These came about as I wanted to make something sweet for a late boozy brunch that a friend of mine was throwing. It is a recipe from the Tea Time magazine that I get. It’s really a tea time cake but I added a liberal brushing of port wine to the cake to go with the boozy brunch theme. I am sure that Tea time aficionados will not disapprove at all.
I do remember going to the Winter garden for High tea in London at the hotel where I stayed. We had the most delicious cakes and sandwiches served on a three-tiered stand. I did not drink much tea, but happily ate the sandwiches and cakes. When we ate everything on the first stand they refilled it but with their choices not with ours – much to our disappointment. If you ever are in London – a High tea is simply a must.
But back from my tea time digression, these are not really challenging to make. They are however simply delicious. The original recipe called for a 17×12 baking pan. I used my 9×13 inch pan. I guess the difference was the cutting out of a double height of the cake and then splitting it into two. However, as long as the sides look good the tops get covered with icing so there were no worries about it.
The little cakes did get rave reviews for brunch and then I took a few of the left overs to work the next day where they were also happily eaten. I was initially going to try to make cake pops of the remaining discards but then smooshed them all into a small container, doused it with port and then topped it with the icing. This stayed a little longer and seemed get even tastier as time went along.
Makes 12 mini cakes
- 2 cups flour sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Red food color (Americolor red)
- Port Wine (or liqueur of your choosing)
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons strawberry jam
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- Red food color (Americolor)
For the Cakes
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and line a 9×13 inch baking with parchment paper and set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.
Beat the butter and sugar with the paddle blade in your mixer until light and fluffy. Add the jam and one egg. Beat until incorporated. Then add the next egg beat until incorporated and repeat for the last egg. (I use the kitchen aid scraper blade which scrapes the sides of the bowl as it beats so I do not need to scrape the bowl, if you do not have this attachment then you should scrape the bowl between egg additions). Add the vanilla extract and 6 drops of food coloring (You can add more or less depending on how strong a pink you want).
Now add a third of the flour mixture into the batter, beat on slow to incorporate. Then add half the buttermilk, beat to incorporate. Repeat ending with adding the last third of the flour mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Put it in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Do the toothpick test – insert a toothpick into the center of the pan and it should come out clean or with just a few crumbs sticking to it. Then your cake is done.
Remove the pan and rest it on a wire rack until it has cooled. Wrap the cake in cling film and put it in the freezer for about an hour.
Using a 1.5 inch round cutter, cut circles from the cake. I got 12 cakes. Split the cakes with bread knife using a sawing motion. Do this gently. Make sure you keep your pieces together. Brush each bottom with the port wine (You can use any wine you like) using a pastry brush. I was very liberal with the brushing. Pipe the frosting on top. Place the upper round on top of the frosting, brush again with wine and pipe more frosting on top of the 2nd round. Refrigerate the rounds. About a half hour before you are ready to eat take them out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.
For the Icing
Beat cream cheese, butter, jam, vanilla extract and confectioners sugar until incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy. Add food coloring to desired color and beat until combined. I used 5 drops of red food coloring here. Place in piping bag with a star tip. You are ready to pipe.