Miss Indigo Blue Mini Cakes

Miss Indigo Blue Mini Cakes

Sparkling and stunning, like the sky at night, these mini cakes are a decadent treat to enliven Afternoon Tea! Inspired by the twirly girl, Miss Indigo Blue.

Prep time:

Cooking time:

Total time:

Makes: 16 mini cakes

170g unsalted butter

170g caster sugar

3 large eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

170g self-raising flour

3⁄4tsp baking powder

3tbs whole milk

For the Buttercream
250g unsalted butter, softened

350g icing sugar

choice of flavourings: for vanilla buttercream add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean;

for chocolate buttercream add 50g cocoa powder

for lemon buttercream add 2 tablespoons prepared lemon curd

For the Decoration

750g white sugarpaste

royal blue food colouring paste

cornflour, for dusting

a selection of sugar diamonds and dragées

You will need:
16-hole mini-cake pan

You will need:
16 x 16-cm lengths of thin blue ribbon

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until they are pale and creamy. Never underestimate the time that it will take to complete this step - allow a good 5 minutes in a freestanding mixer (or with an electric hand whisk) and do not rush.
  3. Add one egg at a time, allowing each egg to be fully incorporated before adding the next (this patience should prevent curdling), then add the vanilla.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl and fold into your wet ingredients with a large spoon. Be gentle and stop mixing as soon as the flour is incorporated. Add enough milk to make a dropping consistency - the cake mixture should dollop off your wooden spoon like thick cream. You may not need to add the full amount of milk listed here.
  5. Divide the mixture between the 16 holes of the mini-cake pan and bake in the preheated oven. Give the mini cakes about 20 minutes, or until the cakes are risen and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow them to cool in their pans for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Buttercream

All buttercreams begin in the same way. I have added a few basic flavour variations to allow you to use your buttercream to complement your cake. I like to beat my buttercream for a good 5 minutes to really fuse the sugar and butter together so that the end result is light, smooth and deliciously creamy.

  1. Roughly carve up the butter and beat in a freestanding mixer for 3 minutes until creamy. You can also do this by hand or using a hand-held electric mixer and a large mixing bowl, although you may find that this takes longer.
  2. Add your desired flavouring and beat in.
  3. Once your flavour is fully incorporated, add 250g of the icing sugar and beat for 1 minute. Check the consistency of your buttercream - you are aiming for the thickness of thick whipped cream - if your buttercream is too runny, add the remaining icing sugar. You will then need to beat the buttercream for a further 5 minutes, until the sugar is completely incorporated.

For the Decoration

  1. Begin by dyeing your sugarpaste royal blue. Cover your mini-cakes in buttercream and then the sugarpaste, using the same technique as we used in The Art of Covering Up. You may find this a little fiddly at first as smaller cakes require more nimble fingers than larger ones! Finish each cake with the blue ribbon.
  2. Take a selection of your larger sugar diamonds and dragées and press each one firmly into the sugarpaste on top of your mini cake. You will need to do this just after you have covered your mini cakes, while the sugarpaste is still soft. Be decisive with each diamond and dragée that you add and push them in firmly. You are relying on the sugarpaste itself to hold each piece in place - if you wiggle the pieces around as you add them, they will fall off!
  3. Create a cascade of tiny edible jewels by continuing to add your smaller pieces as if they were falling down the sides of your mini cakes. Add fewer details as you work down the sides and stop just short of the bottom of each mini cake.

Aside from designing and supplying bespoke cakes and teaching cake decorating masterclasses in London, Charlotte has just brought out a new book, Burlesque Baking. This June at Wealden Times Midsummer Fair, Charlotte will be demonstrating how to make her 'Strawberry Siren' in our Chef's Theatre, plus hosting a workshop on decorating techniques.

Photographs: Clare Winfield
Recipes Type: Puddings & Baking