What you need...
- 350g soft margarine
- 350g caster sugar
- 450g self-raising flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 6 medium eggs, beaten
- Grated rind 2 lemons
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Red and blue paste food colouring, optional
- To decorate
- 350g butter, at room temperature
- 675g icing sugar, plus a little extra, no need to sift
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 200g white ready to roll icing
- 250g blueberries
- 150g raspberries
- 225g baby strawberries with green hulls still on
Step 1 - Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas Mark 4. Line the base and sides of a 12 x 8 x 2 inch rectangular cake tin with a sheet of non-stick baking paper, snip diagonally into the corners then press the paper into the tin so that the base and sides are lined and the paper stands a little above the top of the tin sides.
Step 2 - Cream the soft margarine and sugar together in a bowl or food processor until light and fluffy. Mix the flour and baking powder together, then gradually mix in alternate spoonfuls of egg and flour until both have all been added and the mixture is smooth.
Step 3 - Stir in the lemon rind and lemon juice until the mixture is a soft dropping consistency. Spoon the cake mixture into the lined tin, or for a patriotic red, white and blue marble cake, spoon half into the lined tin. Divide the remaining cake mixture between two bowls, colour one half red, the remainder blue. Add spoonfuls of the coloured mixtures to the lined tin, then swirl together.
Step 4 - Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake is well risen, golden brown and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of the cake. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then invert the cake onto a wire rack, remove the tin and leave to cool. To make the buttercream, beat the butter and one third of the icing sugar together in a bowl or food processor until smooth. Gradually beat in the remaining icing sugar and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Cover and keep at room temperature until ready to use.
Step 5 - Peel the paper off the cake, turn over and trim the top level if needed. Cut in half, then sandwich back together with a thin layer of buttercream. Put top down on a large plate, tray or cake board. Spread a very thin layer of buttercream over the outside of the cake to stick the crumbs in place then spread a thicker layer all over the cake and smooth with a palette knife, reserving a couple of tablespoons for piping later.
Step 6 - Knead the ready to roll icing to soften, then roll out half into a long strip on a work surface lightly dusted with sifted icing sugar. Trim to make two, 4 cm wide strips long enough to make a cross over the centre of the cake, then trim the ends level with the edges of the cake. Mix the trimmings with the remaining icing, then roll out and cut two long strips 2.5 cm wide and long enough to go diagonally from corner to corner, trimming the strips to sit flush with the wider white cross.
Step 7 - Arrange the blueberries between the strips of white ready to roll icing. Spoon the remaining buttercream into a paper or plastic piping bag, snip off the tip, then pipe dots onto the diagonal white strips and arrange the raspberries in lines on top. Add dots of icing over the central cross and stick the whole strawberries in place. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
Recipe from seasonalberries.co.uk, find more fun recipes on their website.