June 2022

Bakery students create seven-layer Jubilee cake for Birmingham food bank

By Melanie Hall

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Read time: approx 5 mins

College students pulled out all the stops to create a seven-layer cake to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – and donated it to a city food bank.

Megan Collinge and Piper King from University College Birmingham, joined by Emily Nelson from Halesowen College, worked with lecturers and a local development chef to make and decorate the two-tier showstopper over 24 hours to mark 70 years on the throne.

The 50-serving cake was a twist on a traditional Victoria sponge, with seven layers and seven different flavours to represent each decade on the throne – from dark maple syrup, vanilla cream and earl grey tea buttercream to white chocolate, maple caramel, dark chocolate and lemon curd.

The layers were finished with a maple sugar coating and the cake was decorated with seven edible red roses and a royal blue ‘70’ badge, and topped with a gold pastillage crown.

"It was great that the students were able to get involved with this project"

Olivier Briault Development chef, Maple from Canada

Talking to BBC Radio West Midlands on Elise Evans’ breakfast show this morning, Piper – who is studying for her Level 3 Bakery and gaining industry experience on placement at The Steamhouse bakery – said: "I was in class when my cake decoration teacher said I'd been chosen to do this, and I thought 'wow, cool!'

"Megan made the '70 years' and the crown and they looked absolutely great. It was a lot of work."

Listen to Piper's interview on BBC Radio WM

University College Birmingham bakery and patisserie lecturer Laura Millerchip joined Olivier Briault, Maple from Canada development chef, and the three students to make the cake.

Olivier said: "Just like the Coronation Chicken and the Battenburg cake recipes, I wanted to develop something that was representative and paid homage to Queen Elizabeth’s reign – and importantly, that was inclusive of maple syrup.

"It was great that the students were able to get involved with this project. They're currently studying Level 2 professional cookery and Level 3 bakery and patisserie, so this was a fantastic development for them to be a part of."

The jubilee cake featured seven layers for each decade of Queen Elizabeth's reign

To share the celebrations with those less fortunate and in need, the cake was donated to local charity Feedo Needo, which offers food and provisions to vulnerable members of the community.

Piper told BBC Radio: "I think it's really important. Obviously they are in need of it, and I think to have something that not only tastes fab but looks fab as well probably made them feel good."

St Basils charity, which supports young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, also attended the Feedo Needo café in Digbeth for a slice of the cake and a hot drink.

Rafa Ahmed, project manager at Feedo Needo, said: "We were delighted that the Maple from Canada team chose to donate such a beautiful cake to our charity, especially with the significant celebration of the Queen just around the corner.

"We offer free food to all members of society at our café in Digbeth, between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday, and it was a lovely and special way to bring the community together."

Barrie Hodge, head of fundraising and communications at St Basils, added: "We’d like to thank the team and Feedo Needo for inviting us to share a slice of the delicious cake with all its flavours.

"We support young people across the West Midlands, who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, so it's amazing that we’re able to be connect with other like-minded charities like Feedo Needo and give back to those who need it most."

You can listen to Piper's interview on BBC Radio WM via the BBC iPlayer (section begins at 2h 19mins).

University College Birmingham is renowned for providing specialist vocational training for students looking to enter the culinary industry, with world-class facilities and expert tuition provided on a range of college, undergraduate and postgraduate courses as well as apprenticeships. 

Discover our full range of courses within our Birmingham College of Food.  

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