Was there a name you wanted as a child? I was always drawn to the letter C. For a long time I wanted to honour my Irish roots and be a Caitlin. I wasn’t even sure how to pronounce it but that didn’t trouble me, I’d work it out. I could handle not knowing how to pronounce my name, because I’d be all willowy and Irish and interesting if I were called Caitlin. Then I discovered Nirvana and decided Courtney was the name I really needed. Along with a propensity to wear baby doll dresses, sport bleached hair with black roots and hang a baby called Frances Bean from my hip.
I was mighty excited when just over a year ago I met a lady called Caitlin. She was every bit as exciting as I thought she might be and she has Irish roots and she’s fabulous. This is a cake just for her as she’s rather partial to rosy cakes and drinks. I made another version of this cake recently. You could say her addiction has passed to me.
Rose, vanilla and raspberry cake
- 225g vanilla infused castor sugar
- 225g soft butter
- 4 large eggs at room temperature, whisked lightly
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 225g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 200g salted soft butter
- 400g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp rose water
- 25g freeze dried raspberries (I got mine from Sainsbury’s but can also order online.)
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and check the rack is in the middle of the oven. Grease and line 2 x 20cm (ish) tins. If yours are larger simply decrease the baking time a little, if smaller increase it. This is all about the thickness of the cake – the thicker it is (in height) the longer it takes to bake.
Cream the butter and sugar together in your stand mixer/with an electric mixer/with a wooden spoon until really light and creamy looking. Then add the eggs a dribble at a time, beating well after every dribble. Add the vanilla extract and do the same. Then sieve the flour, baking powder and bicarb together and fold through the cake mixture. Split the batter equally between the two tins, level with a spoon and then bake for about 20 minutes or until well risen, golden brown and a toothpick comes from the centre of the cakes clean. The cake should also be shrinking away from the sides of the tins a little. If you are baking each cake on a different rack don’t forget the higher the cake the quicker it will bake. Either rotate or whip the top one out earlier.
Remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack as soon as your hands can handle it. Then decorate with rose buttercream which you can find the recipe for here. If you don’t have a stand mixer then beat your butter with a wooden spoon/electric handheld mixer and then add a tablespoon of the icing sugar at a time, beating until the mixture looks like mousse. Add rose water to taste. Decorate with freeze dried raspberries.