These adorable little mini cakes are perfect for Mothers Day – given a beautiful natural colour and flavour with fresh strawberry buttercream and chopped pistachios.
- 60g (2 oz) Margarine (I use Stork, but if you don’t like margarine you can use unsalted butter)
- 60g (2 oz) Golden Caster (granulated) Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- Vanilla Extract
- 60g (2 oz) Self Raising Flour (America, this is how you can substitute self raising flour)
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 65g (2 oz) Fresh Strawberries
- 1/2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 85g (3 oz) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 300g (10.5 oz) Icing (Confectioners) Sugar
- 50g Unsalted, shelled Pistachios
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (335 Fahrenheit). Cut out four little circles of greaseproof paper (I like to draw around the removable bases of the mini cake tin holes) and place them in the bottom for four of the cake tin holes. The tins I use are really non stick, so with a buttery mixture I don’t need to grease them any further, but you may want to grease your tins with a little butter, too.
- Beat together the margarine and the sugar until the mixture has lightened in colour. Beat in the egg and a very small splash of vanilla extract, a couple of drops at most. Then beat in the baking powder and the flour until you have a smooth cake mixture.
- Divide between the four tins; they should be just under 3/4 full.
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until they are golden on top, and you can test with a toothpick or a cake tester, and you can remove it from the sponge clean. Once the tin is cool enough to touch, turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool.
- While the sponges are cooling, make the buttercream. Puree the strawberries with the lemon juice either by hand chopping very tiny with a very sharp knife, or in a mini chopper (I love my mini chopper from Kenwood here).
- With the back of a spoon, press the mixture through a fine sieve, discarding the seeds that are left behind.
- Beat together the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Gradually beat in the strawberry puree until everything is combined.
- Finely chop the pistachios and spread them out on a large plate.
- Using a sharp bread knife, slice each sponge horizontally through the middle to make mini sandwich cakes. Sandwich together with the strawberry buttercream, and refrigerate for 10 minutes to allow the buttercream to solidify. If you skip this step, you’ll get lopsided cakes once you’ve completed the next stage of the frosting.
- With a small palette knife, carefully spread buttercream around the edges of each sponge, and over the top. Carefully pick up the cake between your thumb and forefinger (yes you’re putting your fingers in the frosting on the top, you can smooth this out later. I’ve found that frosting the top afterwards it is really hard to not catch the nutty sides and create a clean finish) and gently roll the sides of the sponge in the chopped nuts, lifting the sponge and shaking the plate to make sure you’ve got an even lager of nuts every few centimetres or so.
- Repeat for the other three sponges, and refrigerate the cakes for another 10 minutes to allow the buttercream to solidify. Allow to come back up to room temperature and store in an airtight container.