Hello and welcome to baking with Charlie Lou, with me, your host...Charlie.

As the designated baker in the family, I give them all the option of choosing their Birthday cakes each year. This year my brother couldn't decide between Colin the Caterpillar and some take on a Jaffa Cake. Not wanting to pop to M&S to buy a caterpillar cake and not liking Jaffa Cakes (sorry not sorry) I felt pretty torn. 

As the day loomed closer I settled on a Jaffa cake...cake. I hunted the web but couldn't find a cake that I liked enough to recreate. I had a vision and I wanted to bring it to life. Thus...my Jaffa cake cake was born. Enjoy! (I won't be!)

FYI, if you're wondering why I'm using apricot in this recipe, a quick google search will tell you that the main flavour in a Jaffa cake is actually apricot with some added tangerine oil. Crazy! 

This recipe will be broken up into 4 separate parts; genoise sponge cake, apricot whipped cream filling, orange jelly, chocolate ganache. 

Before I begin, it's worth noting that there are definitely things that I would've done differently. I was under a bit of time pressure, so there are some things that I rushed and am a bit disappointed with. I'll mention the mistakes I made and how you can rectify them!

Firstly, you will need:

Genoise sponge cake

115g unsalted butter

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

8 large eggs

225g granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

200g self raising flour

Apricot whipped cream filling

75g Apricot jam

200g double cream

70g icing sugar

Orange jelly

1 pack of cubed Orange jelly

70g Apricot jam

2 gelatine leaves

285ml boiling water

190ml cold water

Chocolate ganache

250g mixture of dark and milk chocolate

140g double cream



Orange Jelly

It's advisable to make the jelly the day before you start the cake as it gives it sufficient time to set.

Begin by soaking 2 leaves of gelatine in a bowl of cold water (making sure they're completely submerged)

Follow the instructions on your jelly packet. Mine were; place 285ml of boiling water in a bowl with the cut up pieces of jelly. Stir until completely dissolved.

Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and add to the hot jelly mixture. Again, stir until completely dissolved.

Add in your cold water and stir again. (my jelly packet instructions recommended an additional 285ml of cold water but I only added 190ml as I wanted a stiffer jelly that would hold its shape without feeling like rubber. Plus we'll be adding in apricot jam)

Place 70g of apricot jam in a small bowl and microwave for 40 seconds. 

Line a 20cm/8" round baking tin (with removable bottom) with enough clingfilm that it's hanging over the edges.

Pour the jelly mixture into the baking tin (being careful not to let the clingfilm slip and fall into the jelly)

Finish off by pouring your melted jam into the jelly, giving it a small stir, and placing in the fridge to set. 

Additional tip: Once the jelly has set, place the pan in the freezer for an hour or 2 as it makes it easier to release the jelly without it breaking. You can then store the jelly on a plate in the fridge whilst you use the pan for the cake.

Mistakes that I made and how you can avoid them:

- It took me a few attempts to get the right consistency of jelly - originally it was far too wet, so the quantities in the recipe are what you should stick with if you're using cubed jelly.

- Be careful not to rip the clingfilm when you're stirring in the jam. It's easily done and by the time you notice that you've done it, it'll be too late.

- Try to use the same pan for the jelly and cake if possible. This is why I recommend starting the day  before. 

Genoise sponge cake

To make the sponge, begin by preheating your oven to 175 degrees Celsius (fan oven) and lining x2 20cm/8" tins with baking parchment (removable bottom if possible).

Heat your butter in a pan on a medium-low heat until it begins to brown. Pour the butter into a bowl and add the vanilla extract. Mix until combined.

In a separate large and heat-proof bowl (important!) add the eggs, sugar, and salt. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water - being sure that the bottom of the bowl does not come into contact with the water. Whisk until the eggs are just above body temperature.

Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk the egg mixture until it has tripled in size.

Sift half the flour into the whisked eggs and carefully fold the mixture, making sure not to knock any air out. Once combined, sift in the remaining flour.

Add one cup of the batter to the butter and vanilla mixture and whisk well. Once mixed, add one more cup of batter and mix again. This makes it easier to incorporate the butter into the bigger bowl.

Carefully fold the butter mix into the batter until just combined. Do not over mix as you will lose volume. 

Divide your batter equally between your tins and bake for approx. 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before placing on a cooling rack and allowing to cool completely.

Mistakes that I made and how you can avoid them:

- Use a heatproof bowl when cooking the eggs. I learned the hard way by breaking a bowl and having to begin again at 2am.

- Use 2 baking tins rather than 1. By the time I had cooked my first cake, the awaiting batter had lost a lot of its air which resulted in quite a dense cake.

- Avoid opening the oven as much as possible as the change in temperature will result in your cake falling

- Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before taking them out. Genoise is quite a temperamental sponge, so will fall quite easily...as I discovered.

Apricot whipped cream filling

I love this type of "frosting" as it's really easy to make and lighter and less sweet than buttercream. 

Start by adding your double cream and icing sugar to a bowl. With a hand mixer (or stand mixer) whisk them together until whipped cream consistency.

Add the apricot jam in small "chunks" and whisk again. Stop when the cream looks stiff enough to support a cake layer without oozing out the sides (do not whisk to a butter consistency!)

Mistakes that I made and how you can avoid them:

- Don't be tempted to heat your jam in the microwave (like you did the jelly) as the cream will not stiffen. 

- Make sure that the cream has also been whisked before adding the jam.

Chocolate ganache

Cut your chocolate into small chips (or just use chocolate chips).

Slowly and gently heat your cream in a pan. Just as it reaches a simmer, take the cream off the heat and poor it over the chocolate chips.

Leave to sit for 5 minutes before gently stirring the mixture. It will look like it has split at first but keep mixing and it'll come together nicely. 

Allow to cool until it reaches the consistency that you need. 

Mistakes that I made and how you can avoid them:

- Don't over mix the ganache or mix it too vigorously as it adds air bubbles to it which are difficult to get out. It also takes away some of it's shine.

- Make sure to cut the chocolate small enough that the cream will and can melt it. 


To assemble the cake, take a 20cm/8" baking tin (the one that you have been using throughout the baking) and line it with baking parchment (make sure that it extends higher up the sides than the pan as the cake will be taller than the pan).

Make sure that your sponges are completely level before you place your first layer of sponge cake on the bottom of the pan.

Next, add all of the apricot whipped cream mixture and smooth it down with an offset spatula or knife until it is completely level.

Add the next layer of sponge cake.

On top of the cake, carefully add the jelly next. (all should fit perfectly on top of each other.)

Finally, pour the chocolate ganache on top of the jelly (make sure it is cool enough not to melt the jelly) and tilt the cake until it has covered it. If the cake fits the tin properly, the ganache should not drip down the sides.

Place the cake in the freezer for an hour or 2 before you attempt to take it out of the tin.

To finish, decorate the cake however you like. I cut Jaffa cakes in half and placed them in a circle around the cake!

Mistakes that I made and how you can avoid them:

This is the only place where I didn't f*** up.