Great Titanic Bake Off Challenge!

31st March

Birthday, Celebrity, Recipe, Titanic Belfast To celebrate our fifth birthday, Great British Bake Off star, Andrew Smyth has created a bespoke cake recipe inspired by what was eaten on board Titanic for you to recreate!

The luxurious genoise sponge incorporates the flavours of fresh strawberries, grapes and pink roses that Lady Duff Gordon vividly remembers from her time on the ship. If you believe yourself to be a star baker, why not join the celebrations and recreate this show stopper cake at home?

Titanic Belfast's 5th Birthday cake design by Andrew Smyth

Titanic Belfast's 5th Birthday Cake


For the 3 genoise sponges for the bottom tier (do in separate batches if too large)
  • 465g caster sugar
  • 15 medium eggs
  • 465g plain flour
  • 95g melted unsalted butter
For the Strawberry and Red Grape Jam
  • 340g red grapes, halved
  • 290g strawberries, cut into slices
  • 300g jam sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp lime juice
For the rose buttercream
  • 700g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2.1kg icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp soured cream
  • A little semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp rose water
For decoration
  • A large 15-16” diameter round cake board
  • Handful dried rose petals
  • Fresh strawberries and red grapes to lay around the board for photos


Genoise Sponges
  1. Preheat the oven to fan 165°C. Grease and line 3 10” diameter cake tins. 

  2. Recommend this stage is done separately for each sponge: On a large bowl over a pot of simmering water, whisk the eggs and sugar together until lukewarm. Remove from the heat and keep whisking for 5 - 7 minutes until trebled in volume and thick ribbons fall from the beaters when removed from the batter. 

  3. Gently sift in the flour in small amounts and fold gently to incorporate, ensuring no flour pockets get stuck at the bottom. Pour the melted butter around the rim of the bowl and quickly fold in to incorporate.

  4. Pour the mixture evenly between the lined tins (quantities above are for all 3 cakes) and cook on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 - 22 minutes until it springs to touch and golden brown. Cool completely on a cooling rack and level the top with a knife if necessary once cool.
Strawberry and Red Grape Jam
  1. Add the fruit, jam sugar and lime juice to a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring the boil, stirring regularly. Leave to bubble continuously for 5 minutes then check for consistency. 

  2. To test if the jam is at setting point, take a small teaspoon of the mix, set on a chilled plate and leave for a few minutes. If, when pushed with a finger, it wrinkles it is ready. If not ready, continue to boil for a few minutes at a time then test again. Set to one side to cool.
Rose Buttercream
  1. Add the soft butter to a large stand mixer with paddle attachment and beat gently until fluffy, usually a few minutes. Sieve in the icing sugar and mix very slowly to start with (to avoid massive clouds) until the icing starts to come together. Scrape down the bowl then mix on a higher speed for 3-4 minutes until it is not grainy and is uniform. 

  2. Add the soured cream, rose water and a little milk and gently mix on a low speed until combined. Add milk as necessary to achieve a spreadable mix that still holds its shape when piped. 

  3. Transfer ⅔ of the mix to a large piping bag with star nozzle and keep the remaining ⅓ to one side and cover with cling film to stop a crust forming.

  4. Put a little of the rose buttercream on the base of the cake board to secure the cake. Layer the three genoise sponges on top of one another, with a thick layer of rose buttercream and the strawberry and grape jam between each layer.

  5. Cover the outside of the entire cake in a crumb coat of buttercream then chill in the fridge for 20 minutes until firm. Pipe white rosettes onto the side of this cake, ensuring the gaps between rosettes are as small as possible.

  6. Decorate with fruit and rose petals!

Are you up to the challenge?! Let us know how you get on by posting your pictures to @TitanicBelfast on Twitter using #TBTurns5!

Or if you're visiting Titanic Quarter this weekend why not pop in and join the birthday bonanza celebrations from 31st March - 2nd April!

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