Pimm's Layer Cake

By Luisa Zissman From the book Wicked Cupcakes
Pimm's Layer Cake

This giant layer cake contains delicate layers of ginger ale and Pimm’s–scented sponge filled with 4 different Pimm’s – inspired buttercreams and topped with fresh fruit. It’s one of the best summery cakes I know.

Prep Time 25 min Cook time 1 h 45 min

Ingredients

  • 440g unsalted butter, softened
  • 440g Caster sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 440g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 30g crystallised ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp ginger ale
  • 4 tbsp Pimm's
  • For the basic buttercream:
  • 1 kg icing sugar, sifted
  • 500g unsalted butter, softened
  • 4-6 tbsp whole milk
  • For the cucumber buttercream:
  • 20g finely chopped cucumber skin
  • Purée from 1 large peeled cucumber
  • A few drops of green food colouring
  • A splash of Pimm's
  • For the Strawberry buttercream:
  • 1 tsp strawberry essence
  • A few drops of pink food colouring
  • A splash of Pimm's
  • For the mint buttercream:
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tsp mint essence
  • A few drops of green food colouring
  • A splash of Pimm's
  • For the orange buttercream:
  • zest and rind of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp orange essence
  • A few drops of orange food colouring
  • A splash of Pimm's
  • To decorate:
  • Fresh strawberries and orange slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • Mint leaves

Instructions

Equipment: Mixer, 2 x 20cm round sandwich cake tins, greased and lined.

 

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.

Using a mixer, whisk together the butter and caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs and whisk again. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder, chopped ginger and ginger ale, using a spatula.

Spoon the cake mixture into the two cake tins and bake for 45 minutes –1 hour, until the cakes are firmto touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, with no cake batter on it. When you have removed the cakes from the oven, make small holes over the top of each one using a skewer and drizzle over the Pimm’s so that it soaks into the holes. Leave to cool in the tins.

For the icing, whisk together the icing sugar, butter and enough milk to make a smooth, stiff frosting. Divide the mixture between 4 bowls, one for each of the flavoured icings.

Add the finely chopped cucumber skin and the cucumber purée to the first bowl, with a few drops of green food colouring. Add a splash of Pimm’s and mix well.

Add the strawberry essence and a few drops of pink food colouring to the second bowl. Add a splash of Pimm’s and mix well.

Add the mint, mint essence and a few drops of green food colouring to the third bowl. Add a splash of Pimm's and mix well.

Finally, add the orange zest and rind, orange essence and a few drops of orange food colouring to the fourth bowl. Add a splash of Pimm’s and mix well.

After the cakes have cooled and are soaked in Pimm’s, cut each one in half to make 4 cake layers. Using a knife, spread a thick layer of buttercream between the layers so that each layer has a different flavour: cucumber, strawberry, mint. Spread the orange icing over the top and round the sides of the cake and decorate with strawberries, cucumber, mint leaves and orange slices. Serve straight away, with a glass oPimm’s on the side.

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