Media-Inspired Birthday Cake

Media-Inspired Birthday Cake

This little beauty was made for one of my work colleagues as a surprise for his (ahem!) 41st Birthday or his 20th 21st :) A Media teacher and lover of many great films, it only seemed apt to make his cake inspired as such….

Again this is a cake based on my usual base Victoria sponge recipe except this time I want to do it in one tin to aim for a smoother edge.  I used a loose-bottomed 23cm tin and then cut the cake in half where I wanted it cut; however this recipe would quite happily work in 2 sandwich tins instead with a reduced cooking time.



  • 225g Caster Sugar
  • 225g Stork
  • 225g Self-Raising flour
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 125g Icing Sugar
  • 40g Butter or Willow
  • 15ml semi-skimmed milk
  • Rsspberry Jam (preferably seedless)
Topping & Decoration
  • 1/2 a pack of white Royal Icing
  • Dr Oetker coloured icing (5 pack)
  • Glitter or pearl lustre or both :)
  • Turn your oven to 180 degrees C, ensure you have your shelf positioned to the middle of the oven and prepare your cake tin – greased bottom and sides with a greaseproof paper bottom also.
  • Cream together the Stork and sugar until pale and fluffy…I like using a food mixer because i’m lazy!
  • Gradually beat in the eggs one at a time but always add a spoonful of sieved self-raising from your above quota to prevent it from curdling.
  • Sieve in the rest of the flour and fold it through.
  • As soon as it is all combined distribute the mixture in to your prepared tin and level the tops with a wet spoon.
  • Place in the oven for 40mins or until they are golden brown and spring back when touched…if you decide to this in 2 tins your bake time will only be around 20mins, but always insert a skewer or cocktail stick if you’re unsure whether the middle is done.

That’s a whole lotta cake there!!!!

  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 10mins then turn out on to a wire rack to go completely cold.
  • At this point score a line around the cake with a sharp bread knife and then carefully saw through the cake sideways…

Letting off some steam!

  • Meanwhile make your filling; combine the butter with the icing sugar in a food mixer, pouring the milk in gradually and slowly until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

Icing assemble…

  • Whilst the cake cools you can create your various media-based paraphernalia and allow them to go slightly hard before putting them on the cake.
  • Here’s how I made the various pieces:

Star stamper, cookie cutters and a sharp knife for the clapper board and showbiz factor!

With piped butter icing message with a small nozzle..hopefully yours will be less wonky :S

Sharp knife, tape measure & a round cookie cutter for a vintage style camera

Strips of black cut to length and then white ‘shots’ stuck on using water.

  • Depending on whether you want to go the full way round the cake or not, make sure you measure the circumference of the cake so you’re not left short.

Use food gel and a brush to spell out the recipients name – very Hollywood!

  • Now it’s time to assemble the cake.
  • Whilst your motifs and media-work dry a bit, sandwich your cake with butter icing and jam.

Icing and Jam….mmmm!!! MUST…NOT…LICK…SPOON!

  • Stack the cakes on top of each other and then use a palette knife and the remaining butter icing to over the whole cake smoothly, ready to stick the white covering on.
  • Roll out your white icing in between 2 sheets of cling film…this saves the rolling pin sticking and keeps it nice and clean from any stray cake crumbs that may be in the kitchen.

Nice, clean icing!

  • Carefully place on the cake and use the cling film to encourage a smooth coverage.

Smooth as a…white smooth dome thing!

  • Now you can trim your icing.  I then use the back of a spoon to go around the edge tucking in the cut off edge to make it look tidier.
  • Start to add your media-paraphernalia using water and a brush…beware though, once it’s on the cake repositioning is practically impossible without ruining the white icing base…voice of experience!

I started with my film reel edging….

Which curled up on to the top of the cake….complete with clapper board position!

The camera was the next main feature with ‘subtle’ 41 in glitter…

  • The remaining gaps can be filled with stars of various sizes.  I used red and blue stars to mix the colours up a little as there was going to end up being A LOT of black and white otherwise.
  • If you can get your hands on it, Pearl Lustre is a fab buy and I use it a lot to add a sheen to certain cake embellishments.  On this cake I used it to set off the clapper board and to give something for the glitter to stick to.
  • Add some random sprinkles of edible glitter and you’re done!

Once again a fun little exploration in to cake creation based on a theme.  There will be many more to come in the following couple of months so keep your eyes peeled.

Happy film watching people and Happy Birthday Steve!

Love ZoBird xxx

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