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Wow your guests with this American inspired luscious layer cake. The new red velvet Christmas cake is moist and moreish with layers of light meringue frosting. For a more traditional  flavour take a look at our fabulous Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

SERVES 16 – PREP 30 mins – COOK 30 mins

150g unsalted butter

300g golden caster sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

3 large eggs, separated

284ml carton buttermilk

2tbsp bright red gel food colour

1tsp ultra violet gel food colour

250g plain flour

25g cornflour

2tbsp cocoa

1tsp white wine vinegar

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the filling and frosting:

3 large egg whites

250g caster sugar

284g jar high fruit raspberry jam

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 180C, gas 4. Grease and base line 3 x 20cm round cake tins. Cream together the butter and sugar, beating until pale and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the vanilla extract and the egg yolks.
  2. Pour the buttermilk into a jug and stir in the red and violet food colourings. (Don’t worry – you need loads to make a really strong beetroot colour).
  3. Sift together the flour, cornflour and cocoa. Fold in half the dry ingredients and half the buttermilk. Mix together until just combined. Repeat with the rest of the flour etc and buttermilk.
  4. Whisk the egg whites until stiffly peaking. Mix the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda together. Gradually fold into the cake mixture with the egg whites. Divide equally between the 3 tins.
  5. Bake for 30 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in tins for 10 mins, then turn cakes onto cooling racks to cool completely.
  6. Tip the egg whites into a heatproof bowl and add the sugar. Rest over a pan of simmering water and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the mixture, using an electric mixer, until it becomes a thick meringue.
  7. Spread half the jam over 2 cake layers.
  8. Spoon the meringue frosting into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle. Pipe a layer of frosting over the jam, top with the next jam topped cake layer, pipe on another layer of frosting. Top with 3rd cake and pipe over mini peaks to cover. Decorate with Christmas cake decorations (ours came from cox&cox.co.uk). This cake will keep well in a cool place in an airtight container for 4 days.)

Per serving: 642 cals, 28g fat (17g saturated), 82g carbs

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