All-in-One Rainbow Birthday Cake

all in one rainbow giant cupcake recipe and method one cake simple design gel colours

Last weekend I had the great pleasure of being invited to Clandestine Cake Club‘s Third Birthday. As co-organiser of the Nottingham group, this was my opportunity to meet with other cake-clubbers from around the country, pick up some tips (and wonderful free gifts) from the sponsors, Renshaw, and of course, eat cake!

Although we had to travel to Liverpool, about a 2 hour drive, I still wanted to contribute some cake to the afternoon club. This seemed like a great time to crack open my Lakeland Giant Silicone Cupcake Case, which I bought in the sale about a month ago.

lakeland giant cupcake case silicon mould recipe and how to use

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love this case (the lovely pink colour is always a plus), but it’s not what I’d describe as giant. The box notes that you should use a 2 egg recipe, which is very much on the medium side to me, and comparing it to the size of a medium egg… yes, it’s not huge. But perfect for what I needed!

lakeland large cupcake mould to scale two egg recipe size and method

For a third birthday I wanted to do something a bit special. And what is more special than rainbow cake! However 6-7 layers (depending on your variations of purple/indigo/violet) all individually filled and stacked… this was neither easy nor going to travel well. However as per my previously made rainbow cupcakes, I was sure this would work all in one big cupcake. As the mould was a relatively deep, I opted for a madeira cake recipe, that would remain moist and light, without the fragility of victoria sponge.

Recipe

100g butter
135g sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (or lemon juice, if you prefer)
2 eggs
150g plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons of milk or water

– Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
– Add the eggs, milk and vanilla essence, and beat again
– Sieve in the flour and baking powder, and fold until just mixed (don’t over do it)- Divide the mixture into 6 (or 7!), and colour with gel food colours only (don’t use liquid colours, it won’t work)
– Layer carefully and smoothly, don’t be tempted to spread the layers with a spoon or you’ll end up mixing the colours
– Bake at 180 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If the top is looking done before the inside is cooked, cover it with tin foil to prevent it browning.

I use a mix of Wilton and Home2Bake gel colours, all come out with lovely vibrant colours. First up, purple then blue… (the observant among you will notice a major baking error in this photo – not greasing the tin! Thankfully I realised quite quickly, scooped out the mix, greased, flour, and continue!)

all in one rainbow cake how to layering colours purple and blue bright from gel food colouring

And layering a colour at a time, finishing with orange and then red. In order not to mix the colours, I found a combination of pouring and spooning the mix was best to get it spread out evenly.

all in one rainbow cupcake how to layering red and orange bright vibrant colours achieved using food gels

giant rainbow cupcake recipe all in one layers of red and orange how to

And the full cupcake ready to bake. In hindsight it was a little over-full, next time I’d take a couple of tablespoons out of the mix before colouring.

lakeland two egg giant cupcake silicon mould recipe and how to

Unfortunately this was definitely too much mix – on checking the oven part-way through baking I found a big rainbow ooze coming from the side!

oozing cake overfilled giant cupcake mould recipe and how to avoid

With no time to make another cake, I crossed my fingers and carried on baking until it was done. Thankfully when it turned out of the case the damage wasn’t obvious from the outside, and the extra oozed bit of cake actually came in useful as a platform for the topping!

giant rainbow cupcake all in one purple blue green yellow orange and red birthday idea easy

Due partly to a lack of time, and partly as the cake looked so great on it’s own, I kept the topping quite simple. Firstly cutting fondant stars out of matching rainbow colours:

rainbow fondant stars decoration for birthday cake kids ideas

… and lining them round the top of the buttercream-topped cupcake. Edible glitter mandatory of course!

easy all in one rainbow birthday cake giant cupcake with vanilla buttercream and bright coloured fondant stars

rainbow birthday cake simple decorations white vanilla buttercream and fondant coloured stars

And of course no birthday cake is complete without candles!

rainbow birthday cake with candles all in one giant cupcake recipe with buttercream topping and fondant stars

I was so relieved to see the layers when it was cut open. Heaven knows where the oozy-mix had come from, but the colours lined up beautifully.

all in one rainbow birthday cake recipe sliced into the middle perfect layers the easy way purple blue green red orange yellow

Of course we had an amazing time at the birthday party. Much tea was drunk, cake was eaten, and lots of excited chatter. Happy Birthday Clandestine Cake Club, and a big thank you to Renshaw for making the party possible!

Tropical Christmas Cake with Coconut Icing

merry christmas alternative with a twist tropical fruit cake with rum and ginger coconut icing and flower decoration recipe and easy method

Today, a Christmas themed Derby Clandestine Cake Club – with a twist, of course. The baking websites and newsletters I’m subscribed to are awash with amazing ideas, from festive decorations to drunk cakes and everything in between. With such a sweet tooth I saw a tropical fruit cake recipe and was sold instantly – Rob came up with the idea of coconut icing which was a great snowy touch.

As with a traditional Christmas cake, you can really use any fruits you’d like. There are some great pre-mixes of tropical fruit out there that will save you buying them all separately, and the ginger can be omitted if you’re not a fan. I’ve not actually made a Christmas cake before and am surprised at the ratio of fruit over cake – this definitely counts as one of your five a day 🙂

Ingredients

Tropical Christmas Cake
600g mixed tropical dried fruit.
(I used a 200g mix of apricots, sultanas and apples, plus 400g mix of pineapple, papaya and mango)
50ml rum or other spirit (optional)
185g butter
185g golden caster or light brown sugar
3 eggs
225g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
30g chopped crystallised ginger
Spice blend as desired – I used 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and ginger, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of nutmeg

Coconut Icing
75g butter
150g icing sugar
200g desiccated coconut

Method
If you’ve time, soak the dried fruit overnight in the rum , in a covered bowl.
Beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, spices, baking powder and sieved flour, and beat again until smooth.
Finally, add the dried fruit and ginger and mix well combined with an even distribution of fruit.
Pour into a greased, lined in – 7 inches round with high sides is perfect, but you could use a larger round, a square or even a novelty tin.
Bake at 150 degrees for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Timing will very much depend on your oven type, mine took around 2 1/2 hours in a fan oven. If the top is starting to brown then cover with tin foil for the remainder of the cooking time.

Remove from the tin and leave to cool completely – overnight is ideal as you don’t want the icing to melt off!

tropical fruit alternative christmas cake mango pineapple papaya recipe easy rum and ginger flavouring

For the icing, simply beat together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. If you have an electric stand mixer then leave it on for 4-5 minutes, the extra beating will lighten the mixture so that the tallow of the butter fades into a white.
Add the coconut and beat again until smooth, use a dash of milk if it’s a little too stiff.
Use immediately as it will set hard – applying generously all over the cake, and smoothing with a palette knife dipped in hot water.

coconut ice style icing spreading on tropical christmas fruit cake recipe and method

smooth coconut iced cake icing recipe easy finished with a palette knife tropical cake

I wanted a little decoration to finish – the coconut icing balled up beautifully and I had planned on making snowmen, but a last minute change of mind led to tropical flowers instead, alluding to the rich colours inside.

These were quite simply 2 flower shapes, one with rounded petals and the other more jagged, in orange and red, placed alternately and finished with a touch of red food colouring as paint, red mottled centre and festive touch of edible glitter! I mixed a little tylo powder into the fondant so it would set hard, and placed them in a wooden egg tray to get a curved effect.

tropical fondant flours orange and red alternate edible glitter setting with tylo powder in egg cup for form

I stuck the flowers onto the cake with a little ordinary white icing, and finished with a festive greeting!

tropical christmas cake coconut snow icing merry christmas with red and orange flowers edible glitter

The finished cake – Christmas plate essential, of course 🙂

coconut icing merry christmas tropical fruit cake recipe and simple instructions alternative and easy

easy alternative christmas cake recipe tropical fruit mango pineapple papaya with apricot rum and ginger red and orange flower fondant decoration coconut icing

It was a big hit at cake club and back at home as well – the icing set like a delicious coconut ice, I might be making a batch of this just as is! And the fruit colours inside came out great too.

slice of tropical christmas fruit cake with coconut icing recipe and how to contains mango pineapple papaya apricot sultanas flavoured with rum and ginger

Halloween Spiced Pumpkin Cake

halloween pumpkin cake shaped fondant recipe and decoration with leaves decoration

Last week my dad brought round some of the harvest from his allotment – in the form of 3 huge pumpkins, the largest of which weighed a whopping 5 stone!

giant homegrown pumpkins largest weighing five stones

We went through one of the smaller ones last week, which Rob carved into a cat:

homegrown pumpkin carving cat face

We wanted the monster pumpkin to display outside at Halloween. A whole evening of carving and scraping and everything-else pumpkin-y later, our fridge and freezer was full to the brim with a whopping 10 kilos / 1.5 stone of pumpkin flesh! And this is not even half of it…

giant pumpkin homegrown allotment five stone weight halloween
inside of giant pumpkin kilos of thick flesh halloween recipe usage
kilos of pumpkin flesh from carving use in cake recipe

This week was also our Halloween Nottingham City Clandestine Cake Club, and given the volume of pumpkin in the kitchen there really was no choice on what to make!

The recipe is adapted from several sources, you can add more or less spice depending on your tastes. It’s very moist on its own, or you can add a cream cheese frosting for an indulgent treat. Or dress up in its own costume as I did! There were a lot of recipes that called for delicate folding and sieving yada yada… I made it straight in one bowl, mixed carefully, no mess, no fuss, perfect cake 🙂

Ingredients

225g plain flour
175g light brown sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinammon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 eggs
120ml vegetable oil
200g pureed pumpkin (pop it in the blender or mash)

Method
– Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl
– Add the eggs, oil and pumpkin, and mix until just combine (it doesn’t need to be smooth).
– Pour into a well-greased tin (8 inch square or similar, approx 2 litre capacity), and bake at 180 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

I’d planned ahead for this bake an invested in a medium hemisphere tin from Lakeland.

lakeland medium hemisphere tin usage and recipe review

At £6.99 it was a good price for a sturdy new tin, and I’m already plotting more uses! They do recommend you buy a baking tin to hold it upright while you’re baking, but I was sure there’d be something in the kitchen cupboard I could use. Lo and behold, my amazing number and letter pan came into use once again!

semi circle half sphere tin from lakeland balanced upright in letter and number cake tin

I made 2 batches of the above batter and baked 2 half-sphere cakes, trimming them once cool to give a slightly flatter base and top, and ensuring the middles fitted together well.

two half sphere cakes made with spiced pumpkin trimmed into shape

sphere pumpkin cake two halfs together and trimmed into shape

After a quick coat and fill of lemon buttercream, I covered the cakes in orange fondant. And you thought a normal round cake was difficult! There were a few lumps and bumps but thankfully this is a normal pumpkin characteristic 🙂

sphere cake spiced pumpkin covered in orange fondant for halloween

To create the ridged sections of the pumpkin, I simply pressed lines from the top to the bottom using the back of a thin paintbrush.

carving details into halloween pumpkin cake marking lines and ridges with paintbrush

To finish, I added a brown stalk, and some assorted green leaves around the base (mostly to disguise my bad fondant covering!)

fondant stalk and leaves on halloween pumpkin cake recipe

leaf decorations on halloween pumpkin cake shades of green

The completed cake, intentionally wonky and bumpy, of course!

halloween pumpkin cake orange fondant and spiced vegetable recipe decorated with green leaves

And of course the pumpkin was suitably carved to adorn our doorstep this evening – being such a monster it literally eats baby pumpkins for breakfast!

20131031-205438.jpg

Malory Towers Castle Cake

malory towers castle cake for enid blyton derby clandestine cake club october 2013 recipe and how to using silicon shaped mould

Yesterday was the latest event for Derby Clandestine Cake Club, with the brilliant theme of Enid Blyton, sprung up from a conversation about Mr. Moonface at the summer’s event!

I was a big fan of Enid Blyton books when I was little – from the Magic Faraway Tree and Wishing Chair series, to the Famous Five and Secret Seven, and, of course, the Malory Towers books. I’d be wanting to re-use my castle mould for a long time, it’s only had one bake since I bought it – see my Chocolate Lego Castle Cake from last year.

This time I was determined to make a good, stable, and plentiful recipe – it’s a huge mould so does need quite a big mix. I seem to remember last time never quite having enough mixture, and having to keep mixing up more batches to add to the top! I started with a bundt cake recipe, as this has the same kinds of volume and lightness I was after, and scaled it up to fit the capacity of the mould, which was about 3 litres.

Ingredients – to fit 3 litre castle silicon mould or similar

340g butter
450g sugar
4 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
9 eggs
525g plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
375ml low fat yoghurt

Method

– Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla, until light and fluffy. Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a separate bowl
– Beat in the eggs, one at a time, with a teaspoon of flour each time to prevent curdling
– Add half the yoghurt and half the remaining flour, mix, add the remainder, and mix again.
Technically you should fold in the flour and yoghurt but I found this to be a bit challenging with so much mixture! Even my Breville mixture was struggling by the end – but the texture wasn’t affected by beating instead of folding.

breville stand mixer full to the brim with bundt cake batter

– Prepare your mould/tin by greasing it very well. I used a cake release spray to get in all the corners and crevasses, and made sure it all had a good, thick coating. Then, dust with a layer of flour, and turn upside down to shake off the excess

grease and flour silicon tin castle mould to ensure cake doesn't stick very detailed intricate

– Pour the mixture in the tin, no need to spread it out as the weight will make it flow into all the corners. You’ll see that this recipe didn’t quite fill up the mould, I didn’t get the steps to the castle, if you wanted this you’d need to scale up the recipe by another 20% or so.

silicon castle cake mould bundt style recipe how to use

– Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Cover the top of the mould in greaseproof paper – this will stop the top from cooking too quickly and burning, and also prevent the middle from rising too much and giving you an uneven base

covering silicon castle cake mould in greaseproof paper for long baking time to ensure no burning

– Overall my cake too around 1 1/2 hours to cook. After 45 minutes, check to see how it is getting on. The top will look cooked but if a skewer or similar is inserted you’ll see the inside is not done.
Return to the oven and check back every 10-15 minutes, again inserting a clean skewer (I use the back of thin teaspoon) to see if it’s done. If it comes out completely clean, the cake is cooked, if not, it’s not! Be sure to test a different part of the cake every time, and push your skewer down into the very centre of the cake as this is the bit that will cook last.

perfectly cooked bundt cake recipe in silicon castle mould how to and method

– Leave to cool for at least an hour before gently easing out. It may be tempting but the cake is more likely to break when it’s hot. After leaving mine for a couple of hours and it turned out perfectly – I was so happy! The excess flour you can see in a couple of parts brushed off easily the next morning.

silicon castle cake mould recipe freshly baked and cooled cake turned out of the tin perfectly

perfect intricate detailing from silicon castle cake mould recipe brickwork turrets and door

The texture of this cake was perfect and I’d definitely use again – easily changing the flavour with some cocoa powder; orange or lemon rind and juice; spices such as ginger, cinnamon; coconut… the list is endless!

To ice, I wanted a flavour that would complement the vanilla, but also a look that would go with the brickwork effect of the castle.

I’ve used the Primrose Bakery‘s caramel icing recipe many times, it bubbles up wonderfully to a delicious sugary brown and cools to a lovely smooth texture. I adapted it slightly here to thin down slightly so it would flow into the intricate design of the cake a bit better.

Ingredients

75g butter
150ml milk
350g soft brown sugar
350g icing sugar

Method

– Put the milk, butter and brown sugar in a saucepan, and heat on high until boiling. Stirring constantly, allows to boil for one minute.

primrose bakery caramel icing easy recipe and how to

– Take off the heat and beat in half the icing sugar, sieved. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before beating in the remaining icing sugar.
– Continue cooling until it reaches the consistency desired for your cake. If it cools too much and gets too thick to pour or spread, simply heat up again for a few seconds at a time.

boiled caramel icing recipe and how to perfect for drizzling over cakes and desserts

I covered my cake using a combination of pouring and spooning over and into the detailed sections, all with the cake on a wire rack over a cling film-covered baking tray, to catch any drips. It was quite a sticky job so no in-progress photos!

rear of malory towers castle cake back door and windows made out of black chocolate foundant caramel icing

For the finishing touches, I added black gel colour to some chocolate fondant, and cut out the required shapes.

Windows for the towers:

black chocolate fondant details windows doors and archways castle cake malory towers enid blyton

…archways:

black chocolate fondant archway on castle cake brickwork detail sticky caramel icing frosting

… and of course a suitably grand front door!

malory towers enid blyton castle cake with black chocolate fondant details front door surround and windows

castle cake birthday party ideas full recipe instructions and method vanilla bundt with caramel frosting icing and fondant details

And for a final finishing touch, well, no castle is complete with flags!

malory towers flags on castle cake caramel icing turret tower enid blyton

enid blyton's malory towers castle cake recipe and method using silicon mould vanilla bundt with caramel frosting

And, flags or no, I think it’s a pretty good replica of Lulworth Castle, which the Malory Towers books are rumoured to be based on.

Lulworth_Castle_in_1999 Malory Towers possibly source goodreads dot com

This months cake club was held at the lovely Kay’s Tea Room in Willington – a delightful little venue and one I’ll definitely be returning to.

kays tea room willington derbyshire villages cake club venue

And the selection of cakes was equally as fab – with lashings of ginger beer of course!

derby clandestine cake club october 2013 enid blyton theme magic faraway tree famous five lashings of ginger beer and lemonade

How amazing are these Famous Five figurines?

famous five crabbies ginger beer cake icing figures clandestine ccc

And the castle went down such a treat! Out of that huge cake there was just a lone tower left for me to take home to Rob.

perfectly baked inside from castle cake made using silicon mould vanilla recipe

Treacle, Ginger and Mango Bollywood Nights Cake

bollywood nights themed cake treacle ginger mango clandestine club nottingham 2013 edible pearls print stencil

Oddly timed on the last day I actually lived in the city, yesterday marked the first event of the new Nottingham City Clandestine Cake Club, of which I am a proud co-organiser! More on the move to follow in due course I’m sure…

As our first event was to be held in a private room at an Indian Restaurant, the very hospitable Mogal E Azam, we decided a Bollywood Nights theme would spark up everyone’s imagination, and give way to some great flavours, colours, and of course plenty of glitter.

Not being too great on spices and what to do with them, I kept the cake quite simple but vamped up the outside. Sorry for the lack of step-by-step pictures, but in the midst of packing I was a little rushed, and the kitchen wasn’t really in a fit state to be photographed either!

The recipe I used was Woman & Home’s Sticky Ginger and Treacle cake – as I followed it exactly (obviously omitting the praline and cream cheese icing steps) and in the interest of moving-house-constricted time, I won’t retype the recipe but leave you to click through. It was incredibly easy to make and baked like a dream, giving me a firm but so deliciously moist base for my Bollywood decorations.

To fill I simply sliced in half, and filled with copious amounts of mango buttercream, tinted orange to contrast with the dark treacle colour of the cake. I also covered the sides and top to give a good base for the red fondant to stick to.

The red fondant was pre-coloured, luckily I had a couple of packs left over from my Speed Sign cake, as the vibrancy and depth of colour would have been quite hard to achieve using white fondant and colouring it up.

And to decorate – would you believe it was incredibly simple! As you may know from previous posts, I’m a subscriber to My Cake Decorating Magazine. There is a free gift with every issue, so I’m slowly building a large stash of decorating items, some of which I’m not sure when I’ll ever use – until now!

First up was the pearl mould – I mixed a little tylose powder with some fondant so it would set firm, dusted the mould with corn flour, and carefully pressed in.

pearl silicon mould from my cake decorating magazine use with fondant icing  bollywood theme edible pearls

Because the mould is made of silicon, it’s really easy to bend back on itself to pop out and reveal a super-cute string of edible pearls!

edible fake pearls red fondant icing my cake decorating magazine silicon mould how to

Using a little edible glue I put them all round the bottom edge of the cake, and finished with some edible glitter for true Bollywood glamour.

edible glitter pearls red fondant icing bollywood theme cake for clandestine club ccc nottingham

For the top – another great free gift – this intricate circular pattern stencil.

my cake decorating magazine large circular stencil intricate pattern used for bollywood themes

I simply mixed up some orange royal icing (royal is much better as it sets hard), and, holding the stencil firm, smoothed the icing all across with a cake smoother, ensuring all the gaps were filled, before carefully peeling away to reveal the pattern.

bright colours orange indian print ethnic stencil my cake decorating magazine on red fondant cake spiced bollywood nights

And of course, finished with another generous sprinkling of edible glitter!

orange royal icing and edible glitter detail on bollywood nights treacle ginger and mango spiced cake recipe

clandestine cake club nottingham red bollywood nights spiced treacle and ginger cake

True to the Bollywood theme of bright colours, intricate details, and lots of sparkles – I was very happy!

red fondant iced bollywood nights treacle ginger and mango cake stencilled decoration

And inside – a beautiful contrast of the red fondant, orange mango buttercream, and brilliantly moist, sticky and spicy treacle ginger cake.

dark treacle and ginger cake with mango filling and red fondant bollywood decoration clandestine cake club

And I’m pleased to report that our first Nottingham City CCC was a huge success! The bakers completely rose to the challenge with a great range of cakes (yes that one does have fairy lights), and we had such a lovely evening eating and chatting.

nottingham city clandestine cake club first meeting bollywood theme five cakes with fairy lights

Where will the next cake club take us? Well, watch this space… (or sign up to the club page to join in: http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/groups/nottingham-city/ )

Mojito Marble Bundt Cake

mojito marble bundt cake recipe clandestine cake club derby summer cocktails party green and white lime rum mint

This weekend marked the marvellous return of cake club, after its all-too-long summer break. The event on Sunday was part of Derby Clandestine Cake Club, themed as ‘Summer’s Last Cocktail Party’. Well, where to start with a cocktail cake!

I’d been thinking about a marble cake for a while, and the different ingredients of a cocktail seemed like the perfect opportunity to do this. A little light research later (and a rather sore head), I settled on a mojito. A simple mix of rum, lime, and mint – the drink version (recipe here) is muddled with sugar and topped up with soda, but obviously these are not required in the cocktail version. A couple of friends had suggested carving it into a cocktail glass shape, but there was a new bundt tin in my kitchen awaiting its first use…

morrisons five pound silicon bundt cake tin four pint bakeware bargain

As I’ve not made a bundt cake before, I wanted to stick with quite a basic recipe to ensure the consistency and bake was right, and Nigella’s vanilla bundt recipe seemed to fit the bill perfectly, minus the vanilla of course. I was dubious when it wanted a four pint bundt tin, but after a quick check with some pints of water that’s what mine held! It’s a lot of cake mixture but is padded out a lot and lightened by the addition of the yoghurt, so it’s not as bad as it sounds 🙂 I added a little extra flour and sugar to balance out the flavour and texture of the mint, rum and lime.

Ingredients
225g butter
325g white sugar
6 eggs
380g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
250ml low-fat natural yoghurt
75ml white rum or 1 1/2 teaspoons rum flavouring
Grated rind & juice of 2 limes or 1 tablespoon of lime juice
Good handful of fresh mint leaves of 1 1/2 teaspoons of mint flavouring
Gel food colours as required

Icing as desired – I used 250g icing sugar mixed with a pack of mojito flavouring

Method
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the yoghurt, and beat in with a tablespoon of flour each to prevent curdling
Sieve and fold in the remainder of the flour and baking powder
Divide the mixture into three parts, ready for flavouring and colouring

splitting cake batter into 3 bundt cake recipe bowls

For the mint section, I’d ended up with a whole mint plant as it was the same price in the supermarket as a few sprigs! In just a week it’s grown like wildfire, I’ll have to find it a bigger pot and some recipes to use it in.

fresh mint plant from asda cheap mojito cake recipe

Using a good handful of leaves, I put them through the blender so they were finely chopped, and mixed in with some green and black gel food colourings.

fresh mint leaves glass bowl for mojito cake recipe

freshly ground mint leaves for mojito cake mini food processor

mixing green and black gel food colour into cake batter for mojito bundt recipe

For the lime batter, I was quite uninspired by the size and quality of limes in the supermarket, so ended up using just the juice and zest of one, substituted with some bottled lime juice. I coloured this part using a mixture of green and yellow gels, to give it a really zingy lime colour.

lime for mojito cake fresh versus bottled juice asda

And last but by absolutely no means least – the alcohol! I had a couple of bacardi miniatures in the cupboard and these were perfect, about 1 1/2 bottles (5cl each) gave a great rum kick to the batter. There was no colour in this part as I wanted to keep it white like the rum.

bacardi miniatures for mojito cake recipe rum lime and mint

The three batters ready:

lime rum and mint flavoured and coloured cake batter for mojito marble bundt cake recipe

With the bundt tin well-greased, simply spoon in alternate mixes in and around. I used a mixture of spoonful dollops and some swirls and drizzles; don’t actually mix the cakes together as it’ll do this well enough and marble itself. I wish I’d taken more pictures of this stage but it was getting a little sticky!

mojito marble bundt cake batter swirl mint lime and rum

Bake at 180 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean, i.e. there’s no raw cake mix on it.

Allow to cool in the tin and carefully turn out:

mojito marble bundt cake freshly baked lime rum and mint recipe swirl mixture

I wanted to keep the icing simple and white to offset the marble of the cake. To keep up the flavour I used some pre-mixed mojito mixer – the Funkin brand is quite new to me but you can find them in most supermarkets now, they really are a great idea and all the ones I’ve tried really do taste like the cocktails (even if you don’t add the alochol!)

funkin mojito mixer lime and mint flavour to have with bacardi marble cake recipe baking ideas

I added the mixer to some white icing sugar to get a good thick paste, and simply drizzled this all around the top of the cake, topping with a good layer of mixed green and white non-pareils (sugar sprinkles), and a little edible glitter.

clenadestine cake club summer cocktails event derby mojito bundt cake marble batter recipe drizzle icing

mojito marble bundt cake clandestine club recipe method instructions lime mint and rum alcoholic

I’m totally in love with bundt cakes now and want to make more already! The shape lends itself to such easy decoration but looks stunning with little effort.

mojito marble bundt cake with green sprinkles and white flavoured icing rum lime and mint recipe alcoholic

Onto cake club I trotted, and the selection of cakes was fab! One of the things I love about CCC (Clandestine Cake Club) is that the themes can be anything and everything, and all the bakers come up with such different ideas. From a Rusty Nail to a Shirley Temple – we had such a great afternoon devouring all of these 🙂

clandestine cake club summer cocktails buffet derby

And I was so happy to see the marble effect when my cake was cut into! The mojito flavours came out brilliant and I was absolutely delighted with the colours:

swirl effect inside mojito marble bundt cake recipe for clandestine cake club green lime mint and rum flavour

In some parts the batter had curled itself down and then risen into a swirl during baking – entirely intentional of course!

inside mojito marble cake swirled effect green white lime mint and rum icing and sugar sprinkles

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Chocolate Orange Cobweb Cupcakes

Another week, another cake club! This one was held by Cake Eaters Anonymous (you can also find them on facebook), which I am very proud to say started in Nottingham. There are now a few more clubs springing up around the country but this is surely the original and best 😉
The idea behind this cake club is slightly different to last weeks in that it is run in aid of charity. The charity itself varies from month to month, but all bakers pay about £3 per ticket, which gets them 3 (massively generous) pieces of cake, with the rest sold off, and other items raffled, all for the good cause.

The theme for this month was, of course, Halloween. A lot of bakers had similar ideas along the chocolate and orange lines, but it’s surely not possible to have too much of such a good thing!

I found these fantastic halloween cupcake cases in Wilkinsons that were so bang on trend I couldn’t possibly resist.

For the cakes themselves I made a very basic chocolate sponge recipe (makes about 15 cupcakes)

150g butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
100g self raising flour
50g cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

– cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
– beat in the eggs one at a time with a little flour (to stop them curdling)
– sieve in the rest of the flour, cocoa, and baking powder, and fold in with a metal spoon
– spoon into the cupcake cases and bake at 180 for about 12 minutes, until firm but spongy to touch and/or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and dry

Whilst they were cooling I whipped up some orange buttercream. Orange in both colour and taste – when else can you get away with making near-luminous foods if not halloween!

75g butter
150g icing sugar
1/2 – 1 teaspoon orange essence (to taste)
few drops of orange food colouring / paste (to however dark you want)

– beat all the ingredients until you have a smooth, creamy icing

Once cool, I cored out the centre of the cupcakes with a sharp knife:

…spooned in a generous amount of the orange buttercream…

…replaced the (now trimmed) top…

…added a small blob more buttercream on top…

…cut circles out of fondant…

…and finally lay the fondant across the top of the cupcake, pressing lightly so the buttercream helps it stick.

Onto the decoration – I mixed up some royal icing sugar, cocoa powder, and a few drops of black food colouring, to make a thick dark chocolate piping icing.

The cobwebs were incredibly easy to pipe – simply making a star out of 3 or 4 lines across the cake (intersecting in the centre), before slowly going round and making the webbing between each spoke.

A pinch of edible glitter and a few spiders later…

Inside the cakes were very generously filled, and the ultimate compliment came from Rob who said they tasted like Mr Kipling’s! The boy can definitely have more cake 🙂

To take to the cake club I popped the cupcakes into some halloween cupcake wrappers. Not quite as intricate as the cupcake wrappers I reviewed a few months back, but these ones (along with the spiders) had come free with the halloween special of My Cake Decorating magazine – you can see the whole amazing stash of halloween goodies over on my twitter.

Finally it was time for cake club! The cupcakes looked fab on a stand (and surrounded by eyeballs):

But not nearly as amazing as the great array of cake all put together!

Needless to say a fabulous time was had by all and I’ll definitely be heading back here again – all for a good cause of course 😉

Sachertorte (and my first Cake Club!)

Today my diary finally came together and I was able to attend my first ever cake club. I’m signed up to a fair few mailing lists and this one came from the lovely Clandestine Cake Club. They have branches around the country, most meeting about once a month, the idea being nothing more simple than to bake, eat, and enjoy cake with new and local friends.

This one was held by the Derby group, and as it was their first birthday they decided on a Round the World Extravaganza, asking attendees to bake cakes from around the globe.

Although sachertorte was recently popularised by its appearance on the Great British Bakeoff, I actually chose this cake for its Austrian heritage (and excessive use of chocolate!). My recipe is adapted from Delia’s, which you can find here. As I’m not a fan of using cream in cooking, I adapted together a variety of recipes for a cream-free, shiny glaze icing.

Ingredients

175g dark chocolate (the best quality you can manage – it makes a difference)
110g butter
110g caster sugar
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
110g plain flour

Icing

3 tablespoons apricot jam
125g dark chocolate
100g icing sugar
100ml hot water
1/2 teaspoon glycerine
extra chocolate, to decorate

Method

– melt the chocolate and set to one side to cool

– beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
– keep beating and add in the chocolate and vanilla essence, then the egg yolks, one at a time, until well mixed
– sieve in the flour and baking powder; fold in with a wooden spoon
– set the chocolate mixture to one side, and in a clean bowl, with clean beaters, whip up the egg whites. You want them to be good and stiff – so they will hold their shape well and not move when the bowl is upturned

– add the egg whites, about 1/3 at a time, to the chocolate mixture, again folding in with a metal spoon

– once the mixture is smooth and mousse-y, spoon gently into an 8 inch springform pan (lightly greased), flattening the top

– bake at 150 degrees C for about an hour until firm, check it’s cooked by inserting a toothpick into the centre (it should come out clean if it’s done)
– leave to cool – I took mine out of the pan and put it on my turntable ready for icing


– once cool, use a sharp bread knife to carefully the top so it’s completely flat

– warm the jam until it’s liquid and spoon generously all over the cake, using a pastry brush to cover the sides

– set the cake to one side and make the icing:
– melt the chocolate and set aside
– in a large saucepan, add the hot water and icing sugar, and heat until just boiling
– remove from the heat, have your whisk ready, add the chocolate and quickly whisk before the chocolate has time to seize
– beat with the whisk for a minute until the mixture is fully combined and smooth
– add the glycerine, stir to mix and then leave for 5 or so minutes to cool slightly

– cover the cake in icing! The easiest way I found was to pour a large amount onto the top, then use a spatula to spread around the sides, ensuring it goes all the way to the bottom. Do this on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet so it’s easy to clean up the drips.

– leave in a cool place until the drips have stopped, then place in the fridge for at least 2 hours
– finally melt the extra chocolate and use to pipe decorations. Traditionally this Sacher name (after the creator of the cake, Franz Sacher) and I added a few ribbons as well

Finally it was time for cake club! Held at the newly opened Grandpa Lew’s in Derby (thanks to Lewis for being a lovely host) there was no shortage of round the world inspiration. This picture only shows about half the cakes and I came away rather rounded (and with a plateful of cake to take home!) having spent a great couple of hours enjoying sweet treats and meeting some lovely new people.

This certainly won’t be my last Clandestine Cake Club – and I would heartily encourage you to check it out. It’s a great excuse to try out some new ideas in the kitchen, meet new people, and of course eat cake!