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Tropical splatter showstopper birthday cake

Feeling creative? This show-stopping colourful splatter cake can be made with your favourite colours (or every colour!) so let your imagination run wild... Perfect for birthdays, bake sales or other special occasions.

Recipe info

Preparation time: 2.5 hours

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Serves: 10 to 12


For the blueberry and black sesame cake:

  • 190g unsalted butter (room temperature), plus extra for greasing
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp soured cream
  • 3 RSPCA Assured eggs
  • 190g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 100g blueberries
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds (toasted)
  • zest of 1 orange

For the coconut and passion fruit cake:

  • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 390g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 400g sugar
  • 3 large RSPCA Assured eggs, separated, plus 2 large RSPCA Assured egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 240ml coconut milk (shaken well before measuring)
  • 100g desiccated coconut

For the tropical syrup...

  • 4 oranges
  • 1 to 3 tbsp sugar

For the cream cheese icing:

  • 450g cream cheese
  • 125g butter
  • 600g icing sugar (sifted)

For the fondant icing:

  • 750g coloured fondant icing
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 4 assorted food colourings

You will also need:

  • 2 passion fruits (halved)
  • 1 x 24cm thick cake board
  • 1 x 16cm thin cake board
  • 4 baking dowels (available from cake decorating suppliers)
  • 2 x 23cm round cake tins
  • 1 x 16cm round cake tin


Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Brush all three cake tins with melted butter to grease. Line the bottoms with baking paper rounds and dust the insides with a little flour.

For the blueberry and black sesame cake:

Step 2:

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until pale and creamy. Add the RSPCA Assured eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step 3:

Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix gently until combined. Add the soured cream, blueberries, sesame seeds and orange zest. Fold in gently using a spatula or large metal spoon. Spoon the mixture into one of the cake tins and set aside.

For the coconut and passion fruit cake:

Step 4:

To make the coconut cake, sift the flour and baking powder together into a medium-size bowl.

Step 5:

In a separate bowl, whisk the butter until smooth, then add the sugar and continue to blend until you have a creamy texture. Add the egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla extract. If using an electric mixer, reduce the whisk speed to low.

Step 6:

Add the flour and baking powder mixture a little at a time, alternating with the coconut milk and mixing until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed then stir in the desiccated coconut. Set aside.

Step 7:

Beat the egg whites with a whisk until soft peaks form. Stir a quarter of the egg mix into the cake batter to lighten the mixture then use a spatula to fold in the remaining whites.

Step 8:

Divide the batter evenly between the two large tins and smooth the tops. Add all the cakes to the oven and make a note of timings. The blueberry cake takes 50 to 60 minutes while the coconut cake takes 25 to 30 minutes to bake. It's best to check the cakes with a skewer (if the skewer comes out clean, the cake is cooked).

For the tropical syrup:

Step 9:

While the cakes are in the oven, make the tropical syrup. Squeeze the juice from the oranges into a pan and add a spoonful of sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then add the peel and take the pan off the heat, allowing to cool. Just before you use the syrup, remove the peel.

Step 10:

Once the cakes are ready, remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool, poking a few holes in the top with your skewer.

Step 11:

Pour over a couple of tablespoons of syrup on each cake, a little at a time and allow to sink in. Leave in the tin for a further 5 minutes to settle, then remove and allow to cool completely on racks.

For the cream cheese icing:

Step 12:

While the cakes cool, you can make the cream cheese icing. Beat the cream cheese and butter in a mixer until smooth. Add half the icing sugar and gently mix together using a wooden spoon before beating with the mixer. Repeat with the remaining icing sugar and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.

Step 13:

Place one of your coconut cakes on a cake board or plate. Spread with 3 to 4 tbsp cream cheese icing. Spoon over the passion fruit pulp. Top with the other cake. Cover the assembled cake generously with the cream cheese icing and be sure to fill all the gaps. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Step 14:

Cut the blueberry cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. Place one layer on a cake board or plate and spread with cream cheese icing as before. Layer until complete and then cover with the remaining icing. This will also need to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Step 15:

Measure across the top and sides of both cakes using a piece of string. This will act as a guide for when you roll the icing out later.

For the fondant icing:

Step 16:

Make sure your work surface is clean and free of any crumbs then dust liberally with cornflour or icing sugar. Knead fondant icing for a couple of minutes to soften before rolling out to about 0.5cm thick. Use the string measurements for guidance and cut the icing to size with a little to spare.

Step 17:

Drape the coloured fondant icing over the top of each cake in turn and smooth down, pushing out any air bubbles and creases. Start at the top then work down for best results. Then, use a pizza cutter or a small knife to cut away the excess icing and save the offcuts for decoration.

Step 18:

Now cover the countertop with cling film as things are about to get messy!  Pour two teaspoons of water into a large bowl and carefully add icing sugar.  Start mixing slowly, gradually adding more water until you have a consistency similar to gloss paint.

Step 19:

Divide the icing into four little bowls and add your chosen food colourings to each and mix. Dip a small (clean!) paintbrush into the first bowl of icing and get ready to unleash your inner artist! Use the brush to flick splatters all over both cakes, cleaning the brush thoroughly between colours.

Step 20:

Once the icing is dry, insert 4 dowel rods into the centre of the coconut cake and trim them so that no more than an inch protrudes from the top. Carefully sit the smaller cake on top, making sure it is central. The dowels will stop the top cake from sinking or shifting. To finish off, add ribbons of your chosen colour and enjoy!

Have a show-stopping fundraising event

You've got the show-stopping centrepiece sorted for your event, now why not make it even more special with a whole host of extras? We've got everything you could need for your event in our fundraising pack.

Request your fundraising pack today

With thanks to RSPCA Assured for providing this delicious recipe.

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