A towering vanilla polka dot sprinkles cake, filled with raspberries, and topped with light and creamy vanilla cream cheese icing. Completely covered in sprinkles, this fun cake is sure to delight!
Last weekend I went to the circus. Its years since I’ve been to one and you know what, it was so much fun! Walking up to the bright red big top created bubbles of childish excitement in my tummy, enhanced by the music and the salty sweet smell of fresh popcorn filling the air. Inside the tent the atmosphere was buzzing, children were packed onto the benches, waving light sticks in the darkened tent. A noisy hum of families, together across generations.
The acts came on one by one, and did all sorts of things very high up in the air. The first act balanced on his hands on stilts. Lifting his body seemingly effortlessly with his arms, upside down meters in the air on thin precarious poles. A girl swung on a rope swing right at the top of the tent, twisting and turning, and making the audience gasp. My heart was in my mouth, watching some of the acrobats swinging right up in the roof of the tent. Open shirted men had my stomach dropping, as they leapt through the air, completely without any sort of safety harness. In an age of modern technology and special effects, this was proper old fashioned fun. There’s a certain special magic about the circus. A theatre that transports you away to another world within its canvas star covered walls.
Today’s polka dot sprinkles cake is a very fitting cake for a night at the circus. Its a fun, frivolous, happy sort of cake. Covered in sprinkles, cut it open to reveal bright pink polka dots studding the vanilla sponge. The cake is filled with raspberries, and topped with a smooth, light vanilla cream cheese frosting.
To make this cake, you’ll need a cake pop mould, like this one from lakeland. These clever little silicone moulds make entirely round balls of cake. By baking coloured balls of cake, then baking them inside cake batter, means you can slice into the cake and reveal bright polka dots. I love baking ‘surprise inside’ cakes like this. They’re so much fun, and no-one can ever work out just how you did it! I’m always amazed at just how well the twice bake cake merges with the rest of the cake. They become seamless and unified. Their texture is the same. You would think that the cake that has already been baked would end up dry and hard after another bake, but it doesn’t. It stays soft, fluffy and tender.
I’ve coloured my polka dots pink, but you could use any colour scheme you fancy. How about rainbow polka dots? The cake would make a really cute gender reveal cake for expectant parents too. The best way to get bright colours is to use gel colourings. You only need a few drops to get beautiful vibrant colours.
Covering the entire cake in sprinkles takes a little time, but is really satisfying. I switched between two methods. The less effective, but more fun, is literally throwing the sprinkles at the cake. Not too many stick, but you can scoop them up and keep going. More effective is to scoop sprinkles into your cupped hand, and very slowly draw your hand up close to the side of the cake, pouring the sprinkles as you go.
– I used 2 x 70g jars of these sprinkles.
– If you don’t have any 5 inch tins, you could use two slightly larger cake tins, but your cake won’t be as tall.
- ----- for the polka dots
- 55g stork or unsalted butter
- 55g caster sugar
- half a teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 medium egg
- 55g self raising flour
- 1 tablespoon milk
- pink gel food colouring
- ------ for the cake
- 340g stork, or unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 340g caster sugar
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 medium eggs
- 340g self raising flour
- 100ml milk
- ------ for the cream cheese icing
- 150g butter, softened to room temperature
- 450g cream cheese
- 250g icing sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 100g raspberries
- Sprinkles, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 160C fan / 350F.
- Begin by making the polka dots for your cake. Cream together 55g stork or unsalted butter with 55g caster sugar and half a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Add the egg, 55g self raising flour, and a tablespoon of milk. Beat until all the ingredients are combined.
- Add a few drops of pink gel colouring, a little at a time, until you have reached your desired colour. Fill the bottom half of each mould, making sure the batter goes all the way to the rim. You need at least 10 balls of cake. Carefully clip on the top of the mould.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool completely, then carefully remove the cake balls from the mould.
- Next, make your cake batter.
- Grease and line 2 x tall sided 5 inch loose bottomed cake tins.
- Cream together 340g stork or butter with 340g caster sugar and 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, until light and pale.
- Add one of the eggs along with a tablespoon of flour and beat until combined. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Finally, fold in the rest of the flour.
- Put a few spoons of mixture into the bottom of each tin, and spread out carefully so you have an even layer of batter covering the bottom of each tin.
- Arrange the cake balls evenly on the batter, pushing down gently to anchor them in place.
- Very carefully spoon the remaining cake batter over the balls.
- Bake for about an hour, or until the cakes are risen and golden, and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Cool completely in the tin, then turn out. If they have doomed, use a serrated knife to level off the cakes.
- Once cool, make your cream cheese icing.
- Put the butter, cream cheese, sifted icing sugar and vanilla extract into a large bowl. Beat until the mixture is smooth and light. An electric beater will speed up the process.
- Put one of the layers of cake onto a plate of cake stand. Cover with a layer of cream cheese icing, then push the raspberries down into the icing. Cover with more icing and spread into an even layer.
- Put the other cake layer on top, and cover the whole cake with a thin layer of icing. Put into the fridge for half an hour.
- Cover the chilled cake with the remaining icing, and cover with spindles.