As an avid baker, I couldn’t wait to trial a range of gluten free recipes this year to share with the family. Opportunities to make large celebration cakes are few and far between and I don’t often get the time to bake, so this year I decided to keep Easter Saturday free so that I could have some fun and make the largest cake I’ve ever attempted!
I’ve seen so many rainbow cakes and surprise cakes that I’ve wanted to try, so I amalgamated the two to make my Easter Surprise Cake. As there is always plenty of chocolate at Easter, I thought I’d instead trial a colourful vanilla bake, decorated with Cadbury’s mini eggs. The recipe was inspired by a number of different cakes I’ve seen, and was relatively easy to make. The hardest part is remaining patient during decorating, and not getting icing sugar everywhere… I’d suggest icing and building the cake on the day you plan to serve it as the treats inside can go a little soft otherwise. This recipe is gluten free, and almost dairy free to make it fodmap friendly (if you are able to find dairy free mini eggs then this cake will be suitable for most intolerances!)
For this recipe you will need two 20 cm sandwich tins (four if you have them!). I personally made two tiers at a time to ensure they were all baked evenly on the top self of the oven. You will therefore need to halve the cake ingredients below to make them in two batches (putting all the cake mix in at once will not enable the cakes to rise as well as it’ll be more difficult to mix and aerate).
As always, let me know if you give it a try or have any questions. Happy baking!
For the cakes:
500g butter (I used dairy free stork baking blocks for the cakes)
500g caster sugar
500g gluten free self-raising flour
8 medium eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
food colouring (pink, blue & yellow)
For the icing:
700g icing sugar
300g butter (I used dairy free ‘Pure’ spread for this)
180g mini eggs
Begin by preheating the oven to Gas Mark 4 (170 degrees) and making the first cake mix. Using half the ingredients for the cakes, start by beating the butter and sugar. Gradually add the egg and flour while folding, with the vanilla essence, until you have a thick, creamy cake mixture. Separate into two bowls, and add food colouring to each. To make the pastel colours, I added pink, blue and yellow to three of the tiers, and made a fourth lilac colour by mixing blue and purple together. Add a few drops and stir until you create your desired colour (although be mindful, the colours often cook out slightly so add a little more colour than you think you need!). Bake for 25 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.
Make your second cake mixture, and make the remaining two tiers using the same method as before.
Once the cakes are cool, cut a small hole in the two middle tiers (approximately the size of an egg cup). Now you can begin icing and decorating. Prepare the icing (to avoid making as much mess as I did, I’d prepare this in small amounts). First begin by icing between each layer and stacking the first three tiers. Then you can pour in the mini eggs for the ‘surprise’ element of the cake! Continue icing the fourth tier and the very top of the cake.
You can now put a small dollop of icing into three different bowls to create the pastel effect around the cake itself. I coloured the three bowls of icing with blue, pink and lilac (using the food colouring mix prepared earlier). Decorate the cake from the base upwards, starting with the darkest colour (blue) first. Blend each colour as you go using a palette knife, and blend with the top level of plain colour. With the remaining plain icing, dollop a small amount and decorate with the remaining mini eggs, appearing as mini egg mountain on the top of the cake.
Serve, and enjoy! The cake is very tall and rich, so make sure you share it with lots of friends and family to avoid any IBS symptoms!