Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Sagrada Familia Cookie Construction on Mangoes n Cream Chiffon Cake

I have made some meaningful bakes in the past. This one is another meaningful one especially in a time like this when everyone's lives are affected. (P.S. I made this cake before homebakers are not allowed to bake for sale so I didn't break any law here.)

A hubby wanted to plan a surprise for his wife's birthday. We discussed some designs for the birthday bake and I wasn't sure how the subject of the whole family having to cancel holiday plans to Spain in June because of Covid19 came up. I asked where did they plan to visit in Spain and there were a couple of options. I chose Sagrada Familia because while it is challenging, it looked like I could possibly replicate it with something edible. Presenting my take on this famous building, on top of a mangoes n cream chiffon cake!

Small cake for a family of 4 while mangoes are in season! 

I used a no-spread cookie recipe for the cookie construction and it can be found here. I used masarang arenga sugar instead of white sugar as it produces a nice brown colour for the cookies as well as a nice caramel flavour and diabetic friendly properties. You could use dark brown sugar or brown sugar too.

I made templates out of cheap plastic files bought from a bookshop to cut the building blocks of cookie dough. 

The structure was put together using royal icing. I tried to colour the icing the same shade as the cookies so that the joints can look as seamless as possible. 

You may refer to this post for the vanilla chiffon cake steps. I scaled it down to 2 egg yolks, 3 egg whites for a 6 inch round pan without the central core tube.

Ingredients for vanilla chiffon (6"round tin with removeable base) :
2 egg yolks
5g caster sugar
28g vegetable/canola oil
28g milk
40g cake flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt

3 egg whites
40g caster sugar
1/5 tsp cream of tartar

I sliced the cake into 3 layers and keep in airtight condition.

Prepare the mango sauce. This sauce is optional but I recommend it if you want the cake to taste more mangoey. The quantities of the ingredients aren't exact because it depends on your tastebuds and how sweet the mangoes are. Any excess sauce that is not used during assembly of the cake can be kept as extra sauce to drizzle on your cake when you eat. I used a little concentrated yuzu juice to give it that hint of citrus freshness but you may replace with lemon juice

Mango sauce recipe
2 to 3 ripe mangoes, pureed (I had about 350-370g worth)
1 tsp 100% yuzu juice (or lemon)
40g sugar (or according to taste and sweetness of mangoes)
A pinch of salt

1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium low heat and stir now and then to make sure the bottom doesn't burn.

2. Cook until mixture is reduced to consistency of your liking

3. Sieve mixture to remove fibers. If you prefer the fibers in there then skip the sieving. Cool completely before assembling. You may prepare this a few days or a day before assembly.

Prepare some sliced fresh mangoes. I used a triangle cookie cutter to cut some pieces that are visible on the outside of the cake.

You may refer to this post for whipped cream that tastes great but has enough stability in hot Singapore. Of course you should still try your best to keep it away from heat but at least it shouldn't melt into a puddle as you work.

Make sure that you have all that you need for assembly before you begin. Prepare the whipped cream last.

List of items for assembly:
7 or 8 inch cakeboard
Acetate sheet with some scotch tape
Sliced vanilla chiffon cake
Sliced fresh mangoes
Mango sauce
Whipped cream

Steps :
1. Place a layer of chiffon cake on cakeboard. Wrap acetate sheet around cake and tape the ends of the sheet to form a ring. Carefully spoon some sauce onto the sponge and spread it out to a thin layer. Not too thick or the sauce will show on the outside. Leave about 2 cm spacing not coated away from the circumference.

2. Carefully spread some whipped cream over in a very thin layer.

3. Place the mango slices as shown in third picture below. Drizzle some sauce over the mangoes.

4. Cover the mango slices with whipped cream, using a chopstick to carefully nudge the cream into the gaps between the mango slices around the circumference. Drizzle some sauce over.

5. Carefully place another slice of chiffon cake over and gently press it down. Repeat the assembly until third slice of chiffon cake is in.

6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight before carefully removing the acetate sheet.

Doesn't this look inviting? 

I added some jumbo straws into the cake as dowels to support the cookie structure as the cake is really soft.

Thank God the cake was really well received and brought much joy to a family during these trying times!

With love,
Phay Shing


  1. Halo, such a lovely cake! May I know how did you do such a clean cut of the cake? So neat. I can never do that.

    1. Hi Melissa,
      Thank you! I used a long serrated knife to cut the cake into three slices. I used toothpicks to mark the height of each slice to cut. If you are referring to the sides of the cake, I didn't cut it. I baked the cake in a round pan and unmoulded by hand. Chiffon cakes have a clean surface when you unmould by hand