Autumn Carrot Cake

I had a request to make an “autumnal carrot cake” and this was what I made

The cake was a carrot cake recipe taken from Chelsweets, though I only used half the amount on her site. It was a good cake!!

The cake was stacked, and iced with cream cheese frosting, and I coloured some fondant to cut out the leaves (with a plunger set from Amazon).

Loaf Cakes

L-R: Lemon Gin Cake, Lemon Drizzle Cake, Spiced Courgette Cake.

I was trying to keep myself busy a few weeks back to distract from feeling sad (one of my friends had died and we had been to his funeral). This resulted in me spending a Saturday afternoon in the kitchen baking up some random loaf-cakes. I didn’t originally plan on making three cakes, I just got carried away again.

Lemon Gin Cake

The first cake I made was a lemon + gin pound cake. This is made using equal weights of egg, sugar, butter and flour, and then adding gin and lemon juice to the mixture. Normally you can really taste the gin, but on this occasion I must have gone too easy. It’s topped with a gin + lemon soak.

Spiced Courgette Cake

The second cake I made was a vegan cake: spiced courgette cake with a lemon glaze. This was made following a recipe from Domestic Gothess that turned out so well I made the cake again the weekend after!

Vegan Lemon Drizzle

The third cake I made this day was a vegan lemon drizzle cake; again made with a recipe from Domestic Gothess

Again, this turned out really well and was very tasty!

As I wasn’t ever going to eat 3 loaf cakes to myself, I ended up slicing them all up and packaging them into cellophane wrappers to send to some people in the post as a pick-me-up / thank you for their help over recent weeks. It was a LOT of cake:

Mini Unicorn Cake

Back in January, i made a unicorn cake for my eldest niece. When I posted a picture of it on the socials, a friend (jokingly) commented when her birthday was. I noted to make her a unicorn cake for her birthday which I dropped off at her house as a surprise.

It was only after I dropped it off and looked at the pictures did I realise that I had forgotten to make some ears for the unicorn. Oh well! She liked it anyways.

The cake was made with red-velvet Baileys so the pink colour actually came from using the Baileys.

Luckily for me, there was spare cake at the end from trimming the top layers, so I made some mini cakes for me & my Husband:

Jungle 1st Birthday Cake

One of the girls who I used to play Roller Derby with got in touch with me earlier in the summer to ask if I’d be willing to make her son’s first birthday cake as she had always loved my cakes (what a nice compliment!). I can be fussy when it comes to making cakes as I don’t usually like using fondant – at least not to cover cakes.

She asked for chocolate cake, with something jungle themed. went for this:

The cupcakes were made to have little animal cake toppers on, which were a tad easier than icing a full cake in fondant. I was happy with this one, although I couldn’t get the buttercream quite perfect. I need to buy a new cake scraper to see if a metal one works better than plastic.

a view from the top to show the animals

Soft Baked Pretzels

How is it that we’ve been in lock down since March, and I still feel that there’s no time to do anything (aka keep this blog updated). Looking back through my photos, I’ve got loads of bakes that I hadn’t uploaded from the last few months, so I suppose this means I’ll have quite a few posts to add over this week!

First up – soft baked Pretzels!

I’ve been following Neurotic Mom on Instagram for quite a while now. Amy adds her bakes there, as well as other channels including You Tube. I took this upon myself to follow one of her recipes by making soft baked pretzels back in May!

I usually only bake cakes, as bread seemed scary. I had some quick yeast in though so decided it was time to try some bread baking. Following Amy’s video made it all really easy – and I had yummy pretzels to eat that week (including some beer cheese  I made the next day to go with the savory pretzel)

Left the dough proving slightly too long – it tried to escape
Formed the pretzels
After the Pretzels had their water bath
After baking
With beer cheese & a beer!

First Cake of 2020

It’s my niece’s birthday on the 4th January and she sent me a video in December asking me to please make a “Unicorn Cake with all the colours” because “I love unicorns”.

I hadn’t been asked to make a unicorn in well over a year, but it seems 5 year olds still like them.

The inside was 5 coloured layers to make it rainbow-esque and these turned out a bit brighter than I thought they would be.

Rainbow Pride Blondies

The Typhoons all inclusive rugby team

My brother and I were never sporty when we were children. As a teen I started to do more cardio at the gym, and when I was 25 I discovered Roller Derby which I played for 6 years. It was great to feel a part of a team and it really helped build my confidence. As a child I was fatter and never did well at sport. As an adult, I was actually good at roller derby and it was a great feeling.

I imagine my brother was in a similar situation, and he discovered all-inclsuive rugby in recent years. He’s really blossomed in the sport and he’s doing amazing – I am very proud of him!

I like an excuse to bake, and as this month is Pride celebrations all over the place i decided to try make something to celebrate Pride and send them to him (secretly) in the post. I just really hope they have shipped OK…

Rainbow “Pride” Blondies

I used this recipe from All Recipes to make the blondies, and then topped them with a white chocolate ganache. I used a 3:1 chocolate to cream ratio and coloured some of this with gel colouring.

To begin with I covered the full tray of blondies with white chocolate ganache, then I added rainbow stripes which I then feathered:

cooling in the tray
fresh out of the tray, just before cutting.
Small squares of blondies
Yummy dense blondies, with a rainbow ganache topping

I posted these to his work without him knowing, so hoping they get there in one piece. Time will tell!

Cinnamon Rolls

I love cinnamon. I love cinnamon rolls. When we go to America, I love the smell of Cinnabon when we go shopping in malls (though I have to restrict how often I eat it as I know they are so full of calories). With this in mind, I wanted to try making some cinnamon rolls at home for the first time.

The dough was made with flour, salt, milk, yeast, and sugar and had to prove for 90 minutes. After this, I rolled it out to try make a rectangle:

You have to coat the dough with butter, and then sprinkle a LOT of sugar and cinnamon over it

I followed a recipe that allegedly made 12-14 buns. Instead of cutting it into thinner buns, I cut it into 8 instead.

A second prove is then needed to allow the buns to puff up before baking:

Pre-rise
After the buns had risen
Baked rolls, fresh out of the oven

I believe that I over-baked them a little, but it was nothing that a little cream cheese frosting wouldn’t fix:

And finally, the inside of the bun as I was eating it. Yum yum yum yum

Peppa Pig Birthday Cake

Another family birthday means another cake. This time around the spec was “Peppa Pig” and “Normal cake” (I always assume people just mean vanilla and strawberry jam when they ask for “normal”.

As I don’t like making fondant covered cakes anymore, the below is what I came up with…

Peppa Pig Cake. Without Candles

I took the above photo then remembered I’d bought some candles too.

Peppa Pig Cake – with candles

I cheated on the cake making as I couldn’t be bothered to make my own pigs. Instead I spent £3.99 on the set from eBay.

Toppers Close-up

Finally, the obligatory cake insides shot. The cake rounds were 7″ each, so that’s quite a chunk of icing for the outsides!

A Cake Buffet atWork

It’s been a year since I got some software in work that I never thought I’d get, so I used this as an excuse to bake a load of cakes and share them with my work colleagues…

The Blue theme was literally because I bought a Dr. Oetker sprinkle-mix that I liked the colour of. Some more details on each item follow:

Cakesicles. These had a chocolate cake and salted caramel  centre with dark chocolate coating
Chocolate cupcakes: Chocolate cake with a chocolate buttercream swirl
Vanilla cake with strawberry compote and vanilla buttercream
Lemon Cupcakes: Lemon cake with lemon curd filling, topped with lemon flavour buttercream
Vanilla Cupcake: Vanilla Cake with vanilla buttercream
Cakesicles: Blueberry muffin filling mixed with jam and buttercream, coated in white chocolate
Not on theme, but I made a gin bundt cake too!