Buttercream is an excellent addition to any cake or dessert bread because it’s rich and it provides another texture. Best of all, it tastes great on a broad variety of cakes. To give you some inspiration for your cafe, hotel, or your next baking session, here are three classic cakes which can be complemented with buttercream: carrot cake, banana bread, and victoria jam sponge.
Carrot cake became popular in the UK during world war two when it was necessary to ration. To make their home-grown food go further, many Brits baked all sorts of cakes and carrot cake was one of the most popular options. At 180℃, Gas Mark 4, this bread takes roughly 25-30 minutes to bake. Here’s an amazing carrot cake recipe to carry on the tradition:
- 260g self-raising flour
- 330g muscovado sugar
- 3 medium-sized carrots (grated)
- 200ml vegetable oil
- 4 fresh eggs
- ½ zested orange
- 2 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ nutmeg (finely grated)
- 100g raisins
- 100g walnuts (roughly chopped)
Step 1: put the oven on 180℃, Gas Mark 4. Oil and line two 20cm cake tins with greaseproof paper.
Step 2: whisk the oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and orange zest.
Step 3: mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl.
Step 4: combine the whizzed ingredients with those in the mixing bowl and add the carrots, raisins, and walnuts (if you’re using them) then mix thoroughly.
Step 5: divide this mixture equally between the two tins.
Step 6: bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the deepest part of the cake comes out clean and without smear marks. If this fails then return the cake for another 5 minutes and check again.
Step 7: if the tops of the two halves of the cake are very rounded, choose the least rounded half and cut off the majority of the bulge to create a flatter surface.
Step 8: add buttercream to the top of both sides and then place the rounded half on top of the levelled half to create a sandwich with buttercream both in the middle and on the top of the cake.
Fair enough, you’ve caught me out – technically, this is a bread rather than a cake… but it doesn’t stop it tasting delicious! Banana bread is a great option for those who’d like to incorporate more protein into their diet and it’s super easy to add some walnuts, raisins, and other extras. At 180℃, Gas Mark 4, this bread takes roughly 1 hour 20 minutes to cook.
- 220g self-raising flour
- 70g butter
- 170g caster sugar
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
- 2 medium fresh eggs (beaten)
- 2 or 3 medium-sized bananas (depending on preference)
- A few drops of vanilla extract
- Optional extras:
- 100g chopped walnuts
- Handful of raisins
Step 1: put the oven on 180℃, Gas Mark 4. Also, grease and line the base of a 1kg loaf tin using greaseproof paper and butter.
Step 2: beat the butter with the caster sugar until it’s light and fluffy.
Step 3: add the beaten eggs bit by bit and stir using a whisk.
Step 4: then add the flour bit by bit until the mixture is viscous but isn’t lumpy.
Step 5: break each of the bananas into quarters and then mash and mix these into the cake mixture using a wooden smooth. Choose whether you’d prefer a smooth banana bread or one with lumps of banana and then beat the mixture according to your preference.
Step 5: add the bicarbonate of soda, vanilla extract, a pinch of salt (and chopped walnuts and raisins if you’re using them).
Step 6: mix these together well then pour the mixture into the lined loaf tin.
Step 7: bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the deepest part of the loaf comes back clean and without smear marks. If this fails then return the loaf for another 5 minutes and check again.
This banana bread goes very well with the buttercream recipe also included in this article. This can be added to the top of the loaf and can be decorated using various application bags and tubes. Banana bread is also great when warmed up and served with ice cream. For those who use banana bread to bulk, custard is a good option.
Victoria Jam Sponge Cake
The Victoria Jam Sponge cake is popular because it’s so simple to bake yet it tastes so delicious! Queen Victoria is said to have enjoyed this cake with her afternoon tea as it rose in popularity after the invention of baking powder in 1843. At 180℃, Gas Mark 4, this bread takes roughly 25-30 minutes to bake.
- 220g caster sugar
- 4 fresh free-range eggs
- 220g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 220g butter
- A few drops of vanilla extract
Step 1: preheat the oven to 180℃, Gas Mark 4, then grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins using some greaseproof paper and butter.
Step 2: add the sugar, flour, vanilla extract, and baking powder to a mixing bowl and mix together.
Step 3: add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture using a whisk (when finished, the mixture should fall off your wooden spoon easily).
Step 4: divide this mixture between the two tins then use a spatula to remove excess mixture and to smooth the tin’s surface.
Step 5: bake on the middle shelf for 25-30 minutes but check its progress after 20 minutes just to make sure.
Step 6: to check if they’re ready, they should be springy to the touch and golden-brown in appearance.
Step 7: Once cooled, choose the cake half with a more rounded top and slide most of this bulge off to create a flatter surface
Step 8: add a layer of buttercream to the top of the levelled cake half, and then a layer of jam, and place the second half of the cake on top.
Victoria Jam Sponge is best served with either cream, ice cream, or custard. My personal preference is custard whereas my Mum’s is ice cream and strawberries. Equally, feel free to find your own ways of serving the cake!
Whilst frostings have existed for over 350 years, it took until the 1950s for today’s buttercream to be created, making it a fairly new addition to the baking world. Buttercream is a great addition to the above cakes because of its rich taste and complementary texture. Use this simple but effective buttercream recipe for a delicious and smooth topping:
- 150g fresh butter (softened)
- 290g icing sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
For an orange variation:
- 1 large orange (zested)
- 2 tbsp orange juice
For a chocolate variation:
- 25g cocoa powder
- 75g milk or dark chocolate (melted)
Step 1: beat the butter in a large bowl until it’s soft.
Step 2: add half the icing sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth, then add the second half and beat again.
Step 3: add the vanilla extract. If needed, add a splash of fresh milk to loosen the mixture (unless you are making an orange or chocolate variation) then mix well.
For orange buttercream:
Step 4: add the zest and orange juice to the mixture and stir well.
Top tip: lightly shave some orange peel on top of the buttercream after it’s applied for a professional-looking finish!
For chocolate buttercream:
Step 4: place a pan of water over the hob and sit a bowl inside the rim. Place the chocolate in the bowl so that the heat of the water vapour on the bottom of the bowl will melt the chocolate.
Step 5: add the cocoa powder to the buttercream and mix well.
Step 6: allow the melted chocolate to cool for 10 minutes before adding to the buttercream and beating until it’s all well mixed.
Top tip: a good way to spruce up your buttercream-topped cake is to use specifically shaped icing tubes. This will make your cake or bread look more aesthetically pleasing and professional.
For the best tasting cakes and breads, and their accompanying buttercream, it’s important to use fresh produce. Freshways has been a premier UK dairy provider for over 37 years and is dedicated to providing top-quality dairy products. If you need fresh wholesale milk, butter, or eggs for any of the above recipes then don’t hesitate to get in touch today by calling 0208 746 2046!