“Almost all words do have color and nothing is more pleasant than to utter a pink word and see someone’s eyes light up and know it is a pink word for him or her too.”
Gladys Taber

Yes, it’s the PINK month of the year again, PINKTOBER, or October as the calender says it. October is officially known as the Breast Cancer Awareness month, and this pink ribbon flies its colour. I support the cause and do my little bit to chip in towards social awareness every year, October being kicked off pretty early {on the 3rd} by Mr PABs birthday. { I got an early morning groggy picture of him and junior below}.

Year after year, he gets a cake with some, or sometimes a LOT, of PINK! He is a  good sport, and doesn’t mind the PINK at all. There was a time over the past years that the kids would question the pink? “Why is Papas cake pink? That’s a feminine colour. Why don’t we make it blue“… etc, etc! I’m glad to say they learnt the cancer awareness message, and now enjoy the pink with the rest of the PAB bunch, no questions askedPINK rules October in my mind!

October 1st marks the beginning of breast cancer awareness month all over the world. American Cancer Society uses this time to boost their campaign to raise awareness to breast cancer and to inform people that there is now a 98 percent rate of survival if the cancer is detected early. October is the month where you will see pink ribbons everywhere, which has been the national symbol for breast cancer awareness since it was first introduced back in 1991.

I picked some pink off my blog today! I have to admit I was never a pink person by any stretch of imagination, and steered clear of the colour for as long as I remember. White, black, beige, blue are more me, and I almost hated the very sight of pink.  So much so, that my daughter was hardly seen in pink in her toddler years. As time went by, I began to soften my attitude to many things in life, and my first Pinktober experience had me warming to the colour. It’s strange how rigid and stubborn one can be, and then comes along a different perspective, through blogging as in my case, and teaches you how to accept things more easily. Dislike for a colour seems so  trivial, especially when there are so many serious issues around.

Of course I had grand plans, with PINK and frozen strawberry reduction syrup etc for the cake, but my plans went very wrong. A new oven, new baking tins,  and a new recipe are not the perfect combination, and before I knew it I was in a corner, cooling my heels. My baking prowess took a larger than life beating, and I sulked as I looked at the two flat as pancakes strawberry genoise cakes. It was a horror of a day, and even though I thought hmm, trifle pudding, the cakes looked no good, so sadly were binned. I was quite relieved I had made the mascarpone two days ago.

Soon it was late evening, and with the next day being a busy one, I just whipped up my tried and tested old faithful sponge recipe. Things looked more PINK and happy soon, but no time for pictures of the making of course. Old recipe, single baking tin and new oven worked better. But the sink full of dishes, and next days lunch preparation made me over-bake my sponge slightly. Had I taken it out 5 minutes earlier, it would have been the perfect one! Yet nothing that some vanilla mascarpone filling couldn’t fix! Pictures taken in a hurry as we had folk over for lunch … huff puff!

As you can see, it was pink all the way. I had dried strawberries for the top, which I forgot all about and they still lie in my fridge. I barely had time to hurriedly pipe on squiggles on the top, but the strawberry flavours and the vanilla bean mascarpone combined well and saved the day! In the end I was just glad I was able to go PINK!

Strawberry & Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Cake
The sponge recipe is based on the weight of the eggs. Each egg weighs approx 50gms.
6 eggs {300gms}
125gms sugar(little less than half the weight of the eggs)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
150gms flour {half the weight of the eggs}
1tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 tsp strawberry extract/essence
2-3 drops red food colour
600gm mascarpone (homemade recipe here)
200ml cream, chilled (25% fat, that’s all we get here)
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1/2 cup icing sugar for filling { adjust if required}
50gms dark chocolate ganache, optional
For the sponge
Preheat the oven to 190C. {I reduce it to 180C after 10 minutes of putting the cake in} Grease and line a 8″ spring form cake tin.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt thrice. Reserve.
Beat the eggs and sugar well with hand beater till very thick ribbon falls and holds in place for at least 5 seconds {beat for approximately 10minutes}.  Add vanilla extract and strawberry extract and beat for another minute.
Gently fold in the sifted flour; mix lightly so that air doesn’t escape.
Turn gently into tin and bake for 35-45 minutes till done. Don’t over-bake it or the sponge will be dry.
Once done, remove from tin after 5 minutes and leave on rack to cool completely. Cut horizontally into 4 layers.

Whip the mascarpone with almost all the powdered sugar and the scraped vanilla bean until thick and holds peaks. Divide and keep 1/3 for topping.
Sandwich the layers with the remaining 2/3rds of cream.
Whip the chilled cream till it holds peaks, and gently fold into the reserved beaten vanilla mascarpone cream.
Reserve 1-2 tbsp for piping designs on top. Frost the top and sides, pipe some designs on top {see video here} and drizzle some dark chocolate ganache down the edges if desired. Chill well before serving.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


  • Gorgeous, Deeba! Wish I had your piping skills :).

  • 6 years ago

    You hubby is indeed a real sport, going for the pink cake.
    A very Happy B’day wished to Mr PAB.
    The cake looks fabulous and delicous.

  • 6 years ago

    Congrat’s for your husband… unlike you I’m totally a pink person, Deeba…hihi and your cake decoration is sooo adorable I love how add the “melting chocolate” effect :)*

    • 6 years ago

      TY Zita. I had to add some chocolate as junior said, “What? There’s no chocolate in there?” Sigh!!

  • 6 years ago

    That’s a gorgeous cake for a lovely cause 🙂

  • 6 years ago

    Just beautiful.

  • 6 years ago

    gorgeous cake.

  • 6 years ago

    belated happy b’day to mr pab! that’s one cake that’s very pretty

  • 6 years ago

    aww it’s beautiful Deeba!

  • Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog
    6 years ago

    That blend of pink, cake and mascarpone is wonderful! I want to eat at your house, Deeba please!



  • japje oberoi
    6 years ago

    hey deeba…iv been following ur blog lately nd love ur work…!!
    lovd ur PINKTOBER cake……….really pretty….
    i tried to copy d design dat u used on d cake but cud nt get it……do u follow sum pattern or is it jst free hand…..?

    • 6 years ago

      I always pipe freehand J, but it’s worth the while practicing on a platter for about 5 minutes to get your hand set. Uses very little cream, but does help the hand {and mind} to settle!

  • 6 years ago

    Real men eat pink birthday cake! Your husband is a true sport! This post reminds me of the pink cake you made for your mothers birthday a while ago? Yes, I do have most of your cakes by-hearted!
    Love the pink swirls on the icing =)

  • 6 years ago

    What a great guy your husband is — and what a beautiful cake. The “squiggles” on the top don’t look hurried even though you mentioned being in a rush. So pretty! I never think of myself as being pink either, but I can’t believe how often I see a photo of myself and I have pink on! Crazy! I missed the finish of your kitchen remodel, so am doing what I always do here to catch up — read backwards 🙂

  • 6 years ago

    Let me first ask you that from where do you get such amazing quotes Deeba? I love each n every one of them! And then comes the gorgeous photographs. If I were in Indian I would definitely have take styling lessons from you 🙂
    Love the cake and what great idea for a pink recipe! You’ve made me think something pink, make it and post on my blog as well.

  • penny aka jeroxie
    6 years ago

    A lovely pink cake…. for a lovely cause.

  • saras
    6 years ago

    This is true talent. Don’t need fancy piping bags when you have the talent. In fact that applies to everything culinary. I know if I needed Mascarpone cheese, I would hunt it from one gourmet store to other in Pune, I ndia ( In the US we find it in every local grocery store), but would never think to actually make it myself. Deeba, you humble me. Thanks.

  • Natasha
    6 years ago

    Hi Deeba,
    What a gorgeous cake, as always!Even your “hurried”attempts come out breathtakingly beautiful!

  • 6 years ago

    A fabulous cake!

  • 6 years ago

    no i do not see you as a pink girl either! but i love your pink creations and this cake is spectacular! i can see why hubby does not complain!

  • 6 years ago

    You are being too hard on yourself Deeba, but it is comforting to know that not everything even the most seasoned of bakers like yourself attempts works out. You worked your magic and used your gorgeous decorating skills and created a triumph.

  • 6 years ago

    Wow!!! This is the prettiest pink cake I have seen! Can’t believe you decorated it in a hurry.

    Can’t also believe someone as good as you can bake an imperfect cake!!!!

  • Sommer @ A Spicy Perspective
    6 years ago

    Oh Deeba, it’s glorious! I’m saving this to make as my daughters birthday cake in December!

  • 6 years ago

    Wow wow what a wonderful combo .. strawberry and mascarpone.. beautiful .. asusual ur amazing..

  • caroliny
    6 years ago

    Hello! congratulations! the wonderful blog .. your recipes are excelentes.sua fan of Brazil! .. talent and dedication and love is evident in every piece of this cake,

  • Krista
    6 years ago

    This is THE prettiest cake I have seen in ages, Deeba! You’ve done a beautiful job for such a good cause. 🙂

  • 6 years ago

    mascarpone cakes can never fail to satisfy me. this cake looks delicious and looks pretty in a very feminine way. good mission for the breast cancer theme. happy b-day to your hubby =)

  • 6 years ago

    Oooh…I love this. I love the pink look and the pink pattern on top. I’m not one that is crazy over pink but really love this one 😀 Hope you have a great weekend! Mary

  • 6 years ago

    Good for you, Deeba! What a wonderful way to bring Cancer Awareness to the forefront. Such an important cause. And a lovely cake!

  • 6 years ago

    Happy Birthday to The Man! Send him a hug for me! This cake is stunning, absolutely gorgeous and I’ll bet it is delicious, moist and fabulous! I must start making your recipes. Beautiful Deeba and your pink inspires!

  • Elle @ steam generator irons
    6 years ago

    Oh my goodness! Am I ever glad I stumbled across your blog. I’ve been trolling baking sites for ages, but this is my first visit here.

    That cake is simply gorgeous, even without the missing strawberries!

    And I love mascarpone, but have never made it from scratch. thanks for sharing that recipe as well!

  • Helene
    6 years ago

    Another beautiful cake for Pink month. You’re doing so good Deeba.

  • caroliny
    6 years ago

    olá!!!parabéns!!adoraria que desse o bolo de ameixa,ou um para o natal,acabei de ver as frutas ,que ficarão embebidas,para o natal serem usadas em receitas,nossa um bolo de natal seria belissimo,ainda feito por suas mãos abençoadas,,sua fã do brasil
    sou sua seguidora!!

  • caroliny
    6 years ago

    hello! congratulations!’d love to give the plum cake, or one for Christmas, just to see the fruits, which will be soaked, for use in home recipes, our home would be a very beautiful cake, still done by your gifted hands,, its fan of Brazil
    I am his follower!

  • 6 years ago

    Despite the mishaps it looks magnificent!

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