Frosted Walnut Layer Cake

An impressive layer cake recipe from Mary Berry's Baking Bible. The old-fashioned cake features a thick American frosting, topped with crunchy walnut halves.

Introduction

This is a truly old-fashioned cake iced with a simple ‘American frosting’.

Ingredients

225g (8oz) softened butter
225g (8oz) caster sugar
4 large eggs
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
2 level tsp baking powder
100g (4oz) finely chopped walnuts
For the frosting:
2 large egg whites
350g (12oz) caster sugar
4 tbsp water
¼ level tsp cream of tartar
To decorate:
Walnut halves

Essential kit

You will need three 20 cm (8 in) sandwich tins.

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/Fan 140°C/Gas 3. Grease three 20 cm (8 in) sandwich tins then line the base of each tin with baking parchment.

Measure all the ingredients for the cake into a large bowl and beat until thoroughly blended. Divide the mixture equally between the tins and level the surfaces.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25-30 minutes until the cakes are golden and springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.

For the frosting, measure all the ingredients into a bowl over a pan of hot water and whisk for 10-12 minutes until thick. Sandwich the cake layers together with a little of the frosting, then use the remainder to cover the top and sides of the cake, swirling the icing to form softened peaks. Work quickly as the icing sets rapidly. Leave to set in a cool place, but not in the fridge. Decorate with the walnut halves.

Don’t be tempted to use more baking powder than specified or the cake will rise up and then sink back again. In this all-in-one method, self-raising flour and baking powder are used together to give the cake the necessary lift. The quickness of the method means that less air is whisked into the mixture than if making the cake the traditional way

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