The Handbook
The Handbook

It’s National Cake Week this week (Monday 31st August – Sunday 6th September), and to celebrate, we’ve rounded up some sweet treats for you to make – as if you needed an excuse.

From an easy traybake courtesy of Bake Off boy Edd Kimber to Longboys Bakery’s banana choc chip muffins and a strawberry showstopper to see our summer in style with, get baking with our six top cake recipes sure to delight even Bruce Bogtrotter.

Chocolate & Cardamon Carrot Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

By Edd Kimber

Serves: 21-14

Ingredients: 

  • 300g (10.oz/2⅓ cups + 1 tablespoon)
  • plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • zest of 2 oranges, juice of 1
  • 300g (10 ½ oz) carrots, grated
  • 75g (2 ¾ oz/ ½ cup) dark chocolate chips
  • 150g (5 ½ oz/1 cup) raisins or sultanas
  • 4 large eggs
  • 400g (14oz/2 cups) light brown sugar
  • 240ml (8 ½ fl oz/1 cup) light olive oil,
  • plus extra for greasing
  • 1 batch cream cheese frosting (see below)
  • milk chocolate shavings
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 75g (2 ¾ oz/⅔ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g (4 ½ oz/ ½ cup + 1 tablespoon) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 400g (14oz/3⅓ cups) icing sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease the baking tin, then line with a piece of parchment paper that overhangs the two long sides.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder, salt, ground spices and orange zest into a large bowl and whisk together to combine. Add the carrots, chocolate chips and raisins. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, olive oil and juice from 1 orange, mixing until combined. Pour the wet mixture in the bowl with the flour and stir together until everything is combined. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and spread into an even layer.
  3. Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the cake springs back to a light touch or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  4. Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then use the lining paper to carefully lift and transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Brown the butter. Place the butter into a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring frequently. As the butter cooks it will first melt and then sizzle, splatter and then start to foam with little brown flecks. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until the butter is firm.
  6. Remove from the refrigerator and beat with an electric mixer, on its own, until soft and creamy. Proceed with the cream cheese frosting. It’s very important that the butter and cream cheese are both at room temperature, otherwise it can be tricky to get the right texture.
  7. Place the butter and cream cheese into a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat on medium-high speed for 2–3 minutes, or until smooth, creamy and fully combined. Add the icing sugar, salt and vanilla and mix on slow speed until the sugar has combined with the butter mixture, then mix on medium-high speed for 4–5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  8. Spread over the top of the cake and finish with a grating of milk chocolate and the zest of another orange, if you like.

Top Tip: Kept covered, this cake will keep for 3–4 days.

One Tin Bakes by Edd Kimber. Published by Kyle, priced £17.99. Photography: Edd Kimber. Shared in association with Cake Week.

Chocolate Fudge Cake

from the Easy Peasy Baking Campaign

Makes: round two layer 15cm cake and serves 8

Ingredients

Sponge:

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g soft light brown sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml/g sunflower oil
  • 150ml/g milk

Icing:

  • 300g dark or milk chocolate
  • 150ml/g double cream (cold)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. In the mixing bowl, combine the flour, bicarbonate, sugar and cocoa powder.
  3. Add in the eggs, oil and milk and whisk everything together until no lumps remain.
  4. Divide the batter into the two cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until springy in the centre. Allow to cool completely before icing.
  5. Whilst the sponges are cooling, melt the chosen chocolate for the icing in the microwave (in 30 second increments and stirring to prevent burning). Once it is melted completely, pour in the cold double cream and combine until glossy and smooth.
  6. Sandwich the two sponges with the icing before covering the top and sides. Decorate as you wish.

Recipe shared in association with Cake Week from the FAB Flour Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by nabim.

fabflour.co.uk

Chocolate Peppermint Slices

By Edd Kimber

Makes: 16

Ingredients

For the base:

  • 300g (10 ½ oz) digestives or graham crackers
  • 170g (6oz/1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, diced
  • 50g (1 ¾ oz/⅔ cup) cocoa powder
  • 75g (2 ¾ oz/⅓ cup) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150g (5 ½ oz/1 ¾ cups) desiccated coconut
  • ½ teaspoon flaked sea salt

For the peppermint layer:

  • 85g (3oz/ ¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 330g (11½oz/2 ½ cups) icing (powdered) sugar
  • 80ml (3floz/⅓ cup) double (heavy) cream
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract green food colouring (optional)

For the chocolate topping:

  • 225g (8oz) dark chocolate
  • (60% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • 40g (1 ½ oz/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup or clear honey

Method:

  1. Lightly grease the baking tin, then line with a strip of parchment paper that overhangs the two long sides of the tin.
  2. Secure the paper in place with two metal clips.
  3. To make the base, place the digestives or graham crackers into a large freezer bag and crush into crumbs using a rolling pin (a few small chunks are totally fine). Place the butter, cocoa and sugar into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water underneath) and stir until the butter is melted and everything is smooth. Add the eggs and whisk for a couple of minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and mix in the remaining ingredients. Scrape into the prepared tin and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate while you make the peppermint layer.
  4. For the peppermint layer, place the butter into a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed, or until the butter is light and creamy. Slowly incorporate the sugar, then increase the speed to high and beat for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Pour in the cream and peppermint extract, plus a drop or two of food colouring (if using) and mix until evenly combined. Scrape into the tin, spreading over the base in an even layer. Refrigerate for an hour before making the topping.
  5. Place all the topping ingredients in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water underneath) and stir occasionally until everything is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and pour over the filling, spreading into an even layer. Refrigerate until set.
  6. To serve, use the parchment paper to lift the mixture from the tin, then cut into pieces using a sharp knife. If you want clean slices, using a knife that’s been heated in hot water (dried before using) for each cut will help.

Top tip: Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

One Tin Bakes by Edd Kimber. Published by Kyle, priced £17.99. Photography: Edd Kimber. Shared in association with Cake Week.

Carrot Cake

by Hamdy Hassan, Executive Chef at Andaz London

Ingredients

For the topping:

  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecans

For the cake:

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 450g carrots, peeled and coarsely gratedMethod:
  1. Make the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk the sugars, cinnamon and salt. Add melted butter and stir to combine. Add flour and pecans and stir until moist clumps form. Set aside.
  2. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″ x 13″ metal baking pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment leaving a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Grease the parchment.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In another large bowl, beat the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until thick and pale (about 3 minutes). Add the oil and beat until well combined. Add dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk until combined.
  4. Fold in the carrot and scrape into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the prepared topping evenly over the batter.
  5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Eggless Banana Choc Chip Muffins

by Heather Kaniuk & Graham Hornigold, Founders of Smart Patisserie and Longboys

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups plain flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp vinegar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
  2. In a jug, whisk together the milk, oil and the vinegar. Leave to stand 5 minutes.
  3. Using a fork, mash the bananas until smooth. Stir into the liquid ingredients.
  4. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Add the sugar and stir to combine.
  5. Slowly pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing until it just comes together and there are no lumps. Lastly, fold in half the chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon the batter into lined muffin cups, ¾ full. Sprinkle the tops with remaining chocolate chips.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the muffins spring back slightly when touched.

Strawberry Chiffon Cake

The beauty of this cake is that it looks way fancier than it is. You don’t need any special tins to make it, just two, 20cm (8inch) springform tins that you can easily pick up from the supermarket.

The whisked sponge cake is made with pureed strawberries and vegetable oil rather than butter so it’s wonderfully light but devilishly moreish.

Serves: 10

Prep: 1 hour

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Chilling time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 75g (6oz) strawberries. hulled
  • 250g (9oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 125ml (4 fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 1 lemon, grated rind only
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar
  • A little red paste food colouring

For the filling:

  • 150g (5oz) strawberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
  • 400g (14oz) strawberries, hulled
  • 125ml (4 fl oz) double cream

For the frosting:

  • 250g (9oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 lemon, finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 400ml (14 fl oz) double cream
  • Little red paste food colouring

To decorate:

  • A few pink primula flowers and/or viola flowers, optional
  • A few small strawberries, optional

_______________

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan assisted, Gas 4. To make the cake, grease and line the bases of 2 x 20 cm (8 inch) springform tins with circles of non-stick baking paper. Puree the strawberries then press through a sieve and discard their seeds. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a second bowl.

2. Add the egg yolks, oil, lemon rind and 175g (6oz) of the sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the strawberry puree and a little food colouring and whisk for about 5 minutes until very thick.

3. Wash and dry the whisk then beat the egg whites until stiff moist looking peaks then gradually whisk in the remaining 50g (2oz) sugar a teaspoonful at a time until the mixture is smooth and glossy.

4. Sift the flour and baking powder over the top of the strawberry mix then gently mix in. Stir in a large spoonful of the egg whites to loosen the mixture then add the rest and very gently fold in so that you keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

5. Spoon the mixture evenly between the two tins, gently ease the tops level then bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is set, very lightly browned and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of each cake. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove the sides and leave to cool. Remove the base when cold. (The cake will sink slightly as it cools.)

6. When the cakes are cold, peel off the base paper. Cut each cake in half, then put two of the halves to one side. Keep the other two halves, still stacked then cut out a circle from the centre using a smaller 15cm (5 inch) baking tin as a template. (This centre circle can be given to the kids or eaten now with a cup of tea!)

7. Put one of the whole circles of cake on a serving plate, spread a band of jam around the outer edge about 2.5cm (1 inch) wide then place one of the ring cakes on top. Spread the top edge with jam, then add the second cake ring.

8. Add the cold water to a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine, making sure that all the dry powder is absorbed by the water. Set aside for 5 minutes.

9. Pick out the best strawberries and arrange over the inside of the cake, when you know you have enough, take them out and reserve on a plate. Puree 175g (6oz) of the remaining strawberries then press through a sieve and discard the seeds.

10. Stand the bowl of gelatine in a saucepan of gently simmering water and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until it becomes a clear liquid. Whisk the cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks, add the strawberry puree and gradually mix in the gelatine until smooth. Spread a few spoonfuls in the base of the centre of the cake, arrange the whole strawberries on top then cover with the remaining strawberry cream. Stick the remaining cake half in place with jam around the edges as before. Chill for 4 hours.

11. About an hour or so before serving, whisk the mascarpone, lemon rind and icing sugar together in a bowl then gradually whisk in the cream until soft and spreadable, don’t be tempted to whisk too vigorously or the frosting will be too thick to spread. Take out one third of the frosting and divide between two small bowls, colour one pale pink, the other a deeper pink.

12. Spread a very thin layer of the uncoloured frosting all over the cake to stick the crumbs in place then spread a thicker layer all over, being more generous on the top. Spread the sides smooth with a knife. Using a teaspoon and round bladed knife, press small dots of dark pink frosting in a band around the base of the cake. Make a second paler pink band above it and a third plain band of uncoloured frosting then smooth the sides to merge the colours with a palette knife. Decorate the top of the cake with edible flowers and small strawberries, if liked.

Top tip: as this cake is quite involved, you might prefer to make the cake the day before then wrap in foil or make and fill the cake then chill overnight and just decorate with the frosting an hour or so before you want to serve it and keep it in the fridge.