It was my birthday on Thursday and I’m now in my final year of being a 20 something. I’ve spent the whole of my twenties being a student and now that I’ve got a job I’m looking forward to being able to go and do lots of fun things this year that I couldn’t afford to do on a student budget. I’m also very excited about seeing my first payslip and going on a bit of a shopping spree. I have a long list of things that I want to try and squeeze into my kitchen cupboards.
I didn’t get a birthday cake last year because I was recovering from an operation on my leg that I’d had 2 weeks beforehand and was confined to the sofa. My boyfriend did buy me a very nice chocolate cake but it wasn’t quite the same as having something homemade. So I decided that this year I wanted to make something full of my favourite ingredients. Everyone knows that I have a bit of a thing for cranberries so it should come as no surprise that I dug some out of the freezer to make this cake. Pairing them with maple syrup, pecans, white chocolate and just a hint of cinnamon made the perfect cake for me.
In fact my cranberry obsession seems to be so well known that on Twitter a couple of weeks ago Emma pointed me in the direction of this cranberry and white chocolate cake. It looks amazing and I nearly made it, but in true food blogger style I wanted to have something slightly different that I could call my own. Three years ago I made the maple and pecan layer cake from the second Hummingbird Bakery book for my birthday and it was delicious. This cranberry, maple and pecan cake filled and covered with white chocolate maple frosting was inspired by both of those cakes and I absolutely love it! The tart cranberries cut through the sweetness of the frosting whilst finely chopped pecans and maple syrup give the cake a great flavour.
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp milk
- 225g self raising flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 75g finely chopped pecans
- 150g fresh or frozen cranberries (defrosted)
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 250g icing sugar
- 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
- 150g white chocolate, melted
- Preheat the oven to 180C and grease two 8 inch sandwich tins and line the bottoms with a circle of greaseproof paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the maple syrup and milk then fold in the pecans, flour and cinnamon. Finally fold through the cranberries.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the cakes in the tins for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- To make the frosting melt the chocolate in bowl over a pan of simmering water (bain marie) and set aside to cool slightly.
- Beat the butter until light and fluffy then add the icing sugar and maple syrup and beat again until you get a thick buttercream. Add the melted chocolate and beat again until fully incorporated.
- Place one of the cakes on a cake stand and cover with about half of the frosting and then place the second layer on top, Cover the top with the remaining frosting and leave to set for an hour or so before serving,