Tag: cake

Lemon bundt cake

Difficulty: A wee bit harder

Time: 30 minutes plus 4 minute baking

Serves: 12 slices

Ingredients
3 lemons
250g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups caster sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk*
*(You can use a tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar in cup of whole milk instead of buttermilk)

For the glaze
2 – 3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp buttermilk
2 cups icing sugar

 

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Lemon cheesecake

Victoria sandwich

Iced lemon traybake

 

We had a craving for something sweet but a bit lighter, so found a recipe for a delicious looking lemon bundt cake on ‘Simply Suzanne’s’ website. We’ve made a few tweaks to make it easier for little chefs to follow but it still makes the same tasty, moist, light and lemony cake as the original.
If lemons aren’t your thing, this also works with other citrus fruits – orange bundt cake would also be delicious!

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C / 170C Fan and grease and flour a bundt tin

Prepare the lemons

I did this part myself as I don’t really like the kids using the grater, but if you have older kids they could help you. Zest and juice the lemons into two separate dishes. (If you zap your lemons in the microwave for 15 seconds or so you should get more juice out!)
Mix the zest with 3 tbsp of lemon juice and set aside.
Leave the rest of the lemon juice for later.

Mix the butter and sugar

Get your child to measure out the butter (250g) and sugar (2 cups). If the butter isn’t already soft/room temperature pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to mix.

 

Add them to a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for a few minutes until it is light and fluffy, scraping down the sides with a spatula if you need to.

 

Add the eggs

Get your toddler to break the eggs into a small bowl, while you separate the final egg and add just the yolk. Give the eggs a quick whisk.


Turn the speed on your mixer and add half the eggs, mix for 15 seconds or so then add the remaining eggs. Mix together until it is well combined.

Prepare the dry ingredients

Get your child to help you measure out the flour (3 cups) into a separate bowl. While they are doing that add the baking powder (1 tsp), bicarbonate of soda (1/2 tsp) and salt (1 tsp).

Prepare the remaining wet ingredients

Add the buttermilk (3/4 cup) and vanilla (1 tsp) to the lemon/lemon zest mixture and give it a little mix.

 

Add the dry and wet ingredients to your mixing bowl

Turn your mixer speed down and add half the flour mixture. Mix for a few seconds then add half the buttermilk mixture and mix again. Repeat this process with the remaining flour/buttermilk and continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated.

Bake the lemon bundt cake

Spoon the cake batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes. It’s ready when the top is a light golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Keep an eye on it from about 40 minutes to make sure you don’t over bake it.

Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes.

Prepare the lemon glaze

Add the lemon juice (2-3 tbsp) and buttermilk (1 tbsp) to the icing sugar (2 cups) and whisk it until it is smooth. Add more lemon juice if you need to – you want the mixture to be pourable but still thick enough so it doesn’t all run off the cake.

Glaze your lemon bundt cake

Turn the cake out of the pan and on to a wire rack. Put the rack over baking sheet to make it easy to tidy later.

Get your child to help you pour half the glaze over the cake and leave it to cool for an hour or so. After an hour, pour the remaining glaze over the cake and let it all cool to room temperature.

lemon bundt cake lemon bundt cake

Banana upside down cake

Difficulty: A wee bit harder

Time: 45 minutes + 45 minutes baking

Serves: 8

Ingredients

Topping
1 cup brown sugar
85g unsalted butter
2-3 bananas

Cake
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium sized bananas)
½ cup buttermilk*
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
* You can make a buttermilk substitute by adding 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice plus milk to make it up to a cup.

We had some spare bananas so rather than making more banana bread like we always do I found a recipe for a banana upside down cake. The kids enjoyed chopping the bananas and organising them in the baking dish as well as all the mixing, measuring (and sampling!)

This recipe originally came from an what I assume is an American blog called sprinkle some sugar so rather than using scales most of the measurements are in cups. The caramelised banana topping is delicious on top of a tasty, moist banana flavoured cake so the next time you have some bananas turning black, why not try this.

Method

Preheat oven to 180C and prepare your baking tin
Get your toddler to grease a 23cm round baking pan. Don’t use a loose bottomed tin like we tried as our topping started oozing out the side as soon as it went in the pan. We swapped to a solid oven proof pie dish and that worked well.

Make the topping
Get your child to measure out the butter (85g) and sugar (1 cup) and pop them into a small pan. Heat it slowly, stirring occasionally until it’s all melted and come together. Put the mixture into the bottom of your pan and press it down.

  

Meanwhile, peel and chop the bananas into 0.5-1cm pieces. This was a good bit for both the kids to help with. Even the littlest cooks can help peel bananas, and it doesn’t matter if all the bananas aren’t exactly the same size so it’s a good way to practice cutting skills.

Arrange the bananas to the top of your butter/sugar mixture – this will ultimately be the top your cake.


Make the upside down cake

Combine the dry ingredients
Get your toddler to measure the flour (1.5 cups) out into a cup and add it to a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer.

If your little one is able to get them to add the baking soda (1/2 tsp), baking powder (1 tsp) and pinch of salt to the flour. If they don’t have a steady enough hand, just let them help you level the top of the spoon before adding it.

 

Measure the sugar (3/4 cup brown sugar and ¼ cup caster sugar) into a cup and then add to the flour.

Give it all a mix.

Add the wet ingredients
Get your kids to peel and mash the bananas. We weren’t too precise about how much we used. 2 bananas is about right (minus any that gets eaten along the way!). Add to your mixing bowl.

Pour the buttermilk into a cup (1/2 cup) and add to the bowl. Do the same with the oil (1/3 cup). Add the vanilla extract (1/2 tsp).

 

Finally, get your toddler to crack the eggs into a small bowl before adding to your mixing bowl.

Stir everything together until everything has combined and there are no more lumps.

 

Bake the upside down cake
Pour your mixture into the baking dish on top of the cut bananas.

 

Pop in the oven and bake for approx 45 minutes. It’s ready when it’s browned and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs).

Leave the cake to cool for a few minutes and turn out onto a large plate or platter. Don’t wait too long or the caramelized sugar will stick to the pan.

The upside down cake best served warm with custard or ice cream and will keep for a few days in an airtight container.

banana upside down cake

If you like bananas you might also like this banana bread or this banana and blueberry loaf.

Chocolate cake

Difficulty: Difficult

Time: 1 ¼ hours + 30 minutes baking + a few hours chilling

Serves: 10 – 12 slices

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

100g softened butter, unsalted
260g ccaster sugar
2 eggs
¼ tsp vanilla extract
45g cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
170g plain flour
160ml whole milk

For the chocolate custard
500g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
125g cocoa powder
200g cornflour
85g softened butter, unsalted
½ tsp vanilla extract

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Chocolate cheesecake

Chocolate brownies

 

We had a birthday in our house so Hannah chose to make a chocolate cake for Daddy (whether he wanted it or not!) This recipe came from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook again; it was delicious even if when we made it we had a bit of a disaster. Top tip: make sure the chocolate custard is properly chilled before you assemble the cake or you might have a mess on your hands (see picture at the end)!

We cooked it all in one go, but there are quite a few steps so if your little chefs are helping you’re better off cooking the cake the day before and making up the custard and assembling the cake just before you serve it.

Method

Preheat your oven to 170C and line 3 x 20cm cake tins with baking paper.

Make the chocolate cake

Mix the butter and sugar
Get your toddler to measure the butter (100g) and the sugar (260g) into a small bowl. Add it to a freestanding mixer or large bowl.

 

Mix it together with your paddle attachments (or hand held mixer / wooden spoons) until it looks light and fluffy.

 

Add the eggs
Break them into a bowl one at a time (or get your little one to do it if you trust them). Add them to your bowl one at a time, mixing between additions. If you need to, scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a spatula.

Add the rest of the ingredients
Get your child to measure out the cocoa powder (45g) into a small bowl, before adding it to your mixing bowl.

Add the vanilla extract ¼ tsp), baking powder (¾ tsp) , bicarbonate of soda ( ¾ tsp), and salt (pinch) to your bowl. If your child can help you get them to hold the spoon while you measure each out.

Mix everything together.

Weigh out the flour (170g).

Get your little one to measure the milk (160ml) into a jug. The easiest way to be accurate if you have digital scales is to use the ml setting.

Add the flour and milk to your mixture then mix everything together until it is well combined.

  

Bake your cake
Pour the mixture into your cake tins and use a palette knife to smooth out the top.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the chocolate custard
Get your toddler to measure the sugar (500g) and cocoa powder (125g) into a bowl. Pop it in a small saucepan.

  

Measure the golden syrup out (1 tbsp) into a spoon and add that to your pan. Add 600ml of water to your pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Whisk occasionally, or if your child is a bit older and you trust them around your cooker you could get them to help.

While the custard is heating up, get your child to weigh out the cornflour (200g) into a small bowl. Add 120ml of water and give it a good mix. It should end up the consistency of a thick glue. If you need to,add some more water, but no more than 250ml in total)

Add gradually to your chocolate mixture in the pan, stirring all the time.

Bring the mixture back to the boil, whisking constantly, cook for a further few minutes until it is quite thick.

Remove from the heat, get your toddler to add the butter (85g) and vanilla extract (½ tsp). This can be a good place for your child to help, if you haven’t trusted them near the hob. They can add the butter, safely away from the heat and watch it melt.

Pop it all in a bowl and leave to cool completely.

Assemble the chocolate cake

To make a cake crumble to top your cake with slice off a little from each cake and zap it in a food processor until it’s nicely crumbled.

Put the first chocolate cake down on a cake stand and spread one quarter of the chocolate custard on top. Put the second cake on top and add another quarter of the custard on top. Pop the last cake on top. Spread the remaining custard over the top and sides of the cake. Cover with your crumbs. Chill for a few hours.

 

Enjoy!

 

chocolate cake

 

Yule log

Difficulty: A wee bit harder

Time: 30 minutes + 10 minutes baking + 10 minutes icing

Serves: 8

Ingredients
Butter, for greasing
5 eggs
140g light muscovado sugar
100g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder
caster sugar, for dusting
For the icing and filling
285ml carton double cream
450g fondant chocolate, (we used a mixture of regular chocolate and Lindt Lindor)
icing sugar, for dusting

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Snowman cupcakes

Gingerbread men

Snowflake shortbread

What’s more Christmasy than a Yule log? I’ve never actually got round to making one before but have always wanted to. This year Hannah and I (with a bit of help from Daddy and Lewis) gave it a go using a nice easy recipe from BBC Good Food. It was delicious – a definite centrepiece for your Christmas table!

Method

Preheat your oven to 190C/fan 170C and prepare a swiss roll tin.
Get your toddler to butter and line the base and sides of a 30 x 35cm Swiss roll tin with baking paper.

 

Separate the eggs
If your child is older they may be able to help with this. Hannah is a bit young, so I did this step while she measured out the sugar.

Separate your eggs into two bowls. Pop your egg yolks straight into a stand mixer/mixing bowl.

Whisk the eggs and sugar
Get your toddler to weight the sugar into a bowl, then add to your egg yolks along with 2 tbsp of water.

 

Whisk the eggs and sugar using stand mixer or electric whisk until the mixture has thickened, is light in colour and leaves a trail when the whisk is lifted. It took us about 5 minutes.

 

Add the flour and cocoa powder
Get your child to measure out the flour and cocoa powder. Sift them into the eggs/sugar. Fold in very carefully using a metal spoon or your whisk blades.

 

Whisk the egg whites
Clean your whisk/stand mixer (we had to put the cake mixture into a different bowl.) Add your egg whites and whisk until they are stiff.

Add them to your cake mixture, folding it in a third at a time, again using a metal spoon/your whisk blades. Try and keep as much air in as possible while thoroughly mixing the whites in. We probably didn’t mix it enough as there were still a few lumps of egg white – we didn’t notice that while we were eating it though!

 

Bake the cake
Get your toddler to pour the mixture into your prepared tin and spread to the edges.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cake feels firm to the touch.


Put a large piece of baking paper on to your work surface, sprinkle with caster sugar then turn the cake out on top. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to cool completely.

Trim a little cake from all the edges to neaten it up, then score along the edge of one of the long sides of the cake. Get your toddler to help you roll it up from there, using the paper to help you, rolling the paper up inside the cake. Do it as tight as you can.

Make the icing and filling
Pour the cream into a small pan and bring to the boil.

While the cream is warming get your toddler to help you break 400g of the chocolate up. Remove the cream from the heat, then add the chocolate. Stir it until it has melted and smooth.

 

Leave it to cool, then chill it until it is spreadable – about an hour.

Cut up the remaining chocolate,

Spoon a third of the icing into a bowl with the chocolate pieces then stir together to make the filling.

Form the yule log
Carefully unroll the yule log, then spread all the filling over to within 2cm of the edges. Roll up the cake again using the paper to help guide you, then set on a board or serving plate.

Cut a thick diagonal slice off one end of the yule log. Spread a little icing over cut side of the small piece of cake and fix it to the large roll to make a stump. Spread remaining icing over the cake, then dust with icing sugar to serve.

 yule log

Victoria sandwich

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 20 minutes + 20 minutes baking

Serves: 12

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

4 large free-range eggs
225g/8oz caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
225g/8oz self-raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder
225g/8oz unsalted butter, softened
4 tbsp jam (strawberry or raspberry)

For the buttercream
100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened
200g/7oz icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk

 

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Chocolate cake

Carrot cake

Banana upside down cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the last episode of the Great British Bake Off had a Victoria Sandwich as its technical challenge I knew we’d have to try it too! Unlike the finalist, we at least used a recipe – Mary Berry’s of course. We used our own jam so didn’t bother making it, so it was a pretty simple and quick bake for us.
Luckily we were going to birthday drinks so were able to take it with us to share it round!

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan and prepare your tins
Get your child to rub a little butter over the base and sides of 2 20cm/8in cake tins. Line the bottom with baking paper.


Mix all the cake ingredients together
Get your child to measure the sugar, flour, baking powder and butter into a mixing bowl.

.

 

Break the eggs into a small bowl, then add to your mixture.

 

Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to combine everything together until it’s well mixed. Stop once everything has mixed in and there are no more lumps of butter, don’t over mix it.

 

Bake your cakes
Divide the mixture between each tin. We only have one 20cm tin so I used scales to make sure I was putting half in, baked it, then made the other. If you have two tins, put a spoon into each in turn until it’s divided evenly.

Use a spatula to gently smooth the surface of the cake.


Bake each cake on the middle shelf of your oven for 20-25 minutes. They’re done when they are golden brown and the edges are coming away from the tins.

Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes in the tin before taking the cakes out the tins to cool further on a wire rack.

Make the buttercream
Get your child to measure the butter and put in a large bowl. If it’s not soft blast it in the microwave for a few seconds (not long enough to melt it).

Weigh the icing sugar then add some to your butter and beat together. Add the rest along with a table spoon of milk. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag, fitted with a large plain nozzle.

 

Assemble the Victoria sandwich
Put one cake onto a serving plate (save the better looking one to go on top). Get your child to help you spoon the jam on top and spread it out.


Pipe the buttercream on top. I did the first few bits, but I find it gets softer as you hold it so once I get going Hannah is able to take over.

 
Place the other sponge on top, and sprinkle your Victoria sandwich with caster sugar to serve.

victoria sandwich

Lemon drizzle cake

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 40 minutes plus 35 minutes baking

Serves: up to 30 slices

Ingredients
225g softened butter
225g caster sugar
275g self-raising flour
2 level tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
4 tbsp milk
Finely grated rind of 2 lemons

For the crunchy topping
175g granulated sugar
Juice of 2 lemons

 

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Lemon bundt cake

Iced lemon traybake

Lemon cheesecake

 

At the moment we are being inspired by the Great British Bake Off so where better to start after cake week than with a lovely lemon drizzle cake from Mary Berry herself. I’ve not had much success when I’ve made this in the past but this one was delicious and the topping made it beautifully moist and crunchy. As an ‘all in one’ cake it was easy to make with 2 little ones. According to our chief taster (James aka Daddy) we can stay in the competition for next week’s biscuit week!

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 160C / 140C Fan and prepare your baking tray

Get your toddler to grease a 30 x 23 cm baking tin then line the base with baking paper.

 

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl

Get your child to help measure the butter, sugar and flour one at a time in a small bowl and add into your large mixing bowl.

  

Crack the eggs into a bowl, then add to your mixture.

Spoon the baking powder then milk into your mixture. I normally either hold the spoon while Hannah adds the milk or vice versa so make sure the right amount goes in.

Grate the lemon then add that in. If you feel confident that they wont cut their fingers you can get your child to help. I let Hannah have a quick go, but then took over.

  

Mix everything together until it’s well blended.

 

Bake the lemon drizzle cake

Pour the cake mixture into the tin and level the top.

 

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the sides have shrunk away from the tin and the middle springs back if you press it gently with your fingers.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn it out. Carefully peel the baking paper off and finish cooling on a wire rack. Stand the wire rack on a tray to catch any drips from the topping.

Make the crunchy topping

Measure the sugar into a bowl.

Get your toddler to help you squeeze out the lemon juice. We popped ours in the microwave for 10 seconds before cutting them open to make the juice come out more easily.

Mix the sugar and lemon juice together until you have a runny consistency then spoon over your cake while it is still a little warm.


Cut the lemon drizzle cake into about 30 squares once it is cooled.

lemon drizzle cake

 

Carrot cake

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes + 45 minute baking

Serves: 8-10 slicesimg_2182-small

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

175g light muscovado sugar
175ml sunflower oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
140g grated carrot
(about 3 medium)
100g raisins/sultanas
grated zest of 1 large orange
50g walnuts
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp mixed spice
For the frosting
100g icing sugar
1+ tbsp orange juice

 

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Banana bread

Blueberry and apple muffins

Monkey bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

My parents had a party recently so we thought we’d bake them a cake. My Dad likes carrot cake and while it’s not my usual choice to make or eat, this one is really moist and tasty so it might just have converted me. It’s a good one for your little ones to help with as it all just gets mixed in one bowl.

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/160 fan

Line a cake tin
Oil the base and sides of an 18cm square cake tin, then line with baking paper.

img_2226-small

Mix the ingredients together
Get your toddler to weigh out the sugar (175g) then tip it into a large bowl. Pour the oil (175ml) into a measuring jug (we used our scale set to ml to get the right amount), then add it to the bowl.

img_2184-small img_2188-small

Add the eggs
Either add them directly into the bowl or crack them into a separate bowl first if you’re worried about shell getting in. *Thanks to Hazel’s Mum’s chickens for these eggs – Hannah liked seeing where the eggs came from!

Light mix it all together with a wooden spoon.

img_2193-small img_2195-small

Add the fruit
Grate the carrots (140g) and orange rind. Hannah can’t quite manage this with our grater at the moment so her Dad helped. We used the fine side of the grater.

img_2199-small img_2209-small

Weigh the raisins/sultanas (100g) and add them to the mix.

Chop the walnuts (50g) yourself then get your toddler to add them to the bowl.

img_2204-small img_2229-small

Add the dry ingredients
Get your toddler to weigh the flour (175g) into a small bowl, then add the bicarbonate of soda (1 tsp) and spices (1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp mixed spice) then sift into the bowl.

Mix everything together until all the flour is combined. The mixture will be quite wet and runny.

img_2210-small img_2219-small img_2221-small

Bake the carrot cake
Pour the mixture into your prepared tin, the bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. When it’s ready it’ll feel firm and springy if you press it in the centre. A skewer or knife put in the middle should also come out clean.

img_2224-small img_2234-small

Once its ready, take it out the oven and let it cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Take it out the tin, peel off the baking paper and leave it on a wire rack to cool.

Add the frosting
Mix the icing sugar (100g) and orange juice (1tbsp) together in a bowl until it’s smooth. You want it to be runny enough to pour on the cake. We put the icing in a freezer bag, and snipped a small hole in the corner before piping it in a large zig zag on top.

img_2236-small carrot cake

photo credit: bbc good food