Fondant icing, strawberry jam and red food colouring are the secrets behind the ‘blood’ topping and filling. This recipe serves 16 and would be great for a Halloween party.
- 140g unsalted butter , plus extra for the tin
- 100ml grapeseed oil , or another flavourless oil
- 200ml milk
- 3 tbsp yoghurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 250g light muscovado sugar
- 250g plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 50g cocoa powder
- ¾ x 340g jar strawberry jam
- 1¼ kg ready-to-roll white fondant icing
- For the buttercream:
- 600g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 300g butter, softened
- red food colouring
- Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter and line the bases of two 20cm sandwich tins.
- Melt the butter in a pan, then remove from the heat and beat in the oil, milk, yogurt, vanilla and eggs.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together with a large pinch of salt, squishing any lumps of sugar with your fingers.
- Tip the wet ingredients into the dry, then whisk until smooth.
- Divide the batter between the tins and bake for 25-30 mins on the same shelf of the oven until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Leave to cool for 10 mins in the tins, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- To make the buttercream, beat together the sugar, butter and a few drops of the red food colouring. Add 2-3 tbsp of boiling water if needed to soften the mixture, until you end up with a smooth, spreadable icing.
- Trim the cakes flat if needed, then halve each through the middle using a large serrated knife. Put one cake layer on a board or plate, spread over a thin layer of the buttercream and dot over a third of the jam. Top with another cake layer and repeat with the buttercream, jam and cake, finishing with a layer of cake. Use most of the remaining buttercream to ice the cake all over, reserving a small amount.
- Roll the fondant icing out on a surface dusted with icing sugar until large enough to cover the top and sides of the cake.
- Carefully lift it up onto the cake and smooth down to help it to stick. Use a sharp knife to cut slashes into the icing, then drizzle a little of the reserved buttercream mixed with some water into each to look like blood.