Recipe

Pretty parasol cake

Treat the lucky lady in your life to this cute-as-a-button chocolate cake, topped with smooth buttercream and fresh flowers.

  • 1 hr 15 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs cooking
  • Serves 20
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Ingredients

Basic chocolate cakes
  • 250 gram butter, at room temperature, plus 250g extra
  • 1 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar, plus 1 1/3 cups extra
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature, plus 4 extra
  • 2 1/2 cup self-raising flour, plus 2 1/2 cups extra
  • 1/3 cup almond meal (ground almonds) plus 1/3 cup extra
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder, sifted, plus 2 tablespoons extra
  • 1 cup milk, plus 1 cup extra
Pretty parasol decoration
  • 500 gram butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup milk, at room temperature
  • chrysanthemums, wired, to decorate
  • cocktail umbrellas, to decorate

Method

Basic chocolate cakes
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan-forced. For each cake, grease and line base and sides of a 20 cm (base measurement) deep square cake pan with baking paper.
  • 2
    Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one by one, beating lightly after each addition.
  • 3
    Stir in flour, almond meal, cocoa powder and milk until smooth. Spoon into prepared pan; level surface. Bake for one hour, or until a skewer inserted at centre comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • 4
    Repeat to makea second cake using the extra butter, extra sugar, extra eggs, extra flour, extra almond meal, extra cocoa powder and the extra milk.
  • 5
    Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to sit level. Trim edges of one of the cakes to form a 15 cm square.
Pretty parasol decoration
  • 6
    Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a large bowl until as white as possible. Gradually beat in half the icing sugar.
  • 7
    Gradually add milk, then remaining sugar, beating until the buttercream is smooth and spreadable.
  • 8
    Place a 20 cm cake on a cake board or serving platter; top with a quarter of the buttercream.
  • 9
    Top with the 15 cm cake. Spread with remaining buttercream, spreading it over top and sides of cake to cover it (it will be thin and slightly transparent).
  • 10
    Decorate with flowers and umbrellas.

Notes

For the best results, have all ingredients at room temperature, and always preheat the oven for at least 10 minutes before baking. To make the cake vanilla rather than chocolate, use caster sugar instead of brown sugar. Swap cocoa powder for 1/3 cup of plain flour. Wait for cakes to cool before trimming; cutting a hot cake will cause it to crumble. Bake cakes up to one day ahead, covering and refrigerating.