Tag: dessert

Time to get spicy with this Pumpkin Cake recipe

Pumpkin cake recipe

So go on then. How many times have you carved a pumpkin and don’t even bother to scoop out the insides? We’ve all done it but this year – like last, I scooped out enough to feed a small army and that was with just one daughterling. The other one didn’t even get her’s carved! Teenagers! So we have a whopper of a pumpkin to use and it’s the second week in November. So, I did what every good cake blogger does. I baked!

Pumpkin cake

Every year I give my mum the pumpkin flesh as she makes killer chutney with it but this year I made a cake and still had plenty left over to share. This pumpkin cake is really moist and quite heavy. It’s a slow bake cake and is the kind you could use to stack for a tiered cake. Perfect for an October wedding cake maybe? Think of it as a carrot cake made with pumpkin. It’s topped with a cream cheese frosting – the recipe for which I got from Jane Curran, the food editor on Woman&Home. It’s the only cream cheese frosting recipe I use. It can’t be beaten. It also lasts a long time. Once decorated we were still eating this cake a week later and it was fine.

 

Pumpkin Cake recipe

Pumpkin Cake recipe

  • 30ml rum
  • 50ml water
  • 200g sultanas
  • 350g plain flour
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium eggs
  • juice and zest of 1 ½ oranges
  • 350g shredded pumpkin
    Sugar syrup
  • Juice from ½ orange
  • 30ml water
  • 60g caster sugar
    Cream Cheese frosting
  • full fat cream cheese
  • icing sugar
  1. Place the rum and water and sultanas in a sealable container and leave for at least an hour - overnight is best.
  2. Line and grease an 8" cake tin and pre-heat the oven to 160ºC(140ºC fan)
  3. Melt the butter over a low heat and add to the sugars. Mix well. Add the lightly beaten eggs.
  4. In a separate bowl sieve and combine all the dry ingredients. Fold into the wet ingredients.
  5. Add half the orange juice and all of the zest, vanilla extract, pumpkin and soaked sultanas with their flavouring to the mixture and combine.
  6. Spoon into the cake tin
  7. Bake for 2 hours or until a skewer comes out of the cake clean.
    To make the sugar syrup
  1. Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat till it is all dissolved.
  2. Add the orange juice then simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Set aside to cool then brush over the whole cake as soon as it leaves the oven. Leave the cake to cool completely.
    To make the frosting
  1. Place the cream cheese and icing sugar together and mix well.
  2. Use a pallette knife to spread the frosting over the completely cooled cake. You can do just the top or all around the sides too.
http://cakesbakesandcookies.com/2016/11/11/time-to-get-spicy-with-a-pumpkin-cake-recipe/

Pumpkin cake recipe

So whether you bake this now or save the recipe for next halloween (you can print it off – just see the link above the recipe ingredients) it’s a keeper that’s for sure!

What do you do with your pumpkins? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below and feel free to share your recipe with the CakesBakesAndCookies crowd!

EmmaMT x

p.s. Happy Birthday Bot. xxxx

Lemon Drizzle cake with Flora Buttery

Lemon Drizzle cake with Flora ButteryLemon Drizzle cake recipe

When someone asks you if you’d like to do a sponsored post the chances are you’re going to say yes. When that post involves you baking- and lets face it, demolishing a Lemon drizzle cake in almost one sitting the answer is definitely a double yes!

Flora asked me to choose a recipe from their website  and I have to say I was surprised at just how many recipes there were (gazzillions!) From their selection the Lemon Drizzle cake was the one that I fancied eating most right at that very moment. But I had to wait for the weekend food shop to get my hands on a tub of the Flora Buttery (it’s available in all supermarkets). By the time I had a tub arrived I was craving chocolate so I gave the Flora buttery it’s first baking test run on the choc chip cookies from a few weeks ago. Normally a softer butter (or margarine) would make a really gooey-not-in-a-good-way cookie but these were delish. I’ve already made them again.

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

Lemon Drizzle cake – everyone’s favorite.

When I used to work at Woman & Home magazine and we had a cake sale it was always the Lemon Drizzle and the banana cakes that sold out first. For that reason I though that it would be a good idea to make this Lemon Drizzle for when I was visiting a friend. It was the perfect balance of sweet and zingy. I baked the cake but I always worry I’m going to drown the cake in the lemon sugar syrup so I just brushed it on liberally when the cake came out of the oven. There’s something very satisfying about watching syrup seep into a cake. As the cake is hot it literally disappears in milliseconds. There was tons of syrup left which made me think I’d made the cake wrong. In hindsight I could have added a lot more syrup at this stage but it still tasted great without it. Really light and the texture of the cake was so soft and springy.

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

After I had ‘taste tested’ the cake I decided that rather than waste the lemon sugar syrup I would brush most of what was left over on top of the cooled cake. Oh – my- goodness!!!! That’s when it all came together for me. So good. So zingy. So deeeelish! In fact the true test of whether a cake is good is when Tim comes into the office peers over my shoulder while I’m writing this post and says “Mmmm that looks good. Can you bake it again?” – I should note that as my official taste tester he is a bit rubbish. He has amazing will power and will eat just one slice of cake, whereas I will eat till it’s gone (that’s why Monday’s are so good. No kids, no Tim, just me and the freshly baked goods!) I only saved one slice of this for Tim before I headed off to my friends – obviously it was not enough!

My reply to Tim was ” I can make another lemon drizzle cake but I was planning on making muffins today” to which he replied “You can make those too!” Hello ever widening hips!

The Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

You can ? off this recipe here

Lemon Drizzle cake recipe

enjoy!

EmmaMT x

Disclaimer: Thank you to Flora for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions and ramblings are my own 

How NOT to make a mermaid birthday cake

How NOT to make a mermaid birthday cakeSometimes my cakes go wrong and when I say wrong I mean REALLY wrong. I didn’t realise quite how wrong this cake went until I had finished it.  Tim -my harshest critic, walked into the kitchen and I asked “What do you think?” his response after looking at the mermaid was …

“Well, he doesn’t look very happy does he!”

He !!! He !!. Well I guess Tim did have a point. I had given HER the most enormous chest. Not quite sure what I was thinking about whilst making this mermaid for a 6 year old! And to make matters worse this was a cake for Free Cakes For Kids. I managed to squish the head a ‘little’ when I was adding it onto the body (without a neck) and then even further still when I attached the strands of long, heavy, sugarpaste hair. Her beautiful oval shaped head kind of became square and rugged looking. But I didn’t notice at the time. I was too busy concentrating on making the hair stick to her head.

The right way to decorate the cake

How NOT to make a mermaid birthday cakeI was really happy with the rest of the cake.  I baked an 8″ Madeira cake and filled half a Christmas pudding bowl tin with cake mix to get the curved top. I used the ingredients for a 9″ cake and split the mixture accordingly.

I buttercreamed the cakes together – cutting the 8″ in half. I then did a crumb coat and covered the cake in blue sugarpaste. I really like the sea like decorations. The twists were made when I covered the cake board in sugarpaste. I just rolled out different sized cones and twisted the tops then left them to dry out. The same effect was used with the seaweed but the green strips were long and thin and were twisted and stuck to the cake straight away. I like how it gives the base of the cake a 3d effect.

For the air bubbles I rolled tiny little balls of sugarpaste and used a balling tool  to make a hole in the centre. They were then stuck on by making the back damp.

The flowers were made in advance too but just a day before. They were set in painters pallettes so they would dry curved. You can see how I make flowers here.

The cake toppingsHow NOT to make a mermaid birthday cake

Seriously! What was I thinking with those knockers!!!! I can’t believe I thought that looked appropriate for a six year old!!! Anyway, as well as the well boosomed mermaid with the chiselled jaw, I made a number ‘6’ from a roll of sugarpaste which was left to dry for ages – like a week. I also made the name in the same way for the front of the cake. (you can see how I make the names here).The ‘6’ had rocks placed behind to hold it up and in place.

If you really want to know how I made the mermaid this is how!

How NOT to make a mermaid birthday cakeThe mermaid’s tail was added to the cake first then the body. A ‘belt’ was added around the join. The tail and belt were marked with a half moon cake decorating tool. The arms were added and the painted head was attached. Finally the hair was stuck onto the mermaid using royal icing.

I had such great intentions and aspirations for this cake but I felt it fell flat. The little girl who it was for loved it – but let’s face it – she was six, it was a mermaid and it was cake. What’s not to love in her little world? Next time Free Cakes For Kids I promise I’ll do better! Maybe you should give me a man to make from sugarpaste. I think I’ve got that down pat!

All kidding aside – this was another cake for an amazing charity. The recipients are always so grateful to receive a cake for their little ones and it’s an absolute pleasure to be able to give back to our community in that way.

So, have you had a cake that’s gone wrong or just not to plan? I’d love to know all about it and see the cake wreck love. Feel free to share your cakes on the CakesBakesAndCookies Facebook page. It’s good to share.

EmmaMT x

 

The only Coffee Madeira cake recipe you’ll ever need, and it fits all cake tin sizes!

The only Coffee Madeira cake recipe you’ll ever need, and it fits all cake tin sizes!The only Coffee Madeira Cake recipe you'll ever need

After countless emails and comments here on Cakes Bakes And Cookies I am finally happy to share my new Coffee Madeira cake recipe. I’ve tried it so many different ways – with esspresso, with more coffee, with less coffee and this is THE one! It’s a perfect balance of lightly textured cake with a smooth coffee flavour. The buttercream has a delicious coffee flavour but not too strong and when put together the balance is… well, just right.

I made the 9″ Coffee madeira cake mix and split it between five small 6″ tins. Have you seen these tins from Lakeland? They’re a clever set designed for making rainbow cakes and now they do them in an 8″ set too. I wanted to have an impressive layer cake suitable for a coffee morning but you can use this recipe in one 9″ cake tin for a layered wedding cake.

 

Coffee Madeira cake chart

This chart is for round cakes. For square cakes just go up one inch so an 8″ square cake will use a 9″ round recipe.

The_only _Coffee_Madeira_Cake_recipe_you'll_ever_need

How to make Coffee Madeira cake

  1. Line the cake tin with baking paper. I use sunflower oil to grease the tin so the cake stays soft. Butter tends to bake too quickly giving you a harder cake on the outside.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC)
  3. Start by creaming the butters together then add the sugar and beat till it’s pale and fluffy.
  4. Very slowly add the eggs – a spoonful at a time. Add a spoon of the flour to prevent curdling if necessary.
  5. Add the hot water to the coffee and disolve. Set to one side to cool.
  6. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl. Add the flour and coffee in three goes. This produces the fluffiest and most moist cake rather than adding all the flour then all the water.
  7. Add the walnut halves mixing as little as possible.
  8. Bake for time stated on the chart for your size cake tin or until a skewer comes out of the centre clean.
  9. Don’t open the oven door for the first 30 minutes. It will make the cake sink.
  10. Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before adding the sugar syrup and turning out of the tin carefully.

How to make the sugar syrup:

  1. In a saucepan heat the water and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes then leave to cool. I make my sugar syrup when the cake goes into the oven.
  2. Once your cake is removed from the oven let it sit for 5 minutes then use a pastry brush to brush the sugar syrup over the entire cake. You only need to cover each area of the cake once and avoid soaking the cake or you will end up with a big soggy mess not a nice moist cake. Make sure you get the edges of the cake covered as they tend to dry out the most.
  3. Leave for a further 10 minutes before turning your cake out onto a rack to cool completely.

The only Coffee Madeira Cake recipe you'll ever needCoffee buttercream recipe

These buttercream quantities are enough to fill each cake when split into two layers and coat the outside with a crumb coat and top coat.

 

The_only _Coffee_Madeira_Cake_recipe_you'll_ever_need

How to make coffee buttercream

  1.   Mix the water and coffee together till disolved then set to one side to cool.
  2. Start by beating the butter so it becomes light and fluffy.
  3. Sieve the icing sugar over the top of the butter then mix until well blended. I place a tea towel over my Kitchenaid and hold it carefully in place whilst mixing to prevent the dust from the icing sugar going everywhere.
  4. Once combined add the coffee and mix for 2-3 minutes so it becomes really light and fluffy. This consistency is good for a filling between layers of cake as it’s thick. I pipe buttercream between layers as it stays thicker than when I used a palette knife. It’s also easier to control and get flat.
  5. When covering a cake with a buttercream crumb coat before adding sugarpaste or for a decorative finish you need the buttercream to be more fluid. You can get this consistency by adding a drop or two of milk and mixing it in well. Do this slowly as once it’s too soft it’s a pain to get it to firm up again. How soft you want your buttercream is a personal choice. I like to be able to smooth the buttercream on with a palette knife easily and have it come off the sides with a side scraper without breaking the cake, but I don’t want it too soft.

The only Coffee Madeira Cake recipe you'll ever need

For the five layer Coffee Madeira cake

To create the coffee morning five layer cake I made the cake mix and placed it equally in each tin – which was around 150g per tin. The cakes only took 25 minutes to bake. To decorate I piped a squiggly line on the outside of each layer and filled the middle of each cake evenly.That way you get a pretty outside edge.

For the top I spread the buttercream neatly to cover the edges then piped another squiggly line around the outer edge. I broke up some extra walnuts and sprinkled them on top of the icing.

This cake was a hit in our house. Beau asked for “just a small slice” for breakfast. You can’t have a small slice of this cake.  Whichever way you cut it it’s going to be big. She managed to finish it off no problem!

Another thing about this cake is that I have been testing Madeira cakes made with butter and oil (instead of margarine). The cakes come out really light and much flatter but they don’t last as long. So if you give this a try decorate your cake to seal it (with a complete covering of buttercream) by the day after you bake it. You’ll also want to eat it within two or three days.

http://cakesbakesandcookies.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Coffee-Madeira-cake-chart-PDF-.pdf

Hope you like it

EmmaMT x

p.s. For all of you asking for a lemon Madeira cake recipe – that’s coming next month with charts too!

How to make a Baymax birthday cake

How to make a Baymax birthday cake

How to make a Baymax Birthday cake

Last month I was asked to make Dulcie’s 5th Birthday cake and it wasn’t a Baymax birthday cake. In fact I feel a bit guilty that my first response when asked was ‘Oh no, not another Minecraft cake with hundreds and hundreds of little green squares!” Dulcie’s mum very graciously changed her mind to a Baymax cake and I was soooo pleased. Not only that it wasn’t a Minecraft one but because we loved Big Hero 6 and I knew Baymax was going to be a fun one to do.

The challenge was to make him a bit interesting and not just a big white figure on a cake board. Dulcie’s mum said “No pink”. It sounds like Dulcie is like Darcey – properly feminine and a complete tomboy at the same time. She also asked for the cake to be blue. “No problem” I said. And then I tried to make it!

The impossible blue Baymax birthday cake !

I set off on a google research mission. I’ve coloured my madeira cake before but never a specific blue colour and I know from the past that a yellowy, cream cake mix will not make a blue cake. It will be green! I even asked at the cake decorating shop how to do it. They weren’t sure so we looked for a ‘white’ cake to bake that could be coloured on line. The cake on the blog we found was as pure as snow. The author had removed egg yolks and replaced them with buttermilk. She used white butter- which we can’t get here (if you know of any please let me know) and it looked light and fluffy. I tried. It was not pretty! The cake was very light in colour but no where near white enough. I added the blue colouring and baked it. It came out illuminous turquoise. Not good. It also went completely solid after one day, even though it was double wrapped in cling film. Yuck!

For the next trial I baked my madeira cake, removing the egg yolks – replacing them with double cream, I used sunflower oil instead of the very yellow margarine and I used President butter – the whitest butter I know of. It still came out deep green but it was marvelously flat and very soft. In the end- running out of time,  I had to see if a green cake would be okay and when Dulcie’s mum said “Go for it” I made another batch of my madeira cake – again making it as light in colour as possible and only adding a touch of blue colour and the end result was lovely. Pfew!

How to make a Baymax Birthday Cake

This cake was relatively straight forward to make. As long as you have enough cakes to stack you’re good to go.  Cover the cake board a few days in advance so it has time to harden.

To shape the cakeHow to make a Baymax Birthday cake

I used a number of tins with paper liners in them as I didn’t have enough of the same size to get the height. The paper cases were for 7″ cakes. I made 3 x 7″, 1 x 6″, 1 x christmas pudding bowl – for the curved shoulders and one 4″ cake for the head. I used my 9″ Madeira cake mix and split the cake mix between the tins.

As the cakes were so uneven I flattened off the tops and stacked the cake to see how it would look. Once I was happy I added buttercream between each cake and smoothed the shape of the body. To make the cake secure and prevent the layers slipping off one another I pushed three wooden skewers into the body and snipped the ends off.

To make the headHow to make a Baymax Birthday cake

The head was a small 4″ cake. Use a sharp bread knife to shape it into a head shape then cover in buttercream and then cover with sugarpaste. I made the head first so it could harden up a little for when I needed to handle it into place later.

To cover the bodyHow to make a Baymax Birthday cake

Once cut to shape cover the body in a crumb coating of buttercream. Place it in the fridge to set for 10-15 minutes. I had to remove a shelf to fit him in. Then add a second coat of buttercream to get a smooth surface for the sugarpaste to sit on. I like to chill the second coat for another ten minutes but it’s not essential.

Roll out the sugarpaste quite thick – around the depth of two £1 coins. I covered the body in one go so as I lifted the sugarpaste off the work surface I knew it would stretch and likely tear if it wasn’t thick enough. As it’s positioned it does get thinner. To make sure there are no creases lift the sugarpaste at the bottom up and gently lift it away from the cake with one hand while smoothing it down with the other. This action will stretch the sugarpaste into shape and prevent creases. This does take some practice but just take it slow and don’t be afraid to pull the sugarpaste away furhter than feels right. Tuck the paste right into the base of the cake and remove any excess. I was able to lift the cake up and tuck the sugarpaste underneath then place Baymax onto the cake board (with royal icing to make him stay in place). I then rubbed down where my hand was to make him smooth again.

Use a drop of royal icing to position the head in place.

To add the arms and details
How to make a Baymax Birthday cake

The arms and legs were made from sugarpaste. Roll out sausage shapes then make them gently squared off at the ends. On the legs use a palette knife to make groves where the feet are and on the arms cut an additional oval for the elbows. Both the arms and legs were stuck into position with royal icing. The arms need to be held for a minute till they stick and won’t slide off. Once the arms were secured four fat sausage fingers and thumbs were added.

The badge on Baymax’s chest was made with a circle cutter. A palette knife was then used to make the detail lines in the centre.

For the face be really careful to position the eyes- cut out from black sugarpaste and a line of sugarpaste, exactly where you want them to be. Black sugarpaste is really sticky and once it’s on you won’t get the marks off. Luckily Baymax’s face is really simple. I used edible glue to position them so there was no chance of seepage.

Decorations for the Baymax birthday cake How to make a Baymax Birthday cake

I really love writing names in sugarpaste since I made Asher’s climbing wall cake . Again, I wrote the name out in a big black marker on paper and placed silicon paper over the top then traced the letters in a long thin line of rolled out sugarpaste. I then left the name to dry. Drying a name takes around 4-5 days but you can speed the process up by placing it in a warm (not hot or it will melt) oven. I put my oven on to 50ºC for five minutes then I turn it off and place the name inside for only 10 minutes. Remove it and leave it to cool completely. Repeat if you want the name firmer. The firmer the name the easier it is to handle and the less likely it is to break. Use Royal icing under and behind the name to stick it in place.

As the cake was going to be pretty bland with just Baymax I made little cubes of sugarpaste into wrapped gifts by adding ribbons and bows on top. They were placed around Baymax. I also didn’t just want to have a number 5 any where so I made a mini birthday cake complete with five candles for the number to sit on. I did this with thick sugarpaste cut out into circles in beige and then had smaller white discs (for cream) with red ‘jam’ over the top. These were layered up together with royal icing to hold them together.  If I was to change anything about this cake it would be to make the sponge layers of this mini cake more brown. Next time!  The candles were thin florists paste (as it dries harder quicker) with sugarpaste flames on top. I used red and orange sugarpaste which wasn’t completely blended together to make the flames more interesting.

How to make a Baymax Birthday cake

So, that was it. I really loved making this Baymax birthday cake. I think it works for boys or girls, you just change the colours to suit. What do you think?

All that’s left to say is

Happy Birthday Dulcie you gorgeous smiley munchkin you. xxx

EmmaMT

x

Cake inspiration from Sweetapolita: Chocolate Torte Madeira Sprinkle Birthday Cake

 Chocolate Torte Madeira Sprinkle Birthday CakeSprinkle Birthday cake

Where do you get your cake inspiration from? I follow quite a lot of blogs but I only stay subscribed if they keep on delivering great inspiration month after month. If they don’t post for a few weeks I don’t really mind as when they do it’s always amazing new content and that’s how I feel about Sweetapolita. She has a very distinctive style and I always want to have a go at recreating her cakes. Her style was the inspiration for this cake. 

BeauBeau is TWELVE!!!! 

Where does the time go. I’ve been writing this blog for over four years and each year my daughter’s birthday cake posts seem to come round quicker and quicker. For the first time in ages I actually can believe Beau is twelve. She is so much more happy and mature than she was last year. She’s settled into senior school really well and has a lovely group of new friends who we met for the first time on Sunday. One of them even offered to help carry over the drinks for all the gang while we were at bowling! I mean literally said “Would you like me to help you carry the drinks over“!!! How happy am I that Beau has found such polite and friendly group of girls to hang out with? VERY.Sprinkle Birthday cake

So, when it came to her birthday cake she asked for something simple, chocolatey and pretty. Gone are the days of sculpting cakes into fancy designs. In fact I can’t actually remember the last time I was asked to do that. I knew exactly which of Sweetapolita’s cake designs I was going to make. Lots of soft chocolate ganache buttercream and lots and lots of pretty sprinkles! 

Now, I would say that this cake is quick and easy to make and I am sure it is, but not when you are desperate to finish season 4 of Prison Break on Netflix and can’t stop watching it and stay up till 3am to do so! Without Netflix it would have been sooo much quicker! 

Chocolate Torte Madeira Cake 

[yumprint-recipe id=’4′]Beau and her Sprinkle Birthday cake

Happy Birthday Beau Beau Bob. We love you so much. 

Emma (a.k.a. Mamma.xxx)

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