Classic Victoria Sandwich

This traditional sponge cake tastes great decorated with a choice of fillings such as vanilla buttercream, whipped cream, lemon curd or jam. This recipe proves that you needn’t be an experienced baker to make a bakery-worthy cake.

Today I wanted to share a layer cake recipe that’s popular in bakeries, coffee shops and tea rooms.

Victoria sandwich is a classic British recipe and a firm favourite cake for many. It’s a popular cake for celebrations like birthdays and can be as dressed up or down according to the occasion.

Over the last few weeks I’ve lost count of the number of sponge cakes that have been baked in my kitchen. Luckily I don’t mind as sponge cake is my favourite cake and I wanted to make sure this cake was good enough for sharing.

I worried that the recipe was too simple, but sometimes you don’t want to bake anything too elaborate or requires more than a handful of ingredients.

If you feel like adapting the recipe you can add different flavours like fresh lemon, lime or orange zest or fold through some fresh/frozen berries or even some chocolate chips into the cake batter before baking – there are so many derivatives of this basic sponge cake recipe.

Once the cakes are completely baked all the way through, allow them to cool and then decorate as you want. Traditionally the cake has a raspberry jam filling, but strawberry jam or even homemade lemon curd are both delicious alternatives. As well as a curd or jam filling, you can also fill the cake with vanilla buttercream or whipped cream.

However you decide to decorate this cake, I hope you enjoy baking (and eating) it as much as we do!

(Serves 10)

Ingredients:

Cake Batter: 

225g (8 ounces) butter (salted or unsalted), softened – I leave mine out at room temperature overnight to ensure it’s soft enough

225g (8 ounces) caster or granulated sugar

4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

225g (8 ounces) self-raising flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons milk or water

Decoration/Filling:

3-4 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry jam (try not to use too much otherwise it might spill out)

Half batch vanilla buttercream recipe or 150ml double cream, for whipping (both optional)

Icing sugar, for dusting

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C / 170°C Fan / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Line the base of two 20cm / 8-inch cake tins with parchment paper and grease the sides of the tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together for about 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition – if the mixture looks curdled, add a bit of the flour. Next mix through the vanilla extract.
  4. Now gently fold through the flour and mix until no lumps of flour remain. Add enough water/milk to loosen the cake batter slightly (I added 4 tablespoons of water to my cake batter. We’ve found adding water instead of milk produces a lighter cake).
  5. Evenly divide the cake batter between the cake tins, leave a small dip in the centre of each cake to encourage even rising.
  6. Bake the cakes for 20-30 minutes (it takes around 25 minutes in my oven) or until the tops have turned a light golden colour and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of one of the cakes. Only test one cake as this will become the base layer and the other cake will be the top layer on show.
  7. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then carefully run a knife around the sides of the tin and release the cakes from their tins. Peel the parchment paper carefully off the base of each cake and leave the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack, base side down.
  8. Once cool, fill the cake with raspberry jam and sandwich the two cake halves together. Dust the top with icing sugar and serve. The cake will keep at room temperature covered for up to 3 days. Generally this cake only lasts a day or so in our house!

Enjoy!

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Lemon Loaf Cake

Welcome spring with this zesty lemon loaf cake that’s similar to pound cake with its buttery taste and texture. This classy cake will make you want to skip dinner and go straight to dessert! 

I love cake and I love knowing even more that there’s a cake for every holiday or season. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate and mint, Christmas is all about candy canes and peppermint everything or gingerbread, whereas in spring and summer we celebrate all the gorgeous fresh berries and fruit that are bountiful.

This year I decided to prepare in advance for Easter and planned to bake a simple lemon cake to welcome the first day of spring in a few days time. This cake is fresh, zingy and will transport your taste buds straight into the new season. You may have figured out my love for anything lemon from my previous recipe for lemon herb rice? Since I shared a savoury recipe showcasing lemon it was now time for something sweet.

Back last summer I shared a buttermilk lemon cake that was slightly different from the one I’m sharing today because that recipe had buttermilk added the batter to keep it moist and the cake was drizzled with a simple lemon sugar icing. This time I thought it would be a nice change to bake the cake in a loaf tin as you traditionally do when you’re making pound cake. This cake is made in the same way but instead of a lemon sugar icing it just has a lemon glaze soaked into the cake whilst it’s still warm and fresh from the oven.

Another thing I kept the same as I did when I made my lemon buttermilk cake is that I made my own homemade lemon sugar. Using your fingertips you’ll rub the sugar and zest together until fragrant. Doing this enables the natural oils in the lemon to be released and your cake will have a stronger and more intense lemon flavour. This is a step I will always go to the extra effort to do as you can definitely taste the difference.

My family love serving this beautiful cake with Greek yoghurt and fresh raspberries. Eating cake with yoghurt takes my sister and I back to our childhood as this is something we would always do with leftover birthday cake for breakfast. Cake for breakfast is the absolute best!

If you prefer you can serve the cake with ice cream, pouring or whipped cream instead and top with berries or fruit of your choice. You could also try warming a slice of cake in the microwave, when it’s warm it gets all extra buttery and gooey.

(Serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

Lemon Cake:

230g (1 cup/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

250g (1 and 1/4 cups) caster or granulated sugar

2 tablespoons lemon zest – approx. 4 lemons

4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

210g (1 and 1/2 cups) plain/all-purpose or cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon Glaze: 

100g (1/2 cup) caster or granulated sugar

60ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with parchment paper and set aside. Toss the sugar and lemon zest into a large mixing bowl. Using your fingertips rub the sugar and zest together for a minute or two until the sugar smells fragrant. Add the softened butter and beat until creamy and smooth.
  2. Next add the eggs one at a time and mix well in between each addition. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix through. Don’t be concerned at this point if the mixture looks curdled and like it’s going wrong, once you add the dry ingredients it’ll resemble more of a cake batter.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) on top of the wet mixture and then gently fold through until you have a smooth batter. Be careful not to mix the batter too much.
  4. Spread the cake batter evenly into the prepared loaf tin. Bake for 15 minutes. Now reduce the oven temperature to 170°C / 150 Fan / 325°F / Gas Mark 3. Carry on baking the cake for a further 35-45 minutes (turning around halfway through) or until a cake tester when inserted into the centre of the cake comes out completely clean without any uncooked batter remaining. After a total of 60 minutes baking mine took a further 15 minutes to finishing fully baking so my cake was in the oven for a total of 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes – much longer than the original recipe suggested).
  5. Once the cake is completely baked through remove it from the oven and set the tin over a wire rack. Meanwhile make the lemon glaze by combining the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring this mixture up to the boil and then once it’s boiling turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer for about 2-3 minutes until thick and syrupy.
  6. Allow the cake to sit for 10 minutes then remove it from the tin. Using a toothpick poke holes all over the top and sides of the cake and brush the lemon glaze over all the cake. Leave the cake to cool to room temperature before serving. The cake will store at room temperature wrapped in clingfilm/plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to 3 days – it may last for longer but in my house cake only seems to last more than a few days!

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Lately I’ve been absolutely loving my new kitchenware from Leila’s General Store. I love this denim apron with its cute pineapple design and I’m also enjoying baking using my silicone spatula. If you like the look of these items you can get a 20% discount using the code “whatjessicabaked” (excluding electronics and gift cards). This discount code is valid until 23rd of April on leilasgeneralstore.com!

Enjoy!

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

Luscious lemon drizzle cake. Fluffy buttermilk sponge cake soaked with a lemon sugar syrup and drizzled with tangy lemon icing. Lemon dessert lovers, this cake recipe is for you! 

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Lemon drizzle cake is a British classic. I’ve grown up enjoying this cake and it holds a special place in my heart. The cake is very popular here where it’s sold at most bakeries, tearooms and is commonly found on many afternoon tea menus. As much as I love this cake there are many recipes out there that are a tad bit lacklustre. I’ve tried a good few and often found them too dry or simply lacking a real lemon flavour punch. But this recipe is the exact opposite. It’s fresh, summery, lemony and lip-smacking good!

You know a bake is going to be good when the recipe starts with a whole big block of butter. I have a few secrets of how to make the best lemon drizzle cake. Firstly, I like to add just a touch of buttermilk to my cake batter. The tanginess from the buttermilk works really well with the lemon flavour and it helps keep the cake moist and fluffy for several days.

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Another way I make my lemon drizzle cake differently, is I make my own lemon sugar. I’ve always liked vanilla or cinnamon sugar, but I would definitely say lemon sugar is my favourite out of the three. The sugar is super easy to make, all you have to do is rub the sugar and grated lemon zest with your fingertips. Doing this helps release the natural oil from the lemon and it really enhances the lemon flavour in your finished bake.

I’ve made this cake twice within the last week. With the first I thought I would freeze a few slices ready for when I fancied a piece of cake, but let’s just say those few slices of cake soon disappeared from the freezer and found their way onto my plate… 😉

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This gorgeous cake is delicious served with a scoop or two of ice cream, clotted cream, yoghurt and fresh berries  

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Joseph Joseph

Making this cake also gave me the opportunity to test out the latest Joseph Joseph samples from their new range. I have always been a fan of the Joseph Joseph kitchenware. I particularly like the Shake It™ which comes with an integrated rocking handle and this cleverly stimulates the process of tapping the sieve with your other hand. I used it to sift the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder) into my cake and also to sift the icing sugar when I made my drizzle icing to decorate the cake. Whiskle™ which isn’t just your ordinary whisk as it has a silicone bowl scraper attached, which helps make sure you get every single bit of the batter into your cake tin and it also helps save time on washing up! The Fin™ works in the same way as it makes sure you can get every last bit of your cake batter into the cake tin so there no wastage. The Glaze™ can be used to brush the lemon sugar syrup over the cake, but I’m also looking forward to using it when I make homemade pastry or even for brushing vegetables or meat with oil before roasting.

Ingredients:

Lemon Cake:

250g unsalted butter or margarine, softened

250g caster sugar

Zest from 2 large lemons

4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

275g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

100ml buttermilk

Juice of 1 large lemon

Lemon Sugar Syrup:

150g caster sugar

Juice of 1 large lemon

50ml water

Lemon Drizzle Icing: 

100g icing (confectioners’) sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice (add more less depending on your preferred consistency)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin with butter and parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl combine the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingertips, rub the sugar and zest together until combined.
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat together the softened butter/margarine with the lemon sugar until creamy and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Make sure you scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are getting incorporated.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and beat again until just a few lumps of flour remain. Finally, add the buttermilk and lemon juice and mix again until they’re combined into the batter fully.
  6. Spoon the batter into the cake tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake the cake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester when inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean without any uncooked batter remaining. All ovens are different so the cake may need 5-10 minutes longer in the oven. If the cake is colouring too much cover the top with a piece of tin/aluminium foil.
  7. Once the cake is baked completely, leave it on the side to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, make the lemon sugar syrup. Heat the sugar, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, take off the heat. Poke holes all over the cake using a skewer, then pour the hot lemon sugar syrup all over the top of the cake. This step must be done when the cake is still warm. Now leave the cake to cool completely, then once cool remove from the tin.
  8. Make the lemon drizzle icing by sifting the icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and mix until you have a thick, runny icing. Adjust the consistency to your preferred liking with less or more lemon juice. Drizzle the cake with the icing.

Recipe Notes:

  • The cake will keep for up to 1 week stored in an airtight container.
  • The drizzle icing is optional, but I think it really makes this cake!
  • This lemon drizzle cake is delicious served on its own, but we especially love it with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream, clotted cream, some yoghurt and fresh berries.

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Enjoy!

jess

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Carrot Cake Traybake

Easy carrot cake traybake full of delicious flavour from spices, orange zest and chopped walnuts. Slathered with homemade cream cheese frosting, this recipe will be a real treat for carrot cake lovers! 

What’s your favourite cake? If you asked me that exact question my list would probably be endless. I really do honestly love any kind of cake and I believe there’s definitely a cake perfect for every occasion.

Ever since I baked these Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting I’ve had my mind set on adapting the recipe into a traybake. The first time I shared this carrot cake recipe, I baked it as a layer cake, however how delicious it was I decided the original recipe needed to be made easier.

Traybake’s are perfect for times when you just don’t have the energy to put a lot of effort into decorating a cake. They’re super easy to make and the decoration can be kept as minimal as you want. As you can see from my pictures, I decided to cut the cake into squares and spread the tops with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle over chopped pecans.

To make my carrot cake extra special I like to add ground cinnamon, ginger and freshly grated nutmeg, along with orange zest and chopped walnuts. If you don’t want to add walnuts you can swap them for a different nut like pecans or even leave them out and replace with raisins. Carrot cake is extremely adaptable so you can pick and chose whatever add-ins you want in your cake.

The cake is dairy-free, however for a dairy-free frosting/icing you could swap the cream cheese frosting for a drizzle icing. Try adding some of the juice from the oranges you zested for the cake batter and whisk the juice into icing sugar to create a drizzle icing that’s perfect for decorating your traybake.

(Serves 12-15)

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake Traybake:

150g dark or light brown sugar

150g caster or granulated sugar

300ml sunflower or vegetable oil

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

300g plain flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated is recommended)

300g carrots, peeled and grated – weigh to ensure this is correct

100g walnuts, chopped into small pieces

Zest from 2 large oranges

Cream Cheese Frosting: 

100g butter, softened

100g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

300g full-fat cream cheese, softened – I leave mine out at room temperature for an hour to soften

Method:

  1. To make the carrot cake traybake: Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33cm) tin with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the sugars, oil and eggs until smooth.
  3. In another bowl sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture a little at a time and whisk until completely incorporated.
  4. Now fold through the grated carrot, chopped walnuts and orange zest. Spread the cake batter out into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is well risen and a cake tester when inserted into the centre comes out clean without any uncooked batter remaining.
  5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then carefully transport to a wire rack and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
  6. To make the cream cheese frosting: Cream the softened butter in a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes to soften. Now add the sifted icing sugar and vanilla and starting on a low speed mix to combine. Continue to cream for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  7. Once creamed add the softened cream cheese. Turn the mixer up and whisk on high speed for another 1-2 minutes or until the frosting is creamy, thick and smooth. You need to use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment to make sure the frosting reaches the correct consistency.
  8. Spread the top of the cake with the cream cheese frosting or cut the cake into squares and spread the top of each piece with the frosting. Further decorate as desired. The cake will store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days, but if you’re not consuming it right away then I recommend refrigerating the cake.

Recipe Notes:

  • The weight of the carrots is based on weighing the carrots after they have been peeled and topped and tailed.
  • When adding the spices, I like to add a heaping teaspoon of each spice. This is down to personal preference as I really love the flavour the spices add to the cake.
  • This cake serves 12 generous portions or up to 15 smaller pieces.

Enjoy!

jess

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Apple Crumb Cake

Classic Apple Crumb Cake. Layers of fluffy vanilla cake, cinnamon sugar apples and crumbly streusel topping. 

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Happy Monday everyone! And happy November! I can’t believe this time next month we’ll all be getting ready for Christmas. Don’t you feel like this year has just flown by? I am excited to share lots of festive bakes this December on the blog. To be honest I think I’ve been planning all my Christmas recipes since the summer! Anyone else guilty of doing this? 😉

Today I’m sharing this gorgeous apple crumb cake. It would be perfect paired with hot mug of coffee or tea to warm you up on a chilly autumn or winter day.

The reason I decided to bake this apple crumb cake is because my grandparents kindly gave me an entire box full of apples from a relative’s apple tree (the perks of being a food blogger!), and I promised to bake something in return.

When I started brainstorming some possible recipes to use the apples in, two autumnal bakes in particular sprung straight to mind. Apple cake and apple crumble are two firm favourite desserts of my family. This apple crumb cake combines the two desserts and is everything a great crumb cake should be. The best part about this cake is the generous thick streusel topping. So if you’re like me and really like streusel, I know you’ll enjoy this recipe a lot!

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Prior to baking the cake I tossed the sliced apples in cinnamon and sugar. The cinnamon adds a warm spiced flavour and makes this cake perfect for the time of year. Brilliant served at room temperature, but I really think it would also be great served warm with a scoop vanilla ice cream, clotted cream or custard. Talk about indulgence!

Oh and don’t forget to drizzle over caramel or toffee sauce! The sauce takes this cake over the top! Slice it up and enjoy for breakfast or dessert, if you’re looking for a new autumn-inspired cake recipe, then look no further! Give this cake a try, you’re going to love it.

(Serves 10-12)

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cake:

4 eating apples (such as Granny Smith for the best texture)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

200g (7 ounces) unsalted butter or margarine, softened

275g (1o ounces) caster sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 free-range eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten

300g plain flour (all-purpose), sifted

Crumb Topping:

125g (4 ounces) plain flour

50g (2 ounces) light or dark brown sugar

60g (2 and 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (140 fan), Gas Mark 3. Grease the sides and base of a 20.5cm springform or loose-bottomed cake tin liberally with butter.
  2. Peel and core the apples, then cut into 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) slices. Place the apple slices in a bowl and toss together with the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of the weighed out sugar. Set aside.
  3. To make the cake: Cream the butter, remaining sugar and vanilla until fluffy and pale in colour. Gradually add the beaten egg bit by bit, whisking well after each addition. Add the flour and fold through until combined. The mixture will be very thick, just be careful not to over mix.
  4. Spread the cake batter out into the prepared cake tin. Now layer the apple slices evenly across the top. Press them down very slightly into the cake batter – discard any remaining juices the sliced apples have released.
  5. To make the crumb topping: Combine all the ingredients listed (melted butter, brown sugar and flour), and mix with a spatula or spoon until the mixture resembles large, damp crumbs. Scatter the crumbs over the top of the cake.
  6. Bake for 1½ – 1¾ hours, or until cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
  7. Once fully baked, allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes, then remove from tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Recipe adapted from here

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This is the autumn dessert you’ve all been waiting for! Enjoy!

jess

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Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding is a classic British dessert consisting of date sponge served with a sweet toffee sauce. Pudding doesn’t get much better than this! 

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I posted this recipe a while back when I had first started writing my blog. They’re one of my favourite desserts so I wanted to update and share the blog post once again because I love it so much! Sticky toffee pudding is a dessert you will make time and time again. I had previously baked these in celebration of Great British Pudding Week, my sister, Becky, took a look through my blog and requested I made these again over the weekend for a family dinner.

These gorgeous cakes are warm, sweet, sticky and drizzled with lots of homemade toffee sauce. Sticky toffee pudding is one of my most treasured childhood desserts. It’s got to that time of year where I think these kinds of comforting desserts should be eaten and enjoyed, especially desserts that come with lashings of warm homemade toffee sauce… 😉

Sticky toffee pudding is the epitome of food comfort on a cold afternoon or evening. The cake itself has to be eaten warm for you to experience its full glory and don’t skimp on the toffee sauce!

Ingredients:

Date Sponge –

175g pitted dates, chopped

300ml (1/2 pint) boiling water

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

50g softened butter, plus extra for greasing

175g caster or granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large free-range eggs

210g self-raising flour, sifted

Toffee Sauce –

250g unsalted butter

300g soft brown sugar

400ml double cream

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(Makes 8)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 160 Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease the sides of 8 x 200ml pudding basins or ramekins and line each the base with a small circle of parchment paper. Place on a large baking tray and set aside.

2. Place the dates along with the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda into a small mixing bowl and put to one side. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar with the vanilla until light and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs one by one and beat until combined. Now sift in the flour and gently fold into the mix. Finally stir through the date mixture until it’s completely incorporated.

4. Divide the mixture between the pudding moulds, making sure you only fill then 2/3 of the way full. Then place back on the tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out completely clean.

5. Whilst the puddings are cooking, this is a good time to make the sauce. Put the butter and sugar into a pan and melt, bring up to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes making sure you stir from time to time. Add the cream and stir through.

6. When the puddings are cooked, remove gently from the pudding moulds using a small palette knife or butter knife – remember to remove to the circle of parchment paper from the bottom. To serve, pour the sauce over each pudding and serve with pouring or whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some chopped walnuts or toasted pecans.

Recipe Notes:

  • You can bake the puddings in advance, just like I did. Follow through to the end of step 4, then remove the cakes from the moulds, then allow to cool and once cooled completely wrap in clingfilm (plastic wrap) or store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days – warm up either in the microwave or oven. They can also be frozen once baked for up to a month. Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then bake for about 5-10 minutes until warmed through.

Recipe from Food Network UK

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I like to use any leftover toffee sauce to dip into churros, top pancakes or drizzle over ice cream!

Enjoy!

jess

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Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream

Light and buttery lemon-scented cupcakes topped with fresh raspberry buttercream.

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I’m super excited to share this cupcake recipe over on the Laura Ashley blog! The Great British Bake Off is currently airing on TV here in the UK, I am absolutely loving it! There really is nothing more British than tea and cake!

I am thrilled to have been chosen along with three other amazing bloggers (Aimee, Catherine and Sara) to take part in The Great Blogger Bake Off! I’m full aware most bloggers are going crazy over pumpkin recipes right now, but it is still the summer and I’m taking full advantage of that! I made these cupcakes way back in the middle of the summer, they went down a treat with everyone who tried one and are one of my favourite cupcake recipes.

THE GREAT BLOGGER BAKE OFF

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I love dusting each cupcake with a little bit of icing sugar – they look prettier that way! 

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For my recipe on the Laura Ashley blog, I decided to bake some summery cupcakes. I love cupcakes, so it seemed the obvious choice! Each cake is swirled with fresh raspberry buttercream. The buttercream is seriously addictive, so much so you could probably eat it by the spoonful straight from the mixing bowl – I’m always guilty of doing this!

I use a classic sponge cupcake, there is nothing more British than sponge cake! It’s a brilliant cake, light, fluffy and buttery. And perfect in so many ways!

I added the zest from one lemon to my cupcake batter, the lemon has a beautiful light flavour and it works amazingly with the tart raspberry buttercream. I use a brilliant vanilla buttercream base, but I’ve added some homemade raspberry puree to the mix. It naturally colours the buttercream, giving it a pretty pink colour!

These cupcakes would make a brilliant and pretty tasty addition to an afternoon tea party. Paired with my Easy Homemade Lemonade they would be the ultimate treat!

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For my recipe I received these absolutely gorgeous cupcake cases and toppers from the new collection! Along with the beautiful floral pastry guide worktop saver. I’m excited to make lots of pastry and roll out biscuits on this!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

150g (3/4 cup) caster or granulated sugar (superfine sugar)

3 free-range eggs, at room temperature

1 lemon, zest only

150g (1 and 1/4 cup) self-raising flour, sifted – be careful not to overmeasure – you can sub with 150g plain flour and 2 tsp baking powder

2-3 tbsp water or milk – water makes a lighter cake

Buttercream:

1 heaping cup (approx. 160g) fresh or frozen raspberries

150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

300g (3 cups) icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar), sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

2-3 tablespoon milk or cream

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C Fan / 200 °C / 400 °F / Gas Mark 6. Line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.

2. To make the cupcakes: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light in colour and very fluffy – this will take 5 minutes. Make sure you stop the mixer halfway through creaming and using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

3. Add eggs, one by one and mix to combine. Now fold in the flour – mix until just combined and no lumps of flour remain. Add the lemon zest along the milk or water to loosen the mixture slightly. Do not over mix!

4. Take an ice cream scoop and evenly distribute the cupcake batter between the cupcake liners. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out completely clean of any uncooked batter. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then when cool enough to touch remove from the tin and transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

5. To make the buttercream: Blitz the raspberries in a food processor or blender until pureed. Then pass through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Heat gently and reduce by about half – this will take approx. 3-5 minutes. Pour the thickened raspberry puree into a bowl and chill until cold.

6. Once the cupcakes are fully cooled make the buttercream. Add the softened butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on a medium speed for about a minute just to soften. Add the sifted icing sugar and the vanilla extract and mix together on a low speed (this is to avoid a sugar cloud!) until the butter and sugar has combined. Now turn up the speed to medium and cream for another 5 minutes – remember to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Once the buttercream is fluffy add the raspberry puree and double cream, and mix on low speed for another minute to combine.

7. To decorate: Fit a large disposable piping bag with your favourite nozzle. Fill the piping bag with the frosting. Pipe even swirls on the top of each cupcake, then finish with a fresh raspberry and the beautiful cake toppers or any other decorations you like. Enjoy!

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jess

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