Step by step…
To make the sponge I started by sieving plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder into a bowl.
In another bowl I mixed together buttermilk, eggs, cider vinegar and vanilla extract.
The blue food colouring was supplied in the Bake Box, and I also decided to use my Wilton easier layer cake pans which I lined and greased first.
In a third bowl I creamed together butter and caster sugar. I then added the blue food colouring. I definitely added way too much as my cake turned out bluer than I wanted, so I would suggest adding 1 tbsp or even 3/4 tbsp. It will depend on how potent your food colouring is to how much you need to use.
Then I added the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the bowl in thirds, one at a time, and mixed between each addition.
I separated the batter into the four greased and lined pans. I always make a hole in the middle as it stops the cakes from ‘doming’ too much in the middle.
They baked on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes, and they were definitely bluer than I wanted them to be! More like a midnight blue – hence the name of the cake! I left them to cool.
To make the cream cheese frosting I started by mixing together icing sugar and butter. Then I added cream cheese and vanilla and mixed it well with an electric mixer. I put it in the fridge to chill.
I’m not the most talented with fondant icing so I decided to decorate the cake with some blue, white and red meringues in keeping with the American theme. I followed a Meringue Girls recipe and started by heating the sugar in the oven on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 5 minutes. To find out the weight of sugar to use, weigh your egg whites, then double the sugar weight.
Meanwhile I whipped up the egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks formed.
I prepared the piping bags whilst the sugar was in the oven. I turned them upside down and painted stripes of red food colouring on one, and blue food colouring on the other.
Then I continued to whisk the egg whites with an electric hand mixer and added the warm sugar a spoonful at a time. When it was all mixed in, I kept mixing for 5 minutes until I could rub the meringue between my fingers and could not feel any grains of sugar.
I halved the meringue and put it into the prepared piping bags. I piped it out onto baking trays. It took me a few tries to get the kisses neat, and the recipe made way more than I needed for the cake, but they were so yummy it was ok with me!
The meringues baked on 90C/200F (it’s hard to convert this into Gas Mark as it’s less than a half) for 40 minutes.
I trimed the edges of the sponges as needed then started to stack them, spreading the cream cheese frosting between each layer. I piped the cream cheese frosting on top for a neat finish, then sprinkled some of the crumbs from trimming the sponges on top.
Finally I decorated the top of the Blue Velvet Cake with the meringues. Both the Blue Velvet Cake and the spare meringues went down really well with my friends – despite making everyone’s mouths blue! Thankfully I was told it was completely worth it. The little meringues are amazing and they just melt in the mouth, definitely a recipe I’ll use again both on their own and to decorate cakes.
Midnight Blue Velvet Cake
For the sponge
- 400 g Plain flour
- 2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 1 1/2 tbsp Cocoa powder
- 400 ml Buttermilk
- 3 Eggs large
- 2 tsp Cider vinegar
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 350 g Butter or baking spread
- 350 g Caster sugar
- Blue food colouring
For the buttercream
- 600 g Icing sugar
- 100 g Butter or baking spread
- 250 g Cream cheese
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
For the meringue kisses
- 3 Egg whites
- 3/4 tsp Cream of tartar
- Double the weight of your egg whites Caster sugar
- Red food colouring
- Blue food colouring
Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line four 8" cake tins
To make the sponge sieve the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder into a bowl
In another bowl mix together the buttermilk, eggs, cider vinegar and the vanilla extract
In a third bowl cream together the butter and the caster sugar. Then add the blue food colouring, add enough for a deep blue colour
Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the bowl in thirds, one at a time, and mix between each addition
Separate the batter into the cake tins
Bake them for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, then turn them out of the pans and leave them to cool
To make the cream cheese frosting mix together the icing sugar and butter. Then add the cream cheese and vanilla. Mix well with an electric mixer then put it in the fridge to chill
To make the meringues heat the caster sugar in the oven on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 5 minutes. To find out the weight of sugar to use, weigh your egg whites, then double the sugar weight
Whip up the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form
Prepare the piping bags by turning them upside down and painting stripes of red food colouring on one, and blue food colouring on the other
When the sugar is done, continue to whisk the egg whites with an electric hand mixer and add the warm sugar a spoonful at a time. When it is all mixed in, keep mixing for 5 minutes until you can rub the meringue between your fingers and cannot feel any grains
Halve the meringue and put it into the prepared piping bags. Pipe it out onto lined baking trays
Bake the meringues on 90C/200F (it’s hard to convert this into Gas Mark as it’s less than a half) for 40 minutes
Trim the edges of the sponges as needed then started to stack them, spreading the cream cheese frosting between each layer. Pipe the cream cheese frosting on top for a neat finish, then sprinkled some of the crumbs from trimming the sponges on top
Decorate the top of the cake with the meringues
Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place and eat within 3 days