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Burlesque Baking
Sparkling and stunning, like the sky at night, these mini cakes are a decadent treat to enliven Afternoon Tea! Inspired by the twirly girl, Miss Indigo Blue.

Posted by Ryland Peters & Small Published See Ryland Peters & Small's 148 projects » © 2022 Charlotte White / Ryland Peters & Small · Reproduced with permission. · Burlesque Baking by Charlotte White (photography by Clare Winfield is published by Ryland Peters & Small and is available from rylandpeters.com
  • Step 1

    Classic Victoria Sponge Mini Cakes

    This recipe has been adapted from a recipe featured in The Book of Good Housekeeping, originally published in 1944. Why mess with a classic? These basic proportions result in a deliciously light and fluffy sponge.

    1 Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    2 Cream together the butter and sugar until they are pale and creamy. Never underestimate the time that it will take to complete this step – allow a good
    5 minutes in a freestanding mixer (or with an electric hand whisk) and do not rush.

    3 Add one egg at a time, allowing each egg to be fully incorporated before adding the next (this patience should prevent curdling), then add the vanilla.

    4 Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl and fold into your wet ingredients with a large spoon. Be gentle and stop mixing as soon as the flour is incorporated. Add enough milk to make a dropping consistency – the cake mixture should dollop off of your wooden spoon like thick cream. You may not need to add the full amount of milk listed here.

    5 Divide the mixture between the 16 holes of the mini-cake pan and bake in the preheated oven. Give the mini cakes about 20 minutes, or until the cakes are risen and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow them to cool in their pans for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Step 2

    Begin by dyeing your sugarpaste royal blue. Cover your mini-cakes in buttercream and then the sugarpaste, using the same technique as we used in The Art of Covering Up (see below). You may find this a little fiddly at first as smaller cakes require more nimble fingers than larger ones! Finish each cake with the blue ribbon.

  • Step 3

    Take a selection of your larger sugar diamond and dragées and press each one firmly into the sugarpaste on top of your mini cake. You will need to do this just after you have covered your mini cakes, while the sugarpaste is still soft. Be decisive with each diamond and dragée that you add and push them in firmly. You are relying on the sugarpaste itself to hold each piece in place – if you wiggle the pieces around as you add them, they will fall off!

  • Step 4

    Create a cascade of tiny edible jewels by continuing to add your smaller pieces as if they were falling down the sides of your mini cakes. Add fewer details as you work down the sides and stop just short of the bottom of each mini cake.

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