Serves: 8 – 10

This vanilla & Almond Plum Layer Cake with Ricotta Frosting  decorated with rose petals, primroses and fresh rosemary is pretty as a picture and makes a gorgeous Easter tea centrepiece.


For the cake

  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 220g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 140g soured cream
  • Zest of 2 large oranges
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 6tbsp Bonne Maman Mirabelle Plum, Apricot or Peach Conserve
  • 200g ripe apricots, plums or peaches, stoned and thickly sliced

For the ricotta and vanilla frosting

  • 250g carton mascarpone cheese
  • 1tbsp icing sugar
  • 75g ricotta cheese

To decorate

  • Frosted yellow rose petals, primroses, fresh rosemary


1Heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan oven, gas mark 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a deep 20cm cake tin.

2To make the cake, put 175g of the butter into the bowl of an electric mixer with the caster sugar, ½ the vanilla, eggs, flour and bicarbonate of soda. Beat together until very pale, light and fluffy.

3Fold in the soured cream, orange zest and ground almonds.

4Spoon half the mixture into the prepared tin. Stir Bonne Maman Mirabelle Plum (or Apricot or Peach) conserve into the sliced fruit and spread evenly over the cake mixture. Spoon on the remaining cake mixture and level the surface.

5Bake for 40 minutes, cover loosely with foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

6To make the frosting, beat together the remaining 50g butter with the remaining vanilla paste, mascarpone cheese and icing sugar until very smooth. Finally beat in the ricotta cheese. Keep chilled.

7Cut the cake into 3 even layers. Put one sponge on a serving platter and spread with a layer of frosting using a palette knife. Top with a second sponge, spread again with frosting then finish with the top layer of sponge. Use about half the frosting to do this stage. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, scraping here and there with the palette knife to give a mottled effect.

8Decorate with frosted rose petals, primroses and fresh rosemary.


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