Recipe: Zoe’s Autumn Showstopper Cake

Recipe: Zoe’s Autumn Showstopper Cake

Recipe: Zoe’s Autumn Showstopper Cake

New season, who dis? Autumn is the perfect excuse to slow down, take pleasure in the cosy tech-free days spent reading on the sofa under a sea of blankets and baking seasonal sweet treats full of warming spices and the flavours of fall.

“Pumpkin spice cake is one of my absolute FAVOURITE types of cake to bake, especially at this time of year with all its warming spices. I already have a pumpkin spice cupcake recipe that I repeat year on year, but this time I decided to double up on the recipe to create an epic three-tier cake instead. I’d been scouring Pinterest for some design inspiration and stumbled upon a beautiful cake by Livforcake which i’ve taken my own little spin on when icing and decorating. If you want to create something that’s a bit of an alternative to a carrot cake, but still moist and delicious, this recipe is for you! You can also use a cream cheese based icing if you’d prefer, but I wanted something a bit more hardy, so went for a classic vanilla buttercream” – Zoe

Nothing says Autumn quite like a towering pumpkin spiced layer cake, topped with fondant gourds!

There’s something calming about pottering around the kitchen on a quiet Sunday morning with a cup of coffee in hand, putting a recipe together and enjoying the fruits of your labour.

Nothing says Autumn quite like a towering pumpkin spiced layer cake, topped with fondant gourds, so without further ado, let’s get baking!

 SERVES 12 +

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Sift together the flour, spices, salt and baking powders into a bowl and set aside.

2. In an electric mixer, blend the butter and sugars until they are light in colour and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time and stir in the milk and pumpkin puree.

3. Add in the dry ingredients from the other bowl until it’s all just mixed together but try not to over mix it.

4. Grease the sides and bottom of three 20cm cake trays with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Top tip: you can also use these handy baking belts to bake perfectly moist and level cakes without cracks. Simply soak in water and add to the outside of the tins before they go in the oven.

5. Divide the batter equally between three lined cake trays. These non-stick pre-cut baking parchment rounds are really helpful.

6. Bake for 30 mins or until they spring back and a knife/toothpick comes out clean.

7. While the cakes are baking, make the icing by adding the butter and milk to the mixer and blending until smooth. Then add the icing sugar a little bit at a time until it is all mixed in and lighter in colour.

8. Add in the vanilla and beat until it’s fluffy and combined.

9. Remove cakes from the oven. Once they are cool to touch, transfer to wire racks and allow to cool completely before icing.

10. Place the first cake on a cake card or turntable ready for icing. Using a palette knife, spread an even layer of buttercream icing over the top until covered, or using a round ended piping nozzle and piping bag, you can pipe evenly around the cake in circles to ensure a nice even layer.

11. Layer the second cake over the top and repeat the buttercream icing step.

12. Top with your final layer and apply a crumb coating (a thin layer of icing using a scrapping tool) around the whole stack of cakes, filling in any gaps.
Once smooth, refrigerate for 30 – 45 minutes before applying a final layer of icing to the whole cake. You can leave this as a completely smooth effect, but Zoe added a swirl in the icing.

13. Now it’s time to make the little pumpkin toppers. Tear off a small piece of orange fondant and roll into a ball. For slight variations in colour, you can also combine yellow fondant with orange and roll together for different pumpkin hues.

14. Starting from the bottom, use the dull side of a knife or a fondant carving tool to add the pumpkin lines, turning the ball as you go. Push down the centre of your pumpkin slightly where the lines meet to make a small well for the stem.

15. Roll out a tiny piece of your brown/green fondant for the stem (you can also use cloves if you prefer) and apply on top, squeezing the orange fondant snug around it.

16. Using a paint brush and your brown food colouring, mix with water and paint on in between the lines of the pumpkins to add more depth and real-ness to them.

17. Once the pumpkins are done, you can simply arrange them how you want on the cake and voila!