Easter nest cake
Serves 12 | prep 1 hr | total time
- 5 medium eggs, separated
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 50g cocoa
- 220g plain flour
- 300g caster sugar
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100ml vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 300g white chocolate, broken into pieces
- 50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 200g chocolate mini eggs
For the buttercream
- 225g white chocolate, broken into pieces
- 275g soft unsalted butter
- 275g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
The iced cake will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container, decorate with the chocolate shards just before serving. The undecorated sponges can also be frozen.
- Grease and line the base and sides of a deep 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. In a large bowl whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until just holding stiff peaks. Put the rest of the cake ingredients, including the egg yolks, into another large bowl with 150ml lukewarm water and beat together with a wooden spoon until completely mixed and smooth. Fold in the egg whites gently, until there are no streaks of white left. Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. The cake should be risen and springy on top when ready, and a skewer inserted should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
- While the cake cools, make the bark to decorate the sides. Melt the white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, or in 30 second bursts in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds. Put a large piece of baking paper on a large baking tray, or straight onto the work surface and spread with white chocolate in a thin layer, roughly 28cm square. While this starts to set, melt the dark chocolate and drop it in blobs and squiggles over the white chocolate, then drag a toothpick or skewer through it to create a swirled, marbled effect. Leave at room temperature overnight to set completely, or put in the fridge briefly for 20 minutes until set (this dulls the finish a little but is much quicker).
- Once the cake is cool and the bark is set, make the buttercream. Melt the white chocolate and set aside to cool a little. Beat the butter until very soft and fluffy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar, adding the vanilla extract halfway through. Once they are well mixed, beat in the cooled white chocolate.
- Put the cake on a presentation plate or board and spread the buttercream over the top and sides. The sides don't need to be too neat, but try to smooth the top as best as you can. Cut the bark into pointy triangles, or break into shards by hand. Stick around the sides of the cake, with the dark swirls facing outward, by pushing the pieces into the buttercream. Put the mini eggs in a pile in the centre.
Don’t miss our Mini Egg cake recipe