Peter Sawkins:  Peter’s Reindeer Cake Recipe

Peter Sawkins: Peter’s Reindeer Cake Recipe

  1. List Of Ingredients
  2. For the Sponge
  3. 225g (8oz) butter, softened
  4. 225g (8oz) caster sugar
  5. 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
  6. 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  7. 4 eggs
  8. ½ teaspoon salt
  9. 200g (7oz) chocolate, chopped into chunks
  10. For the chocolate buttercream
  11. 200g (7oz) butter, softened ½ teaspoon salt
  12. 320g (11oz) icing sugar
  13. 40g (1½oz) cocoa powder
  14. 3 tablespoons milk
  15. For the decorations
  16. 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate
  17. 30g (1oz) red fondant
  18. 30g (1oz) white fondant
  19. 5g (¼oz) black fondant
  20. Icing sugar, for dusting
  21. Make this gluten-free
  22. Substitute the self-raising flour in the sponge for gluten-free self-raising flour.
  23. Ensure the baking powder in the sponge is gluten-free.
    1. Time required
    2. 30 minutes prep
    3. 30 minutes baking
    4. 20 minutes decoration


Make the cake

1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC fan (350ºF/gas 4). Grease and base line 2 x 18cm (7”) round cake tins.

2.Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy

3. Add the flour, baking powder, eggs and salt, and mix until combined. Stir the chopped chocolate into the batter to mix.

4. Split the mixture between the two tins, level off and bake for 30–35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Make the chocolate buttercream

1. Beat the butter and salt with an electric whisk until very light and smooth.

2. Sift over half of the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat for about 2 minutes. Start the whisk on low speed, then increase to high speed once the dry ingredients have been mixed in

3. Sift over the remaining icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add in the milk and beat this for about 2 minutes until smooth.

4. It should be a soft, spreadable consistency that holds its shape. If it’s too thick, add in some more milk a tablespoon at a time. If it’s too thin, add in more icing sugar, 50g (1 ¾oz) at a time.

Assemble the cake

1. Slice the two cooled cakes horizontally to create 4 layers of cake. If the cakes are very domed, you can trim the top off the cakes to make them flat. This will make a neater stacked cake.

2. Place one layer of cake on your serving plate. Spread over a thin layer of buttercream and top with the following sponge layer. Repeat this up the cake. Place the two bottom layers of sponge at the bottom of the cake and top with the two top layers of sponge.

3. Spread a thin layer of buttercream over the cake with a palette knife and set it in the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes.

4. . Take the cake out of the fridge and spread the remaining buttercream over the cake. I like to spread the buttercream over in many spreads to create a rougher texture that almost looks like fur.

Make the chocolate antlers

1. Draw two big antlers on a sheet of baking paper about 15cm (6”) long with a pencil. Copy the picture on the next page. Flip the baking paper over, so the pencil is on the bottom. You should be able to see the outline of the pencil through the paper.

2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water and fill a piping bag with the chocolate.

3. Cut a hole from the piping bag and pipe around the outlines of the antlers as best as you can. Fill up the antlers with the remaining chocolate and leave it at room temperature to set. You can also just spoon the chocolate over the template instead of piping, although it might not be as neat.

4. If the chocolate hasn’t set after 30 minutes, place it in the fridge to chill and set, but don’t put it in the fridge before the 30 minutes is up, or it won’t set as well.

Make the fondant nose and eyes

1. Roll out the red fondant on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to about 1cm (½”) thick. Use a 6cm (2½”) cookie cutter to cut a circle of the fondant. Press the edges of the circle to make it into a rough oval shape.

2. Roll out the white fondant to about 1cm (½”) thick. Cut two 2½cm (1”) circles from it using a cookie cutter.

3. Roll tiny balls from the black fondant. Lightly wet the white fondant circles and press on the black fondant balls to create the eyes.

Make the cake come to life

1. Stick the red nose and eyes onto the side of the cake to create the reindeer’s face.

2. Use a knife to cut two slits into the top of the cake. Press the antlers into these slits.

Extracted from Peter’s Baking Party

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