Image © prostooleh, under a Creative Commons license.
Anti gravity cakes have been around for a few years, yet they're still a guaranteed show stopper.
If you want a jaw dropper of a cake then you can't go wrong with this floating cake. These gravity defying cakes are perfect for chocoholics but fortunately you don't need to be a magician to conjure one up.
All you need is a recipe for the easy but impressive cakes and plenty of anti gravity cake ideas. They're often known as a Malteser gravity cake as the light honeycomb chocolate treats are most commonly used to top the cake. But you can cover an illusion cake like this with any type of sweet treat, making it a great way to serve up a personalised bake. Make it with nutty M&Ms for nut lovers, Smarties for kids or even chocolate buttons if you want a monochrome look. Mind blown!
So, make an anti gravity cake for the birthday girl or boy and take a well-earned bow as you serve it up. You can thank us later.
For the cake: Three eggs, 175g self raising flour, 175g caster sugar, 175g softened butter, one and a half teaspoons baking powder, 40g cocoa powder, four tablespoons of boiling water.
For the icing: 140g softened butter, 250g icing sugar, 50g cocoa powder, two tablespoons of whole milk.
For the decoration: Two packs of chocolate fingers, 100g milk chocolate, two large bags of chocolate sweets.
Equipment: Two cake dowels.
1) Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark four. Grease and line two 8 inch round cake tins.
2) Mix together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder. In a second bowl add the cocoa powder and boiling water and mix until you have a paste. Stir the paste into the cake batter and mix well.
3) Split the cake mix between the two tins and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Check they're cooked through by inserting a skewer, if it comes out clean they're ready. Set to one side to cool down.
4) Next make your chocolate buttercream by whipping together the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder until you have a smooth mix. Once the sponges are fully cooled, spread some of your butter icing onto the top of one and then sandwich the second cake on top.
5) Use more of the chocolate buttercream on the top and the sides of the cake, spreading a thin layer. Now stick the chocolate fingers to the outside edge standing them upright. Leave a gap of around 10cm.
6) Next you can start with the decorating. Melt some of the milk chocolate and dip one of your dowels into the melted chocolate so around a third of it is covered. Insert the cake dowel, milk chocolate coated end down, into the cake positioned to one side.
7) Repeat with the second dowel and insert in to the sponge on the opposite side.
8) Now arrange your chocolate sweets so they're positioned on the top of the cake, spilling down into the gap you left in the chocolate fingers. You can also spill some down on to the cake board too. Fill all the gaps but ensure you reserve some of the sweets for the final step.
9) Carefully use a pasty brush to apply more melted chocolate to the dowels and stick the remaining sweets to it. You don't need to worry about covering the top section. Leave to set and then place the empty sweetie bag over the top of the dowel to give the illusion the sweets are tipping out on to the cake.
Tips And Recommendations:
You can use all kinds of chocolate sweets for the decoration of your cake but the best tend to be light and not too large. Try Maltesers, M&Ms or Smarties to start.
If you don't have cake dowels you can improvise using a straw and a wooden dowel. Push the straw into the cake (plastic works better as it won't go soggy) and insert the wooden dowel inside of it to aid stability. Don't forget to cut to the right size.
When sticking your sweets to the dowel don't be too ambitious. Do a few at a time and allow each batch to set properly. Don't rush this part.
When melting your chocolate for gravity defying cake designs you want it to have the consistency of a paste. Too thin and the sweets won't stick, too thick and it won't set.
Chocoholics will adore mega-chocolatey, illusion cakes. But what if you have someone who has a hankering for fruity sweets? You could line the edges with strawberry straws cut to size and top it with pix n mix sweets or skittles instead. And in place of the sweetie bag you can use a paper bag. Look for a striped paper bag to add a splash of colour.
This anti gravity cake uses chocolate icing but if that's just too much chocolate even for those with a sweet tooth you can use a simple vanilla butter icing instead.
You can make up the sponges using any recipe you like so you can cater for gluten-free diets or specific allergies.
Good To Know:
The cake will serve up to 10 people. Use bigger cake tins and increase the cake mix quantities if you want a larger cake.
Despite how impressive this gravity defying cake looks it can be made in around an hour – including the baking time!
The cake will keep for up to five days, however once it's constructed it's pretty big. If you want to make it in advance we recommend making the sponges first and then doing the icing and decorating on the day you need it.
Leftovers can be frozen for up to two months. Be sure to wrap them in double layers of cling film and foil to keep them fresh.
Cora Lydon is a freelance journalist living in Suffolk with her husband and two children. She’s also a children’s book author who loves finding activities and place to inspire her children. Her dining table bears the scars of many craft activities attempts (many unsuccessful).