Ocean layered cup cakes

Eve’s ocean zone cupcakes with waves!

Eve loves baking and is always so enthusiastic! Our current topic is ‘under the sea’ and we have been looking at the 4 main zones in the ocean. I thought it would be a great idea to try and incorporate this idea into a cake…

Eve always insists on doing ALL the baking herself so i had to make sure the recipe was easy enough but also had this idea of 4 separate layers. My main focus is to ensure Eve has a great time and to have some learning take place. We never make the same cake twice and Eve loves to experiment.

Ingredients – cake

  • 170g butter
  • 170g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • blue food colouring (gel)
  • black food colouring (gel)

Ingredients – icing & toppings

  • 225g icing sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp glycerine

Method – cake

Today’s cupcake recipe makes 18 cupcake cakes, which if placed in a sealed container will last a week (if you can keep your hands off them that long!). First, Eve lined 2 deep muffin trays with cupcake cases and i put the oven on to 180 degrees centigrade (ours is a fan assisted oven).

In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at time and mix until combined.

Sieve the flour and baking soda into the mixture and carefully fold in.

Divide the mixture equally between 4 bowls. In bowl 1 add in a few drops of black food colouring and mix to combine. This will become the abyss zone. In bowl 2 add in about 5 drops of blue food colouring and again mix to combine. This will be the midnight zone. Bowl 3 requires a couple of drops of blue food gel (twilight zone) and bowl 4 only about 1 drop (sunlight zone).

Divide the mixture into 4 bowls
Eve’s 4 different ocean zones

Now comes the tricky part of layering the mixture. We used a piping bag and washed it out after each colour addition. So fill your piping bag with the darkest of the cake mixtures (the abyss zone) and carefully pipe a covering into the bottom of the cake case. Wash the piping bag and then repeat the process with the dark blue mixture (the midnight zone), followed by the remaining two bowls of colour until you have 4 layers piped into each cupcake case.

Eve loves using the piping bag

Then place your cakes into the oven for approximately 12-15 minutes until turning slightly brown on top but still soft to the touch.

Remove the trays from the oven, wait for the cakes to cool for a couple of minutes and then place the cakes onto a cooling rack. Once cooled, remove the cake case so you can see the layers.

While the cakes are cooling you can move onto making the icing.

Method – icing

First, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the egg white until it becomes very frothy.

Now add the icing sugar to the egg white, a spoonful at a time and fold in.

Once all of the icing sugar is mixed in add the lemon juice and glycerine and beat until it becomes very stiff and can form peaks.

Once you’re happy with your icing, place a spoonful on top of each cooled cake. Then using a fork or a knife, rough up the icing to form peaks (to resemble waves on the sea).

Leave to set and then enjoy!

Amazing ocean layered cakes!


Hi, I'm Sarah, a home education mum living in rural Scotland.

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