This beautiful fondant covered heart cake is great for Valentine’s Day, a birthday party, or just about any sweet-toothed occasion!
Makes 1 large heart-shaped cake
Pink Buttercream Icing
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease one 8-inch square pan and one 8-inch round pan. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper, then grease the parchment and dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest using electric beaters or a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs with a fork and add this to the batter in a few additions, scraping down the bowl in between. Stir the sour cream and vanilla together and beat this into the batter.
** This double recipe makes a large batch of batter, which can be prepared in a large bowl with electric beaters or in a large stand mixer. If you have a small mixer, then it’s best to divide the recipe in half and make it twice, once for each pan.
In a separate bowl, sift the all-purpose and cake & pastry flours and the salt and add this to the batter, mixing until fully incorporated, scraping to the bottom of the bowl to ensure this.
Spread the batter in the 2 pans so they are both level and the batter is the same height and tap the pan to allow any air bubbles to escape. Bake the cakes for about 55 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then turn out to cool completely.
For the icing, use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using electric beaters, beat the butter until it is fluffy. Add 2 cups of the icing sugar and first beat on low speed to incorporate, then increase the speed to high, until fluffy. Add the milk and vanilla and beat in. Add the remaining 2 cups of icing sugar and beat in, adding further up to 6 cups until a fluffy and spreadable consistency is achieved (the softness of your butter when you begin is the reason you may have to make this adjustment). Add a little colouring paste until you achieve a light pink colour.
To assemble, cut each of the cakes in half horizontally. Spread a layer of buttercream on the bottom half and top with each remaining half. Place the square cake on the cake board so that it is in a diamond position (a point at the bottom). Cut the round cake in half vertically and place each half circle against the top 2 sides of the square, creating a heart shape. Trim the top of the cake, if needed, to make it level. Cover the top and sides of the cake with buttercream and chill for 30 minutes or up to 6 hours ahead.
For the fondant, add a touch of pink colouring paste and knead it into the fondant. Roll out the fondant (using icing sugar to keep it from sticking) into a large circle that measures just large than the widest point of the heart, plus twice the height of the sides, and just under ¼-inch thick. Use the rolling pin to roll up the fondant and lift it over to the heart, unrolling it over the cake to cover it. Massage the fondant gently, working out any air pockets and pressing against the buttercream. Trim the fondant at the base of the cake, and decorate with fresh or fondant flowers.
The cake should not be refrigerated once covered with the fondant, and will keep for up to a day.