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Showstopping Christmas layer cake

A showstopping Christmas layer cake filled with cranberry compote, whipped mascarpone frosting and crowned with a sweet meringue wreath. Slice to reveal the festive red and green layers!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Servings 10 -12 servings
Author Lucy Parissi | Supergolden Bakes

Ingredients

  • For the cake
  • 320 g | 11oz caster sugar
  • 250 g | 9oz plain all purpose flour
  • 30 g | 1oz cornflour cornstarch
  • 170 g | 6oz unsalted butter cubed
  • 240 ml | 8.4fl oz | 1 cup whole milk
  • 180 ml | 6.3fl oz egg whites from 5-6 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • red and green paste food colouring
  • Sugarflair Spectral concentrated paste colour in Christmas Red and Holly Green
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  • For the frosting
  • 500 g | 1lb 2oz full-fat mascarpone
  • 300 g | 10.5oz icing sugar
  • 200 ml | 7fl oz double cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
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  • You will also need
  • cranberry compote to spread between the layers

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Spray 5 x15cm/6in cake tins with cake release and line with baking parchment.
  • Put the flour, cornflour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer and briefly mix together on low speed to combine using the paddle attachment.
  • Add the cubed butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • In a measuring jug, mix together the milk, egg whites and vanilla extract.
  • Add the egg white mixture into the batter, in three stages, mixing well on low speed after each addition.
  • Increase the speed to maximum and mix for a couple of minutes until batter is smooth.
  • Transfer 440g (15 1/2oz) of the batter into another large bowl and tint it green using paste food colouring. Tint the remaining batter red.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tins – each tin is about 220g (7.7oz) _ and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cakes are well risen, springy and coming away from the sides of the tin.
  • Cool in the tins for 10 minutes and then carefully turn out on a wire rack to cool.
  • To make the frosting, put the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of your stand mixer. Start mixing on low speed to combine and gradually add the double cream.
  • Increase the speed to highest setting, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl halfway through, until you have firm peaks.
  • Transfer the frosting into a large piping bag fitted with a plain round tip and pipe a ring of frosting around the perimeter of your bottom cake layer.
  • Spread a little cranberry compote on the inside if you like, otherwise just fill with frosting.
  • Repeat with the remaining layers, pressing them down lightly.
  • Pipe frosting over the top and sides of the cake and smooth with a palette knife and side scraper.
  • Top the cake with meringue kisses or a meringue wreath (see notes) and serve.

Notes

To make the meringue wreaths, whisk 60g (2oz) egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add 120g (4oz) caster sugar a spoonful at a time and whisk at maximum speed until you have firm peaks. Add 1 tsp white wine vinegar and 1 tsp vanilla extract at the end and mix them in. Divide the meringue into two bowls and tint them red and green (or just red and leave rest white). Trace 2x15cm (6in) circles on baking paper. Transfer meringue to piping bags fitted with differest star tips and pipe on the inside of the circle to create the wreath, alternating the colours as you like. Bake in a 100C (215F) oven for 30 minutes then turn the oven off and leave to cool completely. Carefully peel off the paper and transfer onto cake (be careful they are quite fragile).