Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Summer berry USA flag traybake

For my second Cake Club meeting, I made a lemon sponge traybake, decorated with strawberries and blueberries in an American flag design - the theme was 'Born in the USA'.

Can you guess what it is yet?

It took me a while to think of a cake themed to our cousins across the pond. I've visited America loads of times, but I have to admit that I can't remember eating cake there - at least, none so good that it's stuck in my memory. Doughnuts, yes, plenty... Lots of pie... Loads of cookies... But I couldn't think of the sort of cake that would sum up my experience of America. Should I make a bundt cake (a la Dolly Bakes)? They eat them 'over there', and I certainly have a lot of recipes to choose from. But then someone said the clue in the name was that they were German, not American, so I scrapped that idea.

Everyone I canvased opinion from simply replied with Mississippi mud pie, or key lime pie, or apple pie... It's a CAKE CLUB, I retorted!

I set on the idea of using the American theme in the decoration, having seen a similar idea with the Union Jack for the upcoming Jubilee. I had been considering it for our Jubilee party, but instead decided to turn it into the Stars & Stripes.

The Stars & Stripes

I used a simple yet fluffy and light lemon sponge recipe, topped with buttercream, with blueberries and strawberries in the flag design. I even counted the number of stripes.

I have to admit, this was one of the best cakes I've ever made. The buttercream was delicious - the creamiest, smoothest, loveliest buttercream. I used my Kitchenaid for the buttercream this time, which I normally don't bother with, but I always will in future. I heeded Eric Lanlard's comments on a recent episode of Baking Mad where he explained how to cream the butter and ensure the result wasn't too grainy, by making sure the sugar was properly dissolved into the butter. Yum.

My first traybake
100g marg
175g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds
2tsp baking powder
4 eggs
225g caster sugar
125ml Greek yogurt
zest of 2 lemons

Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix them all together. Job's a goodun.
Pour into a traybake cake tin, 30cm x 20cm - I treated myself to a new tin just for this bake.
Bake in the oven at 180 degrees (160 fan) for 30 minutes.

I used about half a pack of butter and about 300g ish of icing sugar (but I never measure buttercream!). After laying out the stripes, I thought about laying tiny white marshmallows inbetween, just to crank up the American-ness of the cake. But I didn't like how it looked, and preferred the simplicity with just the berries.

Everyone at Cake Club was impressed. Mine certainly was the most attractive cake. I have lots of berries left over, so I might yet make a Union Jack version at the weekend.

A delicious use of summer berries


  1. Brilliant it looks good and I bet it tasted good too. Love the styling!


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