Category Archives: Cakes

Raspberry & Vanilla Swirl Sheet Cake

This Raspberry & Vanilla Swirl Sheet Cake not only tastes great but is really easy to make. The raspberry jam and vanilla go really well together in this deliciously moist cake. 

After I made my Blueberry & Lemon Swirl Loaf Cake, I knew it wouldn’t be my last cake with a jam swirl! Raspberries are one of my favourite fruits and they go so well with lots of flavours; vanilla being one of them. I don’t know if it’s just me, but raspberries do seem to have quite a short shelf life. They can also be a little pricey compared to other fruit. 

These reasons, plus the fact you probably have some raspberry jam in you cupboard; mean using jam is a great option. The jam also helps provide extra moisture to the cake which fresh raspberries wouldn’t always. 

As with a lot of my favourite cakes, this Raspberry & Vanilla Swirl Sheet Cake is really easy to make. It doesn’t take much time at all to make and then you can forget about it while it’s in the oven. You then just need to allow it to cool without the need for any further effort. These are my favourite sort of cakes to make during the week when you don’t have hours after work to make a fancy cake. My Peanut Butter & Chocolate Banana Bread is another one of these recipes. 

This is such a delicious cake. The yogurt helps keep the cake really moist and give it such a lovely texture. If you don’t fancy using raspberry jam, strawberry would work really well too. 

5 from 3 votes
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Raspberry & Vanilla Swirl Sheet Cake

This Raspberry & Vanilla Swirl Sheet Cake not only tastes great but is really easy to make. The raspberry jam and vanilla go really well together in this deliciously moist cake. 

Cuisine British
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 593 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 300 g margarine
  • 265 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 330 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 160 g yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 200 g raspberry jam

Instructions

  1. Line a 20x20cm tin and preheat the oven to 170ºC(fan assisted or 190ºC non fan)

  2. Cream the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy 

  3. Add the eggs and mix before adding the remaining ingredients apart from the jam. Mix until completely combined

  4. Pour half of the cake mix into the prepared tin and smooth out

  5. Using half of the jam, add dollops on top of the cake and then run a knife or skewer through the jam to create a swirl pattern

  6. Add the rest of the cake mix before smoothing out and repeating the same process as before with the rest of the jam 

  7. Bake for 50-55 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean 

  8. Leave to cool slightly in the tin before allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled cut into 9 equal squares 

Recipe Notes

Stir the jam in a bowl to make it a runnier consistency before adding to the cake 

Nutrition Facts
Raspberry & Vanilla Swirl Sheet Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 593 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 45%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 359mg 15%
Potassium 237mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 75g 25%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 41g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 26.3%
Vitamin C 2.4%
Calcium 10.1%
Iron 12.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Blueberry & Lemon Swirl Loaf Cake

Incredibly fluffy lemon flavoured sponge swirled with tasty blueberry jam. My Blueberry & Lemon Swirl Loaf Cake is so light and fresh, the perfect flavours for summer. 

I can spend hours looking at Pinterest looking for tasty recipes that grab my eye. I was looking for a recipe to use jam in and came across one by Marsha’s Baking Addition that looked delicious. Her recipe didn’t actually use jam and had different flavours, so I tweaked it to make my Blueberry & Lemon Swirl Loaf Cake. 

I love using jam in cakes because it provides a delicious fruity flavour without needing fresh or frozen fruit. Don’t get me wrong, fresh fruit is amazing, but fruit out of season isn’t as tasty. I also don’t want to be limited to when I can make cakes, but I’d rather not use fresh fruit that is less than perfect. 

This is why jam is so great to use. It is something a lot of us have in our cupboard and fridges which makes it a readily available ingredient for when you get the cake cravings. I know this sounds incredibly lazy, but opening a jar of jam is fr easier than washing fruit!

I used blueberry jam for this recipe because it is a fantastic paring for lemon. My favourite brand of jam is Bonne Maman and their blueberry jam has whole blueberries in it which I think is a nice touch. I’m sure there are other brands of blueberry jam available so find you favourite. 

Loaf cakes are my favourite week night bakes. I know it sounds odd to have a favourite type of cake to bake on a week night, but there is logic to my madness! Although they tend to take slightly longer than some other cakes to make, they are easy to whip up and once they have baked you just need to let them cool. No frosting or other time consuming steps which makes them perfect for a busy week night. 

The flavours of this cake are enhanced further by the yogurt which makes it deliciously moist and fluffy. 

225g margarine
200g sugar
3 eggs
250g plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 lemon, zested
120g fat free yogurt
100g blueberry jam

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan assisted or 190ºC non fan) and line a 2lb loaf tin
  2. Cream the margarine and sugar together until pale and fluffy, usually around 5 minutes
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix after each addition 
  4. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until completely combined
  5. Spoon in the yogurt and lemon zest and mix until just combined

  1. Pour half of the cake mix into the loaf tin and spread out. Add half of the jam on top of the cake and drag a knife through the jam to create a ripple effect

  1. Pour over the rest of the cake mix and even out before adding the rest of the jam and creating the ripple effect again

  1. Bake in the oven for 55-60 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean
  2. Allow to cool for 10 or so minutes in the tin before turning out and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack 

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Gluten Free Carrot Sheet Cake

My Gluten Free Carrot Sheet Cake is tried and tested by my chief coeliac taste tester. This is a gluten free version of my most popular cakes. 
Since before I started my blog, my carrot cake has been my most popular cake. I get asked to make it time and time again and I am yet to find someone who doesn’t like it. I have wanted to make a gluten free version of my carrot cake for quite a while now. 

My first attempt at adapting my recipe to being gluten free naively involved switching the plain flour to gluten free flour. Although the taste was there, the texture was not. It was too crumbly which isn’t ideal in a cake. 

It was the wonderful Zoe that suggested using xanthan gum; something I hadn’t heard of before. Xanthan gum helps act as a binding agent which gluten free flour lacks. So the next time I saw Zoe, we made gluten free carrot cake take two with much more success resulting in my Gluten Free Carrot Sheet Cake. 

The texture was much better and too dissimilar to my usual recipe including gluten. Zoe who has coeliac disease was very happy with the finished cake and it didn’t take too much to convince her to take most of the cake home with her. That’s a trick of mine – giving cake to people; having it in the house is too dangerous!

One tip I have for all of my carrot cake variations is to try and break up the sugar the best you can before adding the rest of the wet ingredients. My brown sugars always seen to get lumps in them and while small lumps will melt into the cake, it is easier to try and break up the larger lumps before the other ingredients are added. 

This recipe doesn’t have to be used for a sheet cake, it can easily be made into cupcakes too. Depending on the size o the cupcake cases you use, they should take around 20 minutes to bake. These quantities should make between 10-12 cupcakes. 

Although this recipe is intended to be gluten free, if you do not follow a gluten free diet you can use standard plain flour and omit the xanthan gum. 

Serves 9

For the cake
100g light brown sugar
100g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
200ml sunflower oil
¼ tsp xanthan gum

200g gluten free plain flour
¼ tsp salt

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon

¾ tsp gluten free baking powder
¼ tsp vanilla extract
200g carrot, grated

For the frosting
35g unsalted butter, softened 
225g icing sugar
100g cream cheese 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan assisted 190ºC non fan) and line a 20cm² cake tin
  2. Grate the carrots using the attachment on your food processor if you have one, or by hand and set aside
  3. Add the sugars to a jug and break up as many lumps as possible. Add in the eggs, oil and vanilla extract and whisk together
  4. In a large bowl, mix the flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together

  1. Gradually add the wet mix to the dry mix stirring as you go

  1. Add the carrots and keep stirring until thoroughly mixed
  2. Pour the mix into the prepared tin and spread out

  1. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean 
  2. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before turning out and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack

  1. Add the softened butter to your bowl and beat for a minute or so before adding the icing sugar and cream cheese. Beat until smooth

  1. Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake 
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Raspberry & Mascarpone Layer Cake

Sometimes you want a cake to be that little bit special; my Raspberry & Mascarpone Layer Cake is the perfect cake for any celebration.

I realised recently that I tend to make my family’s favourite cake for their birthday. Clearly this isn’t a bad thing, but it does mean I get stuck in a rut and they don’t get to try something new. I did this for my Mum’s birthday this year making her my Pistachio Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing because she loves it. But then she tagged me in a post on Facebook from last year when I made it for her birthday. This is why I decided to make something completely new for my sister’s birthday – my Raspberry & Mascarpone Layer Cake. 

My sister, Ally’s birthday was just after the Easter weekend this year. My parent’s were away with my Nan and our husbands were away on a stag do so I invited my Ally over for a tasty meal and to give her the cake I had made for her. However, as Mr Curly was away, I got a bit carried away in the kitchen and therefore was slightly behind with Ally’s cake. 

Slightly behind is a bit of an understatement and when she arrived, all I had managed to do was actually bake the cake. So in between cooking a roast, I was also trying to decorate this cake. Ally was also reminding me that she was quite hungry so I tried to do it all as quickly as possible which is why there aren’t as many photos of the process as I would have liked.  

Ally took the cake home with her and unfortunately it didn’t fair well on the short journey back to their house. Because I had put the cake on a cake board, it slipped in the cake carrier I gave them and got a little squashed. I’m pleased Ally had seen the cake how it was meant to look before it had it’s car journey! Learn from my mistake and use some of the frosting to stick the cake board to cake box or carrier you are using! 

I had a vision of what I wanted the final cake to look like and played around until I was happy with it. I came up with the flavours of raspberry, vanilla and mascarpone as I knew my sister would love them. My favourite element is the mascarpone frosting which is rich, creamy and absolutely delicious. After some research I realised there were lots of different ways to make mascarpone frosting, but all involved mascarpone cheese and double cream. With those ingredients I knew it was going to be a winner. 

I love using vanilla bean paste not only for the flavour, but I like the flecks it brings to the final cake because it makes it look a little bit posh. Obviously you can use vanilla extract if you would prefer and the cake would still taste delicious. 

If you would prefer to have more of the raspberry mascarpone frosting, mix more of it with the crushed raspberries. You could even cover the whole cake with this if you would prefer – but you would obviously need a few more raspberries!

You can also decorate the cake however you would like. I chose to keep it fairly simple with raspberries and meringue kisses but you can go as far as you would like. It really would make a lovely cake for a special occasion as it serves quite a few people and looks that little bit special. I think a cake topper would really finish this cake off. 

Due to the cream, this Raspberry & Mascarpone Layer Cake does need to be kept in the fridge but it will keep for at least 4-5 days. It is a little bit time consuming to make this cake – definitely more effort than just a Victoria sandwich, but it is so tasty. You will definitely be seeing more recipes using mascarpone frosting from me soon!

Serves 12 – 14

For the cake
335g margarine
335g caster sugar
6 eggs
335g self raising flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp vanilla bean paste

For the frosting
345g mascarpone 
375g icing sugar
375 double cream
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
100g raspberries

To decorate
Meringue kisses
25g raspberries 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC fan assisted (190ºC non fan assisted and line three 20cm loose bottomed sandwich tins. Set aside
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together for at least 5 minutes until it is pale and fluffy

  1. Add one egg at a time, mixing before adding the next
  2. Add the flour, baking powder and vanilla extract and mix until everything is full incorporated

  1. Divide evenly between the three tins and smooth the top using a spatula. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean when inserted into the cake

  1. Allow to cool slightly in the tins before cooling completely on a wire rack
  2. Once the cakes are cooled, make the frosting. Using a whisk attachment add the mascarpone and icing sugar to the bowl and whisk until combined
  3. Add the double cream and vanilla bean paste and whisk for 1-2 minutes until the frosting has thickened and become fluffy. Do not overwhisk

  1. In a separate bowl, crush the raspberries with a fork. Add two large spoonfuls of the mascarpone frosting (approximately 150g) and mix together 

  1. Level each of the cakes with either a cake wire or a bread knife so that the top of each is completely flat
  2. Add a small amount of the frosting to the centre of the serving plate/cake board
  3. Take the first cake and turn it over so what was the bottom is facing up. Place it on the plate/cake board 

  1. Spoon the mascarpone frosting into a large piping bag and the raspberry mascarpone into another
  2. Cut a hole in the bottom of the piping bag at least 1cm wide. Starting from the outside of the cake, pipe around the outside of cake creating two circles of frosting
  3. Do the same with the raspberry mascarpone icing to fill in the centre of the cake and then spread to flatten with a small pallet knife 

  1. Add the next cake layer on top and repeat the same process with the icing
  2. Add the final layer of cake on top of the others and crumb coat the cake. This is covering the whole cake in a thin layer of frosting which locks in the crumbs. Make sure you scrape off your pallet knife in the bowl with the remaining frosting in. You will still see the cake through the crumb coat

  1. Put the cake in the fridge for 20 minutes to set 
  2. Remove the cake from the fridge and using the remaining frosting, cover the cake and smooth using a pallet knife
  3. You should have some raspberry mascarpone remaining, using your pallet knife, dot this around the cake and smooth again using your pallet knife 

  1. Decorate the cake with meringue kisses and raspberries – or however you prefer

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Blueberry & Lemon Bakewell Cake

Light and fluffy cake with a tasty blueberry layer and lemon. My Blueberry & Lemon Bakewell Cake is perfect to enjoy as the weather makes you crave fresh, zesty flavours. 

 A while ago I was talking to Mr Curly’s cousin Katharine about my favourite jam – Bonne Maman’s raspberry jam. She mentioned that their blueberry jam was her favourite so I knew I had to try it! Being me, I didn’t want to just eat it on toast, I wanted to use it in a cake. 

I love blueberries and lemon together and I also think blueberries go really well with almonds. This is why my Raspberry Bakewell Cake came to mind so I tweaked it to come up with my Blueberry & Lemon Bakewell Cake. 

As we get closer to Spring, I always find myself fancying light and fresh cakes that include fruit such as my Double Orange Cake. Cakes like this are also great at this time of year to break up all of the chocolate people tend to eat around Easter. 

An added extra for this recipe was the drizzle. This helps provide even more of a fresh lemon flavour to the cake.

140g margarine
140g caster sugar
2 eggs
140g ground almonds
140g plain flour

2 tsp vanilla extract
1 lemon, zest 
150g blueberries
3 tbsp blueberry jam
2 tbsp flaked almonds

For the drizzle
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
50g icing sugar

  1. Heat the oven to 180ºC and line a loose bottomed 8″ cake tin
  2. Mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – at least 5 minutes
  3. Add the eggs, ground almonds, flour and vanilla extract and mix together until combined

  1. Spread half the mix into the tin and then add the jam and spread out. Scatter the blueberries over the top

  1. Spread the rest of the cake mix on top of the blueberries and scatter with flaked almonds. Bake for 50 minutes and then check it’s cooked by inserting a cocktail stick, if it comes out clean, the cake it cooked

  1. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before turning out and cooling completely on a wire rack 
  2. Once cooled, mix together the lemon juice and icing sugar and drizzle over the cake 

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Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

Super light, fluffy and deliciously moist, no one will believe you that this Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf cake is actually vegan!

This is the first vegan cake I have made and probably first vegan dish I have ever made. Like a lot of people I know, I was a little skeptical about vegan baking. I thought it would use weird and wonderful ingredients as substitutes for the more usual baking ingredients which I would need to go to some specialist or heath food shop to buy. I also thought that vegan cakes wouldn’t taste as nice as the cake I was used to because they were lacking integral cake ingredients. I was wrong. 

The decision to make a vegan cake wasn’t because I am vegan or thinking about becoming vegan, but I did have a few reasons for making a vegan cake. The initial reason was that my friend has decided to be vegan for a month to see if it makes a difference to her health. Another reason was because November is World Vegan month so what better time to try out a vegan recipe? My last reason was that I didn’t like the idea that I didn’t have a recipe to cater for everyone. And hey presto, the idea for this recipe was born. 

Obviously I needed some help and that came in the form of Kate from Veggie Desserts. If anyone refers to a cake as The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake, you know it has to be great. So I took this as my base recipe and gave it a few tweaks to make it into my version which is Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake. I went through my list of flavours that I like to pair with chocolate and I wasn’t confident that they would be vegan so I decided on orange. Plus orange is one of my favourite flavours to pair with chocolate and is obviously vegan! 

I needn’t have worried about having to buy weird ingredients because the only things I needed to buy specifically different was soy milk and non dairy margarine. These items are widely found in the vast majority of supermarkets so this wasn’t an issue at all.

I was dubious about the texture of the cake and whether it would be different with it being vegan, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really don’t think anyone would be able to tell this cake is vegan unless you tell them. It is so light, fluffy and moist with a delicious chocolate flavour which is enhanced by the coffee that’s added. Don’t panic, your cake will not taste like coffee but instead it helps to bring out the flavour of the chocolate and make it more chocolatey. 

One of my least favourite baking tasks is sifting ingredients. I don’t really know why because it isn’t hard and doesn’t take very long, but for some reason it really isn’t for me. Because of this, I do try to avoid sieving as much as possible but please do make sure you sieve the flour and cocoa powder for this cake. If you don’t you do run the risk of little lumps of the ingredients finding their way into your finished cake. While this isn’t a disaster, it doesn’t look the best in the finished cake. So bite the bullet and get your sieve out! 

Initially I was planning to frost the cake, but after tasting it and realising how moist it was, the cake really didn’t need any frosting. I quite liked the crack in the top of the cake because it made it look homemade which is quite nice so it seemed like a shame to cover it up. Obviously please feel free to add your own frosting if you want to! 

280ml soy milk (or any non-dairy milk such as almond)
4 tbsp orange juice
150g non-dairy margarine
3 tbsp golden syrup 
1 tsp instant coffee granules
275g self raising flour
175g caster sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 160ºC fan assisted and line a 2lb loaf tin
  2. Zest the orange before juicing it . Whisk the orange juice and soy milk together and set aside 

  1. In a pan over a medium heat, gently melt the margarine, coffee and golden syrup. Once melted take off the heat and allow to cool slightly

  1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl before adding the milk and margarine mixtures. Stir well until the batter is smooth 

  1. Add the mixture to the loaf tin and level it out. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean when poked into the cake

  1. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely 

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Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Deliciously moist cake with the subtle flavour of pumpkin and spices covered in soft cream cheese frosting – this Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting will become a new favourite. 

Pumpkin based food seems to have gone crazy this year or is it just me? I’ve always associated pumpkin with November and the run up to Thanksgiving, but the pumpkin craze started earlier this year. It has been really great to see so many people using the flesh from their pumpkins that they have carved for Halloween in dishes instead of just throwing them away as it makes some very tasty things – especially cake!

Pumpkin has always been popular in America for Thanksgiving which is how I first came across it in baking. An American friend I used to work with brought in her Pumpkin Cake Bars that she always makes for Thanksgiving. I needed quite a bit of persuading to try them because pumpkin in cake seemed a little strange to me back then. They were delicious and she kindly shared the recipe with me which I have made every year since. 

As I have mentioned before, the Pumpkin Cake Bars are Mr Curly’s all time favourite. Instead of just making them again this year, I decided to spice things up a bit – literally! I’ve added lovely spices which really compliment the pumpkin but don’t overpower it’s subtle flavour. 

For the first time I attempted making my own pumpkin puree using a recipe from Jo’s Kitchen Larder.I hadn’t previously realised that it was something that could quite easily be made yourself. Although I was impressed with the simplicity of making the puree, I’m not convinced I would rush to do it again. This is partly due to it being slightly time consuming and partly due to laziness. The advantages of making the puree yourself are that it is a great way of using up pumpkin at Halloween instead of there being waste. It is also far cheaper to make it yourself. The pumpkin I bought was 45p for a medium sized pumpkin around 2kg and it made approximately 600g worth of puree. This compared to a 425g tin of puree which can start at £2 is a huge difference in price which can’t be ignored.  

I cannot deny making the pumpkin puree yourself is cheaper and can help combat waste, but quicker it was not. I don’t buy pumpkins to carve at Halloween so waste isn’t an issue for me, but this is when it comes down to my laziness. Can you get much easier than opening a can? The tinned puree in my experience is a more vibrant orange colour which gives the final cake a lovely colour and it has a thicker texture. The texture especially worried me when I made it myself because I didn’t want it to be too wet, but didn’t want to remove all of the moisture. 

Please do try making the puree yourself and make your own decision. Jo has great instructions and it really is quite simple to do.  

If you haven’t tried pumpkin cake before, do not be put off by the idea of it like I initially was.  Vegetables in cake are delicious! The chances are you like carrot cake so there is nothing about this you wouldn’t like. It has the same moistness of a carrot cake with a warming flavour from the tasty spices. 

The first time I make a new cake, I’m always a little nervous to see how it turns out – not every recipe trial is a success you know! I selected my lucky taste testers and awaited their opinions. I’m pleased to say they all loved it – success! You can really tell the difference if people like something or if they really like it. I am pleased to say that this was the latter. Mr Curly had one comment for improvement – more frosting; but he would eat it straight from the bowl if he got the chance!

If you don’t want to bake the mix in three tins, you can use two and monitor the baking time. I would check after 25 minutes but I would suspect it would take at least 30. 

The spices create such a warming and comforting flavour to the cake which is perfect for Autumn, but something you could enjoy at anytime of the year. This is definitely a cake you should try!

For the cake 
385g caster sugar
300g plain flour
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground all spice
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
240ml sunflower oil
425g pumpkin puree
4 eggs 

For the frosting
75g unsalted butter
450g icing sugar

200g full fat cream cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC and line three 8 inch sandwich tins 
  2. Add all of the ingredients to your bowl or mixer and beat until completely combined

  1. Divide the mixture equally between the three tins. I did this by roughly weighing the amount of mix I added to each tin but you can do it by eye

  1. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a cocktail stick poked into the cake comes out clean

  1. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 20 minutes or so before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely 
  2. Once the cakes are completely cooled, make the frosting
  3. Beat the butter until smooth and softened
  4. Add the cream cheese and icing sugar and beat until it is completely smooth and there are no lumps 
  5. Take the first layer of cake and turn it over onto the plate or stand you are using. Add a generous layer of the frosting and spread out evenly. Repeat with the second layer

  1. With the final layer, place it on top of the other layers but the right way round. Cover the cake completely with the rest of the frosting – you’re going for a semi naked look so don’t worry if you can see the cake through the frosting 

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Rhubarb & Vanilla Cake

This Rhubarb & Vanilla Cake is a great way of celebrating the rhubarb season in a different way to the usual crumble. The rhubarb and vanilla compliment each other to make a delicious cake.  Rhubarb is a quintessential British fruit. I don’t know any nation that seems to love it as much as us Brits. This could possibly be because it is something that grows so well in our less than sunny climate. Both my Mum and Mr Curly’s Nan grow rhubarb so I am very lucky to receive lots of home grown rhubarb during the summer months. This year has been a particularly good year so I have bagged some up and frozen it to use later in the year. 

As I have so much rhubarb, I didn’t want to just save it for crumbles like my Oaty Rhubarb & Port Crumble as although they are delicious and comforting, I wanted to try some new bakes. That is where I came up with this Rhubarb & Vanilla Cake!

The yogurt in this cake means it is quite a dense cake, but really moist. The rhubarb adds a little sharpness to the sweet cake and makes a delicious combination. It may not be the prettiest cake, but it is tasty!

I made this Rhubarb & Vanilla Cake to take to Mr Curly’s family’s house and although there were 8 of us, the cake didn’t last long at all with people going back for seconds! Even Mr Curly couldn’t get enough of it and he will be the first to admit he’t not a big cake fan. 

I made the cake again recently because I wanted to update the photos. This time, I took it into work and everyone really loved it so it has been tested by enough people for me to be confident in saying it is a big hit!

I do love a cake that doesn’t need anything further doing to it once it has cooled. Don’t get me wrong, cakes with buttercream etc on them are delicious, but from a lazy point of view I have to be in the right mood to make them because once they’ve baked you then need to wait for them to cool before icing them. This cake is fantastic because when it’s out of the oven you just need to wait for it to cool and then you can enjoy! 

I think this would be a great cake to have later in the afternoon after a lovely roast lunch. It is great as it is, or you can eat it with ice cream, cream or custard if you want to make it more of a dessert. 

Making this Rhubarb & Vanilla Cake also coincided with the new series of The Great British Bake Off which is a extremely popular baking show here in the UK. There has been a lot of anxiousness around the new series due to the change to Channel 4 and the new presenters, but for me it is about the baking so I still enjoyed the show. 

So with the start of the new series comes the opportunity to bake along! A couple of years ago I baked something inspired by the show along with others or the Great Bloggers Bake off hosted by Jenny at Mummy Mishaps. I was very pleased that Jenny is hosting it bake along again this year and can’t wait to see everyone’s bakes. 

Updated 2018

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Rhubarb & Vanilla Cake

This Rhubarb & Vanilla Cake is a great way of celebrating the rhubarb season in a different way to the usual crumble. The rhubarb and vanilla compliment each other to make a delicious cake.

Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Rhubarb, Vanilla
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 432 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 400 g rhubarb
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 250 g margarine
  • 150 g non fat yogurt
  • 250 g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g caster sugar

Instructions

  1. Begin by roasting the rhubarb – heat the oven to 180ºC (fan, 200ºC non fan). Rinse the rhubarb and dry off any excess water. Trim the ends and cut into pieces roughly one inch in length

  2. Put the rhubarb on a baking tray and sprinkle over the sugar. Toss together making sure all of the rhubarb is coated and then put the rhubarb in a single layer 

  3. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes before removing the foil and giving the rhubarb a quick stir. Return to the oven without the foil for a further 5 minutes

  4. Using a colander, allow the rhubarb to drain as it cools
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC (fan, 180ºC non fan) and line a 9 inch loose bottomed or spring form tin

  6. Beat the butter and sugar together before adding the rest of the cake ingredients and mixing until combined
  7. Spoon half of the mixture into the cake tin and spread evenly. Then add the rhubarb and spread out

  8. Add the remaining cake mixture on top of the rhubarb and smooth out the best you can. Don’t worry if the rhubarb mixes with the cake mix

  9. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes then cover with foil and bake for the last 15-20 minutes. You’ll know its ready when a cocktail stick comes out clean
  10. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely
Nutrition Facts
Rhubarb & Vanilla Cake
Amount Per Serving (200 g)
Calories 432 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 34%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 275mg 11%
Potassium 153mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 51g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 31g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 19.8%
Vitamin C 3.9%
Calcium 7.5%
Iron 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Baked Nutella Doughnuts

Fluffy doughnuts with a rich chocolatey nuttiness – heaven. These Baked Nutella Doughnuts are the perfect fix for any Nutella lover. 

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If you follow my blog, you’ll know I’m Nutella obsessed. I’m also a pretty big fan of doughnuts too, so this was an obvious recipe choice for me!

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Baked doughnuts are so much easier to make because you don’t need to worry about frying them. This also means that they’re healthier, and I’ll take any excuse to make myself feel like baking is healthy! They are just as easy and versatile to make in my opinion as cupcakes. If you were making these for children, you could leave off the hazelnuts and decorate with sprinkles. Or even get the children involved with icing and decorating them as dunking in Nutella is a bit easier for children than frosting cupcakes.

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The only slightly tricky part of doughnut making is filling the doughnut pan with the optimum amount of mix. Too little and you’ll have a thin doughnut, too much and when it cooks the mix with cover the hole. Don’t get me wrong, if you overfill it is by no means the end of the world, but you just don’t get the iconic doughnut hole through the middle.

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If you don’t have the chocolate hazelnut essence, you don’t have to add this as you will still get the delicious chocolate nutty flavour. I use the Foodie Flavours brand.

As with all doughnuts, these are best eaten on the day you bake them.

Makes 12 doughnuts

140g plain flour
70g caster sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder 
¼ tsp salt
125ml milk
1 egg
30g Nutella
30g butter, melted and cooled
Approx 6 drops of chocolate hazelnut essence
Spray oil

For the glaze
90g Nutella, melted
20g toast hazelnuts, chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC if fan assisted) and spray two six hole doughnut pans lightly with oil
  2. In a large bowl or your mixer, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt
  3. In a large jug whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter and Nutella
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is just combined; it will be quite wet

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  1. Divide the mix between each doughnut mould. I find the easiest and less messy way of adding the batter to the moulds is by using a piping bag – remember not to overfill!

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  1. Bake the doughnuts for 13-15 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean

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  1. Allow to cool in the pan until they are cool enough for you to transfer to a wire rack

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  1. Dip the doughnuts in the melted Nutella making sure they are thoroughly coated
  2. Sprinkle with the toasted hazelnuts

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Linking to:
 
Only Crumbs Remain

Honey Rum Drizzle Cake

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I am very lucky because my parents have a villa in Fuerteventura which means I can pop over there for some sun. It seems customary to offer shots of honey rum at the end of a meal. Although this isn’t in all restaurants, it seems to happen more often than not following an evening meal. There seem to be endless different brands and each restaurant appears to have their favourite – some are definitely better than others!

When my family were out there over New Year, we hunted down one of our favourite bottles. My Mum and boyfriend started then having a few shots before we went out for an evening meal! Before you panic, it has a lower alcohol percentage than other spirits at around 20%. I say shots, but really my Mum was sipping it which was far safer for her.

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I was also lucky enough to go out to Fuerteventura for my Hen Do in February with some of my closest friends. Honey rum obviously played quite a large part with us losing track of just how many shots we were having. The difference with honey rum to other liqueurs is that honey rum actually tastes nice so is enjoyable which is more than can be said about other liqueurs!

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Honey rum has some great memories for me so I wanted to make a cake that incorporated the delicious drink. The first thing that came to mind was a honey rum drizzle cake where I could add the honey rum to both the cake and the glaze. The cake turned out just how I wanted with the flavour of the honey rum but without there being an overpowering taste of alcohol.

If you’re not heading to the Canary Islands anytime soon and still want to make this cake; you can buy honey rum online and it isn’t too expensive.

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For the cake
250g margarine
250g caster sugar
4 large eggs
250g self raising flour
100ml honey rum

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC and line a 1kg loaf tin
  2. Cream together the sugar and the butter until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat on a high speed
  3. Add the flour and mix before adding the honey rum and mixing again until just combined
  4. Pour the mix into the prepared tin and smooth the top slightly

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  1. Bake in the oven for 45- 50 mins or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. If the top is getting a little too brown, cover it loosely with foil

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  1. Allow the cake to cool slightly in the tin before turning out and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack

For the icing
3-4 tbsp honey rum
100g icing sugar

  1. Mix the icing sugar and rum together until smooth
  2. Drizzle all of the cooled cake