"Wedding cakes no longer have to be traditional and fondant-covered, and wedding season is by far the busiest time of year for The Caker. I get requests for beautiful, simple and unfussy wedding cakes that may not look 100 per cent perfect, but certainly taste that way. This recipe is not completely refined-sugar-free as I find the icing needs to contain icing sugar in order to stay set in the warm summer temperatures. Plus, on your wedding day, you're hopefully able to be a little more relaxed than usual about your sugar consumption!
"We usually make our wedding cakes the afternoon before the wedding, so they have a chance to set overnight. We don’t love to refrigerate cakes, but during the summer months, this is the best way to store them. Just make sure they're eaten at room temperature. We prefer to decorate with fresh flowers at the last minute to ensure optimum freshness and to avoid wilting. The stunning dried flowers on this cake are made by my friend Antonia of Markantonia, a business she runs with her husband, Mark. I think the flowers bring this cake to another level of beauty, and want to thank Antonia for making them for this photo."
600g/21.2oz butter, softened
600g/21.2oz golden unrefined caster sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
12 organic eggs
600g/21.2oz ground almonds
150g/5.3oz spelt flour (or buckwheat to make it gluten-free)
zest and juice of 3 unwaxed lemons
390g/13.8oz fresh or frozen raspberries
CREAM CHEESE ICING:
450g/15.9oz butter, softened
750g/26.5oz icing sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
300g/10.6oz cream cheese
fresh or dried flowers
Preheat oven to 180°C fan bake. Line two 27cm cake tins and two 20cm cake tins with baking paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale, light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. Gradually fold in the ground almonds and flour, followed by the lemon zest and juice.
Divide the batter between the 4 tins. Dot in the raspberries.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes. The cakes are ready when they are golden in colour, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool for around 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth, pale and fluffy. Continue to beat as you add the cream cheese, teaspoon by teaspoon.
Once the cakes are cool, spread a layer of icing onto one 27cm layer and place the other 27cm layer on top. Repeat the process with the smaller cake layers.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the icing to set so it’s easier to ice the sides of the cake. Once chilled, using a flat-edged spatula, apply a thin layer of icing over the whole cake, and refrigerate again for 30 minutes. This layer will catch any crumbs and help hold the layers in place. It does not need to be neat, but does need to be fairly even.
Once this layer of icing is set, apply another layer of icing. (I have gone for the 'nearly naked' style of icing in the photo, where a lot of the icing gets scraped off rather than being applied thickly.) It may take some time to get it looking even and smooth.
Top with a decoration of fresh or dried flowers and refrigerate again for at least 30 minutes.
Refrigerate for up to 3 days.