1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
2. Using a large spoon, cream together the butter and caster sugar until it makes a smooth paste.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together thoroughly.
4. With a little extra butter, grease and line 3 x 20cm cake tins and divide the sponge mixture between each tin. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cakes have risen and have a golden brown top. You can test if the sponges are ready by putting a metal skewer into them – if it comes out clean they’re done.
5. Leave the sponges to cool in their tins for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Methods for the fillings
Filling one method
Using a sharp knife cut away the outer peel and pith of the lemons. Then make cuts each side of the skin membrane to create segments. Place the lemon segments and the sugar into a non stick frying pan and gently cook for five minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Remove any pips.
Filling two method
Allow the cherries to thaw or drain the tinned cherries, set aside.
Filling three method
Place the ingredients into a pan and gently cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Filling four method
Whip the cream until gentle peaks are formed. Be careful not to over whip.
To assemble the cake
1. Place the first layer of sponge cake onto a serving plate and spread with a layer of cream. Put half the lemon mixture in the centre and the cherry mixture around the edge.
2. Place the second cake on the top of the first and cover with cream. Put the remaining lemon mixture in the centre and the prune mixture around the edge.
3. Put the final cake layer on the top.
To make the snow angel decoration
Make a template of a snow angel. Put a small blob of sticky tape/tack on your paper angel and place on your cake (Tack facing up - this will make it easier to lift the angel off.) Dust the icing sugar over the template then remove the card to leave the shape of a snow angel.
Final sugar storm topping
This may take a dry run to get right!
This part of the cake will look fantastic, however you will need to practice. Boiling sugar gets extremely hot and this method should not be attempted by a child.
Sugar storm method
1. Place half the sugar into a non stick frying pan. Gently heat, stirring from time to time. As the sugar starts to melt add the remaining sugar.
2. Allow the sugar mixture to gently boil and reduce the heat until a sticky syrup has formed similar to honey. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. The syrup will become thicker as it cools.
3. Place lots of greaseproof paper onto your work surface. Hold your arm as high as you can above the work surface and using two forks drizzle small amounts of the sugar syrup with a gentle circular motion onto the paper. As it falls it will form thin strands. Continue doing this, carefully building up layers. Once a sugar storm has built up transfer it to crown your cake. As a final touch, dust a little more icing sugar over the sugar storm.
For vegan sponge cake
- Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor and divide between three cake tins. Bake for 30 minutes at 190C/Gas Mark 5.
Our thanks to The Vegetarian Society for providing this recipe. Click here for more vegetarian Christmas recipes.