Archive of ‘Cakes’ category

Rich Christmas Fruitcake

Rich Christmas fruitcake packed full of rum soaked fruit. Make in advance and feed regularly with rum, whiskey, brandy or sherry

So it is somehow December already and I have done no Christmas shopping or planning whatsoever; I wont be hosting Christmas lunch (my house is essentially a building site at the moment) but I do need to make dessert and some Christmassy nibbles. I did manage to be organised enough to bake a rich Christmas fruitcake last week though; I haven’t yet decided how I want to decorate it but I’ve got a few weeks left to come up with something. (more…)

Mini Bleeding Heart Halloween Cakes

Mini red velvet layer cakes with ermine frosting topped with a bleeding heart and ganache 'blood'; perfect for Halloween

I haven’t had as much fun in the kitchen in a long time as I had making these mini bleeding heart Halloween cakes; yes I am still trying to clean the food colouring off my hands and worktops but it was a fun and almost therapeutic craft project. The hearts are the brainchild of Lily Vanilli, an incredibly talented baker and author who originally designed the hearts as an anti-valentines cake. I thought they would be great for Halloween and would look even more impressive placed on top of mini red velvet layer cakes with a cascade of ganache ‘blood’ down the side. (more…)

Crumble Topped Pumpkin Spice Cake

Crumble topped pumpkin spice cake - super moist, soft, spiced pumpkin cake with a crunchy crumble topping; easy to make and so delicious!

I was initially dreading the end of Summer but it has to be said that there are some appealing aspects to Autumn – the pretty coloured leaves, big jumpers, Halloween, hot (alcoholic) drinks, soup, but most of all the warmly spiced baked goods. I love using spices in baking, and while I do use them year round, it feels so much more appropriate to be heavy handed with them in Autumn and Winter. Lately the internet has exploded with all things pumpkin, and not wanting to be left out I jumped on the bandwagon and baked this crumble topped pumpkin spice cake. (more…)

Simple Wholemeal Apple Cake

Simple wholemeal apple cake - easy to make, moist wholemeal cake filled with fresh apple and spices

As much as I enjoy making towering, intricately decorated layer cakes, the cakes that I most enjoy eating, and crave most often, are generally a far simpler affair. The kind of cakes that aren’t too pretty to look at, but you feel much less guilty about eating a massive wodge of for a mid-morning snack. I had been craving apple cake for a couple of weeks and when the tree in the garden yielded a few ready-to-pick apples that weren’t great for eating fresh, but were good for cooking with, I finally got round to satisfying the craving with this simple wholemeal apple cake. (more…)

Meringue Bone Palace Halloween Cake

meringue bone palace halloween cake - moist chocolate cake filled with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and raspberry jam covered in meringue bones with berry coulis blood on the side

So now it’s October (how already?!) I think it’s acceptable to start posting Halloween things. I love coming up with Halloweeny bakes, it’s a chance to let my gothic creativity run wild and I have so many ideas that there’s no way I’ll be able to make them all. I actually made this cake a couple of weeks ago but have been waiting till October to post it; I wasn’t quite sure what to call it – meringue bone garden? Pile? Graveyard? In the end I went with palace but any of the former would fit. Basically it’s a chocolate cake filled with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and raspberry jam, covered in meringue bones with berry coulis ‘blood’ on the side. (more…)

Blueberry Banana Buckwheat Layer Cake

Blueberry banana buckwheat layer cake with vanilla mascarpone cream frosting (gluten-free)

Not gonna lie, I chose the ingredients for this cake based on the fact that I liked the alliteration of ‘blueberry banana buckwheat’; so it’s a good job that they turned out to be delicious together! I’d had a bag of buckwheat flour sat in the cupboard for a while that I had been meaning to bake with, and a couple of over-ripe bananas in the fruit bowl just begging to be made into cake. The resulting banana buckwheat cake was delicious as is, but I couldn’t resist fancying it up a bit with the addition of vanilla mascarpone cream, jam and fruit. As mentioned above, I chose blueberries purely for the alliteration, and they worked perfectly, but strawberries, raspberries or a combination of the three would all also work just as well. (more…)

Chocolate & Vanilla Gold Sprinkles Cake

Chocolate & vanilla gold sprinkles cake - velvety American white cake dyed turquoise with fudgy chocolate buttercream & a cascade of gold sprinkles

It’s been a while since I last made a layer cake, I didn’t even make one for my birthday (I had ice cream instead), the reason for this is that they are so big and there is mostly just the two of us to eat it. Therefore I will take advantage of any occasion where there is a gathering of people large enough to make one; a couple of weeks ago there was just such an occasion – a barbecue for a friends birthday so of course I made a cake. (more…)

Syrupy Lemon, Olive Oil & Semolina Cakes

Mini syrup drenched lemon, olive oil and semolina cakes

I made these little lemon, olive oil & semolina cakes for a picnic last week; they are great for picnics as they are very quick to whip up, and because they aren’t iced they can be transported in their tins or a tub easily if need be. The combination of lemon zest and semolina flour give the cakes a lovely sunny yellow colour, and the drenching of syrup provides a strong kick of lemon flavour and keeps them deliciously moist and soft. (more…)

Chocolate Stout Cake With Stout Ganache (Guinness Chocolate Cake)

Chocolate stout cake with stout ganache

So much for Summer; for the last week we’ve had nothing but grey skies and rain. It has been properly gloomy, but SO uncomfortably humid; especially at night, when we all, including Ringo the dog, have been struggling to sleep. There has been so much rain in fact that there has even been quite a bit of flooding near my house… in Birmingham! The gloomy weather and lack of sleep called for cake, chocolate cake to be specific. Dark, dense and richly flavoured chocolate stout cake, topped with a thick layer of silky-smooth stout ganache; grown-up chocolate cake heaven. (more…)

Double Chocolate Almond Raisin Muffins & A Giveaway

Jumbo double chocolate almond raisin muffins

I’ve had a pretty busy couple of weeks recently, there has been some very grown-up stuff happening (words like mortgage! Solicitors! Conveyancing!), and some not-so-grown-up stuff (epic pirate cake baking!), as well as several friends coming to stay; so unfortunately I’ve had very little time for blogging and my social media has been thoroughly neglected. I thought I would ease back into things with something simple – double chocolate almond raisin muffins, because muffins are some of the easiest things you can make. (more…)

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