Category Archives: Cakes

Find all the Cakes you will need here! Whether you are looking for a simple and delicious cake to enjoy or something a bit special for an occasion; you will find both here. 

If you are a baking novice or are just looking for something a bit more simple, try a loaf of sheet cake. There are also a number of tasty layer cakes with delicious frosting building up to more special options for more confident bakers. 

Some of the most popular cakes are:
Blueberry & Lemon Swirl Loaf Cake
Rhubarb & Vanilla Cake
Pistachio Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Raspberry & Mascarpone Layer Cake 

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 

Linking to:

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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

For the roasted rhubarb

  • 400 g rhubarb
  • 50 g caster sugar

For the cake

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

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*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 65mg22%
Sodium 275mg12%
Potassium 153mg4%
Carbohydrates 51g17%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 31g34%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 990IU20%
Vitamin C 3.2mg4%
Calcium 75mg8%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* 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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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

Flourless Chocolate Cake

This cake is incredibly chocolatey and deliciously rich – the perfect cake for any chocoholic!

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What initially drew me to this recipe is that it keeps in the fridge for up to a week. Now I know that sounds like a really stupid reason to want to make a recipe, but I was looking for something to make for a family BBQ. I’d never catered for 20 people before and didn’t want to leave everything to the last minute and get myself in a bit of a flap. So when I saw that this cake would keep well in the fridge for a week I thought it was perfect. And it was chocolate which is always a winner.

This cake is very dense. As you can see from the photo it doesn’t have a crumb-like texture at all. This also makes is very rich so although it is delicious, I would recommend a modest slice and to not leave out the raspberries and cream which help cut through all of the chocolate.

I came across this recipe in Delicious magazine, but unfortunately cannot find the recipe online to link to. This is not my own recipe and I take no credit for it 🙂 (but I do definitely recommend making it!).

250g unsalted butter
300g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
5 medium eggs, separated
250g caster sugar
125g ground almonds

To serve
Cocoa powder for dusting
Raspberries
Double cream

  1. Heat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan) and line a 23cm spingform tin
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until the butter starts to turn brown and smell like biscuits

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  1. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and then whisk in the egg yolks. Transfer to a large mixing bowl

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  1. Using a stand or hand held mixer, whisk  the egg whites to soft peaks. The peaks should droop when the beaters are removed

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  1. Mix the sugar and almonds into the chocolate mixture and then using a large metal spoon, fold in the egg whites

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  1. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until a cocktail stick pushed into the cake comes out clean

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  1. Allow to cool completely in the tin and then chill until needed

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  1. Just before serving, dust the cake with cocoa powder and scatter with fresh raspberries. Serve with double cream

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Skinny Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake

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This tasty zesty cake is perfect as an afternoon treat, especially as it is a healthy version too!

I’d wanted to make a lemon and poppy seed cake for a while because I liked the look of the cake dotted with tiny black poppy seeds. I haven’t made as many cakes recently because I’m trying to eat more healthily and if I make cake, then I have no self control and I end up eating the cake.  I then found this recipe for a skinny lemon and poppy seed cake on Pinterest so no longer had any excuse not to give it a go! Even though it was a healthier cake, I managed to give most of it away to my family so I didn’t end up eating it all.

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When I was making this cake, I was dubious. It looked thick as I was mixing the ingredients and then once it was baked it looked quite dense so I did fear the worst. I’m pleased to say it wasn’t dense or dry and was very tasty. My Mum liked it but she wasn’t massively keen on the poppy seeds as she said they got stuck in her teeth. I didn’t find this surprising as she doesn’t like jam where the fruit has the seeds in as she says the same happens then. So if you’re a little bit fussy like my Mum, this maybe won’t be your favourite cake but I do recommend giving it a go otherwise.

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For the cake
1½ cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp fine salt
¾ cup caster sugar
1 lemon, zest finely grated
½ cup low fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup semi-skimmed milk 
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 tbsp poppy seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 2lb loaf tin
  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
  3. In another bowl, mix together the sugar, lemon, yogurt, milk, olive oil, vanilla, egg and egg whites and poppy seeds until combined
  4. Add the flour mix to the wet mix and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean

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  1. Let the cake cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely

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For the glaze
1½ cups icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp milk

  1. Once the cake is completely cooled, make the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar, lemon juice and milk. Pour the glaze all over the cake

 

 

Gin Drizzle Cake

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Think lemon drizzle cake, but with added gin. Yes, it is as good as it sounds, and yes this cake is just for adults!

There have been a few articles in the news recently that gin actually has health benefits such as helps reduce wrinkles, fight cancer and is low in calories so is good for your waistline. I came across the recipe for this cake and although I never need an excuse for a little gin, I thought this was the perfect opportunity.

This recipe is slightly different to usual cake recipes because it doesn’t have set weights for each ingredient. The weight of the eggs dictates the weight of the sugar, butter and flour so each cake will be slightly different. As it could be slightly different each time it is important to check the cake with a cocktail stick to make sure it is baked.

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I’ve made this cake a couple of times now; once for a family BBQ and another time when my Uni friends came to stay. Everyone has enjoyed it so far, although my Uni friends did find it a little strong at first. I think this was partly due to them wanting to eat it as soon as I had poured the drizzle on. When they had some more the following day, the gin had had time to seep into the cake so the flavour wasn’t as stong.

The recipe is from Truly Madly Kids. In the original recipe, they keep the cake in the tin when pouring the drizzle on. This would help keep all of the drizzle in the cake and not dripping off, but I was worried this would make the cake too saturated. Take your pick at which method you would like to try.

For the cake
4 medium eggs – weigh with their shells on
Caster sugar – the same weight as the eggs
butter – the same weight as the eggs
Self raising flour – the same weight as the eggs
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
90ml gin

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC 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 lemon zest and mix again until smooth. Add the gin and lemon juice and mix again

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  1. Pour the mix into the loaf tin and bake until a skewer comes out clean – test it after about 35-40 minutes. Mine took roughly 50 minutes

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  1. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes before removing it from the tin and leaving it to cool completely on a wire rack

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For the drizzle
110ml gin
150g granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

  1. Mix the gin, lemon juice together, I do this in a jug so it is easier to pour over the cake

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  1. Make holes in the cake with a skewer. Keeping the cake on the wire rack, but a baking try underneath the rack to catch any drizzle that doesn’t soak into the cake

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  1. Slowly pour the drizzle mixture over the cake

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The second time I made this cake, the sugar hardened on top a bit more so was more visible which I thought looked quite nice. Not quite sure why it did this time but not the first time!

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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist cake with smooth cream cheese frosting, a true British Classic cake.2015-10-11 17.09.45

Carrot cake is hands down the most popular type of cake that I make. I’ve been making carrot cupcakes for ages now, but sometimes you just want a lovely big cake. I have made some very small changes to the recipe to adapt it to make a cake instead of cupcakes. This mix is perfect for making a two or three layer cake.

It is no secret that I really don’t like making carrot cake. The only reason for this is I really don’t like grating carrots (yes I realise that sounds lazy). However, as I am still borrowing (holding hostage) my Mum’s MagiMix, I used the grater attachment. Oh my goodness, I need to get myself a MagiMix! It made grating the carrots an absolute breeze, but not only that the carrot was quite a coarse grate which added a lovely texture to the cake. I should mention that I’m not being asked to rave about MagiMix’s in my last few blog posts, I am just genuinely excited by how great they are.

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I had big plans of how I was going to pipe little carrots onto this cake, but as you can see that never happened. As with most of my weekends I start off wanting to do loads of things and then realise weekends aren’t as long as I wish they were. So I decided to go with a simple decoration of bronze crunch around the edges.

I can’t believe GBBO is finished! At the beginning, I didn’t think I was going to be able to bake along until the end as I thought I would have either moved house or had everything packed ready to move. I am very pleased that Nadiya won and along with half of the UK, I teared up a little bit!

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For the cake:
150g light brown sugar
150g dark brown sugar
3 free range medium eggs
300ml sunflower oil
300g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp (heaped) cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
300g grated carrot

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC and line two or three 8 inch cake tins
  2. Mix together the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Before adding the sugar to the rest of the ingredients, try to break up any large lumps in the sugar
  3. In another bowl, mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together
  4. Gradually add the wet mix to the dry mix stirring as you go
  5. Add the carrots and keep stirring until thoroughly mixed

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  1. Split the mix between the prepared cake tins and smooth. Bake in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes if you are using two tins or 20- – 25 minutes. Use a cocktail stick to test the cake, it is cooked when the stick comes out clean

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

For the frosting:
75g unsalted butter
450g icing sugar
185g full fat cream cheese

  1. Make sure the butter is at room temperature. Beat it until it is softened

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  1. Add the icing sugar and beat until combined before adding the cream cheese. Mix until combined

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  1. Place one of the cakes upside down on your serving plate and put half of the frosting if you’ve made a two layer cake or one third if you’ve made three layers on top and spread out evenly

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  1. For the top layer, place it on top the right way up and smooth the remaining frosting
Mummy Mishaps

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Sugar-free Lemon Cake

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Week 5 of the Great British Bake Off was Free From week. The challenges included sugar free cakes, gluten free pitta breads and then dairy free ice cream rolls. I have had a go at making gluten free bread before; albeit with gluten free flour and not the powder they were using on the show, so I decided to have a go at making a sugar free cake.

I was trying to get ahead so searched for my sugar free cake recipe and bought my ingredients before the show aired. The recipe I found was for a sugar free lemon drizzle cake and used a plant based sugar substitute called Xylitol. The contestants on the show used honey, agave syrup and fruits to sweeten their cakes so were slightly different to mine. Not all of their cakes were successful, some were too moist and a couple weren’t sweet enough. I was pleased I’d used the Xylitol as the cake turned out really well and was sweet enough.

Xylitol has less calories than normal sugar and is therefore healthier, but it is quite pricey! Don’t get me wrong it is by no means extortionate (£2.70 for 225g), but when you compare it to normal sugar it is quite a bit more expensive. The original recipe was for a lemon drizzle cake, but for two reasons I didn’t add the drizzle. I’ve never been a fan of the drizzle as I don’t like the crunchy sugar, but for this recipe I needed a whole pack of the sugar for the cake, and then 50g extra for the drizzle. I didn’t want to buy another pack to just use a little bit and then for the rest to sit in my cupboard for years. So that sounded like a good enough reason to keep the cake drizzle free to me.

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225g self raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
225g xylitol
2 lemons, zest only
2 large eggs
125ml sunflower oil
1 tbsp milk
200g 0% fat yogurt

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Line and grease a 2kg loaf tin with baking parchment
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, Xylitol and lemon zest together in a bowl

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  1. In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the eggs, sunflower oil, milk and yogurt. Once mixed, add the wet mixture to the flour and mix until fully combined

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  1. Pour the mix into the tin and smooth the surface if needed and bake for 1 – 1 hour 10 mins. Check the cake after 50 minutes and if it is getting too dark, cover it loosely with foil

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

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The original recipe can be found here – http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1940674/sugarfree-lemon-drizzle-cake-

Head to www.mummymishaps.co.uk to check out the rest of the #GreatBloggersBake2015 entries.

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