Sticky marzipan and cherry buns


Stick marzipan and cherry buns (makes 12)

150g butter
150g caster sugar
2 large free range eggs
150g self raising flour
1 tsp almond extract
75g glacé cherries, washed and halved
50g marzipan, cut into 5mm cubes

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare a bun tray by lining with bun cases.

2. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, alternating with mixing in some of the flour. Once all the flour is stirred in, add the almond extract.

4. Stir in the cherries and the marzipan pieces.

5. Divide the mixture between the bun cases. Bake for 20 mins until golden and risen.

6. If you want to ice the buns, I would suggest starting with this recipe here.  I made a wet style icing, but you can make something firmer and good for piping if you want by playing around with the volumes of ingredients.


Love is … Chocolate Chilli mug cake

Mug cakes cooked in the microwave were really popular last year, which I found amusing as we’ve made cakes in the microwave at our house from being children. My sister’s favourite was chocolate sponge, mine was golden syrup sponge. I thought I’d update the flavourings with something she likes as an adult; chocolate and chilli.


Chocolate and Chilli Microwave Mug Cake (serves 1)

30g chocolate
25g butter
1 tsp chipotle Chilli powder
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg
5 tbsp self raising flour

1. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave in a large mug, heating slowly and stopping to stir frequently, so the chocolate doesn’t burn.

2. Mix in the remaining ingredients, stirring well.

3. Microwave for 1.5 minutes.

Let them eat cake

I’m really proud of myself for sticking with the ‘Blog Everyday in September’ challenge so far. It’s not been easy, but I’ve enjoyed pushing myself. Today’s theme was Holiday Essentials, which is another subject that doesn’t fit easily with a cooking blog. I haven’t cooked anything exciting today to tell you about either, so I’m going to share some cake recipes I’ve enjoyed over previous months. (And of course eating cake when on holiday is on my essential list of things to do!)

Raspberry and lemon polenta cake

Amaretto cake from The Clandestine Cake Club cookbook

Spiced Sweet Potato Cake

They are all delicious and I’ll be making them all again.


The challenge for today is to write about your next holiday. I’m very excited about this as I’ve only just booked it. I’m going to Menorca in October. It will be my first visit to the island and it looks lovely. I’ve been having a look at some of the food options and learnt that Mahon in Menorca is often named as the place mayonnaise originates from. (I’ve never made mayonnaise from scratch so maybe this is something to challenge myself to do before I go.) The island also has lots of gin producers and gin factory tours are popular.


Today I made a Red Velvet cake for the local Clandestine Cake Club meeting. Tomorrow the holiday healthy eating plan needs to start!

Meringue Icing

3 large egg whites
250g caster sugar

1. Rest a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the egg whites and the sugar to the bowl and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. It’s important to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved or the finished icing will be gritty.

2. Once the mixture is completely smooth, it needs whisking up, ideally with a handheld mixer, or you can transfer it to a stand mixer. It will take at least 5 minutes to whisk it not stiff peaks. The icing can then be used to fill the cake layers and can be piped onto the top to decorate.

Being awesome

The challenge today is to list what makes me awesome. So I’ve been thinking about when I feel awesome in the kitchen, and I would say my cooking ‘superpower’ is baking cakes.

This week I made a Parsnip and Maple syrup cake using this recipe.

Processed with Snapseed.


It went down really well with my friends so I’ll definitely be baking this one again. I added some icing sugar to the filling because I didn’t want it to be too runny.  I also left out the nuts in the cake.

Ginger and rhubarb cake

I bake cakes a lot, but don’t often blog about them as I’m usually following someone else’s recipe rather than creating my own. On this occassion, I couldn’t find one single recipe that worked for the ingredients I had, so I was forced to concoct a recipe of my own, and I was very happy with the outcome.


Ginger cake with a rhubarb fool filling

225g Self-raising flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
120g butter, chilled
120g golden syrup
120g black treacle
120g sugar (I used granulated but muscavado would be good here)
275ml milk
1 egg
2 stalks of rhubarb (around 300g)
2 tbsp vanilla sugar
200g double cream

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Stir together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, making sure there aren’t any lumps.

3. Dice the butter and use your fingers to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you get a sandy consistency.

4. In a saucepan gently heat the golden syrup and black treacle, stirring them together. Set aside to cool.

5. In another saucepan heat the sugar and the milk, stirring frequently until the sugar has all dissolved. Set this pan aside to cool too.

6. While the two pans of ingredients are cooling to a lukewarm temperature you can prepare your cake tins. I used two 20cm round tins and I lined the bases with a circle of baking paper.

7. When the wet ingredients have cooled sufficiently mix them both into the flour along with one egg. Stir well to corporate all the ingredients into a smooth batter. Transfer the mixture to the cake tins.

8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

9. For the filling, chop the sticks of rhubarb into 2 cm chunks and heat in a pan along with the sugar. When the rhubarb has cooked down into a lovely pink pulp leave it to cool and get on with whisking up the cream. Finally, fold the rhubarb into the cream and use the mixture to sandwich the two halves of the cake together.



Vegan Sticky Ginger cake

I’ve not been posting much on this blog recently; the main reason being that we’re tackling a whole bunch of allergies in our household, which makes trying new recipes a bit of a challenge.

This recipe is for a cake, and it’s pretty good to say it cuts out a lot of allergens.


Sticky Ginger Cake (makes one loaf)

120g black treacle
50g vegetable oil
60g sugar
1 apple
1 banana
250g gluten free flour
1 tsp (gluten free) bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp ground ginger
200ml soya milk
75g stem ginger, chopped into small chunks (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the treacle, oil and sugar.
  3. Peel and core the apple and grate it. Add to the mixture.
  4. Mash the banana and stir this in.
  5. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger into the mixture.
  6. Stir in the milk and the stem ginger, if using. (The recipe works well without it, so I wouldn’t buy stem ginger specially, but it does taste great.)
  7. Pour the mixture into a prepared loaf tin. Bake in the preheated oven for at least 1 hour, but it might need up to 30 minutes longer, so keep checking in it. If you need to, cover the top of the cake with foil to prevent it from burning.
  8. If you’ve used some stem ginger, drizzle some of the syrup from the jar over the cake while it is still warm to add to the stickiness. Otherwise, leave to cool.

(Next time I make this I’m going to make a lemon icing, which I think will be a nice addition.)