Put on your top hat and roll up for all the fun under the big top at this fabulous circus party.
Makes: one large and two small cakes
Preparation time: 3 hours
Baking time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Oven temperature: 180 ̊C
• 2 batches basic vanilla cake
• 11/2 batches butter icing
• yellow liquid or gel food colouring
• copper or light brown gel food colouring
• sour red ribbon sweets
• jelly beans or other bright sweets, for decorating
• red laces sweets
• 1 white marshmallow
• 1 red lollipop
• 2 vanilla wafer biscuits
• paper hat
Basic vanilla cake
Makes: 25cm round cake
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Baking time: 45-60 minutes
Oven temperature: 180°C
• 240g (260ml) butter or baking margarine
• 320g (370ml) castor sugar
• 15ml vanilla essence
• 4 large eggs
• 480g (880ml) cake flour
• 20ml baking powder
• 250ml milk
Makes: 1 batch
• 245ml (225g) butter or margarine, softened
• 885ml (460g) icing sugar, sifted
• 50-60ml milk
Beat the butter until soft. Beat in the icing and milk a little at a time, until the mixture forms a smooth and spreadable consistency.
1 Beat the butter until light. Add the castor sugar, a little at a time, and beat well. Add the vanilla essence and then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
2 Sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt together. Fold into the butter mixture alternately with the milk.
3 Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined 25cm round baking tin. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until cooked through and the skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a baking rack.
1 Pour one batch plus another one-third of the batter into a greased 23cm or 2,75l glass mixing bowl. Bake in a preheated oven for two hours, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cover the top with a piece of loose tin foil halfway through the baking time to prevent the top burning. Once cooked, place on a wire rack and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
2 Pour the remaining batter into two greased 14cm or 500ml glass bowls. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. Leave the cakes to cool for 20 minutes once cooked.
3 Use a serrated knife to trim the tops of the cakes. Use the edge of the bowl as a guide to cut them level.
4 Carefully remove the cakes from the bowls and place with the flat side down on a wire rack to cool completely.
5 Once cooled, the cake can be iced. Colour two-thirds of the icing yellow. Use the yellow icing for the big cake that will form the body. Reserve about 150ml for later.
6 Colour most of the remaining icing with the copper gel colouring, leaving about 50ml white. Use a little of the icing to sandwich the two small cakes together to form the head of the clown. Place it onto the body and cover with copper-coloured icing.
7 Cut and stick the sour red ribbonsweets from the front to the back over the clown’s ‘shoulders’ to form braces. Pipe the remaining yellow icing onto the cake board around the bottom of the cake and press yellow jelly beans onto the piped icing.
8 Cut the red laces into 1,5 to 2cm lengths and press them into the top cake to form the clown’s hair. Leave the top of the head clear for the hat.
9 Cut the marshmallow into four circles. Use the two middle slices to form the eyes. Stick two black sweets onto the sticky marshmallow to complete the eyes. Trim the wafer biscuits so they will form a bow tie then stick them to the clown with a bit of icing. Stick on a jelly bean to complete the tie. Stick three more sweets down the clown’s belly to complete his outfit.
10 Use the remaining white icing to spread a mouth onto the face. Cut a piece off a red lace sweet to make a smile. Complete the face by adding the red lollipop as the nose. Place the paper hat on top of the head and press down gently to secure.