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Golden lion cake


Serves: 12-14
timePrep time: 1 hr 15 mins
timeTotal time:
Golden lion cake
Recipe photograph by Martin Poole
Inspired by the release of Disney’s new version of The Lion King, we’ve gone on safari with this fun lion cake

Serves: 12-14
timePrep time: 1 hr 15 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
621Kcal
Fat
26gr
Saturates
16gr
Carbs
91gr
Sugars
70gr
Fibre
1gr
Protein
6gr
Salt
1gr

Mitzie Wilson

Mitzie Wilson

Mitzie Wilson is a food writer, baker and our former Acting Food Director. Mitzie has been writing recipes for magazines for over 30 years, and was editor of BBC Good Food and Delicious. Her particular speciality is creating show-stopping bakes.

See more of Mitzie Wilson’s recipes
Mitzie Wilson

Mitzie Wilson

Mitzie Wilson is a food writer, baker and our former Acting Food Director. Mitzie has been writing recipes for magazines for over 30 years, and was editor of BBC Good Food and Delicious. Her particular speciality is creating show-stopping bakes.

See more of Mitzie Wilson’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 150g butter, plus a little extra to grease
  • 325g golden syrup
  • 225ml milk
  • 325g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 3 medium eggs, beaten
For the buttercream
  • 175g very soft butter
  • zest of 1 small orange, and 2-3 tsp juice
  • 350g icing sugar, sifted
  • 25g Belgian dark cooking chocolate (or other chocolate about 60% cocoa solids)
For the decoration
  • orange or yellow, and red concentrated gel food colourings
  • 250g white ready-to-roll icing
  • 15g Belgian dark cooking chocolate, melted

Step by step

Get ahead
The sponges can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept in a cake tin or frozen
  1. Lightly grease 2 x 20cm round cake tins and line the bases with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
  2. Place the butter and syrup in a small pan and heat gently until the butter has just melted, remove from the heat then stir in the milk.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a medium-sized bowl. Add the eggs, then gradually add the melted mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. It will be quite a liquid batter.
  4. Pour the mixture into the 2 cake tins so they are both the same depth, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and firm, and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. For the buttercream, place the soft butter in a mixing bowl with the orange zest and juice plus the icing sugar, and beat until smooth. Measure 150g buttercream into a small bowl. Melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. When cool, beat this into the 150g buttercream until smooth. Spoon 2 tablespoons of chocolate buttercream into a small piping bag fitted with a fine writing nozzle, then use the rest to sandwich the 2 sponges together.
  6. Colour the remaining buttercream yellow or pale orange for the lion’s mane. Spread some over the top and sides of the cake as a thin coating, then place the rest in a piping bag fitted with a 1cm star nozzle.
  7. To make the lion face, thinly roll out 20g of the white icing on a work surface dusted with icing sugar and cut out 2 x 3cm circles for eyes. Colour 50g of the white icing dark brown by gradually working in the melted chocolate. Roll out, and cut out 2 x 5cm circles, folding each almost in half and pinching into ear shapes. Cut out 2 x 1cm circles for the pupils, and shape 2 thin sausages for eyebrows, then roll the remaining icing into a ball for the nose. Put all these elements aside.
  8. Colour the remaining white icing yellow or orange to match the buttercream for the mane. Make 2 x 20g balls of icing for the lion’s cheeks and set aside. Roll out the rest and cut out a 12cm disc; place in the centre of the sponge as the lion’s face. Press some trimmings together and colour these red to make a tongue. Arrange the features on the circle of icing to create a lion face. Using the yellow or orange buttercream, pipe a ‘mane’ from the edge of the circle to the cake’s outside edge, pulling the icing into a point. Pipe whiskers and dots on the nose with the small bag of chocolate icing.

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