Happy Birthday Your Majesty !

Jelly Belly Union Jack Cake

Decorate a butter sponge cake with red, white and blue Jelly Belly beans to make a Union Jack to create a stunning patriotic centrepiece in celebration of the Queen's  birthday.












For the Cake

340g / 12oz butter – very soft

340g / 12oz caster sugar

6 large eggs

340g / 12oz self raising flour – sifted

2 tsp baking powder3 tbs milk

  1. Grease a deep 20cm / 8” square tin, cut a square of baking parchment to fit the bottom of the tin.
  2. Preheat the oven to GM4, 350F, 180C.
  3. Place the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs in one by one, gently beating. If the mixture curdles add a spoon of flour, then the remainder of the eggs.
  5. Fold in the flour, milk and baking powder.
  6. When combined pour into the prepared tin.
  7. Bake for about 40 – 50 mins until risen and golden. (Check after 40 minutes and cover with foil if it is browning too much.) Check it is done by poking a cocktail stick into the cake, when cooked the stick will come out clean, and the top of the cake will spring back when lightly pressed.
  8. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

* To make a marbled cake omit the milk at stage 5, spilt the mixture into 3, add 1 tbs red food colouring to one batch, blue to the second and a tbs milk to the third. Dollop a tablespoon of each batter into the baking pan in turn.

For the Buttercream250g / 9oz butter – softened500g / 18oz icing sugar3 tbs milkBeat the butter well, slowly add the icing sugar and beat well until creamy and smooth. Add enough milk to loosen the mixture so it is spreadable.

 To Decorate Once the cake is cool use a bread knife to cut the top off to make it level. If you want to, slice the cake in half and sandwich together with jam (pipe a line of buttercream between around the edge of the bottom slice then fill the centre with the jam to prevent the jam oozing out). Use a blob of buttercream to stick the cake to a board or serving plate. Use a pallet knife to coat the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Put the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill. Apply a second thicker layer of buttercream. Then apply the Jelly Belly beans. Start by making the red cross in the middle, using upright beans. Very Cherry is always a favourite but Red Apple works really well too. Using Coconut or Vanilla beans, outline the cross, after which it will be easier to make the diagonal stripes. Fill in the red and finally blue beans – only Blueberry will do for this.

Deliciously provided by Helen Best-Shaw, fuss Free Flavours