. Beat together until the extract is fully incorporated and the buttercream is silky smooth.
When the cakes are almost cool, make the marshmallow filling. In a bowl over a pan os simmering water, whisk the egg white and sugar together for 10 minutes, until stiff and silky. Remove from the heat and beat in the marshmallows and extract. Many of the marshmallows should melt, but some might not – this is fine, it all adds to the texture of it!
Using either cake leveller or seated knife, half the cakes in half to create four even layers. I recommend a cake leveller, but you can do it without one, just take care and go slowly.
When you’re ready to assemble, transfer a few spoonfuls of the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle. On the first layer, pipe some buttercream around the edge to create a wall. You can then spread your marshmallow filling in the centre. Building the buttercream wall will make sure the cake is stable enough. Without this, you’re risking the marshmallow oozing out the side and the layers becoming unstable. Repeat this with all the layers. With the final layer, use the bottom of one half and flip over, to it becomes the top. This will ensure a flat surface.
Now, a crumb coat. Spread some buttercream on the top and sides of the cake so it’s thin enough to see the cake through it. You don’t want much, just enough to trap the crumbs for your final coat. Place in the fridge for an hour. Next, spread on the rest of the buttercream – be liberal with it! To create a smooth finish, which is what you want with this cake, use a palette knife or cake scraper and repeat the process until as smooth as you like.
Place the cake on a bowl in a large baking tray. Fill the baking tray with the 100s and 1000s. Grab a handful and carefully but confidently run your hand up the side of the cake, tipping the sprinkles towards the cake so they stick. Repeat this process until all the sides are covered and then scatter then on the top, levelling out with a pallet knife until even.