Musical Piñata Cake

It’s been a while since either of us posted anything… I have followed in the family tradition and (perhaps rather predictably to anyone that knows us) become a teacher. I have spent these past few months trying to get my head round a) how to teach, b) how to teach and c) how to teach. Oh and also how anyone my age can possibly be trusted with the education of the next generations. Anyway, what with starting a full time job, moving cities and having yet another rubbish oven, baking has been rather low on my list of priorities.

However, this week was my housemates birthday and there was no way i was letting her get away without celebrating. Evie is an english teacher and, like me, loves her music. Our spare room is home to her electric piano and her iPod is always filling the house with various genres of songs. I decided that a musical theme would be perfect for her cake. I had made Mark (my brother) a musical cake for his last birthday and decided that Evie would love a similar one.



Mark’s musical cake

For Mark’s, I did layers of white chocolate and dark chocolate cake with a filling of Nestle’s Vice-Versas to make it extra special.


However, i did not feel the white chocolate cake added anything, it was just over sweet and no real flavour. So, for Evie, i decided to go with a mocha theme and made chocolate and coffee cakes with a mocha buttercream in between.


Yes we did get her a stupid hat and yes it does sing

I bought these cutters which are a bit fiddly but well worth the effort. There are 3 different sizes of note which makes for simple variation.20151211_215840

I used chocolate fondant icing which you can buy from Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s to cover the cakes. I find this adds a lot to the taste because it is flavoured and not purely sugary. To make the ivory coloured notes I added a little of the brown icing to some white fondant just to take the edge off them. Evie’s surname is Star and hence I filled the cake with Magic Stars. Little personal touches like that always give a cake the extra edge.


If you are unsure as to how to create a piñata cake then the instructions are on this previous blog.

Sorry it’s been so long since we last posted but life has been so busy! I know that Ruth has been busy baking and has many fantastic cakes to write about but finding the time is difficult. We will try and catch up over christmas. For anyone that is interested Ruth has a recipe published in the latest Clandestine Cake Club recipe book for her foolproof chocolate recipe, we are going up in the world!



White Chocolate and Passionfruit Cake


It was my birthday at the beginning of June and, having moved back home, Ruth is no longer in the vicinity so couldn’t provide me with a fabulous cake as she normally would.

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(Just a little reminder of the previous few!!)

Mum did ask what sort of cake I would like but as soon as I started describing it she point-blank refused to make it. So… I made my own (i have to admit, i was secretly quite pleased – it meant I could have exactly what I wanted).

I am all for making a cake that looks good but that is relatively easy to pull off, something that most people would be able to do without too much grief and stress.

Admittedly the flavouring of this cake was slightly less conventional and required some planning, but the decorating principles can be applied to any flavour or occasion.

I wanted to try to make an exotic flavoured cake and found a bottle of passion fruit cordial in the pantry (mum does sometimes keep a rather random selection of goodies) which gave me the initial inspiration as to what i would do.

I decided to attempt a passion fruit and white chocolate layered cake which would be filled with passion fruit curd and passion fruit buttercream and topped/coated with white chocolate buttercream.

For the white chocolate layers I followed this recipe (without the raspberries) from the bbc good food website – it had a nice texture but lacked in flavour. It was very sweet but not really identifiable as white chocolate. In hindsight I should have just made passion fruit flavoured cakes and missed out the white chocolate all together.

For the passion fruit cake, I followed Mary Berry’s victoria sponge recipce but added passion fruit essence which i bought here. When making a cake using such a subtle flavour, the easiest way to make a powerful impact is by using an intense flavouring – baking tends to dampen flavours and you would have to use so much real passion fruit juice that the batter would become too runny and the cake would not rise.11407007_10205721637416693_3477559119969654145_n

I then devised a recipe for passion fruit filling.

For this I bought a carton of rubicon passion fruit juice and used cornflour to thicken it, it was a bit of a cross between a curd and a custard.

Passion Fruit Filling

200 ml passion fruit juice
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cornflour
knob of butter

Mix the cornflour into a small quantity of passion fruit juice (enough to ‘dissolve’ it with no lumps)
Whisk the egg yolk into the remaining passion fruit juice
Heat the juice and egg mixture over a low hear, whisking all the time
When it is hot, pour in the cornflour and continue whisking
Cook for 2 mins, whisking continually
Pour into a bowl and cover the surface with cling film then leave to cool

For the passion fruit buttercream, I used our basic buttercream recipe and added the passion fruit flavouring a long with some passion fruit juice. I don’t think the flavouring was as necessary for the buttercream as it was for the cake because buttercream can hold more juice, just make sure you add any liquid slowly and stop as soon as you think it may curdle.

I then had 2 eight inch white chocolate cakes and 2 passion fruit flavoured cakes.When they were cooled I cut them all in half to give me 8 layers, I decided that layering 6 of these would give an appropriately sized cake. I used the left over passion fruit juice to drizzle over the cakes. Whenever possible I try to think of something that will help to keep the cakes moist, they dry out less quickly meaning they last longer ~(not that this is ever really an issue in my house…). I then layered the two sorts of cake alternately, filling with both the cooled passion fruit filling and the passion fruit buttercream.

For the white chocolate buttercream I used this recipe which worked really well. You can really taste the white chocolate but beware… it is sickly sweet! I crumb coated the cake and iced it with this buttercream.

Finalllllyy for the decoration. This really was very simple but looked incredibly effective – i would recommend it to any novice cake decorators.


Firstly, I stuck chocolate fingers round the edge of the cake. Make sure you buy enough so that they touch all the way around otherwise the overall effect can be a bit messy. I think I used about 4 boxes to cover an eight inch cake.

You can also use twirls as seen on this cake we made for Anna,

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…or any other neat looking chocolate bar.

I tied a ribbon round the edge to keep the fingers in place.

Top tip: use pins to secure the ribbon in place! (But don’t forget you put them there otherwise you can end up pricking yourself and yelping rather embarrassingly in the middle of a full restaurant… but we don’t need to go into that)

I stole Ruth’s idea from above and put raspberries in a ring on the top. I could have done this over the whole of the cake, as you can see it gives an easy but very pretty finish. However, I wanted to do something a little different. So…. I scooped out the flesh and juice of 6 passion fruit. I then strained the pips and put the juice in a pan with a little arrowroot (a thickener rather like cornflour but that leaves your liquid clear rather than going cloudy). This causes the juice to go thick, jelly like and a bit sticky. I added the pips back in and poured it into the middle of the raspberries. You need to add enough arrowroot to make the passion fruit viscous enough that it will not slide off into the raspberries but stay together in the middle.

Eh voila


I had a lovely meal at a local Italian with my parents and my friend who was visiting from Mexico and the cake was a hit. The raspberries were a good addition because the cake was very sweet so it cut through somewhat.

We have a lot of cakes to blog about so keep checking for updates – hopefully with the summer holidays round the corner we will manage to do a bit of catching up.

Here are a few piccys to get you all excited:

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Lizzy 🙂


Elsa cake and Frozen party!

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Elsa Cake

I recently found myself pondering about what cake I will make for my daughter’s 5th birthday party, and I realised I hadn’t yet blogged about her 4th. Eeek! So, 8 months late, but better late than never! “🎶Can’t hold it back anymore🎶”.

Like pretty much every 4 year old girl, my daughter was desperate for a ‘Frozen’ party (latest Disney craze). She had a couple of friends over to our house on her birthday and, as usual, I got carried away with the ‘theme’.❄❄❄❄ ⛄

Elsa Cake

I made this lovely Elsa cake with the help of my sister Anna. It was pretty straight forward, although the final details took me a long time! “Where shall I put this last snowflake?!?!” (screams at midnight). ❄❄❄

I had to make the cake pink….that was my daughter’s request.

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Stacked and carved cake

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Buttercream crumb coat!

I bought duck egg blue Renshaw fondant, as it was pretty much the right shade (I messed about with the colour a bit, but it was much easier than starting with white).

One Elsa doll, two pots of glitter and several snowflakes later…..voilàl!

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Elsa cake

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Elsa doll was thoroughly wrapped in clingfilm before going in the cake!

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Frozen food

I made various ‘Frozen’ themed treats for their party lunch. No Frozen party would be complete without ‘ice’ (blue jelly), ‘snow’ (ice cream), ‘snowmen’ (marshmellows) and snowflake sprinkles!

'Ice' block jelly

‘Ice’ block jelly

To make the blue jelly into blocks, I followed the instructions on the pack and poured it into a small, square baking tray. I cut it into blocks once it was set, then left it into the fridge again, to firm up as blocks. The children loved building icy towers and generally playing with their food, before gobbling it up!

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Olaf cake pops


Frozen Games

I organised a few Frozen inspired games and activities:

– Pass the snowball (pass the parcel, but wrapped up in blue and white tissue paper) 🎁

– Frozen statues (freeze into pose when music stops) 🎶

– Musical Trolls (curl up like a troll when music stops) 🎶

– Corners (picture of 4 characters from the film, one in each corner of the room. Run to the one I shout out. Include other instructions like ‘make icy powers’, ‘freeze’, ‘curl up like a troll’, ‘curtsey’ etc)

– Frozen colouring, printed from the disney website

– Make and decorate snowflakes

– Pin the carrot on Olaf ⛄

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Pin the carrot on Olaf

– Melt Anna’s Frozen hearts.❤ This involved freezing Haribo heart-throbs into ice cubes. Put all the cubes in the middle of the table. Give each child a plate. They melt as many as they can on the plate and in their hands, until all the ice cubes are gone. Afterwards, they count and eat the hearts they have thawed. I made enough for each child to melt approximately 6. They loved it, and it kept them quiet for a few minutes!💙

“❤Only an act of true love can thaw a Frozen heart❤”

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Frozen Haribo hearts

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Melting Anna’s frozen heart game

Party bags

I bought some plain blue boxes and stuck printed off snowflakes onto them. Inside I included various treats, including a bag of ‘hearts’ and a piping bag, filled with bits and pieces to build an edible Olaf.⛄”Do you wanna build a snowman?”

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Frozen party favour

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Do you want to build a snowman…?

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My daughter’s edible Olaf

“🎶 Let it go, let it go….🎶”

Ruth 🙂

Raspberry Twirl Cake

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Raspberry Twirl Cake

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I’ve got so much blogging to catch up on, with Anna’s 18th and my son’s 1st birthday falling in the same month, busy busy! As you know, I made this crazy skittles flavoured cake for Anna’s 18th party. However, the party wasn’t on her actual birthday and our family celebration called for another cake, of course! Anna loves raspberries and Cadbury Twirls, so I wanted to somehow combine these two elements. Raspberries and chocolate are a winning combination, so I knew it would be hard to go wrong!

I decided to make a vanilla sponge, sliced into thin layers and sandwiched with raspberry jam. The idea was not to let anything interfere with the raspberry flavour too much, however, this did make a very sweet cake – so lemon sponge layers would also be very nice, depending on personal preference.

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Raspberry Twirl Cake layers

I then covered the whole cake in delicious raspberry buttercream. I had some Squire’s Kitchen raspberry flavoured fondant icing mix in the cupboard, which I won in a hamper (woooo). It is used in just the same way as icing sugar and makes fabulous raspberry glacé icing or buttercream. It can be difficult to flavour buttercream as it can’t take much liquid before it curdles, so it’s amazing to be able to buy concentrated, flavoured icing sugars for special occasions.

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Raspberry buttercream

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Cadbury Twirls around the cake

I wanted the cake to be tall enough so that the Twirls were only slightly higher than the top of the cake. The raspberries nestled just inside the Twirls, to make the whole thing look nicely finished. From an aesthetic point of view, it looks much better like this than if the Twirls are much taller than the cake, so bear this in mind when thinking about how much cake to bake.


I warmed and strained about half a jar of raspberry jam and brushed it all over the raspberries for a lovely glaze. It really brings the raspberries to life and gives the cake a nice polished look.,


Turns out it’s quite difficult to position 18 candles around a cake symmetrically!


Happy 18th Anna!

Ruth ❤


Raspberry Twirl Cake

Thin layers of vanilla sponge, sandwiched with raspberry jam and covered in raspberry buttercream. Surrounded by Cadbury Twirls and topped with raspberries, glazed with raspberry jam.

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Cake Ingredients:

Note: This recipe makes 3 8 inch cakes, cut in half to make 6 thin layers. I only used 5 of the layers to get just the right height for the Twirls and raspberries to sit neatly. I’m sure the 6th layer won’t go to waste if you don’t need it!!

350g soft margarine or very soft butter

350g caster sugar

6 large eggs

350g self-raising flour

3 level tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1 and 1/2 jars of good quality raspberry jam

19 double Cadbury Twirl bars (38 singles)


Butter Icing Ingredients:

200g sifted raspberry fondant icing mix

100g butter



1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees / 160 degrees fan (or the temperature you use to bake cakes in your oven, each oven is different).

2. Prepare three 8 inch / 20 cm cake tins with a disc of greaseproof paper in the bottom

3. Cream together the margarine and caster sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add the lightly beaten eggs and sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl. Add the vanilla extract.

5. Now beat everything together briefly until everything is just nicely incorporated.

6. Divide the cake batter between the three tins. Use the back of a spoon to make sure the batter is as level as possible.

7. Bake for about 25 minutes, until slightly golden and the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle.

8. Leave in the cake tin to cool for a couple of minutes, then remove and leave to cool on a baking rack.

9. Once the cakes have completely cooled, cut them evenly in half using a large bread knife.

10. Put the bottom cake on the cake stand and dollop a thin of jam onto it – stack and repeat. You will have a spare 6th layer….at this point, measure your Twirls against the cake and decide if you need it – remember you will be putting raspberries on top as well, so the Twirls need to be slightly taller than the cake. Don’t put jam onto the very top layer.

11. Make the butter icing, by following the instructions on the pack and cover the whole cake in icing.

12. Stick Twirls around the side of the cake.

13. Add raspberries in circles on the top, and brush on half a jar of warmed and strained jam to glaze.


Skittles Flavour Checkerboard Cake

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This epic skittles flavoured cake includes:

-Skittles buttercream

-Skittles jam

-Skittles drizzle sponge cakes (each sponge flavoured by the matching colour skittle….oh yes)

A couple of weeks ago, it was our youngest sister Anna’s 18th birthday (HOW is she 18?!).

Look at my two sisters, all ready for Anna’s first ‘legal’ night out – making me feel ancient!!


Cupcake Sisters Lizzy and Anna

It goes without saying, that this called for a special cake. Expectations were high, so Lizzy and I started the planning weeks/months in advance. Anna loves bright colours; definitely no pink, fluffy stuff or bling. The rainbow cake seemed an obvious choice, but we were concerned it wouldn’t be ‘surprising’ enough, especially as I’d already made this one for Lizzy’s birthday, and this one for my daughter’s 1st birthday. We decided the perfect alternative would be a rainbow checkerboard cake and Lizzy came up with the amazing idea of flavouring the cake with skittles to ramp it up a gear. Anna is an absolute sweet-fiend,  she could easily eat a large bag of skittles in one sitting, so it seemed the perfect choice.

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Lizzy and I discussed several ways of trying to incorporate the skittles flavour, but in the end, I sort of invented the cake as I went along. I couldn’t find any other skittles cakes on the internet that flavoured all three aspects of the cake with skittles: sponge, jam and buttercream – I should have realised then just how crazy an idea it was! But you know me, always in search of a baking challenge…

I also wanted each colour of cake to taste of that particular flavour of skittle (yes, you read that right). With that in mind, I am going to show you the process in photos, but with fairly vague ingredients/construction guide, as I worked a lot by eye. I can’t imagine that many of you will actually want to attempt this cake, (unless, like me, you are a bit baking bonkers!!) so I’m sure this will suffice!

*Disclaimer* This cake is an absolute beast to make. Should you attempt it, I guarantee you will feel totally ‘skittled’ by the time it’s finished. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend trying it at home, unless you’re prepared to be in it for the long haul. If you do want to and have any questions, feel free to post them as comments at the end of the blog.

5 coloured cake layers


See instructions on my pastel rainbow cake post for how to colour your cakes. You will need just 5 cakes this time, as there are only 5 skittles colours. I used slightly more batter for this cake than the pastel rainbow cake above because I wanted to ensure that the squares would look properly square, as opposed to rectangular. I quadrupled this basic 2 egg sponge recipe, using 8 eggs overall for the 5 cakes. I didn’t attempt to add skittles into the actual cake itself, as I didn’t have any way to grind the skittles finely enough and I didn’t want to ruin the texture of the sponge.

Skittles Buttercream


melted skittles

1. Melt insane quantities of skittles with water, to cover the skittles about half way (I think I used about 1 large bag, but I melted it in stages so I’m not absolutely sure how it would work if you tried to melt them all at once). Give it short blasts in the microwave and watch it like a hawk. Beware, the skittles syrup is extremely hot!

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skittles buttercream

2. Cool melted skittles a bit, then add to your already-made buttercream (I made double the quantity of the basic buttercream, but only added 1 tsp of milk, as I was adding so much syrup). Add syrup SLOWLY, about a teaspoon at a time. I did this through a sieve, in case there were any bits of skittles shell that hadn’t melted, but actually, this didn’t seem necessary. I had no idea how much of the melted skittles syrup I would be able to add, before the buttercream split, so I just kept going….and going…..and going. In the end, I added extreme quantities of melted skittles, so that the buttercream took on a strong skittles flavour. It didn’t curdle at any stage – perhaps because it’s literally just sugar that you’re adding, or perhaps because I added it sooooo slowly. It really did taste amazingly skittle-y by the time I’d finished with it!


skittles buttercream

Skittles Jam

Melt even more skittles and add to a jar of strawberry jam. Melt the jam and skittles together a bit, but be careful not to let the jam burn. Leave in fridge to set. This was a real star of the show – a superb skittles flavour!

Skittles drizzle for the cakes


1. Separate remaining skittles and add a small amount of water. I left it overnight to dissolve, then turned it into a thicker syrup by blasting it in the microwave for a minute or so.


Skittles syrup

2. Drizzle skittles syrup liberally over the matching colour cake.


Skittles drizzle cakes

Checkerboard cake construction

1. Cut rings out of cakes. I made 8 inch cakes, so I used 3 inch and 5 and 1/2 inch cutters to get the right size rings. For more instructions, look at Lizzy’s previous checkerboard post here.


Rainbow checkerboard cake construction

2. Use skittles jam to stick the inside of the rings together.


guide (picture behind the cake) of what each slice should look like – this helps when constructing the cake

3. Put skittles jam between each layer as you build the cake up. Make sure there is jam everywhere except the outside, or the squares will fall apart once sliced.

Note: Stack the rings and layers according to the picture above (behind the cake), to make sure no colours are next to each other when you cut the cake open.

crumb coat of skittles buttercream

crumb coat of skittles buttercream

4. Crumb coat the whole cake in skittles buttercream. (Note the empty glass of wine behind the cake…..)


5. Decorate. I put rolled fondant over the top as it was a special occasion, however I did feel that the icing took away from the skittles flavour a bit, so if I were to make this cake again I would just cover the whole thing in skittles.

Party time


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Rainbow checkerboard cake – the big reveal!!

As you can see by the faces – it was definitely a surprise!!!

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Skittles rainbow checkerboard cake

Time for a little lie down now!

Ruth xx

Heart Surprise Cake


 This weekend i ventured down south to Bristol for a friends 21st. Now that i have a bit of a reputation regarding cakes, i didn’t feel i could turn up without one but was swiftly running out of ideas. After the checkerboard cake i made last time i wasn’t sure how i was going to top it.

Luckily i was saved: days prior to leaving, the next issue of the BBC Good Food Magazine arrived and in it was a recipe for a loaf cake which, when you cut into it, has a heart running through it.


The way it is achieved is by cooking a pink cake, cutting out pink hearts and then lining them up in a second loaf cake to be baked again inside a different coloured cake batter. The actual recipe said that i should make a pink loaf cake, cut it into slices and cut out a heart shape from each slice using a biscuit cutter. I decided this sounded like a large percentage of the cake wouldn’t be used so decided to change the method slightly.

I cooked a two egg cake (in fact i used the exact quantities from the basic cupcake recipe) and added about half a teaspoon of red gel food colouring. I then baked this for about 13 minutes at 180 degrees in a 9″ x 12″ rectangular baking tin. I have to admit, i did commit the ultimate baking sin and kept opening the oven door to see if the cake was cooked as i had no idea how much shorter it would take than a batch of cupcakes. Despite the cake being thinner than cupcakes, it took a lot longer to cook than i expected.

If you are using a liquid food colouring, you will need to use a lot more in order to get the same intensity of colour. I would recommend adding a bit more flour so that the mixture is not too runny.

Cutting hearts out of the tray bake

I let this cake cool, put it on a chopping board and cut out hearts using a biscuit cutter. My cutter was bigger than the one called for in the recipe but this didn’t seem to matter.


I then mixed together the second lot of cake batter. In the good food recipe, this was a cake with ground almonds – i didn’t tamper with this because i thought they could be crucial to the structure.


  • 175g unsalted butter (I used margarine)
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 140g self raising foour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 100ml milk


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan
  2. Grease and line 900g loaf tin
  3. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time (if you are not using an electric mixer whisk the eggs lightly before you add them)
  5. Sift together the flour and baking powder and stir them into the mixture along with the almonds
  6. Mix in the milk and vanilla essence to form a smooth batter

I then added a very thin layer of the batter to the bottom of a greased and lined loaf tin so that i could stand the cooked hearts in it.


I placed the hearts on top of this layer. I would recommend lining a couple of hearts up at a time and then placing them into the tin together – trying to place them in one at a time makes it very difficult to get them exactly lined up.

Placing in the hearts

I put in as many hearts as i could to make sure they would all support each other and stay stood up.


I then spooned on the second cake batter over the top and round the sides and popped it in the oven at 160 degrees for 1hr 10 mins.


When i took out the cake, it had domed meaning that there was a split in the cake where two hearts had come apart from each other. However, icing can hide a multitude of problems and the hiccup was covered up well.

When checking the cake is cooked, you need to remember that the very deepest point in the middle of the cake is actually the hearts (which are already cooked). So sticking in a knife or skewer at this point will inevitably come out clean – you need to choose a testing point somewhere around the hearts.

The icing in the magazine was a ganache (cream mixed with melted chocolate) but i didn’t have any cream so decided to make a chocolate fudge icing a la Mary Berry.

To do this:

  • Melt 2oz butter in a pan
  • Sieve in 1oz coca powder and cook on a low heat for 1 min
  • add about 3 tblsp milk
  • sieve in 8oz icing sugar and mix until smooth

While this icing is hot it remains quite runny so you can pour it over the cake. However, it cools and sets rapidly so you need to be quick. If you don’t manage to ice it fast enough, get a metal knife and a cup of hot water. Dip the knife in the water to warm it up and use it to smooth the icing.

I made this cake twice – i did a trial run for my brother’s birthday. The first time i sprinkled the cake with cocoa powder which was easy and covered up any cracks in the icing, the second time i sprinkled some flaked almonds on the top. If you want to do this, make sure you do it quickly as they will not stick to the icing once it has dried.

When you cut into it there was a lovely heart both times – it wasn’t necessarily perfect all the way through but the wow factor was there. Now i’ve just got to think about what i’m going to do for the rest of my friends birthdays – eeeek!


This cake is definitely easier than it looks to achieve so i would recommend it if you are trying to impress someone – definitely a good valentines day recipe! I think you could change the hidden picture if you want, so long as it is not too complex. I think that if you chose a shape with lots of edges or holes (such as a star) it might be difficult to get them all to stay in the same orientation.

Keep an eye out for Ruth’s next blog – i have seen the pictures and feel rather inferior…. 😉


Similar recipes can be found here:

Hidden Heart Cake

Hidden Heart Cupcakes

Cherry Bakewell Cake: A proper crowd pleaser!

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Cherry Bakewell Cake is a proper, all-round crowd pleaser. It always gets devoured within minutes, with lots of ooohs and ahhhs of appreciation. “Divine“, “I could eat the whole thing in one sitting“, “how many slices can I have?“, “that really is a very, very good cake” are among the comments this cake received on a recent outing.

And the best, best thing of all – it’s dead simple to make!

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The ground almonds keep the cake lovely and moist for several days, if it ever hangs around that long. There is no butter or cream in the icing, making it a bit lighter than most cakes (room for seconds?!).

Due to the flavour and texture of the almonds, this cake also works exceptionally well with dairy-free margarine, compared to other cakes. Or, you could make it gluten-free by replacing the relatively small amount of flour with a gf flour mix or more ground almonds.


I like to put glistening glacé cherries and flaked almond on the top to showcase the bold flavours in the cake, and as a nod to the Bakewell Tart itself.  It looks so attractive and homely…and very easily achieved.

So, if you’re thinking of making a cake for a party, or perhaps to take into work, this is an excellent bet. It really is very tasty and a complete revelation to me (I don’t even like Bakewell Tarts!).

Need more convincing? Look how beautifully it slices……mmmm

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What are you waiting for!?

Sit back and enjoy the rapture and delight you will cause  if when you make this cake.

Ruth 🙂

Cherry Bakewell Cake

Almond sponge, sandwiched with Bonne Maman Berries and Cherries Jam, topped with lemon glacé icing. Decorated with whole glacé cherries and flaked almonds.

cherry bakewell cake

Recipe adapted from the extremely highly rated Good Food recipe by Jane Hornby – mine makes a thicker sponge.

***Only make the glacé icing once the cake is cool, assembled with the jam and you’re ready to ice it. ***

To make this cake, you will need:

2 x 8 inch / 20 cm cake tins (if you have 7 inch cake tins, see the bottom of the post for alternative ingredient amounts)

Greaseproof paper

Weighing scales (digital scales are best for total accuracy)


Bowl & Wooden spoon OR electric mixer

Measuring spoons

Cake Ingredients:

225g soft margarine or very soft butter – dairy-free spread also works nicely

225g caster sugar

4 large eggs

115g self-raising flour

1 1/2 level  tsp baking powder

110g ground almonds

1/2 tsp almond extract or 1-2 tbsp Amaretto

Pinch of salt

1/2 jar of Good quality cherry jam (I used Bonne Maman Berries and Cherries, you could also use a nice raspberry jam)

Whole glacé cherries

Toasted flaked almonds

Glacé Icing Ingredients:

175g sifted icing sugar

Juice of one lemon (approx)


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees / 160 degrees fan (or the temperature you use to bake cakes in your oven, each oven is different).

2. Prepare two  8 inch / 20 cm cake tins with a disc of greaseproof paper in the bottom.

3. Cream together the margarine and caster sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add the lightly beaten eggs and sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl. Add the ground almonds and almond essence.

5. Now beat everything together briefly until everything is just nicely incorporated.

6. Divide the cake batter between the two tins. Use the back of a spoon to make sure the batter is as level as possible.

7. Bake for about 30 minutes, until slightly golden and the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle.

8. Leave in the cake tin to cool for a couple of minutes, then remove and leave to cool on a baking rack.

9. Brush the cakes with Amaretto if you have some in the cupboard, but this is by no means essential to the deliciousness of the cake.

10. Put the bottom cake on the cake stand and dollop a very generous amount of jam onto it – about half a jar.

11. Make the glacé icing, by adding the liquid a few drops at a time to the SIFTED icing sugar, mixing all the time with a fork until it’s the right consistency. I keep it quite thick so it doesn’t run over the sides too much. If the lemon juice isn’t sufficient, add a few drops of water, but go steady! If it goes too runny, sift some more icing sugar into it. Some people like to add almond extract or Amaretto to the icing, but I personally find it too much – the lemon is a good balance to the almonds, in my opinion.

12. Pour the glacé icing onto the top of the cake and let it run to the edges. Depending on how thick / thin you have made it, you may need to help it out with a knife that’s been dipped in hot water.

13. Wait for the glacé icing to firm up a bit before you decorate it with the cherries and flaked almonds, otherwise you’ll lose them over the sides. Don’t wait too long though or the icing will form a crust!

For 7 or 6 inch cake tins:

If you have 7 or 6 inch round cake tins, then you can still make this cake, but use the following amounts (7 inch / 6 inch):

175g / 115g soft margarine

175g / 115g caster sugar

3 / 2 large eggs

90g / 60g self raising flour

80g / 55g ground almonds

1 level tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/3 jar of Good quality cherry jam (I used Bonne Maman Berries and Cherries, you could also use a nice raspberry jam)

Whole glacé cherries

Toasted flaked almonds

Glacé Icing Ingredients:

120g / 80g sifted icing sugar

Juice of one / half lemon (approx)