Annabel Karmel’s red carpet Hollywood star cake recipe

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makes: 1 cake
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  • This three-layered Hollywood star cake is perfect for childrens’ themed parties. And the kids can help you decorate it too.


    • 340g (12oz) caster sugar
    • 340g (12oz) butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
    • 6 eggs
    • 1tbsp vanilla extract
    • 340g (12oz) self-raising flour
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 5 drops of red food colouring, plus extra for buttercream
    • 2tbsp cocoa powder
    • For the candy stars
    • 100g (3½ oz) red boiled sweets
    • 100g (3½ oz) yellow boiled sweets
    • 2tbsp vegetable oil for greasing
    • Edible silver or gold balls
    • For the decoration
    • ½ x 500g carton of chocolate buttercream
    • 1x 500g carton of vanilla buttercream
    • Edible silver or gold balls
    • Writing icing
    • Red, orange and yellow M&Ms
    • A doll for an actress
    • 60cm (24") red ribbon, about 4cm (1½") width
    • Alphabet candles
    • You will also need star-shaped cutters


    • To make the sponge cakes, first pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4).

    • Grease 3 x 20cm (8″) sandwich tins and line the bases with baking parchment. How to line a round cake tin video

    • Cream together the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.

    • In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla together and add to the butter and sugar a little at a time. Sift together the flour and salt and fold into the butter mixture. Mix thoroughly.

    • Divide the cake mixture equally between three bowls. Colour one batch with red food colouring – dip the end of a teaspoon into the food colouring and add 5 drops, one at a time, mixing well. Using a fine sieve, gradually add the cocoa to the second bowl, mixing well. Set aside the third bowl.

    • Pour the three cake mixtures into separate sandwich tins and bake for 25-30 mins until risen and firm to the touch. Allow to cool slightly, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

    • Meanwhile, prepare the candy stars. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C (300°F, gas mark 2). Tip the boiled sweets into a double-layered freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin to make fine, small pieces. Dip the star-shaped cutters in oil then place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Spoon the crushed sweets into the oiled cutters to a depth of about 3mm. Bake for about 8-10 mins.

    • Remove from the oven and scatter over the silver or gold balls. Leave to cool for about 15 mins before carefully removing the candies from the cutters (use a tea towel to protect your hands). You can make 8-10 star candies depending on the size of the cutters.

    • Beat half of the vanilla buttercream with 3–5 drops of red food colouring. Layer the cakes, sandwiching them together with chocolate buttercream and the next layer with vanilla buttercream, then spread pink buttercream on the top. Leave for 2-3 hrs to allow the surface to harden slightly.

    • Add silver and gold balls around the sides of the top and bottom cakes, using blobs of writing icing, and arrange red, orange and yellow M&Ms around the middle cake.

    • For the final touch, place the red ribbon down the centre of the cake. Just before serving, put the candles at the back and the candy stars at the front. Place your princess’s favourite actress on the red carpet for the awards ceremony.

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