Category: Cake recipe

How to adapt a cake recipe for different size tins and a 10″ Madeira cake recipe.

How to adapt a cake recipe for different size tins 


Last week I made a two tier wedding cake for a friend and I decided that it was about time I really mastered getting the right amounts of ingredients for different sized cake tins, rather than doubling and hoping for the best. I got the basic gist of how to work it out from Ruth Clemens on her Pink whisk blog. You take your basic recipe and then measure the volume of water that the cake tin will hold. Now my Madeira cake recipe is for an 8″ cake but I find that the cake isn’t as deep as I’d like it to be. It usually only comes out about 3/4 of the depth of the tin, so I have been experimenting.

My goal was to have a cake that would rise to just above the rim of the cake tin so that I could skim off the top to make sure that it’s perfectly flat – ready for decorating. So I used my 8″ recipe in a 6″ tin and voila. Perfect result. So that was my base to work with.


Rose Chiffon Cake recipe

Rose Chiffon Cake recipe

Rose Chiffon Cake Recipe

A Chiffon cake is a seriously light and fluffy cake which originates from America. Traditionally it’s made in a ring tin, but I decided to make it in a 9” round cake tin and it turned out beautifully. It doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour so I added some Rose essence to mine which gave it a lovely sweet taste. It doesn’t taste of roses – at least it doesn’t taste how I think roses taste. I haven’t actually eaten any. Have you?

I’ve never baked with rose essence before but last week I was on a shoot which had a catered lunch (this is a rarity- believe me. Normally it’s sandwiches and a packet of crisps!) and one of the puddings was this fantasticly large domed cake with dried petals on top. It was really light and had a rose syrup soaking up the bottom. I was looking to recreate that but I didn’t think that this cake needed any syrup and I was right. It’s fine and dandy just as it is…. well maybe with a little strawberries and cream!

Rose Chiffon Cake RecipeI made this Rose Chiffon Cake yesterday to take along to my in laws for lunch. It was father’s day and on Tuesday it’s Tim and his mum’s birthday so it was the perfect time to have all the family together. I love a proper catch up! Don’t you?


  • 6 large eggs
  • 225 plain flour (sieved)
  • 300 g caster sugar (sieved)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder (yes tablespoon!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 120 ml sunflower oil
  • 180 ml rose water (Measure 1 tablespoon of Rose essence and make up the rest of the volume with water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Icing sugar to decorate


How to make a Rose Chiffon cake

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 170ºC (150ºC Fan) Oil and line a 9” cake tin or a ring shaped tin. This cake rises very high so make sure that your baking paper is taller than the side of the tin.
  2. Separate the egg whites and yolks.
  3. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl (keeping 50g sugar to one side)
  4. Add the oil, egg yolks, rose water and vanilla essence to the flour and beat until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until you have soft peaks (that means that when you lift out the whisk the peak of egg whites just flops over and doesn’t stand to attention. Then whisk in the last 50g of sugar.
  6. Using a metal spoon carefully fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Do this in three stages so that the cake will remain light and fluffy. Be careful not to over mix as you will bash out all the air in the eggs which is what makes the cake’s texture so yummy.
  7. Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the cake comes away from the side of the tin.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool whilst in the tin. The cake will be very puffy when it comes out and will deflate and wrinkle back into the tin as it cools. Don’t worry- it will still be light as a feather.
  9. Remove from the tin and sprinkle with sieved icing sugar.
  10. Enjoy with some fresh fruit and a drizzle of cream


Rose Chiffon Cake Recipe

Chocolate Courgette Muffin recipe and an apology!

I wanted to start this post with “Is it the 10th June already?” Or “Boy I’ve had a crazy week….make that two… make that three!”  But I decided that everyone is mega busy and having crazy weeks at the moment! What I really want to say is I’m sorry that I haven’t posted in over a week. I haven’t missed posting at least once a week in over a year and I hate that. I have missed you guys. Honest!

I’ve just had three big interiors shoots in four weeks (with cakes and cookies and believe it or not two christmas puddings to make for the shots) and keeping up with two cake posts a week has become practically impossible. So I have come to a decision. From now on I am aiming for one quality post a week as I think that’s better than two lesser ones. Don’t you agree?  I think you do???


Courgette muffin recipe

One of my shoots was for Procter and Gamble’s website. Have you seen it? It’s fantastic! You sign up/join and can then download loads of money off vouchers not just for cleaning products (don’t get me started on Fairy Platinum. I’ve just written 5 blog posts about the stuff and I am totally obsessed with it now. It’s the only serious de-greasing washing up liquid that doesn’t wreck my hands – whilst removing grease without scrubbing. REALLY!!!) there are also vouchers for loads of big name beauty brands too!  You can save loads of money. It’s a big lifestyle website with tips, advice and all sorts of great stuff.

Anyway, I am guest editing over there for the next few months and for the shoot for the June posts I have written I shared my courgette muffin recipe. You can get it here. The plain courgette ones are good but the chocolate courgette ones are divine! Really moist and moreish.

I set this shot up whilst finishing off one of the other ones and I hadn’t even turned my back for two seconds when a cheeky squirrel appeared out of no-where ready to pounce and grab the muffins. Luckily, Harry the photographers assistant caught him at it. Did he scare it away? No. He got out his phone and started taking shots!

Needless to say the muffins stayed intact…if only till the last shot was done. Then they were devoured!

Hope you all have a fab week. Happy baking.





New York Cheesecake Recipe by Hannah Miles

New York Cheesecake

I am very excited today to bring to you an extract from Hannah Miles’  Cheesecake book which I reviewed – and let’s face it, raved about yesterday. As I mentioned Tim’s favorite cheesecake is New York cheesecake and this is the recipe I used to make my cheesecake for the Jewish Festival Shavout this year. It’s sitting in my fridge chilling right now! I’m not allowed to eat it until the rest of the family get home later on otherwise you all know what will happen don’t you? They won’t get a look in!

Tim likes a cherry topping on his cheesecake so I have made a cherry compote to go along side this cake. I didn’t want to change a thing to Hannah’s recipe. Just look at that sour cream topping. Who needs cherries?

I hope you enjoy this recipe.


New York Cheesecake


Serves 12

For the crumb base

150 g/5½ oz. digestive biscuits/graham crackers

90 g/6 tablespoons butter, melted


For the filling

600 g/22⁄3 cups cream cheese

225 g/1 cup clotted cream (if unavailable, use crème fraîche)

100 ml/generous 1⁄3 cup crème fraîche

140 g/¾ cup caster/white sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


For the topping

300 ml/1¼ cups sour cream

3 tablespoons icing/confectioners’ sugar

a 26-cm/10-inch round springform cake pan, greased and lined


How to make the New York Cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

To make the crumb base, crush the biscuits/graham crackers to fine crumbs in a food processor or place in a clean plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter. Press the buttery crumbs into the base of the prepared cake pan firmly using the back of a spoon. Wrap the outside of the pan in cling film/plastic wrap and place in a roasting pan half full with water, ensuring that the water is not so high as to spill out. Set aside.

For the filling, whisk together the cream cheese, clotted cream, crème fraîche, sugar, eggs and vanilla bean paste in a blender or with an electric whisk. Pour the mixture over the crumb base, then transfer the cheesecake, in its waterbath, to the preheated oven and bake for 45–60 minutes until the cheesecake is set but still wobbles slightly. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool slightly so that the height of the cheesecake reduces. Leave the oven on.

To make the topping, whisk together the sour cream and icing/confectioners’ sugar and pour over the top of the cheesecake. Returnto the oven and bake for a further 10–15 minutes until set.

Remove the cheesecake from the waterbath and slide a knife around the edge of the pan to release the cheesecake and prevent it from cracking. Leave to cool completely in the pan, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.


New York Cheesecake

 Cheesecake by Hannah Miles is published by Ryland Peters & Small at £16.99 and is available from


5 things I learnt making this 40th Birthday Rainbow cake

Emma B

This is my friend Emma. Have I mentioned that in my adult life I am surrounded by Emmas? This Emma is a mum from Beau’s year but in Darcey there are three of us Emma Mums. When I used to work at Woman and Home magazine there were 6 working in the office at one time – with freelancers! That’s where the EmmaMT comes from. How else do you distinguish between us all!

Anyway back to the cake! This is probably one of the biggest cakes I’ve made. I mean, I’ve stacked cakes before but for one cake this is the biggest. I learnt quite a few lessons making it too, so I thought I would share my top tips with you.

1. Bake one cake at a time

Rainbow cake

Making up one 8″ Madeira cake mix for a 10″ tin will give a really great depth to each layer. I also discovered that if I bake each cake with a sheet of silicon paper loosely placed over the top of the tin the cake comes out completely flat. And I mean completely! No raised, cracked, doming and no excess to cut off.

I’ve since covered all my Madeira cakes with silicon paper whilst baking and they have all come out nice and flat. This makes me very happy!

2. Use a cake ruler to get the sides straight

rainbow cake tips

Remember the side scraper I talked about last year? Well, that has become one of my most valuable tools. When it came to covering this cake in buttercream I did it in two stages so that I was sure it was straight. I used the side scraper on each 3/4 layers when I did the crumb coating but when it came to stacking all the cakes together the scraper wasn’t tall enough so, I used a pink cake ruler.

The cake ruler has one straight side and one serated (I must use that serated side for something one day!) It’s pretty sturdy for a piece of plastic and did a great job of making sure the whole cake was smooth and the sides were at a 90º angle. I simply added a thin layer of buttercream to the crumb coating then stood the ruler along the side of the cake and carefully scraped around the side and voila! One tall covered cake!

n.b. I had to remove a shelf in my fridge to get the cake in to chill the buttercream! 

3. You can have any colour cake 

Rainbow cake

I played around with getting the icing for this cake the right colour. Emma showed me her colour scheme and I had a drop of her nail varnish for the big night to match it to. That was a first! Teal is a pretty difficult color to match and I had nightmares that when I delivered the cake I was going to find that it was too dark/ too green/ or just plain wrong – but in the end it was perfect!  I mixed food colours in turquoise and mint green to get the end result.

When mixing up a strong shade like this it’s a good idea to colour your sugarpaste ahead. Not only will you know you’re happy with the colour, but if you colour the sugarpaste the day before you cover your cake it will be less sticky and more steadfast- or in other words your hands won’t go teal!

Another top tip is to make sure your sugarpaste is pretty thick when you roll it out so when you lift it over the cake any stretching will be hidden and won’t result in a tear. It also means that you’ll be able to smooth it really easily.

Rainbow cake

4. You can make really gold flowers


These were the first gold flowers I had ever made and I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get such a shiny, lustre result. The way I did it was by colouring my white modeling paste in Autumn leaf food colouring paste. I then made the flowers and used a gold lustre powder mixed with a little rejeunvanator liquid and painted them all over. I also painted my fingers and most of my kitchen table! Once dry the roses were just as I wanted them. When wet they were a sticky mess that makes everything go gold! So you have been warned. Put the flowers somewhere where you can paint them and move them without actually having to touch them.

I left them to dry overnight.

5. Don’t overstack the cakes!


I made these layers individually, colouring the cake mix before it went into the oven. Then I made sure that each layer was the same depth. The trouble is that cakes are quite heavy and sugarpaste is REALLY heavy so the cakes on the bottom levels became a little compacted. It didn’t effect the taste – just the look.

Next time I will add a thin board inbetween the middle layers with dowels to hold the weight of the top layers. That way they won’t get squished!

Rainbow cake

So that’s my top tips with this tall rainbow cake. If you have any tips then please leave me a comment below and let me know how you decorate cake. Every little tip makes the decorating so much more fun. and it’s great to share the knowledge, don’t you think?


Country Homes & Interiors and the Easter cake

Country Homes & Interiors cakeAs a part time cake decorator/blogger, full time interior stylist and full on mum I am always busy. This week has been mental!

  • To start with I have been organising a big, three day Christmas shoot for next week (Yes I did say the ‘C’ word and yes I know it’s March!!!)
  • I’ve been playing around with a Red velvet cupcake recipe for a friends, daughter’s birthday which were very chocolatey and not very red – but were delish and disappeared in record time! I didn’t even get a photo of them!
  • And I’ve been playing about with this white chocolate mud cake recipe – which on the first attempt came out really solid and very heavy (and yes I did still eat it!)
  • But the highlight of my week has to be the fact that one of my cakes has appeared in print!

Easter in November

Back in November when most people are thinking about Christmas I was in full on Easter mode -the world of magazines really is a crazy one! My friend Claire who is the Assistant Editor in Design at Country Homes and Interiors magazine asked if I would make a cake for one of their shoots. It was a no brainer really! I gladly made the cake for the stylist (the very talented Carol Wortley Bishop – check out her beautiful work here) so that it fitted in with her shoot perfectly.  It was to be pale blue, covered in flowers and have little eggs dotted around. Carol  already had a cute little nest to sit on the top of the cake. It looked really sweet and I was bowled over when I saw the feature in the current issue (Page 64 of the April 2013 issue if you’re interested?). At this point I have to say a big thank you to my Dad for delivering it into London for me- Thanks Poopah.x

Country Homes & Interiors

So, now for sharing the recipe and decorating tips. My plan was always to talk through how I decorated the cake for the magazine and have an alternative option for anyone who didn’t want the full on iced version. I wanted the cakes to look beautiful and pretty and I planned the flowers to the point of obsession. Then with my crazy, busy schedule I didn’t get round to decorating the smaller cake when the girls were at school. That means one thing and one thing only. I get to have some help in the form of a 6 year old Darcey. That’s where I had to let go of my perfectionism and I just let her go with the flow. I really can’t resist a “Can I help?”from a little person.

I had already topped the cake with a circle of yellow sugarpaste and the flowers (learn how to make them here) were all dried and ready to add to the cake. Darcey decided that she would make a Daisy circle and when she ran out of Daisy’s she carried on with pink and white blossoms. In all I think she did a really great job. Not quite what I had in mind but it made her so happy I was happy too.

slice of mud cake


Recipe for White Chocolate Mud cake

  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 300g good quality white chocolate (but you can swap it for milk or dark chocolate if you prefer)- broken up into small pieces
  • 270ml water
  • 300g plain flour
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature and beaten
  • 1 tea spoon of vanilla essenceWhite Chocolate Mud cake

How to make the White Chocolate Mud cake

  1. Line a 9″ round baking tin (or 8″ square) and heat your oven to 160ºC ( 140ºC fan) 
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the chocolate. Once all melted add the water and stir away from the heat until it is all well combined. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a separate bowl measure the flour and sugar then add the chocolate mix, eggs and vanilla essence and mix until just combined. Make sure you don’t over mix it.
  4. Place the batter into the cake tin and bake for 1½ hours. The cake is done when it is a light golden colour, domed in the middle and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Leave the cake to cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the tin.
  6. Decorate to your taste and enjoy!
  7. For instructions on how to create the flowers please check out this postWhite Chocolate Mud cake recipe



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
%d bloggers like this: