Mickey Mouse birthday cake

Mickey Mouse birthday cake

After the success of the Moshi Monster Katsuma cake, my youngest nephew asked if he could have a Mickey Mouse cake. Now, as only Grandma’s Victoria sponge will do (I’m relegated to cupcake duty for birthdays), I rolled out a … Continue reading

Dark Chocolate & Morello Cherry Loaf Cake

Dark Chocolate & Morello Cherry Loaf Cake

  This is a decadent one… After a request from friends for something darker, I decided to adapt one of the lovely Nigella’s recipes, the original of which you can see here. This was meant to be cupcakes originally, but … Continue reading

Moshi Monster Katsuma birthday cake

Something a little different today. My nephew loves Moshi Monsters, especially Katsuma. It’s his birthday this week and he’s been asking for a Katsuma cake so I thought I’d give it a go!

He wants Grandma’s sponge cake with buttercream so I’ve built this on a disc of fondant to place on top of the cake. All of this is edible.

As it was my first proper attempt at working with fondant, I traced a picture of Katsuma onto grease proof paper and cut out all of the separate pieces, before rolling out the fondant and placing the shapes on top. I then cut around them with a sharp knife, but for the more intricate/smaller pieces a cocktail stick worked surprisingly well.

To secure the layered pieces I used a tiny bit of jam.

Let me know what you think!


Winter spice/ginger cupcakes with mulled wine buttercream

Oooooh, sparkly!

Oooooh, sparkly!

My love of baking originally started with cakes, and cupcakes in particular (oh, you little lumps of sugar/heaven, get in my face). At Christmas parties for the last few years, it’s been my unofficial job to supply the cakes. Last year was chocolate cakes with chocolate orange buttercream, and vanilla sponge with white chocolate buttercream adorned with little snowmen, and I thought they went pretty quickly. This years contribution broke all records though, with all of the cakes disappearing in about five minutes flat! After making the mulled wine jam, I decided to create something that would work with those flavours, and so the winter spice/ginger cupcakes with mulled wine frosting/buttercream came about.

Normally I use Hummingbird Bakery’s recipes for my cakes, but I decided to make my own. I still used their method (an  example of which can be found here:) starting with their standard vanilla cupcake recipe as a basis but then went from there. For this I used the mulled wine, plum and blackberry jam that you can see the recipe for here, but if you don’t have time for that you can omit it or replace with a different jam, or maybe even marmalade!

My first attempt at these saw me add wayyyyy too much ginger/nutmeg/cinnamon, to the extent it made me cough when I ate it. Oops! Don’t be afraid to experiment though, you can always make more! My main oven is also broken (disaster!) and my cupcake tray wouldn’t fit in my emergency mini oven, so I resorted to silicone cupcake cases on a baking tray, which worked surprisingly well.

You will need:

For the cakes:
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
40g butter
100ml orange juice (with bits)
20ml whole milk
One large egg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
One jar mulled wine/plum/blackberry jam (or any other jam you like)

For the frosting:
250g icing sugar
80g butter (room temperature)
20ml mulled wine
Teaspoon mulled wine jam/replacement jam.

1) Pre-heat oven to 170c/325f.


2)Sieve the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder and sugar into a mixing bowl, with the butter.  Mix on a slow speed until everything is combined and is a sandy consistency.

3)Gradually pour in half of the orange juice/milk , and beat until it is just combined.


4)Whisk the egg and remaining orange juice and milk briefly. Pour it into the flour mixture and contunue beating until just incorporated, being sure to scrape in any unmixed ingredients! Keep mixing until smooth.


5) Divide the mixture between the cases, this normally makes 12 cupcakes, fill them two thirds of the way.


6) Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until they spring back when touched and have turned a light golden. These smell amazing due to the spices!

Golden! Sadly you can't smell the screen.

Golden! Sadly you can’t smell the screen.

7)Allow to cool, then using a sharp knife remove a small section of the cake. Keep in a bowl to one side. Spoon in a small amount of the jam, then replace the bit you cut out.


8) Make the frosting/buttercream! In a large bowl, sieve the icing sugar into the butter. I usually cover the bowl with a tea towel for this bit else the sugar goes *everywhere*. Mix on a slow speed until sandy. Slowly add the mulled wine a couple of tablespoons at a time. Once all the mulled wine has been incorporated, add the jam. Mix on high speed until light and fluffy. If the mixture is too runny, add a little extra icing sugar.


9) Ice the cakes! Don’t worry if you don’t have a piping bag, I used to spoon the icing on then swirl it around with a teaspoon. I then added red and green edible Magic Sparkles for a festive touch but feel free to decorate as you see fit! The cases had little snowmen on too.


Let me know what you think!

Baileys and banana self-saucing chocolate pudding

Some days you just need a sticky, stodgy pudding. What with the snow, I thought this was perfect timing for the Baileys and banana self saucing chocolate pudding.

Baileys & banana self-saucing chocolate pudding.

Baileys & banana self-saucing chocolate pudding.

The joy of this is that all of the ingredients are interchangeable, so if you just fancy Baileys and chocolate feel free to omit the banana, or make banana and chocolate sans Baileys for the little ones. Alternatively, the purists can go for chocolate alone, adding some milk or white chocolate chips would also work. Let me know how you get on! This pudding is lovely on it’s own with the sauce, or if you’re feeling decadent add cream or custard.

A warning in advance: yes, it will feel strange pouring liquid all over the cake but it’s worth it in the end!


For the batter:
60 g butter or margarine
2 bananas
1 egg
170g caster sugar
140g plain flour
35g cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
150ml milk
50ml Baileys

50ml Baileys
200 ml water
200g light brown sugar
15g cocoa powder
1tsp vanilla essence

1)Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat the egg until light and fluffy, add to the mix. Preheat oven to 180.



2)Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder.  Add alternately with milk/Baileys mixture to butter/sugar/egg mixture until combined.

Try to resist putting your face in it.

Try to resist putting your face in it.

3)Slice bananas, spread evenly on the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Spoon cake mixture over the top.

If you don't like banana, feel free to leave them out. It works just as well with the Baileys and chocolate.

If you don’t like banana, feel free to leave them out. It works just as well with the Baileys and chocolate.

4)For the syrup, sift the sugar and cocoa powder. Mix all of the ingredients except the vanilla essence in a saucepan, heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved (coat the back of a wooden spoon to check for granules), continue until mixture starts to boil. Add essence.


5) Brace yourself! Pour the syrup over the cake batter (don’t worry if some of the banana floats to the top!)

Some of the bananas may float to the top, but it's OK.

Some of the bananas may float to the top, but it’s OK.

6)Bake in the oven at 180 for about 30 minutes. The sauce will sink to the bottom, and the cake layer will be on the top.



7)Ideally serve hot, however this keeps well for a few days in the fridge, but the sauce will thicken and the flavours can intensify.