Vanilla & White Chocolate Naked Cake with Blueberry Buttercream

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    12–20

Appears in

Bake

Bake

By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

  • About

This is a truly beautiful cake, perfect for a real celebration, such as a wedding or engagement. The trick is to create neat blueberry buttercream layers, and to choose flowers that complement the purply blue of the frosting. Make sure that your choice of flowers is safe to use on a cake.

Ingredients

  • 450 g butter, softened
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 7 eggs
  • seeds of 2 vanilla pods or 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 300 g self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 150 g white chocolate, melted
  • fresh flowers, to decorate

For the vanilla syrup

  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 75 ml water
  • seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the blueberry buttercream

  • 200 g blueberries
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 300 g butter, softened
  • 600 g icing sugar

Equipment

  • 3 x 20cm round loose-bottomed cake tins
  • hand-held electric whisk or stand mixer (optional)
  • blender
  • cake scraper (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan/350°F/gas 4) and line the base of the cake tins with baking parchment. Cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. You can do this for 5 minutes in a stand mixer or using a hand-held electric whisk. You can also do this by hand, but it takes about 10 minutes and lots of elbow grease!

Add two of the eggs with the vanilla, baking powder, and half of the yoghurt, milk and flour. Beat well together, and then add the remaining eggs with the rest of the yoghurt, milk and flour and beat well again until evenly combined. Add a pinch of salt, beat for a moment and then fold in the melted chocolate. Divide the mixture evenly between the lined cake tins and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon. Bake the cakes in the oven (in batches if necessary) for 25–35 minutes, or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean.

As the cakes are baking, make the vanilla syrup. Put the granulated sugar into a small pan with the water and vanilla over a low heat. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, stirring, and then turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Allow this to bubble away for 2 minutes and then take it off the heat and set aside to cool a little.

When the cakes are baked, remove them from the oven and brush them liberally with the vanilla syrup to give the cake a beautifully moist crumb. Set the cakes aside to cool down completely.

As the cakes are cooling, prepare the blueberry puree for the buttercream. Put the blueberries, caster sugar and water into a small pan and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, until the blueberries have broken down and become mushy, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat and boil the blueberry mixture for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat and leave it to cool down a little.

Blitz the cooled mixture in a blender to a smooth puree and pass it through a fine sieve into a bowl. Set aside until needed. You should end up with about 5–6 tablespoons of puree.

To finish the buttercream, place the butter and icing sugar in a bowl (or I like to use a stand mixer) and then beat it like mad until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. Gently fold all of the blueberry puree into the buttercream until evenly combined. The buttercream needs to be nice and thick to achieve dramatic thick layers between the cakes.

When the cakes are completely cool, remove one from the tin and put it on a serving plate or cake stand, sticking it down with a little buttercream so the cake does not move around. Spread over one-third of the blueberry buttercream in a thick even layer and place another cake on top.

Spread another third of the blueberry buttercream in another thick layer on top and finish with the final cake. Top with a final layer of buttercream, and use a cake scraper or palette knife to smooth the sandwiched blueberry buttercream over the side of the cake to give a very thin coating. The cake should be naked, so you don’t want loads of buttercream on the sides but aim to end up with a very, very thin see-through layer.

When you are happy with the cake and the outside looks smooth, decorate the top of the cake with a nice arrangement of fresh flowers and serve.