Apple Cider Cake

I love apples but when used in a cake I’m not so keen on the lump texture they give. This cake gives you a taste of the apple but in layers rather than scattered throughout the cake. I added the cider for extra flavour and because I’d read a recipe where cider was reduced to make a glaze, so I’ve used that here too.


175gm unsalted butter or margarine ( I use Stork)

175gm caster sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

175gm self-raising flour


For the apple filling/topping:

3 apples, I used Braeburn

3 tbs cider

3 tbs double cream

1tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla essence


300ml cider

3tbs icing sugar



  • peel and core the apples and cut into quarters, then slice them thinly
  • put apples in a bowl and add cream, cider, cinnamon and vanilla essence and mix together
  • In another bowl cream the butter and sugar until soft and smooth
  • add the eggs a little at a time and beat together, if the mixture begins to curdle you can add 1 tbs flour.
  • fold in the flour
  • strain the apples and put any liquid into the cake batter.
  • put half the cake batter into a greased and lined 8″ round tin. preferable a loose bottomed tin, or I use a silicone one.
  • spread half the apple mixture over the cake batter
  • top with remaining cake batter
  • finally arrange the remaining apple mixture over the top of the cake
  • bake for 30 – 35 minutes on gas mark 5 or 190°C
  • when cake is cooked and an inserted skewer comes out clean leave to cool
  • while cooling cake heat up cider in a pan to boiling, leave until you are left with a reduction of around 2 tbs of cider
  • leave cider to cool
  • turn out cake on to a wire rack to cool completely
  • when cider and cake is cool make glaze
  • add sieved icing sugar to the cider reduction and spread over the cake.

apple cider cake




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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in other stuff


Spiderman Cake

When I made the cake for my niece’s birthday I was approached by someone else and asked to make a cake for their son’s 8th birthday. They requested a Spiderman Cake so I said yes and here it is.

First up I started with a basic cake cooked in a 32cm by 22cm oblong cake tin. I cut the shape of a head and made a little nose out of some of the cake I’d cut off. I filled it with butter cream and also coated it with butter cream before icing. I like to leave the cake for at least an hour for the butter cream to harden a little and give a better surface for the fondant.

I had to colour the fondant icing red, one of the colours I don’t like doing because it’s difficult to get it right, it takes a lot to make it look red rather than pink. One tip is to use a gel colour rather than a liquid one. I used red and claret food colouring to get the right shade.

I lightly marked the lines of the web with a plastic tool before filling it in with piped black royal icing. The eyes I cut out of fondant.

I found making this cake pretty easy and I was happy with my resultsspiderman cake 001


spiderman cake 002



spiderman cake 006.


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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in my cakes


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Cake Photo Book and Competition

I was given the opportunity to make a photo book from Vista Print site

I’ve made a photo book before using my favourite photo’s of my children and I really love it, so I was thrilled to be able to make a book of my cake photos.

The process is simple, you choose your book size, add your photos, add any extras like backgrounds and text then in a few clicks it’s all sent off to be printed. A few days later your book is in your hand.

One thing I will say is that building your book can be very time consuming so it’s best to be prepared. I’ve found that the first job is to sort out which photo’s you want to use and put them all in a folder for easy access. This saves searching around for photos while you are in the process of building your book.

On VistaPrint you can edit your photos while building your book. This means you don’t have to spend ages editing them before hand, and you will know exactly how they will look in the book.

When you open up the application you will find places set out for your photos and any text you may wish to use. These are all completely editable, you can move them around, delete them or add extras, and it’s all very simple to do.

It is a time consuming process though, you choose your photos, choose where you want them to be, add text or backgrounds or even frames. You may not finish in one sitting so it’s handy that you can save your work at any time and return to it later. It took me about three hours to finish my book.

You will get warnings if your photos are not the best quality. You can choose to edit your photos or swap them for better. I left a few with warnings in and they were still printed.

For my book I chose to do a mixture of my favourite cake recipes followed by a montage of photos of the cakes I have decorated. My photos were not all brilliant, I’m no photographer, but the book still gave me great pleasure.

I chose the  extra large 30cm by 30cm square book with a hardcover. I was also able to add photos to the cover both front and back.

I love the quality of the book, the pages are glossy and bound together well. The overall effect is very professional looking.

If you would like to make a photo book please continue to the end of this post where I will give you details of how you can enter my give away.

My Cake Book

My Cake Book

cakebook2cake photo book

VistaPrint have given me a voucher for a photo book of your choice. You can choose the size and finish and fill it with whatever photos you wish. To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize please just comment below and let me know what you would use your photo book for, for example, your holiday pics, your baby pics, family day out etc.

This competition is for UK entrants only.

This competition may also be promoted on our Facebook page.

This competition will end on 9th May when one winner will be chosen at random.

Good Luck!

The competition is now closed and the winner chosen by random org. was no2 Sprigtreasurer, Congratulations, I’ll contact you with details very soon.

Disclaimer: I was given a voucher from Vista Print to make a book of my cakes. I was also given a voucher to give away to one of my readers by competition.


Posted by on April 25, 2013 in other stuff


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21st Birthday Presents Cake

My Sister-in-law asked me to make a cake for her daughter’s 21st birthday. She was having a big party at a venue so I knew it had to be good. The request was two or three tiers and in pink and purple. I decided to go for a birthday present cake.

I used vanilla cake for all tiers and filled them and first coated them with vanilla buttercream.

The bottom tier was a nine inch square and I covered it with purple fondant and decorated it with different sized white fondant stars. I used my new star punchers to make the stars. they are easier to use than cutters, especially when small and fiddly.

The Middle tier was a six inch square and covered in pink fondant with four hearts.

The top tier was a cute three inch square covered in white fondant.

Each ‘present’ was decorated with real ribbon. I did consider making the ribbon from fondant but I thought that using real ribbon would give the cake a little sheen, and of course it would be easier to do. I also made a ribbon for the top of the cake.

I was going to write the birthday message on the cake board but then I thought it would be nice to add a birthday card. I made the card from white fondant cutting out the two rectangles and leaving them to dry for a couple of days before decorating them with my edible pens and joining them with royal icing piped down the join. I added a few little fondant stars to tidy up the piping (I had to use rather a lot to make the sides stick)

My Sister-In-Law and niece were very pleased with the cake.

21st cake

I also made her twenty one cupcakes to match




21cake cupckaes

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Posted by on April 23, 2013 in my cakes


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Easter Simnel Cake

I’m a big fan of fruit cake and marzipan so Simnel Cake is a dream come true for me. Traditionally an Easter cake it can also be made on Mother’s Day. It is basically a light fruit cake with two layers of marzipan, one in the middle and one on the top. You can buy ready made marzipan or make your own.

If you want to make your own marzipan here is a recipe:


  • 250g/9oz caster sugar
  • 250g/9oz ground almonds
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp almond essence


  1. Place the sugar and ground almonds in a bowl. Add enough beaten egg and mix to a fairly soft consistency.
  2. Add the almond essence and knead for one minute until the paste is smooth and pliable.

Cake recipe


  • 175g/6oz Stork or unsalted butter
  • 175g/6oz soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 175g/6oz plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ tsp ground mixed spice(optional)
  • 350g/12oz mixed raisins, currents and sultanas
  • 55g/2oz chopped mixed peel
  • grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1-2 tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 egg, beaten for glazing
  • 500g ready made marzipan if you have not made your own


Preheat oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1. Grease and line a 18cm/7in cake tin.

  1.  Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs until well incorporated and then sift in the flour, salt and mixed spice (if using) a little at a time. Finally, add the mixed dried fruit, peel and grated lemon zest and stir into the mixture.
  2. Put half the mixture into a greased and lined 18cm/7in cake tin. Smooth the top and cover with one third of the marzipan rolled out into a 7in circle.  Add the rest of the cake mixture and smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 1¾ hours. Test by inserting a skewer in the middle – if it comes out clean, it is ready. Once baked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack.
  3. Brush the top of the cooled cake with the apricot jam. Divide the remainder of the almond paste in half; roll out a circle to cover the top of the cake with one half and form 11 small balls with the other half.
  4. Place the circle of paste on the jam glaze and set the balls round the edge. Brush the cake topping with a little beaten egg.
  5. Preheat the grill to high. Place the cake onto a baking tray and grill for 1-2 minutes, or until the top of the marzipan begins to brown.
Easter Simnel Cake

Easter Simnel Cake

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Posted by on March 27, 2013 in my cakes


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Mother’s Day Cake

I decided to make a cake for my Mother-in-law for Mother’s Day. Last year I made her a giant cupcake which looked lovely, but not one of my favourite’s to make and too fussy and too large for her small family. So this year I made a simple 8″ chocolate cake and decorated in spring colours of mint green and white. I knew I wanted flowers but I was really aiming for simple so I went for daisies.

To make the cake I used a basic chocolate sponge cake recipe:


225g Stork (baking margarine, I find it works nicer than butter)

225g caster sugar

3 medium eggs (if they are too large or too small I will weigh them to make sure I have 180g)

200g self-raising flour.

25g cocoa powder

Butter cream filling and crumb coat:

85g Stork

155g icing sugar

15g cocoa powder


preheat oven to gas mark 5 or 190 degrees.

 cream the Stork and sugar with a wooden spoon.

Then I add the eggs, one at a time and beat them in with my spoon. I find doing it this way the mixture never curdles, but if it does you can always add a little flour.

fold in the flour and cocoa powder. There is often no need to sift flour these days but it’s good too when using cocoa powder as it can sometimes be a bit lumpy.

grease and line an 8″ baking tin

gently pour in cake batter

put tin on a baking tray in centre of oven for around 25 minutes. I always check they are cooked through with a skewer, it should come out clean. 

leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before turning out of the pans.

leave to cool further before cutting the cake in half with a serrated knife.

make the butter cream by using soft stork and sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder.

mix together until soft and smooth. Add a little milk if too stiff.

Fill the middle of the cake, then put a layer of butter cream over the sides and top of cake.


leave the cake in the fridge for at least an hour for butter cream to stiffen.

I used food colouring to colour 200g of fondant icing light green

I rolled out the fondant and used it to completely cover the cake.

For the daisies I used about 100 g of white fondant icing which I rolled out and used a daisy cutter to cut the shapes.

For the writing I used letter cutters on white fondant.

Here is the end result: The photo isn’t too good as I had problems with my camera and had to take this on my phone.

mothers day cake

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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in my cakes



Guitar Cake

It was my other halves birthday and as he is guitar mad he wanted me to make a guitar cake. His favourite guitar is a midnight blue Washburn acoustic guitar so I attempted to make his cake look like this. If I could start again I would have chosen his honey coloured acoustic guitar, I really don’t like working with dark colours.

I decided to make the cake chocolate as it goes down well in our house. It was filled and coated in chocolate butter cream. I bought some black fondant but couldn’t get the right colour blue so I coloured it myself which was a proper pain. Right at the last minute I had a dilemma with the guitar strings. I wish I’d thought of something sooner but had little choice in the end but to use rolled pieces of icing. This was a rubbish idea, they looked rubbish and broke really easy. (Although the kids quite liked eating the icing sticks) I’m not sure even now what would have been a better option, maybe liquorice laces, if you can buy them in the right colour?

The cake was made from a 32cm by 22cm cake tin (12 1/2 inches by 8 3/4 inches). I used a basic chocolate cake recipe. I made the template myself and I think it worked out quite well. Here is the template I used:


After the cake was cooked and cooled I used the template to cut out the basic shape:

guitarcake 001 guitarcake 002

Then I sliced the cake in half and filled with chocolate butter cream. After I put them back together I coated the cake in chocolate butter cream. I think this is when it looked it most delicious.

guitarcake 004 guitarcake 006

Finally I covered the guitar handle in black fondant icing then the body in blue fondant. The decorations where made with various pieces of fondant and as I mentioned earlier, I painstakingly rolled out long strips of fondant for the strings.


I was quite pleased with the overall shape of the guitar but not happy with the colour (although this picture doesn’t show it very well) or the strings. I hope I get the chance to make another guitar cake in different colours and with better strings.

If you would like to see what we got up to on my other halves birthday please visit my family blog.

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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in my cakes


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