Giant Creme Egg Cake

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With only a week until Easter, the world seems to be under the usual magic spell cast by Cadbury’s creme eggs – and who can blame them! My two previous Easter posts – Creme Egg Cookie Pizza and Creme Egg Mini Cheesecakes are more popular than ever. Check me out (and some other amazing suggestions) over on Buzzfeed’s ‘17 Creme Egg recipes that should be illegal‘!

We’ve been visiting friends this weekend and I’d promised something creme egg-themed for dessert. A couple of weeks ago an amazing idea struck me – a giant creme egg cake! So the idea grew into fruition, and as you can see a monster of a cake. If you want to recreate the madness amazingness, here is how to do it…


Chocolate Madeira Cake
300g butter
350g sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
100g cocoa powder
300g plain flour
3  teaspoons baking powder
6 medium eggs
100ml milk or water

Chocolate icing
100ml milk
100g icing sugar
50g butter
200g dairy milk chocolate
50g cocoa powder

Creme filling
100g dairy milk chocolate
500g white fondant icing (ready to roll)

– Start with the cake mix by beating the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy
– Whisk in the eggs, vanilla essence and cocoa powder, until thoroughly combined
– Sieve the flour and fold in two tablespoons at a time, alternately with a tablespoon of milk
– Divide the mixture into 3 rectangular tins of slightly decreasing size. I used 12 x 7 inches, 10×7 inches, and 9×6 inches. If you don’t have exactly these sizes it doesn’t matter at all – work with what you’ve got. Your layers will be a bit thicker/thinner depending on the sizes, but you can easily shape the ‘egg’ still.
– Bake at 180 C for 15-20 minutes until firm and springy when pressed. Cooking time will vary slightly for the different tin sizes (and thicknesses), so make sure you check each one before removing from the oven
– Turn out from the tins and leave to cool

– Next onto the chocolate icing – in a saucepan heat together the milk and butter, until just starting to boil
– Turn the heat off and add the 200g chocolate, broken into small pieces. Stir well; the residual heat should be enough to melt the chocolate after a couple of minutes
– Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder – very important or you’ll get lumpy icing! – before stirring into the chocolate mixture. Once fully combined, set aside to cool

– Once the cakes are cool, cut the largest into an oval/egg shape using a serrated knife. Make a paper template beforehand if you’re worried about doing it freehand! Be sure to keep the offcuts (don’t eat them all!) as they’re needed later on.
– Place the next size of cake on top and cut to the same size. Then, cut the sides at slight angle to start creating the curved effect of the edge of the egg
– Once you’re happy with the size and shape of the two bottom layers, sandwich together with a thin layer of chocolate icing
– Next, use the offcuts from the first two layers to create a third outer ring layer – like a wall around the top of the cake. This is what the fondant / creme filling will sit in. Arrange the pieces ‘dry’, and once you’re happy with the whole layer, ‘glue’ into place with a little more chocolate icing. Secure with cocktail sticks if needed, until the icing sets. Be sure to leave the tops of the cocktail sticks poking out so you can remove them later. At this point, put the whole cake in the fridge for at least an hour, to set

– Melt the remaining 100g of chocolate in the microwave / over hot water
– Using the back of a teaspoon, coat the entire inside of the cake (bottom and sides) in chocolate, being sure not to leave any gaps. This will form a sealed space for the fondant to sit in – so it won’t soak into the cake or leak out the sides. Remember there’s no such thing as too much chocolate, so add more if you’re not sure the edges are sealed or not. Refrigerate again until the chocolate has set.

– While the cake’s in the fridge, you can make the filling. Grate or finely chop the fondant (if it’s colder this’ll be easier), and put in a large bowl / a stand mixer if you have one. Add a tablespoon of boiling water and start mixing. You should slowly find the fondant starts to meld back together in a firm, buttercream like consistency. If it’s too stiff to mix, add a little more boiling water, a teaspoon at a time. You want the mixture to be firm enough for a spoon to stand up in – or it will run everywhere when you cut the cake! If you accidentally add too much water, a little icing sugar will firm the mixture up again
– Transfer two tablespoons of the fondant mixture into a separate bowl, and mix together with a drop of orange food colouring
– Remove the cake from the fridge and spoon in two-thirds of the white fondant
– Create a well in the centre and add the orange fondant. Try not to mix it around too much, you want the colours to remain separate
– Spoon the remaining white fondant over the orange, to cover it. Don’t feel you need to use all the fondant, if there’s too much for your cake. You don’t want it spilling out the sides!
– Cut the final piece of cake into a smaller oval shape, so it will cover the fondant filling. Use a serrated knife again to slope the sides and form the edge of the egg shape
– Put a little chocolate icing around the top edge of the cake, before placing the final cake piece on top
– Cover the cake in the remaining chocolate icing – I’d recommend a thin crumb coat first, refrigerate for half an hour, then a second smoother coat. Finish with a star design on the top and lines around the outside, using a thin knife.
– Chill until ready to serve, slice, and enjoy!

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(Serving with extra creme eggs entirely optional – there’s more than enough chocolate and sugar in the cake itself!)

cadbury creme egg with giant easter cake chocolate recipe inside of giant cadbury creme egg cake with orange and white fondant filling easy recipe and method for easter baking

How do you eat yours?

60th Birthday Cake

60 birthday cake happy sixtieth sixty shaped homebake fondant decoration green grass flowers and butterflies

It’s been ahem a few months since my last post – what can I say, things got rather busy! Rest assured I’ve been busy baking and have plenty of recipes photos waiting to be shared. And how could I not share this wonderful excuse for a celebration. Last month was my mum’s 60th birthday (sorry mum, it’s public knowledge now!) and of course I was tasked with making the all-important birthday cake.

I used my number and letter pan to make the two number-shaped cakes. Both were madeira cake as it makes a great stable base for decorating onto. One was vanilla flavoured with a blueberry and raspberry buttercream, and one was lemon with a lemon buttercream. Even though the birthday party was only a few weeks ago I can’t actually remember which was which!

After the buttercream I covered the cakes entirely with a pale green fondant icing. Next up came the grass in a rich, fresh green. I rolled long strips before cutting the blades by hand and wrapping round the cakes. It took some doing but I was so pleased with the effect🙂

Last but by certainly no means least, the cake was finished with fondant flowers and butterflies, in bright spring colours of orange, purple, and pink, edged with edible glitter. These took up most of my evenings in the week leading up to mum’s birthday, to ensure they were fully dry and set in time. In the absence of enough flower-forming cups, I made temporary ones out of a strong tin foil. This meant all the butterflies could set in a v-shape, and gave the flowers a rounded-3d effect. The centres of the flowers were filled with a tiny piped circle of white royal icing.

edible glitter purple orange and pink flowers handmade fondant icing

edible glitter on fondant butterflies birthday cake homemade

fondant icing edible flowers with glitter edging pink orange purple

sixtieth birthday cake garden themed fondant flowers and butterflies

As ever that’s not the end of the story – just the small matter of 50 matching cupcakes for the birthday party! These were chocolate, half of them filled with caramel, and half with nutella. To top I cut matching circles of the pale green fondant, and curved pieces of the darker green grass, before finishing with butterfly and flower toppers.

matching cupcakes for 60th birthday cake green grass with fondant flowers and butterflies garden themed cupcakes flowers and butterflies on green grass fondant topping

Surprisingly enough we didn’t fit 60 candles on the birthday cake – in all honesty we didn’t really try! It was still quite an impressive inferno nonetheless🙂

60th birthday cake flowers and grass with candles burning happy 60th birthday mum blowing out candles on cake

The party was great fun and the cakes went down an absolute treat – it was of course a pleasure to make them for my lovely mummy!❤ Happy birthday again!

sixtieth birthday cake garden themed fondant flowers and butterflies

Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Showstopper

three tier round and square cake with autumn leaves flower and gold soft pearl decoration gluten free lemon drizzle recipe

So the Great British Bake Off is over for another – Wednesday nights won’t be the same again! I was really pleased that Nadiya won though, she was my favourite going into the final and really excelled with her 3 bakes. A very worth winner and so humble too. Was anyone not crying in that final scene??

I wanted to pull out all the stops for my final bake for the Great Bloggers Bake-Off, and loved the idea of a three-tiered classic British cake. I asked Rob what he’d like and lemon drizzle was the answer – can’t say no to that!

This gluten-free lemon cake really vamps up the lemon, and is deliciously easy to make and moist when done. It’s very well complemented by the lemon curd filling (keep reading), but works just as well as a standalone cake, without any filling or frosting. And it’s one of those great bakes where you can’t even tell it’s gluten free!

Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake
(makes 1 each of 8 inch round, 7 inch square and 4 inch round cakes. Halve the recipe to make one 8 inch round cake)

300g butter
300g caster or granulated sugar
Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons
50g ground almonds
3 medium eggs
200g gluten free plain flour (I use Dove’s Farm)1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
20ml milk or warm water

Lemon Drizzle
100 ml lemon juice (approx. juice of 2 large lemons, I used bottled for this)
150g caster or granulated sugar

– beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
– add the almonds, and beat in the eggs, one at a time
– add the lemon juice, zest and milk and beat again until smooth
– sieve in the flour and baking powder, and gently fold in until all combined
– split between 3 greased, lined tins – a 4-inch round, a 6-inch round, and an 8-inch round
– bake at 180 degrees C until the cakes are springy to touch and starting to come away from the sides of the tine. If you’re not sure then check with an inserted skewer, which should come out clean.
Each cake will need a different amount of time. Check first after around 20 minutes to see if the first is done, if not give another 5 minutes. The middle will take around 30-35 minutes, and the larger around 45 minutes. The time is very dependent on your oven and tin so keep an eye on them! Once you’ve taken the smaller one out, check the other two at least every 10 minutes, if not more often.
– Prepare the lemon drizzle by mixing the lemon juice and sugar. Microwave for 20-30 second until all the sugar is dissolved
– Once each cake is removed from the oven, prick small holes all over the top with a skewer or cocktail stick, and generously spoon over the lemon drizzle. Leave to cool fully in the tin.

gluten free lemon cake easy recipe three tier showstopper

I took a great tip from Nadiya on the show and popped the cakes in the freezer once cool, (wrapped in baking paper) for an hour or so before slicing in half and levelling the tops. It really did make it much easier – no cracking and much less crumbs.

Whilst the cakes were cooling and freezing I made the lemon curd – as this did take quite some time to cool as well. I used Delia’s recipe as a starter – but halved it (3 jars of lemon curd seemed a bit excessive!), and upped the cornflour to give a thicker set that would hold in the cakes. Maybe a bit of a blonde moment but I’d never realised that lemon curd was made mostly of eggs! I would say though that it is really easy to make and waaay better than shop-bought stuff, I’d highly recommend trying it!

Lemon curd

Grated rind and juice of 2 large lemons
3 medium eggs
175g golden caster sugar
100g butter
20g cornflour

– in a large saucepan, beat together the eggs then add the remaining ingredients
– put on a medium heat and whisk continuously for 7 – 8 minutes until it starts to thicken. At this stage cook for another minute, before transferring to a bowl to cool. It will continue to thicken as it cools as well.

homemade lemon curd easy recipe from delia for cake filling

As the curd was cooling I went onto the next step. Nadiya had made marshmallow fondant look and sound so easy (“I make it all the time…!”), so I thought I’d give it a go. Well I’ll be honest. I’d like to meet Nadiya and introduce her to ready-to-roll fondant. It’ll save hours and countless amounts of kitchen cleaning!

Needless to say my attempt was rather less than successful. The online methods I read in advance made it sound relatively easy, however completely failed to mention that it is the stickiest substance ever made by man. Seriously, super glue has nothing on this stuff!

marshmallow fondant kitchenaid disaster sticky hands

The other downside about marshmallow fondant is that it uses a lot of icing sugar. Add that to the sugar in the marshmallows and you’re practically bouncing off the walls with every bite! I’d put in as much sugar as the recipe recommended and it was still nowhere near a fondant consistency, I was struggling to see how this would ever roll out. Additionally I was starting to run out of time – it was nearing midnight and I wanted to get the cake assembled at least that night! So I improvised and turned it into a marshmallow frosting – with the simple addition of a little more water and lemon juice. The good thing about this frosting is that it keeps well (in a sealed container), and if it starts to harden up before you’ve used it all, it can easily be ‘melted’ back down again by popping in the microwave.

Another grumble about these marshmallow icings is that I found it rather tricky to locate all-white marshmallows in the UK shops. I went to a good 5 or 6 big high street retailers / supermarkets, and was just about to give up when I found what I needed in The Range. Really though, does anyone know why they come in pink and white in the first place?!

Marshmallow frosting
(sufficient to cover 3 cakes as made above)

200g (white) marshmallows
400g icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water, plus additional as needed

– put the marshmallows, lemon juice and water in a large bowl. Microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the marshmallows are fully melted to a smooth paste
– add the icing sugar and beat well to a smooth consistency (no lumps)
– the consistency should be thin enough to spread, but thick enough to hold its shape without dripping (hold the spoon upside down over the bowl to check). If it’s too thick, add a little more water and beat again, if it’s too thin, add a little more icing sugar. Once ready use straight away, or keep in the fridge in a sealed container until you need to use. Microwave to melt back to a spreadable consistency on removing from the fridge.

With the lemon curd filling and marshmallow frosting finally ready the cakes could be assembled. I layered up with lemon curd in the centre of each tier, and marshmallow frosting between the tiers and all round the sides. After refrigerating for half an hour to set the first layer, I added a second layer of marshmallow frosting to ensure a good thick coating.

luscious lemon curd homemade generous filling inside gluten free drizzle cake spreading marshmallow frosting onto tiered showstopper cake greatbloggersbakeoff

As the weather in the UK has recently taken a turn for the chillier, I decided to theme the decorations with an autumnal twist. To go with this rustic look I dimpled the frosting all over to give a more weathered effect.

textured effect stipling on marshmallow frosting tiered lemon cake

The leaf and flower decorations I made from coloured (normal) fondant – no more marshmallow icings for me! I may be blowing my own trumpet but I love how these marbled autumn leaves turned out. They were really simple to make too – I started with some green, yellow, orange, red and brown fondant, and mixed together in varying proportions, rolling out while they were only part combined. I used a leaf plunger cutter to get the veined and pronged leaves.

ombre marbled fondant icing autumn leaves for cake decoration

The marshmallow frosting stayed quite sticky so it was easy to attach the decorations the next day. Starting with some yellow flowers (a nod to the lemony inside), I arranged the leaves in an ombre graduating colour pattern down the cake. To finish – what showstopper is complete without a little sparkle – gold soft pearls around the base, in the flower centres and amongst the leaves.

gold soft pearl edging decoration around cake base

Fondant leaves and flowers with gold soft pearls decoration on autumn showstopper cake

Despite my various doubts (and wanting to give up!) in making this cake, I’m so pleased with how it turned out. Everything came together perfectly in the end and I’ll be honest – it tasted amazing! The homemade lemon curd had such a great zing, I want to put this in all my cakes going forward🙂 I’m less enamoured with the marshmallow frosting – it really does taste just like marshmallows, which personally I’m not a fan of on a cake. I’ll stick with buttercream and ready-to-roll fondant from now, thank-you-very-much.

gbbo lemon drizzle gluten free showstopper three tier autumn decoration cake recipe autumn leaves decoration

The inside of the cake had a perfect wow as well – not to brag but look at those layers!

gluten free lemon drizzle three tier cake with homemade curd and marshmallow frosting moist recipe

lemon layer cake three tier showstopper with flower gluten free homemade lemon curd marshmallow frosting

Although I’ve not been able to participate every week this year, I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the Great Bloggers Bake Off again. As always massive thanks to Jenny for being an amazing organiser. Please click the banner below to visit her blog and for more information on the bloggers bake-off.

Mummy Mishaps

Chocanoffee Pie

chocoanoffee chocolate banoffee pie

Semi-final week in GBBO so it follows that chocolate week comes to the Great Bloggers Bake Off – how could I resist making something?!

This is a bit of a short post as I’m not sharing the recipe because I didn’t feel the one I used worked particularly well – the pastry was too crumbly and prone to holes and breakage, and the filling very nearly didn’t set at all! Still it went down very well at dinner – you can’t go far wrong with this much chocolate🙂

The pastry was an enriched dough, with sugar, cocoa powder and an egg yolk added to the normal butter-flour-water base.

I was pleased to get it all into the tin in one piece…

chocolate pastry case great bloggers bake off 2015

… but it didn’t come out quite as in tact!

baked chocolate pastry case enriched dough

I didn’t want the filling to leak out or ruin the crispness of the pastry, so used a thin coat of melted dark chocolate over the cooled pastry to create a tight seal.

chocolate coated pastry pie case

Once this was set the filling was quite simple – a tin of Carnation caramel (much easier than making your own from a can of condensed milk), mixed with some melted dark chocolate, and layered up over some thinly sliced bananas. I think the issue with the caramel not setting was due to too much stirring to combined the chocolate. If I make this again I’ll boil it up a little with some more butter and sugar to make a thicker caramel that will set firmly.

carnation caramel chocanoffee pie bananas

banana layered chocolate caramel pie pouring chocolate caramel banana layered pie

To finish I used some simple chocolate icing (cocoa, icing sugar milk), drizzled in lines and feathered with a cocktail stick. Easy but effective!

feathered chocolate in banoffee pie

I used the same chocolate icing to pipe some swirls around the exposed edge of the pastry case, which neatened up the final look (and hid the cracks where I’d patched the pastry together!)

chocolate decoration on pastry case for chocolate banoffee pie

As I say not one of my favourite recipes but it still went down well – with that much chocolate you can’t go wrong!

You can find out more about the Great Bloggers Bake Off by clicking on the link below.


Mummy Mishaps

Mary Berry’s Chocolatines

mary berry chocolatines with gluten free sponge for great bloggers bake off gbbo

This week’s Great Bloggers Bake Off comes thanks to the lovely people at Stork, who sent me a voucher to try out their new Stork with butter. It’s a thank you not just for providing the butter – but also making me get into the kitchen and make something. Had I not had this review to write I would very likely have not contributed… again!

stork with butter new baking product test and review recipe

This week was patisserie week on the Great British Bake Off. I really did feel for Paul and his not knowing how to make a genoise sponge for the technical challenge, I’d have been in exactly the same boat having never made one before. And it’s not one you’d easily work out for yourself – whipped eggs and melted butter are not the normal start for a sponge!

The technical challenge was the one that took my fancy this week – however rather than the mokatines the bakers in the tent had to tackle, I opted for Mary Berry’s other recipe for these little patisserie squares – the chocolate version. The recipe is very similar and the method identical – using melted chocolate instead of coffee extract for the creme buerre (fancy buttercream to you and me) filling, and soft chocolate icing topping.

In a bit of a risky move – having never made a genoise before – I made a bit of a crazy decision to adapt it to gluten free. Low and behold, it worked perfectly! The adaptation was actually quite simple – instead of the recommend 65g of flour, I used 50g of gluten free flour and an extra 5g of cornflour. I won’t recount the full recipe but you can find it in Mary’s Baking Bible, or online in many places.

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The Stork with Butter was also great for using with this – it melted down to a lovely creamy texture, with a rich buttery taste. Perfect for the richness that is needed in patisserie.

melted stork with butter review and recipe for genoise sponge gluten free sponge

Once the sponge was cooled and cut into squares I actually found the two icings quite easy to make. It was the assembly and piping that was rather more of a faff!

The buttercream was quite difficult to spread on the delicate sponge, so it was more of a splodge and hope for the best. Once the two halves were pressed together it was easier to neaten up round the sides. Then just the not-so-simple task of piping tiny rosettes round the side of each square.

piping rosettes on patiesserie genoise sponge for mary berry chocolatines mary berry chocolatines piped top and filled inside chocolate buttercream

And finally – the smooth chocolate icing. I’d refrigerated the cake squares so the buttercream rosettes had chance to firm up a little – meaning they formed quite a good barrier to hold the top icing on. I also had to use a little paintbrush to ensure it got into all the corners!

chocolate smooth icing on the top of mary berry chocolatines

And with a final blast in the fridge, the chocolatines were finished!

chocolatines mary berry recipe chocolate buttercream icing and genoise sponge

Although not perfectly neat I was still really pleased with how they turned out – and they passed the Mary and Paul test of having a neat layer of filling in the middle!

layered filling in chocolatines made with gluten free genoise sponge

They had a lovely creamy, smooth richness, as any good patisserie should, and the Stork with Butter was a perfect base to use for this. I’d be more than happy to use it in my baking again.

Thanks again to Stork for supplying the ingredients and to Jenny for being as ever a great organiser for the Great Bloggers Bake Off. Click on the image below to find out more and look at what the other bakers have been up to this week.

Mummy Mishaps

Disclaimer: The Stork with Butter was provided to me for the purposes of this post. The reviews, opinions and baking however are all my own.

Gluten-, Dairy- and Sugar-Free Banana, Apricot & Almond Muffins

banana apricot and almond muffins recipe healthy breakfast or snack in assocation with tesco gluten free dairy free sugar free

Week five of 2015’s Great Bloggers Bake-Off (although only the second for me), and the lovely people at Tesco Real Food got in touch to ask if I’d bake something for free-from week if they provided the ingredients. How could I refuse! Being diagnosed with a gluten intolerance last Christmas, you’ll have noticed a steady increase in gluten-free recipes this year, and I was so pleased to see GBBO recognising that there are people out there who need to use different methods an ingredients in their baking.

This bake started out as a gluten-free snack one evening after work. Only later did I realise it’s also dairy-free and (added) sugar-free as well – ticking off all off the weeks challenges in one batch of tasty muffins!

These muffins actually border on healthy due to the high fruit and nut content, and are perfect for an on-the-go breakfast, or to curb those mid-morning munchies.

All my ingredients came from Tesco – and although they don’t make their own gluten free flour, they do stock Doves Farm which is my personal favourite, it’s a great base for so many recipes.

basket of shopping sponsored by tesco real food for muffins recipe free frim

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so versatile – you can add or omit most things as long as you keep the basics at the same quantities – bananas, eggs, oil, milk/water and dry ingredients (flour/oats/ground almonds & bicarb). They’d very easily work as nut-free (replace the ground almonds with more gf flour and omit the ones on top); you can omit the dried mixed fruits if you’re not a fan; or add some chocolate chips for a sweeter treat!

2 medium ripe bananas
100g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
15g crystallised ginger, finely chopped
50g dried mixed fruit
50g gluten free flour
50g gluten free oats
50g ground almonds
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 medium eggs
75ml almond milk or similar (normal milk or even water is fine)
50ml oil – I use extra virgin olive oil
50g flakes almonds

Glaze (optional) – 25g apricot jam

– In a large bowl, mix together the apricots, ginger, mixed fruit, flour, oats, almonds and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well so that all the little pieces of fruit/ginger are coated in flour, this will stop them sinking during making
– In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and beat together with the milk, oil, and eggs
– Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix until all combined
– Grease a 12-hole muffin tin. I use cake release spray – you can also get this in Tesco – but oil would work too. Use a pastry brush to make sure the sides, corners and bottom are well greased, as it’s quite a sticky mixture.
– Divide the mixture between the 12 holes and sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top
– Bake at 180 °C for 12-15 minutes, until the tops are springy to the touch and the muffins are slightly golden at the edges

free from muffin mix oats flour almonds dried fruit

gluten-free dairy-free and sugar-free banana almond and apricot muffins topped with flaked almonds recipe ready to make

freshly baked banana flaked almond apricot muffins gluten free dairy free recipe

The apricot jam glaze is entirely optional (and slightly anti the sugar-free part of the challenge), but does add a lovely finish to the tops of the muffins. Tesco do stock a reduced-sugar jam for the particularly health conscious!

reduced sugar apricot jam from tesco for healthier low sugar cakes recipe

– As soon as the muffins are removed from the oven, leave them in the tin and prick the tops all over with the very tip of a sharp knife. You want about 15-20 tiny holes per muffin
– Heat the apricot jam in the microwave or a saucepan with 25ml of water, until you have a smooth liquid (this should only take a minute or two). Drizzle the glaze over the top of each muffin a little at a time, until it’s all used up
– Leave the muffins to cool completely in the tin. Once cool, they should come out easily (if you greased the tin well enough!), if not, run a sharp knife around the edges, turn the tray upside down, and gently tap the bottom

apricot jam glaze reduced sugar topping dairy and gluten free muffins recipe healthy snack breakfast

fresh out of the oven gluten free and dairy free banana apricot and almond muffins healthy recipe

gluen and dairy free banana apricot and almond muffin recipe healthy cake

Inside the muffins are moist and oh-so-good! Keep them in an airtight container, and because of the fresh banana they should be eaten within a few days – although they certainly don’t last that long in our house.

bite taken out of banana apricot and almond muffins gluten and dairy free moist and light recipe

You can find out more about the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2015 by clicking here, and more about Tesco Real Food by clicking here.

A big thank you to Tesco for providing me with the ingredients for this bake. The opinions and recipe however are entirely my own.

Mummy Mishaps

No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Pots

no bake strawberry cheesecake layered pots gbbo

One of my twitter followers thoughtfully asked last week if I was doing the Great Bloggers Bake Off this year – and sadly my answer was no, as I don’t have the time at the moment (which may be evident from the distinct slowdown in blog posts!)

However – it got me thinking, I have got some posts waiting to be uploaded that tie in with some of the GBBO weeks… so why not tie them in? Better to part-partake than not at all!

So the first of my posts is for Desserts Week. I loved last nights show – would love to have a go at a Windtorte at some point, and baked cheesecakes? Hello! Nadiya’s fizzy pop cheesecake stack was absolutely inspired.

This recipe is great for the summer as there are absolutely no ovens involved. That’s right, no overheating the kitchen when you’re already struggling to maintain a normal body temperature. And who doesn’t love their own little pot portion? Although one is never enough!

The glass ramekins you may recognise from a popular brand of rather amazing desserts, but any small bowls would be suitable. The recipe will make 6 of this size, adjust up or down if your containers are bigger/smaller.

gu glass ramekins re-use ideas easy no bake strawberry cheesecake


100g biscuits – digestive or anything else you fancy
150g cream cheese
125g greek yoghurt50g caster or granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 pack strawberry jelly
Strawberries – I used 2 medium ones per pot


  • Crush the biscuits and press firmly into the base of the ramekins. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate while you prepare the middle layer.
  • Beat together the cream cheese, yoghurt, sugar, lemon and vanilla until well combined.
  • Remove the ramekins from the fridge and carefully spoon the cheese mixture onto the biscuit base. Try and avoid it splashing up the sides, especially if you have glass bowls/ramekins, as it will spoil the finished look.
  • Return to the fridge for another 30 minutes.
  • Make up the jelly according to the instructions on the packet, and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Remove any stalks from the strawberries and slice in half. Carefully press into on top of the cheese mixture, before pouring the jelly over the top.
  • Refrigerate until the jelly has set and serve as soon as you’re ready – I wouldn’t recommend making more than a day in advance as the layers will start to merge together and go a bit sticky.

pressing biscuit base into cheesecake ramekin individual pot dessert spooning cream cheese mixture into ramekin for cheesecake pots

cheesecake layer individual pots no bake strawberries set into cheesecake easy no bake recipe individal dessert pots hartleys strawberry jelly recipe idea cheesecake pots action shot pouring jelly topping onto strawberry cheesecake individual pots no bake recipe strawberry topping on easy no bake cheesecake great bloggers bake off layered strawberry cheesecake pots easy no bake recipe

Inside… crunchy, creamy, sweet and fruity all in one mouthful. I told you one wasn’t enough!

inside strawberry chesecake pots biscuit base cream cheese yoghurt fruit jelly easy recipe

You can find more about Great Bloggers Bake Off by clicking here – scroll down and there are weekly links to all the yumminess that has been made!

Mummy Mishaps

GF Honey Bee Hive Cake

honey beehive cake with hidden honeycomb centre gluten free

A few weeks ago Derby Clandestine Cake Club‘s August meeting was held, with a ‘Hidden Summer’ theme. A bit unsure of adding extra ingredients to a gluten free cake, I opted for a hidden-centred cake instead. I found the honey cake recipe and things spiralled out from there… a beehive shape, honeycomb centre, perfect!

The gluten-free honey cake recipe I used was this one from Glutafin – and I simply can’t rave about it enough. It was so easy to make (hello, one-bowl baking), cooked perfectly, and was wonderfully moist and tasty. Gold stars all round!

gluten free honey cake easy GF recipe one bowl

I baked the cake in two slightly different size round tins, to start the circles needed for the beehive.

Once cool, I used various circular elements from round the kitchen (a bowl, a glass, and a spray oil lid for the smallest one!), to cut concentric circles out from the middles of the large cakes. I ended up with three ‘rings’ of cakes on the bottom (circles with holes in the middle), and two ‘solid’ circle layers for the top.

stacking gluten free honey cake circles for beehive theme hidden centre

Once I was happy with the stacking, I dis-assembled down to the bottom two layers, and filled them with a generous mix of chocolate and honeycomb pieces (I highly recommend Crunchie Rocks – a ready-made version of this!)

hidden centre cake honey bee hive chocolate honeycomb filling

Finally I needed to stick the cakes together, and cover with icing. The sticking part didn’t take much icing at all as the cake was so moist, but I more than made up for it with lots of sticky icing on the outside. I’d love to share the recipe for this as it worked perfectly, but alas it was one of those throw-in-the-pan-and-see-what-happens kind of icings, with some honey, butter, icing sugar, a little chocolate… you get the picture!

Once the cake was covered I added some bee-hive ‘ridges’ round the cake, using the back of a fork.

sticky chocolate honey buttercream icing on beehive cake

And what beehive would be complete without some little honeybees? Wondering where their honey has gone no doubt! I rolled together some black and yellow fondant icing, adding white wings and black dots for eyes, to make these little bee-hive keepers.

fondant icing handmade bees for beehive honey cake clandestine cake club

The finished cake – stickly hiding its hidden chocolatey treasure away…

fondant bees on honeycomb cake handmade gluten free beehive honey cake with hidden chocolate honeycomb centre decorated with fondant bees

… only to spill out in a grand reveal when the cake is cut open!

hidden centre beehive cake chocolate honeycomb hidden centre layered beehive cake honey with chocolate honeycomb

Needless to say there was neither much cake nor chocolate left by the time cake club was over. You can read the full details of our August meeting here. Next stop is our September meeting to launch the new Clandestine Cook Book – featuring a recipe from little moi! All will be revealed soon…

Baked Mango Cheesecake

baked mango cheesecake served with fresh strawberries recipe and method easy gluten free dessert

A perfect summer dessert – light, fruity, and easy to make!

The recipe is similar to my other cheesecakes, but, due to the inclusion of so much fruit, doesn’t require any added sugar or yoghurt. It’s delightfully simple in terms of ingredients – once you’ve got past chopping the juicy mangoes of course.



150g plain biscuits (I used gluten-free which worked perfectly, but any ‘normal’ kind would work as well, rich tea, digestives, etc.)
30g butter
350g cream cheese
450g mango, pureed (this is around 3 medium or 2 large mangoes, ripe ones work best)
3 medium eggs


– Crush the biscuits into fine breadcrumbs, and mix with the melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom of a 6-7 inch round springform or loose-bottomed tin. Put into the fridge to chill while you make the topping.
– Ensure the mango is well-pureed (or mashed), so it is smooth with no lumps, and beat together with the cream cheese.
– Add the eggs and mix until just combined – no need to beat again at this stage.
– Pour the cheesecake mixture over the base. Give the tin a few taps to ensure it settles flat and allow any air bubbles to surface.
– Bake at 150 degrees C for 45 – 60 minutes. Check back after 45 minutes, you are looking for the top to be ‘just set’ – i.e. not liquidy and fluid when you move the tin.
– Once cooked, remove the tin from the oven and carefully run a knife around the edge. As the cheesecake cools it will shrink slightly, and this will prevent it from sticking to the tin as it does so! Leave in the tin until completely cool, before gently transferring to a plate. Refrigerate until ready to serve (can be made in advance, but keep away from any strong-smelling foods in the fridge.)

There were a few cracks on my cheesecake when it came out of the oven – but a lovely vibrant yellow mango colour which I was really pleased with!

baked mango cheesecake easy recipe gluten free low fat simple dessert summer pudding

The cheesecake can be served as is – the delicate mango flavour would be overwhelmed by anything too strong in any case.

However as they were in the fridge (and to disguise the cracks!) – I added some quartered strawberries around the top and sides of mine.

gluten free mango cheesecake served with fresh british strawberry slices recipe and method

Inside – a soft, sweet, sticky cheesecake – perfect for those warm summer evenings that we’re all dreaming of!

slice of gluten free low fat baked mango cheesecake with recipe and how to

Ombre Flowers Gluten Free Wedding Cake

ombre flowers cascade tiered wedding cake white pink orange

Last month, in celebration of mine and Rob’s upcoming nuptials, the lovely ladies of Derby Clandestine Cake Club held a wedding and hen-party themed meet-up in my honour! You can read the full details by clicking here.

For obvious reasons (hello planning busy-ness, no more stress needed!) I’m not making our actual wedding cake, so used this an ideal opportunity to try out a bridal design of my own. Inspired by the recent Gluten-Free baking course I took, I combined and adapted a few recipes from various sources to make a gluten free fruit cake for the two layers.

Gluten Free Wedding Fruit Cake
500g dried fruit (I used a mix of dried apples, apricots, bananas, raisins and mixed peel, but anything would work)
250g light brown or golden caster sugar
250g butter
4 medium eggs
100ml milk
200g gluten free flour
75g ground almonds
2 tbsp cocoa (not essential, but adds a lovely richness)
2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

– chop the dried fruit into small pieces if needed (around 5mm maximum is best), and mix together with the ground almonds
– beat together the sugar, butter, eggs, milk, flour, cocoa and baking powered
– add the dried fruit and mix until just combined
– pour into greased, lined tins, sizes as needed. I used a deep 7 inch round for the base, and 3 inch round for the top
– cover with foil (to stop the top doming) and bake at 150 degrees until an inserted skewer comes out clean. The length of time needed in the oven will depend on the size of the tins you use. My 3 inch cake took around 30-40 minutes, the 7 inch around 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
– remove from the tin and leave to cool completely before icing.

dried fruit for gluten free cake recipe banana apples apricots raisins baking gluten free fruit wedding cakes foil top tip to stop dome gluten free wedding cake two tiers recipe easy

For my cakes I used a marzipan layer to give a smoother finish for the white fondant. It’s not at all necessary though, you could use jam or even buttercream. The two cakes need around 500g of marzipan, and 500g of white fondant, to generously cover both.

marzipan on gluten free wedding fruit cake easy recipe

white fondant iced two tier wedding cake fruit gluten free recipe

Once the cakes were covered and stacked it was onto the flower decorations. I’ll be the first to admit that I may have got a little carried away here! I started doing them one evening, a bit more the next night, and so on, the final count was over 500!! I started with two colours of gel icing sugar – an orange and a pink, and mixed varying amounts of these into small quantities of white fondant to create the full spectrum of ombre flowers, from dark to light.

ombre fondant flowers for wedding cake white pink peach orange ombre sugarpaste fondant icing flowers hand cut for wedding cake decoration orange pink peach white pastel

I stuck them on the cake using a little plain white icing dabbed on with a cocktail stick, and starting with the palest flowers at the top, I started sticking and curving round the cake, all the way to the brightest orange and pink at the bottom.

white and pastel peach orange pink cascade of ombre flowers on wedding cake orange and pink wedding cake fondant flowers cascade ombre flowers cascade fondant icing on tiered wedding cake spring and summer ideas

The finished cake – a little wonky depending on the angle you look at it from (not a pro wedding cake maker by far!) – but I was really pleased with it.

cascade of ombre flowers two tiered wedding cake white pink orange peach gluten free recipe for clandestine cake club pink and orange cascade ombre flowers wedding cake on white icing

Of course we had a great time at cake club devouring all the wedding and hen cakes – who doesn’t love to sit and chat over a good cup of tea and huge slice of cake?

My cake turned out really well inside too – you really couldn’t tell it was gluten free, so would be perfect to serve to any wedding guest.

gluten free wedding fruit cake slice with marzipan white fondant icing and ombre spring brights flowers

As for our actual wedding cake… you’ll just have to watch this space. Not long now!