Colourful Rio inspired lime and mango cake

baking, birthday cake, frosting, layer cake, piping, recipe, recipes, techniques

I was asked to create this cake for a friend of a friend.  All I knew was that it had to be fruity, bright, and the person was from Brazil.  So I quickly settled on a lime sponge, sandwiched with mango and passionfruit curd, but needed to come up with a decorating plan.  That’s when I thought of the colours of the Rio Olympics, which were popping up on my tv on repeat.  I wasn’t sure how to incorporate them all at first, until I had a little flash of inspiration to pipe the different colours in a sort of wreath round the top.  It’s a really simple but effective technique, so if you’d like to give it a try then read on.

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Let’s start with the sponge.  To make a 3 layer, 6 inch sponge, you’ll need:

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g butter/stork
  • 4 large eggs
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 1&1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1&1/2 tablespoons milk

Preheat your oven to 170 C and grease and line 3 six inch cake tins.  In a freestanding mixer or with a handheld cream together the  butter and sugar for a good few minutes until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one.  Add the zest and flour and gently fold in, then finally stir through the lime juice and milk.  Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for about 20 minutes or so.  They are done when a skewer comes out clean.  Leave them to cool and get on with the icing.

I went for a simple buttercream flavoured with lime to cover the cake.You’ll need:

  • 300g soft butter
  • 675g icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 jar mango and passionfruit curd (I used Cottage Delight, which I found at a garden centre)
  • gel food colourings in shades of your choice (I used green, blue, orange and yellow)

Beat the butter with your mixer for 5 minutes until really pale in colour.  Add the icing sugar in two stages then add the lime juice and beat for another 5 minutes so it’s light and fluffy. Set aside two thirds of it for the icing and decoration and use the remaining third to do a crumb coat.

To do that, start by leveling the cool cakes so they’re flat.  Put one on a plate or cakeboard, top with a generous layer of icing and a big dollop of curd.  Do the same with the second cake, then top with the last one and cover the whole cake with a really thin layer of icing so it’s smooth and even.  Pop it in the fridge for an hour to set.

Now you can tint the icing.  Keep back a third of your reserved icing for the decoration, and colour the rest in the colour you want the cake to be.  I went for lime green. Once the cake is nice and solid you can cover it in a thick layer of buttercream, and smooth the edges at the top.

You will have a small amount of green icing left which you can use for part of the decoration.  Divide the rest of the left over icing into portions and colour them in the shades of your choice.  Put all of the icings into separate piping bags with different sizes and shapes of tips, this helps give more texture.  Using one colour at a time, pipe random splodges in a circle on the top of the cake.

That’s you done!  A decorating technique that looks spectacular but is actually pretty simple.  I’m hoping to do it on another cake in a couple of weeks but in a different colour.  And as for the cake itself, it’s a lovely zesty recipe with just enough sweetness that makes a refreshing change from lemon.  I hope you enjoy it as much as me.

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