Lily Vanilli's Stained-Glass Cake Recipe

(16 ratings)

lily vanilli stained glass cake photo

For a show stopping dinner party dessert or birthday cake that your friends won't forget in a hurry, try this Lily Vanilli cake today and you'll not be disappointed.


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan assisted, gas mark 6
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside
  3. Best the butter and sugar until light and fluffy - approx. 4 minutes. Beat in the lime zest briefly. Then add the eggs gradually, beating just to incorporate. If the mixture starts to split you can add a spoonful of flour to bring it back together. Now add half the dry mixture and beat to combine, then the milk, then the remianing dry mixture. Beat all together for 1-2 minutes
  4. Divide the mixture between the three prepared cake tins and level out to the edges. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a cocktail stick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven, leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool

To make the buttercream:

  1. Beat the butter alone for 4-5 minutes on high speed
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla and cream and beat on a low seed to bring it together, then turn up and beat on high for another 2-3 minutes

To make the sugar shards:

  1. Spray your prepared baking tray all over with the oil spray at least 30 minutes before you want to use it
  2. Place the water, sugar, food colouring, liquid glucose and cream of tartar into a pan with a sugar thermometer attached and stir to combine. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, until it reaches 150C - approx. 15 minutes
  3. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to 130C - approx. 10 minutes - then pour the mixture quickly and carefully onto the oiled baking tray. Allow to cool completely
  4. Pop the sugar sheet very carefully out of the tray, then, using a meat tenderiser, hit the sheet carefully in the centre so it cracks into shards. You can use a sharp knife to score the sugar glass before cracking it
  5. Make up batches of sugar glass in different colours

To assemble the cake:

  1. When the cakes are competely cool, use a palette knife to spread the frosting between the layers as you stack them up
  2. Ice the outside, starting from the centre of the top and spreading the icing out, then down and around the sides of the cake
  3. While the frosting is still wet, gently press the shards of sugar glass all over the cake, making up any pattern you like. If your icing sets before you have chance to attach the sugar shards, just pipe or dab a little bit of fresh frosting onto the cake and attach the glass that way

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For the cake:

  • 450g plain flour, sifted
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • ½tsp salt
  • 120g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 300g caster sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 2 limes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 300ml whole milk

For the vanilla buttercream:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 75ml double cream

For the sugar shards:

  • 500ml water
  • 785g granulated sugar
  • A few drops of gel food colouring
  • 250ml liquid glucose
  • ¼tsp cream of tartar

You will need:

  • Three 18cm round cake tins, greased and lined
  • One shallow baking tray, lined with foil, woth no gaps
  • Oil spray
  • Sugar thermometer