Savoury smoked salmon 'cake'

Savoury smoked salmon 'cake'

The Birthday Cake Book
Laura Edwards

This is for all those who would prefer a savoury birthday cake. If you have never made bread before, this is the recipe for you; it’s far easier than a cake! The smoked salmon filling is simply a suggestion: fill this with anything you like. This works best if you bake the bread the day before, cool, then store wrapped in foil.

For the bread


Quantity Ingredient
50g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
250g self-raising wholemeal flour
250g plain flour, plus more to dust
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon black treacle
50g caster sugar
284ml buttermilk
a little bit whole milk, if needed

To fill and decorate

Quantity Ingredient
1 cucumber
sea salt
200-250g sliced smoked salmon
80g unsalted butter, really soft
400g cream cheese
handful dill, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
squeeze lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 210°C. Lightly butter a 15 cm deep round cake tin. Put the wholemeal flour in a bowl and sift in the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Rub in the butter with your fingers, then stir in the treacle and sugar.
  2. Make a well in the mixture and slowly pour in the buttermilk. Mix with the blade of a table knife very, very gently. If the mixture is sticky, add a little flour; if it’s dry, add a little milk. Turn on to a floured work surface and knead briefly; if you overdo it, it will be tough.
  3. Mould into a round, place into the prepared tin, cut a cross in the top and bake for 45–50 minutes. If it browns too quickly, cover the top with a piece of foil after 30 minutes. The bread is ready when it sounds hollow if you tap the base. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.
  4. Chill the bread in the fridge or freezer for an hour or so; it will be easier to slice. Trim off the top of the loaf, so it is flat. Slice the remaining loaf horizontally four times, to give five horizontal slices.
  5. To decorate, first prepare the cucumber. Slice very thinly using a swivel vegetable peeler, place in a sieve and lightly salt. Leave for 20 minutes, then dry with a tea towel; you will be amazed at how much liquid comes out. Keep a few curls back for the top. Cut five small strips of salmon and roll up to form little ‘roses’.
  6. Once you have sliced your loaf, turn it upside down; the flat base becomes the top. On the bottom slice, spread a thin layer of butter, a little cream cheese, a layer of sliced cucumber, a sprinkling of dill and a layer of smoked salmon. Season well with freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. You shouldn’t need salt. Continue to make a five-layered sandwich. Spread the remaining cream cheese over the top and sides. Place on the salmon ‘roses’ and reserved cucumber curls.
  7. Chill for 3–4 hours to set (not overnight or the cream cheese might crack). Remove an hour before serving. To serve, cut with a bread knife and a very gentle, slow sawing action. This is important, or it will collapse!
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