Posts Tagged cake

Blood Orange Cake

Blood Orange Cake

What a long break from blogging I’ve had, (did anyone notice, haha)! I often go longer than I mean to between posts although long ago gave up trying to keep up with all the bloggers that post without fail each week (or each day)! However this was a long break even for me. After a fabulous holiday spent in Vermont where I completely forgot about everything and all routine went out of the window I was left wondering if  there was a recipe left in me, I had no inspiration at all, until the discovery of this season’s blood oranges put me back on track!

I think part of the reason for my lack of inspiration is that I’m caught with that January feeling that I should be eating more healthily but not wanting to, then wondering what’s wrong with me that I have so little control! My head is a busy place this month! Anyone else feel the same or are you all diligently watching what you are eating? Kudos to you if you are! I am pretty much a rule follower but hate been told what to do so I think all the articles and constant talk of diets makes me rebel, after all isn’t January depressing enough? So for those rebels out there I offer you cake in January! For those avoiding cake, I’m sorry save this recipe and healthy new year recipes will resume!

I was so happy to come across the first of the blood oranges but then typically a few sat in the fruit bowl which led me to make this blood orange cake, a simple cake made with olive oil. Using olive oil eliminates the need to soften butter, which in colder climates can take quite a while! I based my cake on the Lemon Olive Oil cake that I make regularly. That cake is such a success so I thought I would swap blood orange juice for the lemon. I didn’t have yoghurt available so made my own buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to 125 mls of milk. This cake is not fancy, it’s just the right sort of plain with a simple blood orange syrup topping it. I like a slice with a cup of coffee but it would be great served with ice-cream as a dessert!

I wont pretend this is healthy in any way but it is good!

Blood Orange Cake

  • 250 grams sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 125 ml buttermilk
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 250 grams self-raising flour
  • zest and juice of 3 blood oranges, reserve the juice for the syrup

for the glaze

  • 60 grams sugar
  • 100 ml blood orange juice


  1. Grease and base line an 8 inch cake tin (I used a silicone one this time). Preheat oven to 350 F, 180 C, Gas 4.
  2. Whisk together the sugar and eggs.
  3. Mix in the buttermilk.
  4. Add the olive oil and blood orange zest.
  5. Fold in the flour.
  6. Pour mixture into cake tin.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean when inserted into middle of cake.
  8. While cake is baking make the syrup by putting the blood orange juice and sugar into a small sauce pan and heat until the sugar has melted, remove from the heat and leave until needed.
  9. When the cake is baked, take from the oven and while still hot prick cake surface with a toothpick and pour the blood orange syrup over the cake. Leave to cool in the tin.

blood oranges



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Zucchini Bread (that’s really cake)

I can not believe that I have not put this recipe on my blog before! Its been my go to Summer cake recipe ever since the regular gluts of courgettes have come my way.

I have no childhood memories of courgettes, not one! I don’t think they made it into our house, my parents must not have liked them. I only seem to remember discovering them after I came to the UK, therefore I usually call them courgettes. I use the word zucchini for this loaf however as when I first started looking for inspiration for the courgette glut it was American recipes for zucchini cake that first caught my eye and the name has stuck!

This is a light cake with no taste of courgette, lets face it they are a rather tasteless vegetable aren’t they? The courgette do however lend a lovely moistness to the cake. Think carrot cake, only easier! Another thing I love about this loaf is that it uses olive oil rather than butter, a blessing for last minute cake making, no waiting for butter to soften! Finally as if I couldn’t sing this loaf’s praises enough, it freezes very well so when I have loads of courgette and I’ve got the food possessor out I shred more and make extra cakes to store in the freezer.

This loaf also works well with wholemeal flour.

I am linking this up with Ren’s Simple and in Season blog event as courgettes are most definitely in season at the moment!

Zucchini Bread

  • 180 gram plain white flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 180 grams sugar ( I like to use unrefined)
  • 125 ml olive oil – mild flavoured
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 grams grated zucchini (courgette)
  1. Pre heat oven to 170 c, 325 f, Gas 3. Prepare a loaf tin by greasing with a little olive oil and lining with baking paper.
  2. Weigh the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon into a bowl, whisk together.
  3. In another bowl, or in your mixer bowl beat together the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour mix and combine well.
  5. Gently stir in the zucchini/courgette.
  6. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes.
  7. When cooked cool in the tin for about 20 minutes the turn onto a rack to cool completely.

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Jubilee Victoria Sponge

It’s the Jubilee weekend! I have had all year to plan what to make but in typical Jayne style I left it until the last-minute!  The rest of my life is fairly organised, I’m a lover of lists but for some reason when it comes to cooking I’m more relaxed and often do things at the last-minute, quickly flicking through one of my cookery books minutes before going to the supermarket looking for something new to try. If you come to dinner at my house you will most likely be served a meal that I have never made before! For the Jubilee weekend I wanted to make a cake, something traditional, something with a royal tone. I decide to make a Victoria sponge, strangely a cake that I don’t make all that often, I do like it, it’s just often overlooked while I’m trying other recipes, so many cakes so little time! The Victoria sponge is indeed named after Queen Victoria and was apparently created by her lady in waiting, the Duchess of Bedford, who is also said to have started the English afternoon tea tradition. It seemed fitting then that I celebrated the Diamond Jubilee with a cake that was originally made for a Queen!

This recipe is the one used by my friend Pearl, she makes a wonderful Victoria sponge, her cake rises so well and is wonderfully light. Where Victoria sponge is concerned I think the recipe is pretty standard. Traditionally the filling was just jam but I wanted something a little more fancy so added cream, decadence seemed the order of the day!

Victoria Sponge

  • 200 grams Caster sugar
  • 200 grams Unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 Eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 200 grams Self Raising flour
  • 1.5 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 tbsp Milk

For the filling

  • 4 tbsp Jam, I used jumbleberry but any berry jam would be nice.
  • 300 ml Double (heavy) Cream, whipped. Careful not to over whip as I did!

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, 350 F, Gas mark 4. Grease and line 2 8 inch round baking tins.

  1. Cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy, I use a stand mixer but a wooden spoon and elbow grease works just fine!
  2. Add an egg, mix to incorporate, repeat with another egg mix and repeat until all the eggs are used.
  3. Stir the vanilla.
  4. Add half of the flour, mix in gently add the rest and mix in gently, do not over stir at this point.
  5. Gently stir in the milk.
  6. Divide the mixture between the prepared cake tins.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Allow cakes to cool in their tins then carefully remove. Remove baking paper.
  9. Spread the jam onto one sponge half, followed by the cream. Sandwich the cakes together a sprinkle with icing sugar.

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World Baking Day (cake!)

Today is World Baking Day! A day to celebrate cake, where you are invited to make a cake, take a picture of it in a crazy place and then share, if sharing on twitter use the hashtag #caking

As if I need a reason to make cake! My cake is a Lemon poppy-seed loaf, while lovely, it is a recipe test so I am not at liberty to share the recipe!

I was trying to think of outrageous places and my husband was trying to convince me to take a picture of the cake on the toilet (really!) but here is what I ended up with, happy World Cake Day!

If you need some cake inspiration here are some cakes from earlier posts here, here and here



Apple Cake

Apple cake

This cake was a happy accident. I had bought some apples to go in with the lunch my husband’s takes to work, too much of a healthy push from me and the poor apples sat on the counter for a couple of days, unwanted. Not wanting to waste them and with the weather so Autumnal at the moment (please note its Spring as I write this!) I thought I would make an apple cake. As this was a spur of the moment decision the butter was hard in the fridge so I used olive oil. I like using olive oil in cakes, as well as the oil been ready to use right away cakes made with olive oil seem to have a really nice bounce to the texture. I’ve made this cake in a loaf tin and in a round cake tin, it worked well both ways. Trying to keep things a little healthier I used a mix of wholemeal and white flours and also used the less refined muscodavo sugar.

Apple Cake


  • 100 g wholemeal flour
  • 50 g white flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 100 g light brown muscodavo Sugar
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 150 ml olive oil
  • 60 ml plain yogurt
  • 2 apples, peeled and grated I used Cox apples but any eating apple would be fine.


Use either a loaf tin or an 8 inch loose bottom round baking tin.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C, 400 F, Gas mark 6
  2. Base line and grease your baking tin.
  3. Whisk together the flours, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Mix together the sugars and oil, I used my stand mixer.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time mixing with each egg.
  6. Mix in the yogurt.
  7. Add half the flours, baking powder and cinnamon mix, mix then add the rest.
  8. Fold in the grated apple.
  9. Pour into the prepared cake tin.
  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes if using the round tin, 50-60 if using the loaf tin.
  11. Once cooked, let the cake cool in the tin for about 20 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.

apple cake

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Lemon Angel Food Cake #Baketogether

I love angel food cake but I’ve never made it before and actually I havent had it since for years, maybe since I was a child. I’m certain that I remember my mother making angel food cake out of a pack too so maybe I havent even had real Angel food cake!

This months Baketogether was Angel Food Cake, arranged by Abby Dodge, using her Tangerine Angel Food Cake recipe when I saw this my first thought was “yes, I love Angel food cake!” I thought of how I would “switch it up” as Abby encourages us to do. Lemon would be my theme, I was looking forward to this! Last weekend, for Easter, I made a different lemon cake that required a lemon curd filling, using 10 egg yolks, this meant I had 10 egg whites ready for the Baketogether, serendipity at work! Then through twitter I found out that the bundt pan I had intended on using wasnt the right pan! In my mind a bundt pan and an angel food cake pan were the same thing, this is not the case, my memory was playing with me again! A few tweets and a forwarded article later and it seemed that although not advisable an angel food cake could be made in a bundt with limited success. What did I have to lose? Anyway those egg whites needed using!

I followed Abby’s instructions exactly, the only difference was swapping in the zest of a lemon for her tangerine zest.  I let it completely cool upside down resting on 4 cans of soup! When it was cool it had shrunk away a little from the middle, I used a small thin spatula and ran it around the top then gently slid it up and down all the way around. I put a plate over the bottom of the pan and turned it upside down and that baby slipped right out! I was so pleased! True it’s not perfect and it has a few little rustic edges, but it’s not the disaster I had dreaded ! This cake is like eating a cloud! Amazingly light and fluffy with a subtle taste of lemon. Whether my mother’s angel food cake came out of a pack or not my memory served me well, I do love angel food cake!

To go with it I did another switch and rather than Abby’s caramel sauce I made a lemon sauce, inspired by the lemon curd I had made the week before. Thanks Abby for another great recipe and a great baketogether!

Lemon Angel Food Cake

See here for Abby’s recipe

Note, superfine sugar is caster sugar and confectioners sugar is icing sugar if making in UK.

Lemon Sauce


  • 115 grams butter
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 50 ml lemon juice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp of fresh lemon zest
  1.  Put the butter, sugar, water, and lemon juice into a medium-sized pan, heat slowly whisking all the time.
  2. When the butter is starting melt add the egg and zest, keep whisking. Heat slowly, constantly whisking until the mix comes to the boil and thickens. If too thick add a little more water, if not so thick don’t worry this firms up as it cools.
  3. Sieve the sauce to remove any egg solids. Let cool before serving.

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Chocolate Guinness Cake

Chocolate Guiness Cake madebyjayne

I thought twice  about making this cake as I don’t like Guinness! However in the spirit of St Patrick’s day I thought it would be fun to try.  I’ve extensively used and loved the Hummingbird Bakery book so I’ve been keen to try a recipe from the latest Hummingbird Cake Days book, their chocolate Guinness cake sounded perfect as a St Patrick’s day treat.

The making of this cake is an easy wet ingredients added to dry ingredients method and I love it when cakes require melted butter, no waiting around on a chilly day for butter soften! As the cake was only for my husband and I,  I halved the ingredients to make a smaller cake, using an 8 inch tin rather than the 9 inch specified and that was right for the amount of mixture. This made a good-sized cake. I did find halving the frosting ingredients less successful, the frosting was a little soft resulting in a more rustic finish than the polished finish I had hoped for, it still tasted great though!

This is a good chocolate cake! It has a light, fluffy texture. The Guinness adds moistness to the cake without leaving any taste, perfect for me. If you find that a little disappointing make sure you buy more than you need for a little cooks tipple!

Chocolate Guinness Cake


  • For the recipe see here

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Banana Bread

Banana Bread

I have made this recipe for years, it is adapted from the  Banana Bread recipe on page 33 of Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess, the first baking book I fell in love with. I have never used the alcohol in the recipe, I just didn’t fancy it, also I usually make this for children and I remember as a kid alcohol in things just ruined it so I have always left it out. I added cinnamon because one of the children I make this for suggested it and it works really well! A more recent change was the replacement of some of the white flour for wholemeal and caster sugar with brown muscodavo in an effort to be more health conscious and include less processed and more whole-wheat foods into my diet.

The beauty of this cake is you melt the butter so it can be made at a minutes notice without worrying about whether the butter is soft enough which in the winter here can mean 24 hours thinking ahead to allow for butter to soften! It’s also a great cake as once you have made it you will never have wasted bananas again, in fact you will be hoping for overripe bananas as an excuse to make this!

Banana Bread

  • 100 gram Raisins, soaked in a cup of boiling water
  • 175 gram Plain white flour
  • 100 gram wholemeal plain flour
  • 100 gram Caster sugar (I use unrefined)
  • 50 gram soft brown sugar (I use muscodavo)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Bananas, mashed
  1. Preheat oven to 170 c, 325 f, gas 3.
  2. Grease and line a loaf tin with a long strip of baking paper (see here for tip).
  3. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Melt the butter over a low heat.
  5. Add the melted butter to the sugars and mix until blended.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition.
  7. Add the mashed banana.
  8. Add the flour mix a third at a time, stirring well after  each addition.
  9. Drain the raisins and fold them into the cake, if you have used a mixer do this with a spoon to avoid breaking the raisins.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
  11. Leave to cool before enjoying.

I’m linking this up with a monthly Nigella Lawson recipe blog event called January’s Forever Nigella #11 organised by Sarah of Maison Cupcake also hosted this month by Sarah.

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Cranberry and Orange Loaf

I’ve been guilty of only using cranberries for a sauce to go with turkey.  After Thanksgiving I had some left and rather than freezing them I wanted to use them differently. The Cranberry orange muffin at Starbucks was my inspiration but rather than make muffins, I wanted to make a loaf.  I found this recipe on the internet and its my new favourite cake! It really wakes up the taste buds! It has a zingy, zesty taste. Orangey with tart little bursts of cranberry cutting through the sweetness.  It’s like a little burst of sunshine in your mouth!  As well as tasting good, this cake only has a little butter compared to other cakes so it’s not so high in fat!

Cranberry and Orange Loaf (adapted from this recipe)

  • 250 gram plain (all-purpose) flour.
  • 1 & half tsp baking powder.
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda.
  • 200 gram sugar (I use unrefined).
  • Zest of 1 orange.
  • 150 ml orange juice (from about 1 and half oranges depending on size).
  • 60 gram unsalted butter, melted.
  • 1 large egg, beaten.
  • 125 gram fresh cranberries, rinsed.
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C, 350 F, Gas 4.
  2. Base line and grease a loaf tin (mine was a 2 lb tin).
  3. Weigh flour, baking powder, soda, sugar into a bowl and give a little whisk.
  4. Add melted butter followed by the egg, zest and juice of the orange. I used my mixer but it turns out fine if you just mix with a wooden spoon and some elbow grease!
  5. Fold the cranberries in by hand.
  6. Pour into prepared loaf tin.
  7. Bake for 55-60 minutes.
  8. Let cool in tin on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before turning cake out of tin to finish cooling.

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Pumpkin Bread (cake)

This is called bread but it is a cake! To me making loaf cakes are the best. They are easy, not too fussy and best of all require little or no decoration so once the cake is in the oven, that’s it you’re done, it’s so satisfying. They are the perfect cake to make if you are in a hurry or don’t bake very often. Also loaf cakes seem to be a little more robust. So in keeping with trying to be healthier they stand up well to whole-wheat flour and brown, less refined sugar. Every time I make this I reduce the white flour and sugar a little more, replacing them with whole-wheat flour and brown sugar. I will eventually get around to making the cake a completely whole-wheat, brown sugar cake. I make this from Halloween to Thanksgiving, as soon as pumpkins start appearing!

Having lived in the UK for so long Thanksgiving was but a memory for me.
As a child in the US with an English mother we did celebrate Thanksgiving, she embraced the American cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, no marshmallows in sight though!  I remember Thanksgiving through Christmas as one long, exciting period beginning and ending with the same turkey meal!
It was sad circumstances that bought me to the UK, my mother had died and when I came here to live with my Aunt, among so many other things, Thanksgiving was lost to me. It is not celebrated here and I always had to go to school or work, in fact I always  found it quite a sad day. I tried to recreate it one year in my early 20s and had one of my saddest moments when my one baked sweet potato fell & smashed on the floor. I was devastated!
Last year I discovered Twitter and as I followed in many others Thanksgiving preparations I had a revelation, I was going to celebrate Thanksgiving again! My husband and I went to an American restaurant in London for Thanksgiving dinner, I loved it!

This year we aren’t going out but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following all the Thanksgiving talk and preparations on twitter. I will raise my glass on Thursday (when I get home from work!)
to join in the celebrations.

I tried making pumpkin pie a while ago but my oh too European husband couldn’t bring himself to try it so instead I will make this Pumpkin bread (which for some reason my husband finds more palatable!)  to enjoy over the weekend. It’s a combination of 2 recipes cut from magazines a long time ago.

This Pumpkin Bread will fill your house with seasonal aromas. The pumpkin does not really flavour the cake but adds great lightness even bounce to the texture. The taste is warm and spicy with cinnamon and nutmeg. Its perfect with a cup of coffee especially on a dull day, a lovely way to warm your soul as the colder days are coming.

Pumpkin Bread

  • 225 gram pumpkin puree (I used fresh pumpkin but I’m sure canned would be fine)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 115 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 80 ml water
  •  250 gram brown sugar
  •  50 gram white sugar
  • 250 gram wholemeal flour
  • 50 gram white flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C,  350 degrees F

  1. Grease and base line one 2 lb loaf tin.
  2. In a large bowl mix the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugars. (I used my mixer but by hand works fine.)
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the rest of the dry ingredients (flours and spices).
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mix.
  5. Pour into prepared loaf tin. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until a cake tester comes out clean.
  6. Cool in tin for 15 minutes or so before turning out onto cooling rack.

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