Sunday, 15 December 2013

Renshaw Christmas Cake Competition

Renshaw are currently holding another cake competition, and I was very kindly invited to take part.

Renshaw are a long established company who make sugarpaste, marzipan and frostings. You can find the Renshaw website at

This competition is for a Christmas Cake, and I was sent a pack of icing to use to decorate the cake. I opted for the Traditional Pack, which contained 500g white decor-ice, 250g of red, green and black decor-ice's, 500g Whitworths Superfine Icing sugar and a tube of Whitworths Twist and Sprinkle Icing sugar shaker.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit cakes, so I decided to make a chocolate cake with white chocolate buttercream. As I got some hemisphere cake pans for my birthday (Thanks Mum!), I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to try them out.

Mum suggested making a cake shaped like a Christmas Pudding, but after some deliberation, I decided to save the Christmas Pudding to take to the Mr's Mum's on Christmas Day.

Instead, I decided to make a cake that looked like a Christmas Bauble.

The instruction card that came with the medium hemisphere pan quoted a 4 egg mix. I made a 4 egg mix (as per the recipe below) but after each batch, I had enough batter to make a further 9 small cupcakes! Maybe next time, I'll use my own judgement and just use the 3...

To make my round cake (plus 18 extra small cupcakes) you will need:

Hemisphere 1
4 Eggs, Weighed
Same weight Caster Sugar
75g less Butter than egg weight
25g less Self Raising Flour than egg weight, Sifted
25g cocoa powder, Sifted
100g plain chocolate, melted and cooled
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Hemisphere 2
Same as above.

If you have two hemisphere pans of the same size, mix both sets of ingredients together and bake together. 

Preheat the oven to 140 C (Fan Oven)

Grease the hemisphere pan well and place on a metal cooking ring / cookie cutter on top of a baking tray to keep the pan level.

Beat the butter, sugar and melted cooled chocolate together until light and creamy.

Add the eggs and vanilla, beating well until incorporated. If the mixture looks like it may separate when adding the last of the egg, add a tablespoon or so of the sifted flour.

Fold in the flour and cocoa powder until fully incorporated.

Spoon the mixture into a cake pan and bake for approximately 1hr, or until the cake springs to the touch and a skewer comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool in the pan entirely before turning out.

I found that the very top of my cake was quite tight round the rim, so gently pressed with my thumb all the way round to release. I then tapped the base of the pan with my hand, and after a few firm shakes (with my hands supporting the cake), the cake slid free. It was a little nerve-racking, but both cakes made it out in one piece!

You may have noticed the lower cooking temperature - due to the shape of the hemisphere pan, cooking at a higher temperature will result in the outside of the cake being done while the middle is raw. These cakes need to be cooked at a lower temperature for longer than usual.

**I cooked the cupcakes at 160 C (Fan) once the hemisphere was out and cooling**

Repeat the above steps for the second hemisphere.

To sandwich the cake, I used a white chocolate buttercream. This recipe is enough to crumbcoat the cake and pipe the extra cupcakes.

200g Butter, softened
100g White Chocolate, melted and cooled
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
400g Icing sugar, sifted (or the superfine type that I received with the pack)

Beat the butter, chocolate and vanilla together until creamy.

Add half of the icing sugar and beat well before adding the rest.

Beat until light and creamy.

Once the cakes were cooled, I put them back into the pan to level the top. I also levelled the base of the lower one a little to make a flat base for the cake to sit on.

Sandwich the cakes together with some of the buttercream and make sure the cake is still sitting "round".

Crumbcoat the outside of the cakes lightly and chill for 30 minutes.

Apply a second thin crumbcoat and chill for a further 30 minutes.

I also used half of a cupcake to make the holder on top of the bauble. I crumbcoated this as above, but kept it separate as I wanted to ice it with a different colour.

Once the crumbcoat had set, I covered the cake in the red sugarpaste.

The shape of the cake made it quite difficult to ice - I had a few folds towards the bottom, but I hope that I bit more practice might make it a bit easier.

I added a ribbon around the middle to break up the colour a little.

I covered the cupcake half in yellow sugarpaste. My Mum had the brilliant idea of using a keyring for the loop to thread ribbon through. I pushed the keyring into the covered cupcake, covered it with yellow sugarpaste and covered the bottom area too so the keyring stayed in.

I wanted just to put snowflakes on the outside, but as the cutter was so fine, the snowflakes either got stuck or distorted too much. Instead, I used a crimp edged circular cutter and embossed the snowflake design.

I enhanced the snowflakes with some silver glitter to make the design stand out a bit more. I also painted the half cupcake with gold paint and added the hanging ribbon once the paint had dried.

The cake then had a light dusting of glitter to finish it off.

I was originally going to make some holly to put around the board, but once the cake was done, I really didn't think it was needed so decided to leave it as it was.

I'm really pleased with how the cake turned out! We took it over to the Mr's Mum's house and she really loved it too.


  1. WOW! Amazing! I wish a had one to make a cake like that!

    Come and link up with #fridayfoodie

    1. Thanks Otilia! And thank you for the invite! I'll be sure to come and take a look :)


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