Are you jealous that everyone else gets to eat macaroons all the time? Little stacks of pastelly sweetness with a creamy filling? I am. That's why I'm now hooked on making these. The last couple of days I've made so many different colour combinations, my fingers are dyed all red and blue and the fridge is full of little stacks of heart shaped, pastel coloured cakes. You can make any colour combination you can think of, rainbow, your favourite sports teams colours, colours to match your dining room or kitchen, or even to match the blanket you're taking with you to a picnic. So versatile and so cute.
The recipe is just a simple cake recipe, my go-to sponge recipe. This amount makes enough batter for 4 6-layer cakes, or 8 3-layer cakes. That's if you use the same ikea heart cookie cutter as me. So you know, double the amount for a party, or stick with this much if it's just for you and your loved one(s).
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 1/3 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sunflower/canola oil
food colouring of your choice
for the icing
1/2 cup vegan margarine
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
a few tsp of soy milk
Also, a few sheets of greaseproof paper, some shallow cake tins and a shaped cookie cutter.
To make the batter, put the soy milk and vinegar together into a jug or a big mug and leave it to curdle. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add the milk and vinegar and mix.
Pour in the oil and mix well, it'll seem at first like it doesn't want to mix but it will if you tell it to. Once you've done that, you're ready to go! choose your colours and grab as many bowls as you'll need, one per colour. So let's do the rainbow one first. Grab 6 bowls (no point doing two purples right?) and scoop out about 1/4 cup of the mix into each bowl.
When you cook these they're going to be very thin so you don't need a lot of mix.
Add the different colours to each bowl, some will be stronger than others. Then line your cake tins (I used small 9 inch round ones) just roughly with some greaseproof paper and pour in the batter. I've only got two tins so I baked two at a time.
Put them into an oven set to gas mark 4/180C/350F for about 4-5 minutes. As soon as they either start to brown around the edges, or they're spongy when you press them, they're done. Take them out and leave to cool while you put the next colours in.
Once they're cool, flip them over and carefully pull away the paper from the cake. You should end up with these gorgeous cake discs of colour!
Cut out as many shapes as you can from each colour the same way you'd cut a cookie. Press down firmly, then push out of the cutter and put them onto a clean surface.
Keep going until you've used up as much cake as you can, then either eat the remnants, or throw them away (or give them to a kid or hungry kitchen hoverer).
Once you've got your hearts all cut out, make your frosting.
Beat the margarine in a bowl until smooth, then add the icing sugar and beat in until it's all crumbly and will be beaten no more. Add a tiny bit of soy milk at a time, you don't want it to be runny at all otherwise it won't stay tidily inside the cakes.
So start from the bottom, in the case of the rainbow, with the purple. Put a purple heart onto a flat surface and spread a thin even layer of the icing over it. Then put a blue heart on top and do the same. Then green, yellow, orange and finally red. You could leave them with nothing on top or add a bit more icing with some sprinkles.
Don't they kind of look like macaroons? So sweet for a party.
BUT! Friends! We're not limited to rainbow party cakes! How about an almost summertime outdoor snack for your favourite person? Using the exact same method you could make cakes in different shades of all the same colour, and with just three layers.
Pink is pretty popular among macaroon lovers I hear.
And they really match the springtime blossoms.
OR! How about a baby shower? Sick of cupcakes? How about pink and blue little layer cakes? Granted mine look a bit more sea foam and a bit less blue, but who needs gender stereotyping these days?
I really hope you'll try making these. That tiny layer of frosting in-between each cake keeps the whole thing so moist too that they don't even go crumbly.
In your face macaroons!