The Royal Wedding Cake

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I haven’t been baking as much as I used to but seeing the Royal Wedding Cake inspired me to get back into the kitchen this afternoon to create my own version. Did you see it?!  The real thing was made by Claire Pkat from Violet Bakery. I have followed Claire on Instagram for ages so was really excited to hear she would be creating the cake. I think her finished product looked romantic, very inviting and fun – a far cry with stiff iced cakes which we’ve all tasted at weddings.

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Her actual cake had over 500 eggs and 20kg of flour in it – imagine trying to pour all that into baking tins! I genuinely can’t imagine the pressure of trying to create something so huge and also so publicised!

My version is obviously smaller but I’m hoping they tap into the flavours Claire produced for the royal couple. I have a long way to go to get Claire’s perfect finish but I am happy with the way this cake turned out.

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This cake is a lemon sponge, soaked with elderflower syrup, sandwiched together with zesty lemon curd and covered with an elderflower Swiss Buttercream. The only thing that is shop bought is the elderflower cordial as that’s all I could get my hands on today. Okay, are you ready to give it a go too?

Right, you need:

For the cake:

225g unsalted butter

225g self raising flour

225g caster sugar

4 large eggs

2 lemons, zest & juice

2 tsp baking powder.

For the curd:

2 lemons, zest & juice

100g caster sugar

2 full eggs + 1 extra yolk

100g unsalted butter

For the elderflower syrup:

100ml elderflower cordial

100ml water

100g caster sugar

For the Swiss Buttercream

200g caster sugar

3 large egg whites

300g unsalted butter

3 tablespoons elderflower syrup (you’ve made this above)

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Method:

  1. Grease and line 2 x 8″ or 20cm sandwich tins and preheat your oven to 190 degrees.
  2. Using the All-In-One method, put all your cake ingredients into a bowl and beat well until fully combined. Divide the cake mix into your two tins evenly and pop into the oven for 20 minutes. The cakes will shrink away from the sides and be golden brown when baked.
  3. Turn the cakes out of their tins and peal off the grease-proof paper. Prod each cake with a skewer to create some little holes.  Allow to cool for a couple of minutes while you make the syrup.
  4. For the syrup, put the elderflower cordial, sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil allowing all of the sugar to dissolve. Once this has happened, take it off the heat. Grab a teaspoon and spoon half of the syrup into the cakes. As long as the cakes are still warm, the syrup will be soaked up. Leave the remaining syrup to one side for your buttercream later.
  5. Now you can make the lemon curd. To do this, put the zest and lemon juice into a saucepan along with the sugar and butter. Pop it over a low heat until everything has melted in together. Take it off the heat and whisk in your 3 beaten eggs. Working quickly now, put the saucepan back on the low heat and continue whisking until the curd thickens up. To know when your curd is ready, place a spoon into it and see if it coats the back of it. Remember, the curd will continue to thicken off of the heat so don’t let it go too far. Once you’re happy with it, take it off the heat and move it into a bowl to cool down.
  6. While the cakes and curd cool, you can make the Swiss Buttercream. To do this, grab a saucepan and a heat-proof bowl. Add some water to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Now put the bowl over the water and lower the heat so it is only simmering. The bowl should not directly touch the water.
  7. Add your egg whites and sugar to the bowl and begin to whisk with an electric hand mixer until it is completely smooth. To test it, you can rub a little bit of the egg mix in between your fingers – if it is completely smooth then it’s ready. If you can feel bits of sugar then you need to keep going.
  8. Once it’s smooth, take it off the heat and continue to beat until you have stiff peaks. Begin to add the butter bit by bit. The mixture will slacken considerably – stay with it! It’ll thicken up again but you’ll need to keep your hand mixer going for at least another 5 minutes. Once the buttercream has thickened up again, pour in the remaining elderflower syrup and mix it one last time so the flavour has been spread out evenly.
  9. To finish the cake, place some of the buttercream on the top of one of the cakes, followed by a good helping of lemon curd. Place the second cake on top so they are now sandwiched together. Decorate the rest of the cake with the rest of the buttercream. Don’t be tempted to do this before the cake has fully cooled or it’ll all melt away.

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I really hope you like this cake and give it a go at home! Whether you’re a fan of royal weddings or not, it’s amazing to see a cake of that scale be created and see all the work that goes into it. I think Claire did a fantastic job – only sad I didn’t get to taste the real one. Hopefully it will appear on Violet’s Bakery menu forever more.

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