Indulgent Nettle Layered Cake
I am so happy with this cake. It was created during the Covid-19 isolation, which has become a time for me when I finally got around to trying to make all sorts of edibles that I’ve had on my mind for years. This cake definitely worked out better than the sourdough loaf that I’m still trying to understand. I knew I just wanted something green, and ideally something that represented the natural environment outside that was local to me, using seasonal ingredients. It’s plant based, and uses nettles to provide the pleasing green colour without any weird taste. It definitely still tastes like cake. It's super easy and really moist, and I layered this up with primrose curd and pine needle frosting, and sprinkled with some edible wild flowers. If you use this recipe, I'd love to see your take on it so drop me a message on my FB or in the comments below.
- cake tin (this recipe was enough for two layers cooked in a small 4" diameter heart tin (it was all had).
- blender for blitzing the nettle and oat milk
- 20 young nettle leaves
- 1 and a 1/4 cup all plain flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup oat milk
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Pine Needle Frosting:
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 good handful clean pine needles
- 1 tbsp If you prefer a stronger taste, then you might prefer to use my pine needle syrup recipe instead for a stronger citrusy taste
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 3 tbsp please see recipe here
- Start by adding the clean pine or spruce needles to the icing sugar and leave in a jar for 24 hours to allow the flavour to infuse. You might prefer more flavour so use my spruce needle syrup or cordial recipe instead and add a tablespoon to the icing sugar when you make the frosting.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
- Blanch the nettle leaves in hot water for a few minutes. Strain and add the leaves to the oat milk, blitz in a blender and set aside.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking soda to a mixing bowl and mix through. Then add the nettle/ oat milk mixture, the oil and the vinegar and using a wooden spoon, stir through. I found the cake to be a bit too moist and I'm still playing with the recipe so you might want to add a little less oil, milk or squeeze out some of the excess from the nettles but I like to leave the nettles a bit squishy as it is them that provides the colour.
- Line cake tins with parchment paper or lightly grease and divide the mixture in two. Bake on the middle shelf for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack until completely cooled before adding the frosting. If you add the frosting whilst the cake is still warm, the frosting will just melt.
Pine Needle Frosting:
- Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl, removing and discarding the pine needles. (You could wash and reuse the pine needles to make a pine needle coil basket).
- Add the softened butter and whisk until smooth, light and fluffy.
Constructing the cake:
- Lay one, fully cooled cake layer on a plate. Add three tablespoons of the primrose curd. You might want to make the curd a bit thicker than what you'd normally have on toast as you don't want it sliding out of the cake when you add the next layer. Spoon or pipe half the frosting onto the curd and gently place the next layer of cake on top. Spoon or pipe the remainder of the frosting onto the top of the cake. Add edible flowers and leaves, for e.g. violets, gorse flowers and primroses.
- Serve up to your friends and relish the ooos and aaahs.