A year ago today I made this awesome easter cake for the family – so whilst I’m trying to think up what to bake for this year, I thought I’d share the making of this nest cake (It is supposed to look like a birds nest).
I got the idea from a Lakeland magazine at a friends house, and already had their hemisphere cake pan, so went and bought the ingredients and off I went! This is the pan I have.
I have the large size so this recipe is for that size but you can scale it for the smaller pans. For our guests this was actually too big as there were only 6 of us so we couldn’t eat it all – although we tried very hard!
- 340g Butter (softened, at room temperature)
- 340g Caster Sugar
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Essence
- 6 Eggs
- 140ml Milk
- 85g Cocoa Powder
- 225g Self Raising Flour
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 100g Dark Chocolate
- 200g Butter
- 400g Icing Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- Lots of flakes (I think I used about 30)
- Lots of mini eggs (I bought 4 packs)
Making the cake:
- Because this is quite a large cake, it bakes for longer in a slightly cooler oven. So I preheated the oven to 160°C or 320°F and greased the hemisphere pan well.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Again if you don’t have time/forget to soften the butter, you can use the microwave as long as it doesn’t become runny or melted.
- Mix in the vanilla essence, the milk and all of the eggs. I would always mix the eggs in one at a time and make sure the ingredients are fully mixed before adding the next one.
- Sieve the dry ingredients (cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking powder), and fold them in to the mixture. Then pour into the hemisphere pan and bake! I baked this cake for about an hour, but I would definitely suggest testing it and as soon as a skewer/small knife comes out clean, it is done.
Making the icing:
This makes a chocolate buttercream icing for the centre of the cake and the outside.
- Melt the chocolate. You can do this using a bowl over a pan of hot water, or (carefully!) use the microwave. I prefer to use the microwave but only heat it for about 15 seconds at a time and thoroughly stir it each time to make sure it doesn’t burn. Once the chocolate is melted, leave it to cool slightly so it is not hot to touch.
- Whilst the chocolate is cooling, beat the butter until its soft and creamy, then mix in the icing sugar and vanilla extract until fully combined.
- Now fold in the cooled melted chocolate and you have your chocolate buttercream! If it feels a bit tough and dry, I add a splash of milk or water, but be careful not to add too much.
Once the cake is out of the oven, make sure it is completely cool and then we can begin to decorate!
- To begin with, lay the flat side of the cake down and cut horizontally into three parts. Using the icing, spread a thin layer on to each section and sandwich back together.
- Now, the cake is constructed with the flat side up, so it can be a little tricky initially as it can wobble around a little. Turn the cake upside down so that it is balancing on its curved edge.
A quick tip: I would get all the flakes unwrapped and ready to go as it will make the next part easier!
- With the remainder of the icing, cover the whole cake, but focus on putting a good layer around the outside of the cake as that’s much more important than the top of the cake. It doesn’t have to look pretty!
- Now with the flakes, stick them to the sides of the cake, starting at the very bottom and working up to the top. When you get to the top, make sure the flakes come ever so slightly higher than the flat level of the cake, so they hold in the mini eggs.
Tip: Try to stabilise the cake with the first few flakes by wedging them right up against each other at the very base of the cake.
- Tip the mini eggs on to the top of the cake, and you’re done! You should have an Easter Nest Cake 🙂
I told you it came out big!!
Let me know if you have any questions or comments 🙂