First of all – say hello to Dagmar’s new look. A talented graphic designer/artist has been working for a while to create a new logo to match the style of my blog. And finally it’s here and I am so so happy with how it turned out! What do you think? I hope you like it as much as I do.
And I thought to myself – what better way to celebrate than to bake a cake? After all there are several good reasons to have cake these days – christmas is coming up shortly, and lately I’ve had this newfound love for the idea of making cake.
You see, I have never been a cake baking person. And I have to admit – not even for my children’s birthdays. They aren’t very fond of cake at all, and to be honest I’ve never been either. So we always have cup cakes or eton mess with candles stuck in it instead of cake.
Until I realized cake doesn’t have to be about lots of heavy whipped cream and over-sweetened sponge. But most importantly, it doesn’t have to be complicated!
Why did I have to turn 40 before the news hit me?
Also, when I grew up – cake was something you’d have after the cinnamon rolls and the mandatory seven little biscuits. Yes, that’s an old-fashioned Swedish “fika” (=coffee with snacks) and grandma would be very disheartened if you didn’t taste all of it. Hence I was always too full to eat cake, and it never tasted very good in my opinion.
However, ever since it struck me that cake doesn’t have to be complicated and that it can be whatever I want it to be I haven’t been able to think of much else. I want to bake cake all the time. At least I bake cake in my head all the time. And I have this constant eagerness to think out ways to style and photograph it.
Only problem is – we can’t eat much cake. If I bake one, I’d have one slice, P would have one (at the most…) and the kids would lick the frosting off of it and leave the cake totally messed up. And it would end its days in the bin.
So I thought, maybe for christmas I could bake one. And bring it to my parent’s house for more people to share.
So here it is – a christmas layer cake with saffron, orange and poppy seeds covered in a vanilla cream cheese frosting. I think we might even be able to eat all of it. There will be 14 of us. What do you think?
Wishing all of you a very merry christmas and happy baking!
Saffron, orange & poppy seed layer cake with Vanilla cream cheese frosting
a small four layer cake or a “normal size” two layer cake
0,5 g saffron + 1 tbsp boiling water
zest of 1 orange
300 g butter
1 cup + 4 tbsp (300 g) raw cane sugar
7 organic eggs, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp milk
3 cups (300 g) almond flour
2 tbsp corn flour
3 tbsp black poppy seeds
pinch of sea salt
1) Preheat the oven to 175° C (350° F). Line two round cake tins (approx. 23-25 cm) with parchment paper for a two layer cake. Or, for a small four layer cake, use two rectangular baking trays (big enough to take out two small rounds in each).
2) Dissolve the saffron in boiling water. Add the orange zest and set aside. In a medium bowl mix almond flour, corn flour, poppy seeds and salt and set aside.
3) Using an electric hand mixer or a table-top mixer whisk the butter and sugar together until white and fluffy. Add the eggs (a little at a time) to the butter and sugar, whisking continuously. The mixture might curdle towards the end, but don’t worry too much if it does. The cake won’t rise so well, but it’s not a disaster.
4) When all the egg has been incorporated, fold in the saffron/orange zest and then the almond flour mix using a rubber spatula. Scrape the mixture into the baking trays and spread it out very gently.
5) Bake for about 30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool a bit before lifting the cake out of the tin. Then cool completely on a wire rack.
Vanilla cream cheese frosting
150 g butter
100 g soft (fresh) goat cheese
100 g cream cheese
2,5 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
1) Whisk all ingredients well using an electric hand mixer until very pale and fluffy.
2) To assemble the cake: Place one layer of the cake on a plate. With a knife or offset spatula, spread a fairly thick layer of frosting over the layer. Repeat for the remaining layers and finish off with an even layer on on the top and sides of the cake. Put the finished cake in the fridge to set for 10-20 minutes if needed.
Decorate with anemones if desired, but make sure to put some cling film or a round of white parchment paper underneath to protect the cake as anemones are not edible flowers!
TIPS! This is a very moist and squishy cake. You can bake it two-three days in advance and store tightly wrapped in clingfilm, and then assemble with the frosting just before serving. It is quite rich, so serve it in thin slices!
This cake also happens to be naturally gluten free.