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The Beautiful Present Cake

Storing:- The finished cake can be kept in a cool, dry place for up to three or four days.

Image of The Beautiful Present Cake

2 x quantity quick-mix sponge cake mix
350 g/12 oz/1 quantity butter icing
4 tbsp apricot jam, warmed and sieved
575 g/1 lb marzipan
900 g/2 lb/2⅔ x quantity sugarpaste icing
Purple and pink food colourings

Materials And Equipment

23 cm/9 in square cake tin
25 cm/10 in square cake board
Heart-shaped biscuit cutter
Small round fluted cutter
Pink food-colouring pen


Serves: 20


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease the tin, line the base and sides with greaseproof paper and grease the paper. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1¼ -1½  hours, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack, peel off the lining paper and leave to cool.

2. Cut the cake in half horizontally and spread with the butter icing. Sandwich the cake together and place in the centre of the cake board. Brush the cake with the apricot jam. On a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan to about a 5 mm/¼ in thickness and use to cover the cake.

3. Colour about five-eighths of the sugarpaste icing purple. On a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out and use to cover the cake.

4. Using the heart-shaped cutter, stamp out hearts from the sugarpaste icing to make an even pattern. Remove the hearts with a small, sharp knife, taking care not to damage the surrounding sugarpaste. Knead the hearts together and reserve, wrapped in clear film.

5. Colour the remaining sugarpaste icing pink and roll out to a 5 mm/¼ in thickness. Using the heart-shaped cutter, cut out as many hearts as you need to fill the spaces left by the purple ones, re-rolling the pink sugarpaste as necessary. Reserve the trimmings, wrapped in clear film. Carefully insert the pink hearts into the spaces.

6. Roll out the reserved pink sugarpaste and cut into three strips about 2 cm/¾ in wide and 30 cm/12 in long. Lay one strip across the centre of the cake and another at right angles across the centre, brushing the strips with a little water to secure. Reserve the trimmings.

7. Divide the remaining strip of pink sugarpaste into quarters and arrange in the centre of the cake to make a bow. Secure with a little water and reserve the trimmings.

8. Roll out the remaining purple and pink sugarpaste and cut out two rounds from each colour using the small round fluted cutter. With a cocktail stick, carefully roll out the edges of the rounds to make frilled petals. Use a little of the purple sugarpaste to make two tiny balls for the flower centres. Assemble the flowers, securing with a little water and position on the cake. Knead the pink and purple trimmings together, roll out and cut out a name tag. Write a message or a name using the food-colouring pen and position on the cake.

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