Before I started this project I couldn’t even spell Ukulele, nor played upon a uke, never mind baked one – but not being a baker who can refuse a challenge, when Lou from Lou and the Lllamas asked me for a cake for her ukulele group, Levy Uke Up‘s first birthday, I could not say no.
A quick scan of the internet revealed that Wilton make a guitar/ukulele cake baking tin and conveniently my local cake shop – Top Tier Cakes, had one to hire.
From then on I was on my own – all the Wilton recipes are for US bakers, and they tend to work in boxes of cake batter – this tin took two!.
So I thought I’d rather make too much batter than not enough, so I made a ‘3 x’ mix (see below) and then thoroughly greased AND floured the pan.
- 240g soft Stork, beat a lot ;
- add 480g caster sugar, beat;
- 6 free range eggs beat each one in;
- 450ml plain yoghurt and 3 tsp vanilla essence
- then mix in 450g self raising flour and 3 tsp baking powder
- bake 180c (fan) for 30 mins or til cocktail stick comes out clean
Here she is – held by my willing and able assistant aka Keef.
Once she came out of the tin – she looked quite, well, ukulele like.
Then I left her to cool completely, and make some buttercream, a little of which I first spread onto the cake board (a 18″ square since you ask) to stop the cake from sliding away, then put the cake on to it.
I then, very nervously, split the cake and filled it with the obligatory raspberry jam and buttercream – normally I would apply the jam to one half of the cake and the buttercream to the other with a palette knife, but rather than flip this very delicate half a uke, I piped the buttercream on,
I then applied buttercream to the sides and top of the cake using a palette knife. This is known as the crumb coat, and once left in the fridge for the buttercream to set, means that any loose crumbs from the cake should not get on the icing.
Once the buttercream is firm to the touch, it is time to cover the cake with fondant.
While I was waiting for that, I made the keys, with a tiny stick of dried spaghetti in each one, to stick them to the cake, the fret, and the flowers and message tags.
Then assemble using sugar glue and a steady hand, applying the fondant to the whole cake and gently smooth it, add the decoration you have prepared and voila – the Ukulele cake. Enjoy!