Pink lemonade birthday cake

A fun twist on my week has been having pink hair. I did it sort of spontaneously (I could almost say I woke up like that) and now I really can’t imagine going back. Having short hair has flattened any desire to style it, and the flamingo fandango has, ironically, made it easier to go au natural. I’m also beginning to see the endlessness of possibilities…why do people look for the end of the rainbow when you can BE the rainbow?

Pink has evidently been rollerblading round my brain this week. I was looking for inspiration for a birthday cake and I wanted strawberries. Their time has come: Pimms, prosecco, puddings and hair all want in on the action. I wanted to combine some flavours and have a bit of colour, but I’m slightly less enthusiastic about the American caramel cookie peanut chocolate sugar overload that has been overdone. Besides, it’s summer!!

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Like a rose turning up on your doorstep, the idea of pink lemonade came from nowhere but was a great surprise. I considered how pink lemonade could be recreated in cake form, and decided that there would be two flavours of icing – strawberry and lemon, with a lightly flavoured lemon sponge that would be a shade of pink. I debated whether to pour some lemonade into the recipe, but I couldn’t see the added benefit when fresh lemons would be in there anyway.

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There were a few pink lemonade cake recipes online, but a lot of them were in cupcake form or had American measurements, so I decided to use my Mum’s birthday cake formula and build on that. If you want to have a go yourself, I advise that you choose a cake recipe you know is a good’un and go from there. I added juice and zest to the mixture, natural red food colouring and baked it in one tin. When it had cooled I sliced it, filled it with strawberry jam butter icing, covered the outside with lemon butter icing and decorated it with strawberries and gold pearls.

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I was really happy with the look of the cake – fresh, simple and quite elegant. Cutting it open revealed the pink party, which was snazzy because it was like opening a present! The strawberry icing was especially well received by my friends. It was strong, sweet and fruity and complemented the tart lemon. The lemon sponge was a bit too subtle I think, and next time I’ll go for an unnatural food colouring because the pink was not quite pink enough, but the pink lemonade cake made a fizz!!

They say pink hair don’t care, and a cake version of pink lemonade? Well played!

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