Sunday 13 July 2014

Elderberry Charcoal Ladybird Chiffon Cake

This is a chiffon cake made from elderberry extract and bamboo charcoal that I made for my family at a time we were recovering or just recovered from a bad bout of stomach flu. Elderberry extract (or sambucus) which is dark or purplish red in colour is known for its excellent anti-viral and immune support properties. Much has been said about bamboo charcoal's health benefits in detoxification. I added in some strawberry for some added vitamin C. I hadn't intended on making a ladybird but the colour combination just looked like one after baking so I made it into one! My kids love anything cute and they wiped out two-thirds of the cake in one sitting, which was really encouraging because their appetite had been poor.

And here's my humble little ladybird smiling at you :)!

Check out the cute spots on my body :)!

The ladybird's body is actually made from a 17 cm round chiffon cake. Can you guess how I formed the body? It looks pretty different in its original form doesn't it? :)

The head is made from more charcoal chiffon cake and some plain batter as well for the eyes. Do allocate as least 4-5 hr or over 2 days for the cake.

Charcoal cake (for 1 9x9" tray and 1 small 11mm OD bowl)
2 egg yolks
13 g sugar
25 g vegetable oil
30 ml boiled water
40g cake flour
Charcoal powder

3 egg whites
30 g sugar
1/5 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
2. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil and water.
3. Add in sieved flour and whisk till no trace of flour is found. Aliquot out 1 tsp of batter for the eyes.
4. Add in charcoal powder (about 1 tsp) to the rest of the batter and mix well.
5. Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.
6. Transfer 2 tbsp of batter to the plain batter for the eyes and fold in. Pipe 2 round circles and a strip on a piece of baking paper (for the eyes and mouth). Bake for 5-8 mins at 160°C.
7. Gently fold in the rest of the meringue into the charcoal batter in 3 additions.
8. Pour charcoal batter onto tray and bowl, tap on table top to release bubbles and bake for 15 min at 160°C for the tray and 30 min for the bowl.
9. After the layer charcoal cake cools, flip over the cake onto a clean baking sheet. Use cookie cutters to cut out circles. Arrange the cut-out circles on the chiffon tin.
10. Unmould the round charcoal cake for the head.

Do store everything in a big air tight container or cling wrap it tight to keep the cakes moist.

Elderberry Cake (for 17 cm chiffon tin)
3 egg yolks
12g sugar
39g vegetable oil
25 ml elderberry extract
10 ml strawberry puree
2.2 tsp strawberry paste
60g cake flour

4 egg whites
45g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Beat egg yolks with sugar with whisk till pale yellow before stirring in oil, elderberry extract, strawberry puree and paste.
2. Add in sieved flour and whisk till no trace of flour is found.
3. Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar till stiff peak, mixing in caster sugar in 2 additions.
4. Gently fold in the meringue into the batter in 3 additions.
5. Gently cover the prearranged designs on the bottom and sides of the tin with cake batter, taking care to ensure they are no trapped air bubbles.
6. Bake the elderberry chiffon cake at 160°C for 15 min, then 150°C for 30 min.
7. Invert when cake is removed from oven and unmould by hand when the cake is cool.

After this, slice up the chiffon cake along 2 perpendicular lines (see below) and join them up. Viola! You get the ladybird's body :).

I used a mixture of royal icing and melted marshmallows to attach the eyes, mouth, head and body together. The feelers are made of their favourite pocky. And here's my little ladybird completed!

I turned it into a maths lesson and the kids had fun counting the number of spots on each slice they were eating and adding them total together :). And here's a yummy slice!

I'm linking this post to Bake Along for this week's theme of Chiffon Cakes jointly hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours, Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Lena of Frozen Wings.

With love,


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Aunty Young! You have a very impressive blog with awesome bakes and food! Love them! :)

  2. i like your ladybird chiffon cake! cute!

  3. I can never be so creative with chiffon cakes. You are great. Thumbs Up to all your interesting creations with chiffon cakes.

    1. Thanks Kimmy! I love all your different flavours as well! Thank you!

  4. Hi Susanne,

    You even have the polka dots at the sides of the cakes.. How did you align the dots of cakes so neatly?


    1. Hi Zoe, actually I was going for the random look but somehow they ended up looking aligned! Guess subconciously I liked them looking neat haha! thanks!

  5. I open my mouth "O" when I see you beautiful lady bird chiffon cake....

    1. Would love to bring you one to try! Thanks Jozelyn!

  6. Very cute and beautiful ladybird! You are very creative!

  7. Hi Susanne, if big enough, I'll hug this soft fluffy cute ladybird like pillow ... very cute ^-^

    1. Thanks Karen! You made me laugh with your cute comments! Thank you!

  8. this is cute and genius! i think you are a very patient lady too :)

    1. Thanks Lena! And you're a very kind and generous lady too! :)

  9. Such a pretty chiffon cake! Susanna, you are so creative! It's so well done :)

  10. Thanks for sharing this informative information about Organic Elderberry Extract Powder with us. It's very helpful. Keep it up!