Baking and Birthdays

My blogging needs a bit of a kick up the bum. Depression and anxiety have stilled my fingers but I might just be coming out the other end now.

A lot of my recent posts have been about my newest hobby, dressmaking. Although I’ll still be sewing away in the background, I’m going to start concentrating on Baking again. No prizes for guessing what brought on this change…


Bake Off is Back


There are a plethora of great recipes on the GBBO website. However, my plan is to  bake my version of a challenge each week.  I Love lemon drizzle cake! my version will be somewhat inspired by my favourite cupcake recipe from Ruby Tandoh’s cookbook Crumb:

Chamomile and Vanilla Cupcakes

I made a load for my little (not so little anymore) sister’s fourteenth birthday. What really makes these treats special is the infusion of chamomile through a melted butter and milk mixture.


My lil’ sister and niece practically share a birthday, only two days apart. We celebrated a fourteenth birthday and a first.  It was lovely if a little overwhelming. There were babies literally everywhere.

We managed to light the sparkler after a few false starts!


And just to embarrass my little sister in true big sister form. Here she is enjoying my niece’s present!


My idea for drizzle cake is Lady Grey and Lemon. Recipes are normally my best friend and all things go to hell when I don’t follow them. I’ll have to try to merge recipes for this experiment. but first a google search.

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Okay, so it already exists…in abundance. That makes things easier.  I might go for the Mini Loaf Cakes recipe, using Lady Grey instead of Earl as it’s got a softer flavour. Perhaps adding poppy seeds just to make things different.

Watch this space. x

All of the cakes

After a friend and I conceded that our ‘writing sessions’  consisted of no writing, and were in fact an excuse for eating and nattering, we decided to give up the charade and have a baking day instead. The results were magnificent.


We started off with simple lemon butterfly cakes from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible.  It’s the basic butterfly cake recipe but with the rind of one lemon in the batter and a splash of lemon juice in the icing.   We added a layer of lemon curd before the icing to give it a bit more zest.

After finishing the cupcakes we where left with a mountain of butter icing.  there was no alternative. we simply had to make another cake. We followed a Victoria Sponge recipe again from the Mary’s Bible. The only difference we made was to pour the rest of the lemon juice into the batter. I normally am shockingly bad at making large cakes. I can’t get the rise, it falls apart or end up making silly mistakes such as using 10 times the amount of poppy seeds in the butter icing for a carrot cake. Nobody wants crunchy icing! Happily there is no photographic evidence of this monstrosity.

However this cake, in my humble opinion, was perfection:

Look at that rise

I can only assume it was my friends influence.  We waited very patiently for the cake to cool before spreading lemon curd on the bottom layer and then slathering it with the remaining icing. We simply added a sprinkling of icing sugar and the masterpiece was complete.