Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat together until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs and vanilla to the bowl, along with a couple of spoonfuls of the flour to prevent curdling. Beat until you have a smooth, thin batter.
Sift the remaining flour into the bowl and gently fold through until the flour is entirely incorporated. Don't over-mix.
Grease and line two loose-bottomed, straight-sided, 20cm cake tins, then divide the batter evenly between them and level off.
Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until the cakes are risen and gently golden.
Allow to cool on a wire rack until cool enough to handle, then release the cakes from their tins and return them to the wire rack to cool completely.
If necessary, once cool, you can trim the very tops of your cakes off to allow them to sit flat.
To fill and assemble
In a fresh bowl, beat your vanilla, icing sugar (powdered sugar) and butter together until light, fluffy and significantly increased in volume
Take a completely flat board or plate, at least 25cm in diameter and spread a thin layer or frosting onto the center to help stop your cake from sliding around.
Place one of your cakes top down on the board, then spread with half the remaining frosting.
Gently spread your jam on top of the frosting – you might not need all of the jam.
Place your second cake on top of the jam, again top-down to give nice clean edges.
Use the remaining frosting to cover the whole cake in a thin layer.
Now place your cake in the freezer to firm up the frosting while you prepare the covering. If you don’t have room in the freezer, a cold fridge will do.
Roll your pink sugar paste out to for a disc about 35cm in diameter. It's easiest to do this between sheets of baking paper, or on a cornflour dusted surface.
Lay your sugar paste over the cake and allow the sides to drop down. Then, working gently, ease and smooth the sugar paste down the sides of the cake until fully covered and trim off any excess at the base.
Roll the 100g red sugar paste and 100g white sugar paste out to form two lengths, each about 30cm long. Twist the two lengths of sugar paste together all the way along, then gently roll until you have a striped length approximately 65cm long.
Carefully wrap the red and white sugar paste around the base of the cake, trimming off any excess. With care, you should be able to make the stripes match, smoothing the join until it no longer shows.
Use brown and/or red sugar paste to form little flat discs, then decorate them with the mini chocolate beans to look like cookies.
Using the same twist and roll technique we used earlier, you can twist and combine any two colours and then roll them up to look like lollypops – just add a little white length of sugar paste to look like the lolly stick!
Use the rest of your sugar paste to create more of your favourite candies. We made fried eggs, candy canes and more, pressing them gently onto the top and sides of the cake.
It's really important not to skip placing your cake in the freezer to firm up the frosting while you prepare the covering, it might seem unecessary but it will make covering the cake much easier and neater.