Pick n’ Mix Illusion Cake 🍬 🍭🎂

Sooooooo the Great British Bake Off is back and I’m so happy (apart from Mary Berry being gone). This year I’ve decide to do my own little bake off and bake something from the show every week, but in the comfort of my own kitchen.. So for cake week I’ve done my very own illusion cake, pick n mix style!

This is defo a long recipe so I suggest making sure you have plenty of time! I made far too much buttercream so I would probably recommend halving the amount in the recipe- as the cake is being covered in fondant it isn’t necessary to have loads. I haven’t made anything like this before so I was really pleased how it turned out. Hope you love the recipe too! X


(plus there is loads of left over cake to snack on whilst you’re making the icing)

pick n mix cake


(for the cake)

  • 290g plain flour
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 340g caster sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 270ml whole milk

(for the buttercream)

  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 130 icing sugar
  • 20g strawberries
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

(for the sweets)

  • Different coloured fondant icing


  1. Line two 8 inch cake tins with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 180°C electric or 160°C fan oven.
  2. Using a hand held electric whisk, beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl for about 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs (make sure they are at room temperature) and vanilla extract and mix again with the electric whisk- the mixture will become slightly thicker.
  4. Mix together the flour, bicarbonate soda and baking powder in a separate bowl. Tip 1/3 of it into the egg and butter mix and fold in using a silicone spatula.
  5. Pour in half of the milk and again fold in with the spatula.
  6. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mix, the last of the milk and then the remaining flour mix, folding in with the spatula each time.
  7. Pour the cake mix evenly into the 2 prepared cake tins and place on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake for 30 mins- an inserted skewer should come out clean when they are baked.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Once cooled, and not before, cut out 2 circles using a 98mm cutter and 2 circles using an 88mm cutter. This is to make the cake smaller so it will look like the shape of a pick n’ mix cup.
  10. If the tops of the cut out circles aren’t flat, or if the height isn’t even on both sides, level the tops out carefully using a serrated bread knife. Once done put to one side for a sec.
  11. To make the buttercream, chop up the strawberries in half if small, and into 4 if large and whiz them in a food processor for about a minute until a strawberry purée is formed.
  12. Chop the slightly soft butter into cubes and place into a large mixing bowl. Using the hand held electric whisk cream the butter for a couple of minutes.
  13. Slowly add in the icing sugar, mixing everything together with the hand held whisk each time sugar is added.
  14. When the sugar and butter is mixed together and creamy, tip in the blended strawberry, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt and mix together one last time using the whisk until everything is combined and the buttercream is a very light pink colour.
  15. Take one of the smaller cut out circles of cake and spread a medium thickness layer of buttercream over the top. Place the second smaller cut out cake on top and again cover with buttercream. Repeat placing the last 2 slightly larger cut out circles on top of the small ones, covering each again with buttercream.
  16. Place into the fridge for 10 mins to slightly harden (and gives time for a quick wash up).
  17. Remove from the fridge and using a serrated bread knife, shave off the sides of the cake carefully so that the top is wider than the bottom, as the shape of a cup would be. A light plastic plate or a spinning cake stand is ideal for this step so that it is easy to spin the cake around and make sure all of the sides are even.
  18. Once you are happy with the shape of the cake cover the sides with another thin layer of buttercream.
  19. Next you need to roll out the fondant icing to cover the sides of the cake cup. Lightly dust a surface with icing sugar so the fondant doesn’t stick and roll out your fondant icing to about 2cm thickness- I used blue but any colour will look fab.
  20. An easy way to measure how much icing you need to fit around the cake is to take 3 pieces of string. Wrap one around the bottom circumference of the cake, one around the top circumference of the cake and one to measure the height. Then lay the string flat out on your icing and you will be able to cut out the correct size to fit perfectly round the cup.
  21. To make the little rim of the cup, roll some white icing out with your fingers, using the string technique again as a guide to how long it needs to be and wrap it round the top of the cake over the blue icing- you can you a little buttercream to help stick it down if necessary.
  22. Cut out a rectangle again using the white icing as a label to write ‘Pick n’ Mix’ on. I used a tube of writing icing which you can get from supermarkets, lakeland etc… Stick this onto the blue icing again using a bit of buttercream as glue if necessary.
  23. To make the sweets you just need an assortment of coloured fondant icing and a little bit of time. As long as you knead the icing so it is nice and soft it is quite easy to shape it however you like. I made haribo eggs, fudge, strawberry pencils, a lollipop, smarties, dolly mixtures, a chocolate jazzies and a sour dummy sweet (which I covered in a bit of sugar).
  24. Once all the icing sweets are made and look as realistic as possible, place them on the top of the cake making sure you have made enough so the cake cup looks full.
  25. Ta daaa.. you have your very own illusion pick n’ mix cake ! 💕

pick n mix cake 2

Feel free to leave any comments- Charlotte x

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