If you don’t have cake release then liberally butter the tin and coat with a little flour, ensuring to tip out any excess flour.
Heat the oven to 170°c/Gas 3. Grease and line the round cake tin and grease the hemisphere tin with cake release.
With an electric mixer, beat together the margarine and sugar until light, fluffy and pale in colour.
Beat in the eggs one by one and then sift in the flour and baking powder. Beat together until the flour is only just incorporated.
Fill the hemisphere pan until 1cm from the top and use a spatula to make a slight hollow in the middle but squidge the cake mixture up towards the top edge of the tin – this will ensure that the cake bakes all the way up to the top edge and will have less of a ‘dome’ in the middle.
Fill one or 2 cupcake cases two thirds full and put the rest of the mixture into the round tin (you may not need all of the mixture – make extra cupcakes if you have any mixture left over).
Put all of the cakes in the oven together and don’t open the oven door for at least 15-20 minutes. After this time you can check if the cupcakes are done. If they are baked, then quickly remove them and leave the larger cakes to finish baking – these may take between 45-60 minutes in total. The cakes are ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean with no trace of uncooked cake mixture on it.
Remove from the oven and let cool in their tins for 10 minutes. Then turn them upside down on a cooling rack and remove the tins and any greaseproof paper. Let all of the cakes go completely cold before decorating.
For the decoration:
A day or 2 before you decorate the cake you need to prepare your cake board. Roll out the white icing until large enough to cover the board and stick it down with a little cooled, boiled water. Trim any excess icing away from the edge with a sharp knife. Use different sizes of snowflake cutters to imprint shapes into the icing and then leave aside to dry out for 24-48 hours.
Remove one of the cupcakes from its wrapper and turn it upside down. Use a knife to carve around the sides to make it more ‘pointy’ in shape, but still with a flat top.
Take a cake board or plate and starting with the round cake at the bottom, add a layer of jam and buttercream then stack the hemisphere cake on top. Add a dollop of buttercream on the very top and stick the cupcake on.
Cover the whole cake in a crumb coat of buttercream, smoothing it as best as you can and then put the cake in the fridge for at least an hour for it to firm up.
Divide the remaining buttercream into 2 bowls and colour one bowl red and the other yellow.
Remove the cake from the fridge and score guidelines in the buttercream to help guide you with piping on your design. Leave a strip around the base of the cake of approximately 4-5cm high which will be the chunky knitted band of the hat. Start your piping above this line. Fit a piping bag with a no.5 decorating tip and pipe loop the loops all around the cake in a straight line.
You can continue to do stripes and bands of colour or attempt more involved designs such as the triangles as I have done.
Use a cake lifter or large palette knife to transfer the cake and secure it to the board with a blob of buttercream. Make sure the cake is positioned away from the centre of the board to leave room for the mittens.
Use the red buttercream with a different piping tip – here I have used no.30 open star nozzle (from Wilton 55 piece set) and also no.5 tip again to fill in between the triangles piped in yellow. When the whole cake is covered you can move the cake onto the pre-prepared cake board.
Take some of the jade green icing and warm it in your hands by kneading it gently. Roll it out into a long thin cable, double it over and twist the 2 strands together tightly. Use a sharp knife to chop the cable into even sized pieces that will fit the band you have left at the base of the cake. Attach the cable pieces to the cake with whichever buttercream you have left in a piping bag, ensuring you pack them together tightly.
Use the same method to make cables to fit the template for the mittens.
With the remaining jade icing, cut out holly shapes and attach to the buttercream on the hat.
Roll a walnut sized ball for the pompom and roll this in sugar crystals to give it texture. Attach the ball to the top of the hat with a cocktail stick.
Position the mittens in front of the hat and attach them to the board with a little water. With the yellow icing roll out a long thin cable and attach each end to the mittens. Finish with a row of piped buttercream on the mittens to cover the joins.