Seashell Cake

I made this cake over the weekend for my lovely god-daughters birthday, her party food had a seaside theme. This cake is unashamedly inspired by a post on the gorgeous Amy Atlas Blog, the cakes looked so pretty I had to have a go. I purchased a cheap clear plastic shell mould for chocolates to make the shells and starfish which decorate the cake, making them in batches over the week until I had a little stash of them in the refrigerator. They are made with white chocolate and freeze-dried strawberry and blueberry powder to add colour and flavour. I love the mottled effect the fruit powders give, much more interesting than using food colouring, plus the flavour is delicious.

The berry flavour of the chocolate decorations is mirrored in the sponge, which is also made with the strawberry powder, meaning the cake is pink inside! It looks so good against the sea-blue buttercream and is a big surprise when the cake is cut. The cake is covered with vanilla buttercream {coloured with quite a lot of Wilton Pale Blue food colouring paste}. I added some shimmer to some of the chocolate shells with edible glitter then sprinkled over sugar pearls to make it look fabulous!

For the white chocolate shells:

1 plastic shell mould {I used this one}

Melt the chocolate in a glass or ceramic bowl resting over a pan of barely simmering water, do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Once melted, remove from the heat then add spoonfuls of the berry powder to get the colour you want. I usually added a heaped tablespoon. For some batches, I mixed in both flavours together to get a different colour. I used a concertina icing tube fitted with a plain nozzle to fill the moulds with no mess, then chilled them in the fridge to set them overnight. I found 150 grams of chocolate was more than enough to fill all the moulds in the tray.

For the cake:

oven 180 C / gas 4

20 cm deep round springform cake tin, buttered and the base lined with baking parchment

  • 200 g soft unsalted butter
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 4 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 220 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp freeze-dried strawberry powder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • red food colouring {optional, but increases the pinkness, use sparingly}

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy looking with an electric hand mixer or food mixer. Add the eggs, flour and baking powder and beat for a few minutes. You should end up with a thick batter, beat in the freeze-dried strawberry powder, the milk, and the food colouring {if using} until fully mixed in.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for around an hour, check after 50 mins. Use a skewer or piece of dry spaghetti to see if it’s cooked. Poke it in, it should come out clean. Leave in the tin for five minutes then release the cake, peel off the baking parchment and cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, cut the cake in half to create two layers.

For the vanilla buttercream:

  • 250 g soft unsalted butter
  • 500 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • sky blue food colouring paste or gel
  • ‘No Bits’ strawberry jam

Put the butter into a large bowl and beat with a food mixer for a minute or so until is appears pale. Add a quarter of the icing sugar and mix in on a low speed to start {to prevent the icing sugar covering your kitchen!} then increase the speed to mix until smooth. Repeat this step until all the icing sugar is used, then beat in the vanilla, cream and food colouring. If the buttercream is a little thick, add a splash of milk.

Spread a few spoonfuls of strawberry jam over the bottom half of the cooled, sliced cake. Cover the base of the top half with a layer of the buttercream then sandwich together. Now cover the cake with the rest of the buttercream, use a wet palette knife to get a smooth edge if you want that, or swish it with the tip of the knife to form ‘waves’. You could reserve some of the buttercream without colouring it to put on top, as I have for the cake in the pictures.

9 Responses

  1. bakearama says:

    I have never seen freeze dried fruit powder before but it sounds amazing and I want to try! Does it give quite a strong flavour?

  2. Christine says:

    I love the colours you’ve used here — and mixing dried fruit powder into white chocolate…! Clever clever. I’m definitely going to have to use that trick sometime. 🙂

  3. Oh, what a dreamy godmother you must be in her eyes! Beautiful cake – such whimsy!

  4. I love this! Do you need another god daughter?!! I would be thrilled to get this cake! I collect moulds but haven’t got this seashell one. I must put it in my basket now! xox