Entries in cake (19)


raspberry, lemon and yoghurt cake


lemon and raspberry are flavours that work together to create a wonderfully fragrant summer deliciousness, which this cake exploits to the max. the lemon cake, with a hint of vanilla, is studded with soft red fruit and topped with a lemon icing, into which more raspberries have been stirred, so they streak it with their scarlet juices.

i ate this warm out of the oven, and again chilled by the fridge later in the day. either way it was perfect and so nice to share with new friends.

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i’ve read about parkin over recent years and have always been intrigued, but only just got round to making it.

parkin is a cake from the north of england (yorkshire is most often referred to but some in lancashire also seem to claim it as their own) and while it has local/familial variations, the heart of most recipes seem to be black treacle and oatmeal. ginger and other warming spices also seem to be common as does the advice to make it a few days (or even a week) in advance, so the flavour has time to mature and the texture to becomes moister and more sticky!

autumn, and more specifically bonfire night are often the prompt for this to be cooked, so i’m a bit late, but nevertheless, here it is! it is the only parkin i’ve ever tried, so i’ve been dependent on friends for feedback, one of whom talked about the partkins of her childhood varying enormously from a much more crumbly and dry to something more akin to a gingerbread or cake.

i think this is quite a good starting point for someone new to parkin. the flavours are very reminiscent of treacle toffee and gingerbread; i really liked the little nuggets of crystallised ginger; and the texture, which is like a heavy cake, shows off the difference that using oatmeal makes. and the advice about making it advance is worth taking – i’ve just had a piece one week after baking and it was definitely my favourite.

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lime and blueberry cake 

i’ve been craving cake, smothered with rich buttercream icing, for several weeks now. it was triggered when i was watching lorraine pascale’s baking made easy, a new(ish) cookery programme on bbc2. she made several cakes which involved buttercream and the low level thoughts that i always have along the lines of "cake + icing = joy" were triggered, and have been growing as i watched each episode.

i’ve really enjoyed the series – it has an old fashioned feel, where the recipes are quite normal rather than being obsessed with shortcuts at the expense of a decent result. it's an advocate of the view that if you put in a bit of time and effort, you’ll be rewarded. the recipes are solid and, having seen online various accounts of how people have got on when making them, reliable.  

the recipe i chose was her blueberry and lime drizzle cake. it should have had a glaze icing made from icing sugar and lime juice, but i wanted something richer and the buttercream worked well. it’s a lovely cake, really flavoursome and moist (keep it in the fridge) and would be easy to adapt for different fruit combinations.

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tea cake


peanut butter flapjacks have been keeping me on the new year fit-&-healthy straight-&-narrow track of moderation and healthy snacks. however, i am in need of a change. a friend made a tea cake the other week, using this recipe, which looked wonderful, so i decided to give it a  try.

the fruit (i just used raisins) is soaked in tea (i used a mix of earl grey with rose and black tea with orange blossom which made it slightly perfumed) and held together by a lightly spiced cake mix. i deviated from the original recipe with the addition of lemon zest and candied peel.

the result is delicious – a not-too-sweet loaf which tastes delicious (the citrus tang is lovely) and is fairly healthy. i sliced and wrapped the cooled loaf, ready for adding to daily packed lunches.

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darkest, lightest chocolate cake


when thinking about which chocolate cake to serve with my christmas vodka, i knew i needed something dark and not very sweet. this darkest chocolate cake is a very grown up cake, with its use of dark muscovado sugar and cocoa powder which create a slightly treacley, not too sweet, chocolate flavour. it is also wonderfully light and moist which makes it the perfect cake to serve as a dessert, when people might already be filling a bit full.

i’ve made this cake three times in the past two weeks – twice to serve with the vodka as a pudding and once to share with colleagues at work (sadly no vodka for them). each time i’ve been asked for the recipe, which is an indicator of its deliciousness and flexibility – it’s great, served with cream and vodka after a meal, or on its own (spinkled with a bit of edible glitter to liven it up!) with a mid-morning cup of tea. nice and easy to make too.

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