One of my best friends studied abroad at Oxford during a summer in college and came back a full-fledged Anglophile. After arriving states-side, she introduced me to her new favorite cocktail: Pimm's Cup, a gin-based liquor that is typically mixed with lemonade or ginger ale and garnished with cucumber, mint, and citrus. It's refreshing and so British-ly brilliant.
For her birthday this year I decided to make her a Pimm's Cake - a boozy sponge cake with shredded apples baked into it, filled with a cucumber - mint icing between the two layers, only to be topped with a glaze and traditional Pimm's garnishing fruits.
It turned out to be such a flavorful, moist cake that perfectly captures the essence of Pimm's - and summer.
I would serve this to the Queen of England.
(adapted and converted into US Standards measurements from this recipe)
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups caster sugar (how to make your own caster sugar)
2 cups self rising flour
1 large apple, grated - skin on
3/4 cup Pimm's No.1
Mint & Cucumber Buttercream Filling
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
A handful of mint, chopped
few tablespoons Pimm's No.1 (optional)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Pimm's No.1
1. Butter and line two 8" round cake pans with parchment paper.
2. Whip the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then gradually add the eggs one at a time.
3. Add the flour, grated apple and Pimms and turn mixer on a slower setting until combined.
4. Divide batter into 2 cake pans and bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 - 28 minutes, or until done. Let cool.
5. While the cake is cooking/cooling, make the buttercream filling: whip together the powdered sugar and butter using an electric mixer until a stiff buttercream forms. Add in the chopped cucumber and mint - and a few tablespoons of Pimm's if necessary - and mix until combined.
6. In a separate bowl make the lemon glaze by whisking lemon juice and Pimm's with the powdered sugar until the right consistency is reached (not too runny - or else it will go everywhere!).
7. To assemble: spread the buttercream over the bottom half of the cooled cake, then place the other cake on top. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of the cake and garnish with cucumbers, oranges, mint, strawberries - whatever you would put into your Pimm's Cup.