A vision in orange, red, white, and blue
This cake won the UKrant baking contest
If their academic career doesn’t work out, many UG students and staff members can always make the switch to professional pastry chef. The competition for UKrant’s baking competition was stiff and the jury had its work cut out trying to pick a top five.
Because it was a virtual contest, the jury unfortunately wasn’t able to taste the offerings. But that doesn’t mean we only judged the cakes by their looks: we also took originality and the recipe into account. Which is why we were charmed by medical student Laura van Ravenstein’s ‘blue bloods’ cake, with its decoration of the heart’s anatomy. En Jelmer Coenrady’s orange poffert, a Groningen delicacy, delighted us as well.
There were a lot of submissions by international students and staff who had gotten into the spirit of the Dutch festival. Giovanna Feraco baked a brownie cake inspired by the Dutch temper: ‘Crunchy outside, creamy inside, with a very strong taste and contrast of flavours.’ Sarah Grace See even prepared a whole festive menu consisting of king crab, king prawn, scallops and sweet strawberry bread for dessert.
There were so many great entries to choose from, and they didn’t all make the final cut. Below, you can find the top five cakes that won their bakers a gift certificate to bakery cafe TOET at the Gedempte Zuiderdiep, as well as one other cake that we loved so much we just had to show it to you.
1Instagrammable drip cake
In the end, it didn’t take us long to pick a winner: Paulien Versteeg-Schoonoort, staff member at the PhD Scholarship Desk. Her instagrammable drip cake in the Dutch national colours ‘would win her a place on the Dutch version of The Great British Bake Off’, the jury noted. If you want to try your hand at this cake yourself, find the recipe below.
Orange top drip cake
By Paulien Versteeg-Schoonoort
For the sponge:
- 7 medium eggs
- 200 grams of sugar
- 200 grams of flour
- ⅓ tsp salt
For the buttercream
- 300 grams unsalted butter
- 680 grams powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Red, blue, and orange food colouring
- Orange marmalade
- Coloured sprinkles
- Dip ‘n Drip white by Funcakes
- Butter to grease your springform tin
- Cake board
- 2 springform tins (20 cm)
- Piping bags
- 1M piping tip
- Food processor or mixer
- Kitchen scale
- Pie cutter or knife
- Mixing bowl and assorted small bowls
- Several tablespoons
How to make the cake:
Before you start making the cake: grease your springform tins and preheat the oven to 180 °C.
First, make the sponge. Mix the eggs and sugar until the mixture is fluffy. Sieve the flour over the mixture and add the salt. Carefully fold the mixture until it is smooth, with no visible lumps. Divide this sponge batter over the two springform tins. Bake the sponge at 180 °C for approximately 30 minutes. You can use a skewer to check whether the sponge is cooked. If the skewer comes out clean, it is ready. As the sponges cool, you can start making the buttercream.
For the buttercream, take soft, room temperature butter and mix it in a bowl until fluffy and creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix into a cream. When your cream is nice and smooth, add the milk and the vanilla extract. Mix well for a few more minutes.
Start constructing the cake. If the sponges have cooled well, cut them both in half horizontally so you end up with four layers of sponge. Put a little bit of buttercream on the cake board to prevent the sponge from sliding off then put the first layer of sponge on top of them. Pipe on a layer of buttercream and smooth it out with a spatula. Put a small layer of orange marmalade on the buttercream. Put the next layer of sponge on top of this. Repeat for all sponge layers. Coat the entire outside with a thin layer of buttercream. Scrape off the excess buttercream from the sides and top and refrigerate the pie.
Divide the remaining buttercream evenly over four bowls and add red, blue, and orange food colouring to three of them, leaving one white. Fill three separate piping bags with the red, blue and white buttercream. Add the 1M piping tip to a fourth piping bag and fill it with orange buttercream.
Time to decorate the cake in the colours of the Dutch flag. Take the cake out of the fridge and cut the tips off the red, white, and blue piping bags. Pipe three strips of blue buttercream all around the bottom of the cake. Pipe three strips of white buttercream above this, and another three strips of red above that. Pipe a layer of red buttercream on top of the cake. Take your scraper and smooth down the sides and the top. If you’re happy with how it looks, put your cake back into the fridge. Your cake needs to be cold when you put on the drip.
Once the cake is cold, you can start making the drip. To do this, place half a jar of Dip’n Drip in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat it up at 340 Watts for approximately 1 minute. Once the drip is warm and soft, you can add the orange dye. If the colour is to your liking, put the drip in a piping bag.
Remove the cold cake from the fridge. Cut the tip from the piping bag with your drip to create a small hole. Pipe the drip around the edge of your cake. If you want a longer drip, pipe a larger amount. Go all around the edge of your cake.
When you’ve finished piping the drip, top the cake with swirls of orange buttercream. To finish it off, cover the cake with red, white, blue, and orange sprinkles.
Now it’s time to taste your cake. But first, a picture!
Calvin Chan made a picturesque orange cheesecake, with a cookie and pistachio nut base. He could easily sell that in a store, the jury thinks. It’s a no-bake Japanese style cheesecake with a light texture, he writes. The finishing touch is a Dutch flag made with strawberries, buttercream and blueberries.
3Cake with a crown
Claudi Reinicke and her friend Peia spared no effort with their red, white and blue macarons, orange crown-shaped macarons and a red, white and blue cake with a crown made of orange cake. Even the advocaat (egnogg) they used for the cake was homemade. We can respect that.
4Orange and mandarin cake
Annemarie van der Vegt sent us a picture of her orange and mandarin cake with homemade orange curd, orange buttercream and decorations in red, white and blue. ‘I hope you can imagine the tart and airy flavour of the cake’, she writes. We can!
5Vegan Swedish princess cake
With a little help from a pint-sized superhero, Maaike Moltzer made a vegan version of the traditional Swedish princess cake, ‘because the three princesses and our students are our future’. The jury likes the way she thinks: king Willem-Alexander gets enough attention. The marzipan roses topping the cake in red, white, and blue are a nice Dutch touch.
No, it wasn’t the prettiest cake in our mailbox. But the jury did agreed that Marion and Jody Wijering deserve a motivational award for their ambitious edible Martini tower, titled ‘Sometimes ideas are better than their results’. Keep trying, we say!
Of course we thank all the other participants in this baking competition. You can check out some of the other beautiful creations below.