My favourite place in all the land for a slice of cake and a pink treat or two is Peggy Porschen, and the two famous parlours in Belgravia and Chelsea are like sugary pink wonderlands. I love visiting to see what sweet surprises are in store, and I always feel inspired with my own baking. As we are currently unable to visit the parlour due to the Covid-19 outbreak, then we might as well have the next best thing by bringing a glimmer of Peggy prettiness to the comfort of our own homes! I wanted to show you how to make your own little cake date with cute heart stencilled lattes and a delicious cake following Peggy’s own recipe. So dust off your fanciest of plates and teacups and get baking…
I chose to recreate the Glorious Victoria cake following a recipe from the Peggy Porschen Boutique Baking book, which is full of lovely bakes and ideas. This cake is a classic and is one of my favourite Peggy flavours, I’ve tried it in the parlour a few times and always enjoy it, and of course it’s pink and fanciful looking! I think it’s a fairly straight forward bake if you’d like to try it yourself. You don’t have to be a complete master at decorating and piping icing so just have fun with it!
‘let them eat cake’
~ Marie Antoinette
The cake itself is utterly delicious, the sponge is lovely and light, sandwiched with a layer of raspberry jam, and silky smooth pink buttercream that melts in the mouth. I love that it’s not sickly sweet but sweet enough if you’ve got a sweet tooth like myself! I was actually a little shocked at how much the recipe really did taste exactly like the lovely cake you’d get at the parlour!
One of my favourite parts of the Glorious Victoria cake, is the fanciful Victorian-style scrolls of frosting piped around the cake. It gives it a decadent vintage effect that I’m sure both Queen Victoria and Marie Antoinette themselves would be smitten with.
I really loved following Peggy’s recipe, and I shared videos of the process on my Instagram stories which I had such a lovely response to, so thank you for that. I had a lot of baking questions so I’ve tried to be as informational as I can for you in this post.
As I only had vanilla bean paste not vanilla pods, I’ve tweaked the recipe ever so slightly, and I also found I needed a bit more buttercream than stated in the original recipe, so I’ve adjusted my ingredients a little in this post in case it helps.
For The Sponge:
200g Unsalted Butter, Softened
200g Caster Sugar
4 Medium Eggs
200g Self Raising Flour
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp Vanilla Extract/Paste
For The Sugar Syrup:
150g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract/Paste
For The Buttercream Filling:
350g Unsalted Butter, Softened
350g Icing Sugar, Sifted
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp Vanilla Extract/Paste
Pink Food Colouring
3 tbsp good quality Raspberry Jam
Bake the sponges one day ahead of serving.
Make the sugar syrup whilst baking the sponges.
Prepare the buttercream filling and assemble and decorate the cake on the day of serving.
To Make The Sponge:
1. Preheat the oven to 175C/Gas Mark 4.
2. Prepare 3 x 15cm (6in) round sandwich tins by greasing and lining them with greaseproof paper. I like to use springform or loose bottom tins so that the sponge can be removed from them more easily.
3. Place the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy.
4. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl and slowly add to the butter mixture whilst whisking quickly.
5. Sift in the flour and stir until the batter is just combined. Doing so ensures the sponges stay light and fluffy.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the tins and bake for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven. I found that 15 minutes was enough for my sponges.
To Make The Sugar Syrup:
While the sponges are baking, prepare the sugar syrup for soaking. I had lots of questions when I applied this to my sponge on my Instagram stories and I actually use it in many of my own bakes, especially vanilla sponges. It just ensures that the sponges stay lovely and moist and will last longer. It’s honestly so simple and quick to make so it’s worth it!
7. Place the water, caster sugar and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
8. Simmer until all of the sugar crystals have dissolved, and set aside to cool down slightly.
9. Once the sponges are baked, let them rest for about 10 minutes and then take them out of the tins. I often run a knife between the outer edge of the sponge and the inside of the tin before attempting to remove them, so I know that none of the sponge will be stuck to the sides.
10. Using a pastry brush soak the sponges with the sugar syrup. I actually prefer to use a refillable silicone pastry brush bottle which I have found so useful for my syrup. If you aren’t used to using sugar syrup and don’t know how much to use, I showed how I applied it to my sponges on my Instagram story, which I saved to my highlights if it helps!
11. Leave the sponges to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, wrap the sponges in cling film and then rest them overnight at room temperature. This ensures that all the moisture is sealed in and the sponges firm up to the perfect texture for trimming and layering. If trimmed too soon after baking, the sponges could crumble.
Little side note: The adorable pink bow bottle is from Ted Baker!
To Make The Buttercream:
I’ve been asked how to get the buttercream so smooth, and I do find that as this recipe uses an equal ratio of butter to icing sugar, the high butter content does make it very smooth in texture. I also find that making sure the mixture has paled significantly helps a great deal with the consistency of the buttercream. If you are able to use a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment instead of the whisk attachment so as to not incorporate too much air into it, as the air bubbles can give it a less smooth appearance.
12. Place the butter, icing sugar, salt and vanilla into a mixing bowl and cream together until very pale and fluffy.
13. If you find your buttercream a little stiff, add a dash of milk to loosen.
14. Add a small amount of pink food colouring to the mixture and stir until combined, and the buttercream is a pretty shade of soft pastel pink.
15. Using a serrated knife, trim the top of each sponge to make sure each sponge layer is flat and even.
16. On the first sponge layer, add in a helping of buttercream and smooth out to the edges. Place a second sponge layer on top and add the raspberry jam, then put the final sponge layer on top. I always place the top sponge layer bottom side up as it tends to give a straighter edge.
17. Using a palette knife, coat the cake with a thin layer of buttercream to give it a crumb coat, and then let it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. This locks in any crumbs, making it easier to apply the next coating of buttercream and gives a neater finish.
18. Once the crumb coat has chilled, apply more buttercream all over until you see no more sponge peeking through. If you have one, use a metal cake scraper around the sides of the cake to smooth the buttercream out and ensure the cake is as straight as can be.
19. Place a medium star nozzle into a piping bag and fill with the remaining buttercream. I used an unbranded piping tip but I could perhaps suggest a Wilton 21.
20. Pipe 8 C Scrolls around the top of the cake (I only did 6 as I accidentally chose a piping nozzle that was a little larger than I needed it to be). Then pipe little shells from the middle of each C Scroll in towards the centre.
21. Pipe 8 fleur de lys around the sides of the cake (again I only did 6) with a single upside down shell underneath at the bottom edge. Pipe a small dot in the between the fleur de lys and the shell using a round nozzle or you can snip the end off of a piping bag. I found it easier to look at photos of the cake as I decorated so I made sure the design was correct. It might not be my neatest of piping work, and I wish I’d chosen a smaller star nozzle, but I still love how it turned out.
22. Serve the cake at room temperature. This cake is best enjoyed within 3 days of baking, but it can last for up to a week.
a fanciful cake date
Have yourself a sweet little at-home cake date and serve slices of your Glorious Victoria cake on your fanciest, girliest crockery. My beautiful pink and white vintage style plates, teacups and cake forks went perfectly for this as they are almost as pretty as the cake! I get questions about this set every time I use them and they were from Marks & Spencer, but unfortunately are no longer available. However, I did find the cutest powder pink mug with saucer and powder pink side plate, that look so similar to those used at the Peggy Porschen parlours if you wanted to be super authentic!
To go with my cake, I made vanilla lattes that I dusted with chocolate cocoa hearts, to replicate the adorable stencils that are served on the hot drinks at Peggy’s.
To get a cute heart shape on your latte, mocha, hot chocolate or whichever hot drink you desire, you can use barista stencils or you can easily make your own like I did. Simply take a piece of paper making sure it’s wide enough that it covers the mug or teacup that you’re using. Then cut out a heart shape (or a shape of your choosing) in the centre of the piece of paper. I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to outline my shape before I cut it out.
Place the paper over the top of your freshly made drink (I used the Nescafé Vanilla Latte sachets which are my favourite), and dust a little cocoa powder or hot chocolate powder onto the heart cut-out. Carefully lift the paper off which will reveal your lovely shape on top. Fill your mug as close to the top as you can, as you’ll get a neater looking shape. I also find it sits nicer on top of a drink with a foamy topping! Sprinkle a handful of mini marshmallows onto your saucer and enjoy.
make a wish!
I hope you enjoy baking, decorating and putting together a little piece of Peggy Porschen deliciousness from your own home dolls! As always I would love to see if you recreate it, and of course if you have any questions feel free to message me on Instagram!
Happy Baking Princesses!