Tag: gordan ramsay butter cream recipe

Piñata cake


For the cake:

  • 200g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder

For the buttercream:

  • 450g icing sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • Food colouring; purple, pink, green and blue

To decorate and fill:

  • Hundreds and thousands
  • M&Ms
  • Skittles
  • Haribo sweets
  • Dolly mix

What’s a piñata cake?

Cut into a normal looking sponge cake to reveal a naughty surprise – it’s packed full of sweets!

But how is it done? It’s actually quite easy to hide a hidden centre in your bakes – and we’re here to show you how.

With our simple step-by-step recipe, our piñata cake is much easier to make than you may think. All you have to do is hollow out the inside of the sponge after baking and pack it with a variety of sweets.

You can choose jellied sweets like Haribo or chocolate sweets like M&Ms, just remember to make sure your cake is completely cooled before you add the sweets otherwise they’ll melt inside.

Decorate with different coloured buttercream to make it extra special. We used purple, blue, pink and green, but you could use whichever colours you prefer – you could even go one step further a choose all the colours of the rainbow!

This cake should serve up to 6 people and will last 3 days in an airtight container. This recipe would work just as well with a chocolate cake mixture and you can also fill it with fresh fruits or chocolates – the possibilities are endless!

The cake is named after a classic pinata which kids beat to make the sweets fall out, but we wouldn’t advise taking a bat to this treat: it’s far too tasty to waste. Simply slice into the pinata cake to reveal the surprise. Little eyes will light up seeing the sweets tumble out the middle of this extra special bake.

This cake takes 25 mins to bake and 1hr to fill and decorate.


Step 1

Preheat oven 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line 2x 21cm/9inch cake tins with greaseproof paper.


Step 2

Make your sponges using the all-in-one method, pour all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk until combined. Once combined, pour into the cake tins making sure you they’re as even as possible.


Step 3

Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until springy to the touch. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and decide which is going to be the base and which is going to be the topper. Turn the base upside down and leave to cool.


Step 4

Meanwhile prepare the buttercream. Whisk the butter and vanilla extract and gradually add in the icing sugar until combined. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water, if it’s too thin, add some more icing sugar until it reaches a creamy texture. You don’t want the mixture to be too wet as you’ll be adding food colouring to it later on. Leave to one side.


Step 5

Turn the top cake upside down and mark out a circle on the sponge using a sharp knife. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through the sponge, you want to go half way down and scoop out the insides. Do the same to the base cake.


Step 6

Once you’re happy with both sponges, cover the outside edges of each layer with a light buttercream. You can do this neatly using a small spoon or spatula.


Step 7

Pop the base cake onto your chosen serving plate or board and pack it with different sweets and chocolates. Make a little mound of sweets and when you’re happy with the amount put the topper cake on top like a lid. Press the edges down firmly so they sandwich together.


Step 8

Coat the cake in a light buttercream layer – this is a crumb coat which will stop any crumbs from sticking onto your final decorations. Leave to one side to set.


Step 9

Split the rest of the buttercream mixture evenly into 4 separate bowls. Add a few drops of food colouring to each e.g. purple, blue, green and pink and mix with a spoon until you’re happy with the colour.


Step 10

Spoon the mixtures into individual piping bags and pop them into the fridge to firm for about 5-10 mins, so the colours don’t run or blend when you pipe them onto the cake.


Step 11

Take the piping bags out of the fridge and pipe onto the cake. Start from the outside and work in drawing different coloured wavy lines with the nozzle.


Step 12

Once you’re happy with the top, work on the sides. Start from the bottom and pipe up the cake edges pulling away as you reach the top of the cake. Sprinkle the cake with hundreds and thousands to finish.


Step 13

Serve on a cake stand and cut into the middle of the cake using a sharp knife, revealing the sweetie surprise!


  • 2x21cm/9inch cake tins (3cm height)
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Piping bag
  • Electric hand whisk

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Fiona Cairns’ liquorice toffee cupcakes

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Free & easy recipe video: Watch new how-to recipe videos with goodtoknow and Woman’s Weekly see all videos >

These sticky toffee cupcakes have a delicious liquorice-flavoured sponge and toffee buttercream. Topped with liquorice allsorts, this special cupcake recipe by Fiona Cairns is perfect as an afternoon tea treat

That’s goodtoknow

Stack the cupcakes on a tower to make a impressive centre piece for a party


For the cakes:

  • 12 cupcakes cases
  • 85g unsalted butter, softened plus more for the tins
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 30g liquorice (Fiona used 22 x 6.5cm lengths of soft, sweet Australian liquorice), roughly chopped
  • 200g dates, pitted and chopped
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • Seed of 1 vanilla pod or 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

For the buttercream:

  • 170g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted

For the liquorice caramel:

  • 100g demerara sugar
  • 60ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 30g liquorice

To decorate:

  • Piping bag and star nozzle
  • Liquorice allsorts


For the cakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Place the paper cases in a cupcake tray.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the milk and liquorice to a boil. Remove from the heat, stir and press on the liquorice to extract the flavour. Cover and leave to infuse for at least 30 mins. Taste the milk. It should be a liquorice milk flavour, then strain.
  3. Meanwhile in a heatproof bowl pour 175ml boiling water over the dates and leave to soak for 20 mins then mash with a fork.
  4. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.
  5. Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds or extract for about 5 mins with an electric mixer. Add the eggs gradually with 1tsp flour to stop the mixture curdling. Fold in the remaining flour, date mixture and milk.
  6. Divide the batter between the cases and bake for 15–20 mins, or until the tops spring back to the touch. Remove from the oven, leave in the tins a couple of minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

For the buttercream:

  1. Make the buttercream by creaming the butter and icing sugar for at least five minutes in an electric mixer (or with a hand-held mixer).

For the liquorice caramel:

  1. To make the caramel, in a small heavy-based pan, dissolve the sugar with 3 tbsp water over a gentle heat, then increase to a boil. Leave the pan undisturbed for a few mins, until it turns a lovely rich, caramel colour and has thickened. Give it your full attention at this stage!
  2. Remove from the heat and add the cream and treacle, protecting your hands with a tea towel. Stir well, then return to the heat with the liquorice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, stirring all the time, and continue to cook until the mixture thickens. Remove and leave for all the flavours to mingle and allow the mixture to cool.
  3. Taste; it should have a toffee liquorice flavour. Remove the liquorice and, when the caramel is only barely warm, whisk well into the buttercream. (If the caramel is too cold, it will need to be warmed very slightly so it will combine easily into the buttercream. Too hot, and it will melt the buttercream.)
  4. Divide the buttercream between the cakes, piping it on if you wish and decorate with liquorice allsorts.

By Taken from The Birthday Cake Book by Fiona Cairns (Quadrille, £18.99)

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Nutritional information

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

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