Llama Birthday Cake!

05/18

My friend Jodie is obsessed with llamas and alpacas. I think if she had her way she would move to a farm and live, surrounded by them. It’s her birthday this month and, as one of the perks of being friends with She Who Bakes, I wanted to surprise her with a birthday cake for her party at the weekend.

I knew I wanted to make something llama based but I had no idea where to start. I had thought I would make a lovely chocolatey drip cake and buy a toy llama to stick on top that she could keep, but then one evening as I was scrolling through Instagram, my cake problems were solved!

I had seen a new post by one of my favourite talented bakers. Billie from Sweetie Darling. She had just posted a tutorial to make a llama cake on her YouTube channel! It was like cakey fate. So, following her fantastic tutorial (that you can find here) I made this lovely llama cake for my equally lovely friend Jodie!

 

I wanted a super tall cake so I started by making two 6″ round madeira cakes; one vanilla and one chocolate. I split these both into three sections as always and then I stacked them alternately, filling with lovely cream coloured vanilla buttercream. I then crumb coated the whole thing twice, chilling briefly in between coats and then it was time to decorate!

I followed all of Billie’s instructions you can find on her YouTube video with the only exception that I covered the side of cake with a small panel of sugarpaste instead of icing the whole thing (which she said was absolutely fine!). It was all explained so well, and I absolutely adore the end result!

Happy Birthday Jodie! I hope you enjoyed eating Larry the Llama as much as I enjoyed making him!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Coffee & Dark Chocolate Cake

05/18

This week I made this super easy and very tasty coffee and dark chocolate cake for when my good friends Freddie & Alvin popped over.

It’s made from my Classic Maderia Cake recipe but with a few tweaks!

Once I’d completely made the mix I added in 2 tablespoons of strong coffee (made from 2 teaspoons of instant coffee and 50ml boiling water). You could also use coffee extract or flavouring but I find instant coffee works just as well!

Then I did the exact same thing and added it to the vanilla buttercream recipe also listed on the madeira cake recipe.

Once I had stacks the layers and coated it in a layer of coffee buttercream, I melted 100g dark chocolate. I then mixed in about a teaspoon of vegetable oil to give it a better, pourable consistency.

Then, when the chocolate was still soft, I topped it with gold edible stars from Sainsbury’s.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on, either on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

 

Classic Madeira Birthday Cake Recipe

05/18

A classic birthday cake will have a few elements to it. A soft vanilla sponge, tart seedless raspberry jam, smooth vanilla buttercream and a layer of sugarpaste (ready to roll icing).

Contrary to popular belief, most birthday cakes aren’t a ‘Victoria sponge’. A Victoria sponge is a soft light sponge, baked in two sandwich tins then put together with jam and fresh cream. Lovely for an afternoon tea, but doesn’t lend itself well to be covered in sugarpaste (ready to roll icing). For this, you are better off using a madeira recipe. It’s close textured and firm, whilst still being light and soft to eat. The inclusion of plain flour makes it stronger and better for decorating.

It’s also perfect for carving cakes too, although if you are carving, I recommend popping the cake in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes before starting work. This will reduce crumbs and make your life a lot easier! For more about freezing cakes, click here.

Below is my 7″ round (my most popular size of birthday cake ordered) vanilla madeira recipe and vanilla buttercream recipe. It also is perfect to make 12 cupcakes, for more on cupcakes click here. Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature as this will help make a better bake! I also recommend lining your tins. I bake one deep cake and use a cake leveller to cut my cake into there sections (see lemon cake below) as opposed to using individual tins, however, this recipe can be used in sandwich tins, just lower the baking time to 35-40 minutes. I use 3″ deep PME tins that are seamless tins made from professional quality anodised aluminium.

If the cake isn’t baked fully when you cut into it, or it’s squidgy in any way, it needed longer in the oven. Ever oven is different and these timings are an approximation. If in doubt, leave it in a further 10 minutes. Due to the low temperature it won’t dry the cake out and will ensure it’s fully baked. The cake needs to spring back to the touch, be golden brown and a skewer come out clean. This will come with experience, the more you bake, the more you’ll know a fully baked cake on sight.

Should you wish to scale the recipe up or down, a number of helpful charts to work this out are easy to find with a quick google. The convertor on CakeBaker is great and they also have a handy app.  I also like this one found on The Pink Whisk or you can use the water trick I explain here.

To make the cute owl toppers in the above picture, check out my tutorial here.

For more information on how to decorate your cake and go from home bake to showstopper, check out my list of latest online cake decorating courses here.

Madeira cakes

Vanilla Madeira Cake Recipe

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g Stork/butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Cream together the Stork and caster sugar.
  2. Add in your eggs.
  3. Add in your flour.
  4. Add the vanilla.
  5. Mix for 4-6 minutes on a high speed.
  6. Pour mixture into a greaseproof paper lined, 7″ cake tin. 
  7. Bake at 140C (fan assisted) for 1 hour 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean, the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch. (Check after 1 hour)
  8. Once baked, after 5 minutes on the side, turn out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and leave upside down to cool. This ensures a nice flat top.
  9. Once cooled, wrap in clingfilm overnight to ‘settle’.
  10. Once split, filled and iced, this cake will last 7-10 days and will freeze well for 3 months.

NOTE: This recipe is for a 7″ round tin. It is not enough mixture for bigger tin sizes. For this, you will need to convert the recipe here.

For a chocolate madeira;

Follow the recipe above and replace the plain flour for cocoa powder and add 100g melted dark chocolate. For chocolate buttercream, follow the recipe below and add two tablespoons cocoa powder and 50g melted dark chocolate.

For a lemon madeira;

Follow the recipe above and add the zest and juice of one lemon. Alternatively add two teaspoons of lemon extract. For lemon buttercream, follow the recipe below and add two teaspoons of lemon extract and the zest of one lemon.

Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Cream the butter on it’s own for a few minutes.
  2. Add icing sugar.
  3. Add vanilla.

You can watch me bake this cake in real time on my Facebook page here; PART 1. PART 2.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on, either on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

For more information on how to decorate your cake and go from home bake to showstopper, check out my list of latest online cake decorating courses here.

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Lemon Madeira by She Who Bakes

Topped with Scrumptious Sprinkles Lemon Crunch & Lemon Jelly Squares! I LOVE them!! xo

No Bake Recipes

05/18

In the heat of summer when you fancy a sweet treat but can’t bear the thought of putting the oven on, no bake recipes are the way to go! I’ve compiled my favourite oven-free creations below, simply click on the picture to be taken to the full recipe and method.

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Give it a try and let me know how you get on either on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

Happy baking!

Britt xo

Peanut Butter Cups by She Who Bakes

Snickers Cereal Bars by She Who BakesMint Aero Cheesecake Recipe

Kinder Bueno FudgeCustard Cream Cheesecake

Mini Egg Rocky Road Recipe by She Who Bakesfrozen banana chocolate peanut butter bites

Daim Fridge Cakespeanut butter chocolate squares

Cookie Dough Stuffed Oreoscoconut ice

Valentine's Strawberry CreamsAfter Eight Mint Chocolate Bark

Creme Egg Brownies

03/18

I absolutely love Creme Eggs. I think they are a fab little Easter treat and I love baking with them. I’m seeing a few friends and loved ones over the Easter holidays so I thought I would bake up something tasty to take with me and share with them!

I’ve made a few tasty recipes with them in the past including Creme Egg Cookies and Creme Egg Cake but one recipe I found on the Cadbury UK Facebook page years ago for Creme Egg Brownies came out so perfect the time I made it, I return to it time and time again. I mean, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right? You can find the full recipe here.

You can always, of course, use your favourite brownie recipe for this too. Just add in the Creme Eggs halfway through baking! I’ve made it before with my Triple Threat Brownies and it’s come out equally as delicious!

The following pictures are taking from my Instagram stories which I highly recommend to watch as I often post how to videos and step by step tutorials whenever I’m in the kitchen.

Equipment wise you will need;

  • 8×10″ baking tin (I’m using two tins as I’m making two trays of brownies!)
  • greaseproof paper
  • pencil & scissors
  • Cake release

The only difference between what I did and the Cadbury UK recipe is I baked at 180c fan instead of 160c and I baked for about 20 minutes before pushing in the Creme Eggs and baked for a further 10 minutes. It all depends how squishy you want you brownie!

Cut into pieces and enjoy!

Give it a try and let me know how you get on either on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

Happy Easter and happy baking!

Britt xo

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

Learning To Love Easter Again

03/18

Learning to love festive occasions after a bereavement can be incredibly hard. Sometimes even more so if the bereavement happened around that time.

Easter was always a fun and loving occasion in my household. Comprising of family time, watching the same films on VHS (if you don’t know what that is, ask someone approaching 30…) and eating a small mountain of chocolate. What’s not to love? Unfortunately however, as the years passed Easter became one of a trio of events I would begin dread in the spring. The other two being Mother’s Day and the day my mum died.

When I sadly lost my mum back in April 2005, it was shortly after Mother’s Day, which was at the start of March and Easter, which was at the end of March. The flowers I had bought her for Mother’s Day were still in a vase on the table, wilting a little, but still colourful. The Easter Egg I had bought her was still sitting on the side, she had been too ill to eat it and said she would enjoy it soon. But of course, she never did.

I remember being lucky that year in that even though I was just 16 however (in my own words) ‘grown up’ I was, my mum had bought me two Easter eggs. Well, one was an egg and the other was a pair of modelled white chocolate shoes. I had eaten the egg on Easter Sunday but the shoes, for some reason, I kept on my shelf. I thought they were too pretty to eat. After mum died I kept those shoes until they disintegrated. It had been one of the last things she had ever bought me and to be honest, it hurt too much to throw it away.

The following year I remember falling apart on Mother’s Day. Even now, years later, Mother’s Day is always a painful occasion for me for obvious reasons. I had grown to accept that a day dedicated to telling your mum how much you love her was going to be painful. But Easter, that was one I didn’t expect to get to me. That year Easter fell right in the middle of the one year anniversary since I lost her. I couldn’t even look at an Easter egg without my eyes filling with tears. I kept remembering the egg she never ate. How long it sat there until I had the courage to throw it away. To me it sounded so silly, it was just chocolate and yet it was affecting me so much.

I had come to realise that March and April were always going to be hard months for me. Mother’s Day, Easter and the anniversary of her death. I always felt that once those were out of the way I could then get on and enjoy the rest of my year. It was like an invisible black mark on my calendar.

When I started baking years later and I started baking for other people, I was asked to make Mother’s Day cupcakes and Easter themed cakes. It was hard at first but then I found a way to channel how I felt into creating tasty bakes for other people. Then, when I stopped making commission cakes, I still continued this by baking Easter themed recipes for my blog. It was a way I found I could enjoy the occasions. That said, even now years later when I work for brands and companies, which is a side of my business I adore, I tend to stay away from anything to do with Mother’s Day. I find I can’t in all good faith write cheerfully about a day which causes me so much pain. Maybe one day I will be able to, but I certainly can’t yet.

It’s been 13 years this year since I last saw my beautiful mum’s face, heard her laugh or was able to ask her advice. I lost her when I was just 16. I have such a big year this year, I’m turning 30 in June, I’m doing a TEDx talk (which has been one of my big ambitions) and I’m marrying the man of my dreams in September. I would give anything for her to come wedding dress shopping with me. My mum and I had such a special relationship, she was a single parent raising me to be the best woman I could be, but she never got to see how her teaching and influence turned out. I think it’s all of these factors which make me realise that I’m still grieving. I’m still feeling the pain of her loss on a daily basis. You may think that 13 years is long enough to ‘get over’ the loss of someone but I assure you it isn’t. I don’t think it’s ever something I’ll ‘get over’. I am, however, working towards being able to think and talk about her in a way which leaves me with a smile on my face, rather than in a tearful mess. Some days are better than others.

What I have learnt over the last 13 years, however, is that I can be happy. I can learn to love special occasions again. I can enjoy Easter with my loved ones.

Spring is such a beautiful time of the year with all of the new growth, the colours emerging and the chance for a new beginning. It may have taken me a while to embrace it again but embrace it I shall. With open arms. That’s what my mum would have wanted.

If you are missing someone, grieving or struggling with a bereavement please talk to someone and please, please be kind to yourself. You are allowed to miss them. You are allowed to think about them. You are allowed to cry. It’s shit, it really is. But I promise, you will be ok.

Happy Easter,

Britt xo

Rocky Road Easter Eggstravaganza!

03/18

There is SO much delicious choice around lately when it comes to mini Easter themed confectionary delights. It’s hard to choose just one to enjoy.

This Friday I’m teaching a blogging and social media class to Tim’s CONTROL practitioners and as they were all coming to our house, I felt baker pressure. When you make cakes and cupcakes and other tasty bakes it’s hard to give your guests a packet of custard creams (nothing wrong with custard creams, of course. They are a favourite of mine!). You always feel *compelled* to make them something a little more impressive.

Seeing as Easter is fast approaching and I didn’t have a lot of time, I thought I’d rustle up a quick and easy favourite of mine, Rocky Road.

One of the things I love about making Rocky Road is just how free you are to customise it. Don’t want Digestives? Don’t have them. Fancy twice the amount of marshmallows? Go for it. Want to swap the chocolate for dark/white/milk? Go ahead! As long as you take your tasty treats, give it a bit of a mix of textures and cover it in chocolate, you’ve got yourself a delicious Rocky Road.

I’ve loosely based this Eggstravaganza on my Mini Egg Rocky Road that I first posted on my old blog back in 2014! I was originally just going to recreate it for my guests but when I was standing in the supermarket aisle, I simply couldn’t choose between the eggs; so I bought them all!

Below I’ve listed the quantities I’ve used to fill two 8×10″ baking tins. If you want one, just halve it. If you’re not keen on some of the eggs, take them out, this recipe is yours to do with as you will. I like a nice crunch on my rocky road but if you want it a little softer you can always add a little golden syrup.

The following pictures are taking from my Instagram stories which I highly recommend to watch as I often post how to videos and step by step tutorials whenever I’m in the kitchen.

Equipment wise you will need;

  • 2 x 8×10″ baking tins
  • greaseproof paper
  • pencil & scissors
  • Cake release

Then for the ingredients I’ve used;

  • 900g milk chocolate
  • 400g Digestive biscuits
  • 100g mini marshmallows
  • 2 x 90g pack Mini Eggs
  • 1 x 82g pack Mini Oreo Eggs
  • 1 x 300g pack Milkybar & Smarties Mini Eggs
  • 1 x 86g pack of Daim Mini Eggs
  • 1 x 90g pack Orange Smarties Mini Eggs
  • 5 x Mini Malteaster Bunnies
  • 1 x 72g pack Galaxy Golden Eggs

(REMEMBER – I’VE MADE TWO TINS. HALVE ALL OF THIS FOR ONE OR DON’T USE AS MANY PACKETS AS I HAVE. I WENT PROPER MENTAL IN TESCO)

Cut into pieces and enjoy! I keep this stored in the fridge until about an hour before I’m going to serve it. It keeps really well in an airtight box in the fridge. Rocky Road has never lasted long in my house but I’ve heard it can keep for a good few weeks.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on either on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

Happy Easter and happy baking!

Britt xo

If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!

TEDxFolkestone 2018

03/18

I have such wonderful news to share. I am fulfilling one of my all time ambitions by becoming a TEDx speaker!

I’m pleased to announce I have been selected to speak at TEDxFolkestone at their ‘Courage to Step Beyond’ event.

I will be taking to the stage at the Quarterhouse in Folkestone on Saturday 23 June and I am honoured and excited to be part of something so amazing and renowned.

More updates to follow in due course, including how to get tickets to the event if you fancy coming along.

Britt xo

(left to right) Liù Batchelor from TEDxFolkestone joined by some of the 2018 speakers Silas Houghton Budd, Cathy Sugden, ME! Britt Whyatt, Roger Evernden and Soti Coker.

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