Chocolate Honeycomb Birthday Cake

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I do still exist! So does my baking ๐Ÿ™‚ and this time I have a funny story. When I was walking to work with this cake in a box to assemble later, I had the honeycomb in a plastic container on top of the box. It was 6am, pitch black, wind in a full blown gale. And what did I do? I walked past the windiest place I know in my city.

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And proceeded to watch as the box of honeycomb blew from my reach and onto the ground 5 metres away. After a split second of hope when the box didn’t open, it blew another metre and burst into a glorious explosion of caramelised sugar shards and that was that. The box and honeycomb blew into the distance and I could only laugh at my stupidity.

Two weeks ago I woke up and my first thought was ‘oh my gosh, I have a baking blog!’

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Yes, I forgot, completely ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’m sure we all do that from time to time. Like we forget the keys or our passwords to how many ever accounts we seem to accumulate!

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Anyway, this cake was made as one of my first proper cake orders in a while for a ‘crunchie bar’ lover. It’s chocolate cake filled with honey buttercream (was meant to be filled with honey comb too but sadly my second batch hadn’t set when I was assembling) and topped with hokey pokey squiggles cookies, and honey comb and chocolate shards.
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I couldn’t find my nice piping tip a ziplock bag had to do. Any way, it turned out to be a very large cake indeed, with added height thanks to the toppings. Here’s roughly how to make it:

Chocolate Honeycomb Birthday Cake
Make 1.5 times this chocolate cake recipe here, making three layers
Make a batch of this honey comb
For the butter cream, whip 150g softened butter, 3 cups icing sugar, 3 Tbsp honey and 1 Tbsp (or more if needed) milk until light and super fluffy.

To assemble, spread butter cream on top of all the layers and stack them, then pipe some leftover buttercream around the top and arrange hokey pokey squiggles, honey comb shards and chocolate shards around the top. Voila! Makes a big cake….

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Pretzel Honey Cake

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“No one has ever made me a birthday cake before!”

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So this cake happened. Birthday cake is one of my favourite things in the world. Birthday cake deprivation is an issue close to my heart (although don’t worry, I am only half-serious in saying that, the world has bigger issues….).

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The guy who said this to me was from Germany, so I thought that maybe a vanilla and honey cake would be nice…. however somehow I put a tad too much baking soda into the ‘pretzel’ layers and it tasted like pretzels! I would attribute this to the ‘soda’ flavour that the caustic soda coating on pretzels gives them….

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The flavours work really nice together and the cake is nice and fluffy ๐Ÿ™‚ I made it a square because that was the only baking tin we had in our flat at the time….

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Anyway, here is the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

Pretzel Birthday Cake
Cinnamon Layer:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1&1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/8 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup oil
1&1/2 cups water
Honey Layer:
3 tsp lemon juice
1 egg
3 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup flour
Icing:
100g butter
2 cups icing sugar
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line/grease three 20x20cm square tins (or you can use round tins if you prefer). You can start with either the pretzel or honey layers.

For the pretzel cakes:
Mix together the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Divide between two of the tins and bake for 15 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tin for about 20 mins then tip out into a wire rack to cool completely.

For honey layer:
Mix together the wet ingredients then add the dry and mix until combined. Repeat baking and cooling instructions from above.

When the layers are cool, you can choose to trim the edges like I did or just leave them.

For the frosting soften the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add half the icing sugar and the milk and vanilla essence, then the rest of the icing sugar. Keep beating until you have a gloriously fluffy frosting.

Spread the icing between the layers and stack on top of them.

 

 


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Coconut, Lime and Crabapple Cake {DF and GF}

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Birthday season has begun my friends! Happy early or belated birthday (whichever is closer) to any of you wonderful people reading this. If you have some photos of your birthday cake, please comment ๐Ÿ˜€
This means layer cakes and more layer cakes. Previous efforts include carrot cake, caramel cake, chocolate cake (white and milk), orange and cinnamon… the list goes on ๐Ÿ™‚

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These photos were snapped at work before the cake was cut and devoured ๐Ÿ™‚

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If you haven’t used coconut flour before, then try it out! You can probably make it at home too. It’s nut free, gluten free…. and it absorbs liquid like no flour I know. It tastes great too ๐Ÿ™‚

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Coconut and lime go amazing together, and nana gave me some home made jam from home grown crab apples. Amazing! Rose jelly, quince or pretty much any red-fruit jam would go well too.

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Coconut, Lime and Crabapple Cake {DF and GF}
Ingredients:
Make two circle cakes using this recipe. Make it using vegetable oil so it’s dairy free!
Add 2 tsp lime zest to the mix.
Also:
150g dairy free spread/butter replacer
400g icing sugar
1 tsp lime zest
1/2 cup crabapple jam
And:
Coconut flakes
Lime Zest

Instructions:
Whip the butter-replacer until light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar a bit at a time, and the lime zest. Add a little dairy free milk if too thick. Whip until light and fluffy. Spread a layer on top of the bottom layer and fill with jam. ย Place on the top layer and spread on another layer of frosting. Whip a few teaspoons of jam into the rest of the frosting and pipe the pink frosting in rosettes. Decorate with lime zest and coconut.

Makes 1 cake which feeds about 12 people (well at least). You can make it the day before, as the cake keeps the moisture very well!

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Mini Spiced Chocolate Berry Cake for Two (Or Three or One!)

image There is never too little time for birthday cake! Or too few people! This one fits nicely on a saucer and feeds two people more than adequately. It also provided 78% of your daily cuteness and 57.6% of your daily smiles. image It’s also spiced-chocolate flavour, with some delicious tart blackberry jam and mint leaves to decorate ๐Ÿ™‚ image Note: I found the jam a little sweet, so maybe use a coulis or a berry reduction ๐Ÿ™‚ Mini Spiced Chocolate Berry Cake for Two Ingredients: Mini Cake: 75g butter 2 Tbsp white sugar 1 egg 3/4 tsp baking powder 2 tsp cocoa 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 cup flour 3 tsp milk Frosting: 2 Tbsp softened butter Vanilla extract 4-6 Tbsp icing sugar 2 tsp milk To decorate and fill: Jam of your choice Mint leaves Walnuts Cinnamon to dust Instructions: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and pale. Mix in the egg (don’t worry if it curdles…..!) until combined, this could take a while. Mix in the baking powder, cocoa and cinnamon, followed by the flour and milk. If the mixture still seems a little thick and not very light, add a bit more milk. Spread the batter onto the baking tray in three circles roughly the same size. They will spread so leave some space. Bake for 12 minutes, until the centres spring back when lightly touched. Cool on the trays. When you are ready to assemble, make the frosting. Beat the butter, vanilla and some icing sugar until creamy and light, then add more icing sugar and milk until you have your desired fluffy and delicious consistency! Using a circle cutter of some sort (I used a tin!), cut the three cakes into rounds. Place the bottom layer on a plate, spread on 1/3 of the frosting, followed by some jam. Then place another layer on top and repeat. For the top layer, I iced and decorated it separately before placing it on top so I didn’t squish the cake. Spread on the remaining frosting and arrange the walnuts, jam dots and mint leaves around the edges. Place on top and dust with cinnamon. Done! You could easily do this quite a few hours before, and then present it later. IMG_1975IMG_1973 image image

Cinnamon and Orange plus White Chocolate ‘Piggy’ Birthday Cakes {100th Post!}

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Here are my birthday cakes! My uncle celebrates his birthday on the same day as me, hence my ‘excuse’ for not being able to choose between two flavours ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you share a birthday with a family member? So many people tell me that they share their birthdays with uncles!
He said that the decoration I put on the piped butter cream looks like little piggy faces, here is a close up:

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And here is the gorgeous crown of nut brittle on the cinnamon cake. I have a thing of giving cakes crowns because I think they look glorious. I’ve done it on my carrot cake, my blackberry-banana cake, my (square) banana-chocolate-caramel cake, also on my sunburst tarts!

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And this brittle is super easy to make, you just pour caramel onto the nuts and within minutes it is set and ready to go! It was a very last minute idea……

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These cute wee beauty was a white chocolate mud cake, with raspberry coulis filling and white chocolate buttercream.

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And then there is the older sister, slightly more down to earth and less superficial,ย and who probably has a couple of kids and is raising them in a house just outside the city, so that they can play on a swing in the summer and go swimming at the beach.
Oh, it’s a cinnamon orange cake with cream cheese frosting and filling and nut brittle.

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I have to admit that I didn’t BAKE them myself as I was on my way back from Wellington to Christchurch, I just iced and decorated them ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m getting the recipes that my friends used so I will update them soon!

To make the White Chocolate ‘Piggy’ Cake:
Double this cake recipe to make two layers:

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Then fill the two cakes with any red/pink jam you choose.

Top with your favourite buttercream. Pipe some blobs around the edge, and decorate with candy ‘snouts’ and ‘eye’s ๐Ÿ˜‰

To make a Nut Brittle Crown:
In a saucepan, gently heat 1 cup sugar in a saucepan.

On a greaseproof mat, sprinkle out some mixed nuts.

Keep heating the sugar, not stirring but swirling occasionally, until it turns to an amber coloured caramel. Pour over the nuts and leave to set.

Break up into shards and stick into the frosting on the edge of your cake!

 

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Enjoy everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Easy Lemon and Blueberry Birthday Cake (August Birthday Cake #3)

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Just a quick recipe this one ๐Ÿ™‚ A toned down version of the flavour combo in this cake here. It’s super lemony and super delicious, as well as super easy….! Enjoy, more birthday cakes to come……!

 

Lemon and Blueberry Birthday Cake
Cake:
175g flour
2 tsp baking powder
115g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
ยฝ tsp lemon oil
Zest and juice of two lemons
Syrup:
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Blueberry Compote:
250g frozen blueberries
Frosting:
75g butter
130g icing sugar
100g lemon curd
Dash of milk

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 20cm diameter cake tin.
Mix together the flour and baking powder, then add the butter, sugar, lemon oil and lemon zest and juice. Mix gently until just combined and transfer into the cake tin. Spread evenly and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tin.

Meanwhile, make the berry compote. Chuck the blueberries in a pan and boil gently until nice and thick. You should be able to make lines in the sauce in the bottom of the saucepan with your spatula. Cool completely.

When ready to assemble, make the frosting. Soften the butter and whip with the icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add the lemon curd and continue beating. Add a bit of milk if the mixture becomes too thick to mix well.

Cut the cake in half horizontally. Spread about a quarter of the frosting on the bottom layer and spread a bit of the compote on the frosting. Place on the top layer of the cake and spread the rest of the frosting on nicely. Using a teaspoon, arrange the rest of the compote around the edges of the cake and serve.

Makes about 10 slices, the cake itself can be made the day before.

Easy Chocolate and Blueberry Birthday Cake (August Birthday Cake #2!)

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Admittedly this was from a while back, but why not use the whole month to celebrate the wonderful food that is birthday cake! I don’t know if you have a favourite thing to bake, but birthday cake is mine ๐Ÿ™‚

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Baking just does that, it makes you smile on the inside. While you’re baking AND eating your creations! Of course we do have the odd moment of testing (making macarons the other day -_-) but we still hang in there ๐Ÿ™‚
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In the background there, you can see a lovely cheesecake a friend of mine made (she forgot to put the sugar in but I think it tasted perfect! Don’t you love it when things work out?
For some reason I always seem to make different cakes of the same flavour, so I have another more impressive blueberry-chocolate cake to post sometime soon ๐Ÿ™‚ In the mean time, here is the recipe!

Easy Blueberry and Chocolate Birthday Cake
Ingredients:
Cake:
300g flour
200g sugar
2 tsp baking soda
40g cocoa
150mls natural oil
3 Tbsp white vinegar
400mls water
Frosting/Filling:
120g frozen blueberries
85g butter
250g icing sugar
To top:
150g dark chocolate

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two 20 cm diameter cake tins.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda and cocoa together. Make a well and pour in the oil and vinegar. Then pour in the water, making a big mess and mix until smooth. Pour one half into each tin and bake for 25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tins for about half an hour then unmould and cool on wire racks (you could cool completely in the tin if you canโ€™t be bothered).

Meanwhile, to get the coulis done, put the berries into a saucepan and simmer for about half an hour until thick, juicy and cooked through. Chill completely then whiz then up in a blender or pass then through a fine sieve.

For the frosting, soften the butter and whip, then add the sugar in a bit at a time. Beat until thick and soft, then add the blueberry mixture a little at a time, until you have the right shade/ flavour. Any that is leftover can be used to fill the cake.

To assemble, place the bottom layer of the cake onto the serving plate. Spread half the frosting onto it and also spread any leftover coulis on top. Place in the final layer and slather on the rest of that delicious frosting. Yum!

To serve as I did, melt the chocolate and pour it on top. Now is the time to put in some candles if you are presenting it as a birthday cake, otherwise just dig in.

Makes enough for about 12 people, and Iโ€™m sorry but I donโ€™t know how longs it lasts as it only was around for ten minutes after the candles were blown out.

I can tell you however that the cakes uniced last well for a few days and you can easily frost/fill the cake up to 12 hours in advance!

Until next time ๐Ÿ™‚

Sami xx

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Chocolate and Liquorice Allsort Birthday Cake

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I imagine my little 13-year-old self was quite pleased with this one, as was my grandfather; it was his birthday cake ๐Ÿ™‚
There is nothing quite like a good cake, is there? And when celebration is necessary, cake comes with it hand in hand….birthday cake is probably my favorite thing to bake in the world anyway! I am sure you have fond memories of your own birthday cakes, or perhaps ones that you have made for ones you love.
Or perhaps you make cakes for a living, in which case, I both jealous and incredibly happy for you!
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This is just a nice chocolate cake with whipped chocolate ganache frosting, and than a brocade of liqourice allsorts for decoration; there is no liquorice flavour IN the cake (although I do have a recipe for that, which I am quite excited to try….!). You could easily make it with any other decorations on top, or just leave it plain. I have a photo of it without the candy below the recipe, in case you want to check it out.

Chocolate and Liquorice Allsort Birthday Cake

Cake:
170g butter
1/3 cup castor sugar
1&1/2 cups flour
1&1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp cocoa
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
1 Tbsp milk
Whipped chocolate ganache:
150g milk chocolate
3/4 cup cream
To decorate:
200g liquorice allsorts

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180ยฐC and grease two 20cm diameter cake tins.

Beat together the butter and sugar until smooth, then sift together the flour, salt and cocoa. Beat into the butter with the eggs. Combine until smooth. Add the milk if you think the batter is a bit thick. Divide the batter between the tins and smooth over. Bake for about 15 minutes, and until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from tins and cool completely.

Melt the chocolate over a pot of simmering water. Turn off the heat and slowly mix in the cream. Leave until cool. Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer and whip high speed, or use a whisk or egg beaters. Beat until light and fluffy.

Level off the top of one of the cakes and spread a bit of icing. Then place the other cake on top. Spread the remaining icing over the cake. Arrange the liquorices allsorts over the cake. Store in an airtight container.

Lasts forย  3 days

Makes 12 slices

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Enjoy your birthday cake endeavours, and the rest of your endeavours for that matter ๐Ÿ™‚

My Favourite Caramel Birthday Cake

Sometimes I feel a little bad I don’t broaden my horizons and try a different cake every year…but then I remember why I make this cake consistently, it’s just that good.
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It’s big, triple layered and covered in one of the best frostings I have ever tasted. There’s even a little raspberry jam between the layers: don’t freak out! It’s just enough to add a little interest and colour but it won’t detract from that caramel goodness, I promise ๐Ÿ™‚
The cake stays pretty moist (providing you don’t leave it in the oven too long, it’s not foolproof) when done properly and feeds a crowd very nicely (we had two cakes between about 17 people and there was still about 1/3 left of each cake! Yes, I had it for breakfast. Guilty as charged). I wrapped some lace around it because it looked pretty but you can do as you like!ย 
I really hope you give it a try sometime ๐Ÿ™‚

My Favourite Caramel Birthday Cake
Cake:
2&2/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch Salt
250g butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
ยฝ cup brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 cup milk

Frosting:
90g butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 cups icing sugar

To fill:
Raspberry Jam

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line/grease three 20cm diameter cake tins.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until nice and light and fluffy. Beat the egg yolks in one at a time. Alternate mixing in the dry ingredients and the milk, starting and beginning with the dry (I did this by hand because I didnโ€™t want to overmix it). It will be quite thick, but do not fear. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter 1/3 at a time, mixing gently and folding until just combined. The batter should be soft dropping consistency, so not too thick that you have to spread it around the tins. If it is too thick, add a tablespoon or so more milk.
Divide the batter between the tins and bake for about 35 minutes until the skewer comes out clean when inserted (I have accidentally over baked this, so I hovered around the oven and whipped them out as soon as they were done). The tops should spring back when lightly touched. Cool half an hour in the tins then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
When ready to assemble, place a layer of cake on the serving plate. Spread some jam onto the top, leaving a 1cm border. Place the next layer on top and repeat the process. Finally, arrange the top layer on top of this.
To make the frosting, melt the butter and brown sugar together. Heat gently until the brown sugar has dissolved completely (this is important as if not you can end up with grainy frosting; however, I assure you this is still delicious!). Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the icing sugar a bit at a time. When cool enough to spread on the cake, itโ€™s time to get down to it! Frost the cake in any way you may desire. If it helps, I started with a thin crumb coat and then put about 1/3 on top and helped it spread itself down the sides. I then iced the sides, and when it began to set, I smoothed out the edges with a knife dipped in water. The frosting does set quite quickly, although you can easily reheat it a bit. When the cake is iced to your standards, you are all done. Pat on the back, it will all be worth it, I promise!
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A Ridiculously Good Chocolate Cake and my Birthday Cake Part 1

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Well, why NOT have two birthday cake? And besides, how do you choose between chocolate and caramel? I didn’t; just make both! I turned a quite grown up age a few days ago, and even though I wasn’t sure I quite felt up to it (milestones, where does the time GO?!) I could not pass the opportunity to make myself a cake. Or two. Actually my uncle shares a birthday with me, so it was for him too, I’m not that greedy.
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Making this cake was a bit of a last minute decision, but was it worth it! This recipe is incredible, everyone said it was to die for and there were a lot of second helpings. Please try this cake.
Even better, it is so quick to make, one bowl, just cocoa (but still with a rich flavour), oil so it’s super moist and it keeps for a while. Don’t be scared of the coffee, I promise you won’t taste it. Plus it’s a good way to use up leftover coffee!
You can decorate anyway you want of course (every one ended up picking off the maltesers but they looked good while they lasted…). If you wanted to frost the sides, I would double the frosting recipe.

The Best Birthday Chocolate Cake
2 cups flour
1&1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1&1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk
ยฝ cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup hot coffee

Icing:
100g butter, softened

ยผ cup cocoa
1&1/2 cups icing sugar
2 Tbsp milk

Malteasers, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line two 20cm diameter baking pans and grease the sides.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda until combined. Add in the milk, oil and eggs and mix until combined on a low speed. Still at a low speed, add the coffee and mix until combined, then turn up the speed andย  beat for about 2 minutes to aerate the batter some more. If you donโ€™t have an electric mixer, you could always do this by hand.
Divide evenly between the two tins and bake for about 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool for half an hour, then turn out onto wire racks and cool completely.
To make the frosting, simply beat the butter and cocoa until extr a light and fluffy, then add the icing sugar a bit at a time, mixing until combined after each addition. Add a bit of milk in between the additions so it doesnโ€™t turn too thick. The icing is ready when it is airy and a good consistency to spread onto the cake without being too thick.
Place the bottom layer of the cake on the plate or serving tray and level off the top with a serrated knife. Spread half the frosting on top to fill it. Carefully place the top layer on top and this and use the rest of the icing to frost the top. Arrange the malteasers around the edges and youโ€™re done! Easy as that.
Makes a very large birthday worthy cake, which keeps very well, about 4 days in top form!

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Enjoy your Sunday everyone and watch this space for my other birthday cake recipe (pictured in the back of the first photo) ๐Ÿ™‚