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A vanilla naked cake decorated with chocolate drip icing, treats and popcorn




Photographer: Yuki Sugiura

Editor’s Pick: the insiders’ must-haves



Food editor


Transform our vanilla naked cake into this showstopping creation with a few easy decorating ideas – guaranteed to see you crowned star baker at home

I’m eagerly anticipating the return of everyone’s favourite baking show – although I definitely don’t find as much time to bake as I’d like. But there’s no reason you can’t take a few shortcuts now and again. Our vanilla naked cake, with fluffy butter-enriched sponge and buttercream, is perfect if you need a wow-worthy cake for a special occasion but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. The beauty of it is that comes without any design, so you can get creative with your own decorations. Start by covering with vanilla buttercream. Then melt some dark chocolate and allow it to cool a little to thicken. Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and gently tease at the edges to get an on-trend drip effect. Pile high with treats from our selection in store: think walnut whips, flapjacks, cookie dough bites, honeycomb pieces and shaved chocolate. Finish with a shard of pistachio brittle (made by melting sugar until a caramel forms), then pouring over pistachio nuts and leaving it to set before roughly smashing. I reckon that deserves a Paul Hollywood handshake.
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