Orange Drizzle Cake

Orange Drizzle Cake

Citrus season is here! I know that seems weird doesn’t it, given it’s January and freezing cold outside 😅 But I have to say that a light and zesty bake is a nice change from all the chocolatey, rich bakes at this time of year. Drizzle cakes are a British classic when it comes to citrus baking, with lemon drizzle being the OG. But have you tried an orange drizzle cake before!? It has all the same delicious elements of a lemon drizzle but you literally just swap the lemons for oranges in the recipe. Oranges are still part of the citrus family, but they’re less sour than lemons and contain more natural sweetness.

About this Orange Drizzle Cake

  • Fresh orange used to make the cake, drizzle and icing
  • The perfect balance of zesty and sweet
  • Soft, buttery and light sponge
  • Topped with a thick layer of icing
  • Made using only 7 ingredients!
Orange drizzle cake

To make this orange drizzle cake you will need

  • Butter – choose either unsalted butter or a margarine baking spread. I love to use Stork Original because it makes cakes light, fluffy and soft.
  • Golden caster sugar – adds sweetness and locks in moisture.
  • Eggs – you’ll need 3 large eggs to make this orange drizzle cake. You could instead use 4 medium eggs.
  • Vanilla extract – orange and vanilla pair beautifully, so I’ve added a teaspoon of vanilla extract into the sponge.
  • Self-raising flour – the raising agent in self-raising flour will help the cake rise. You can substitute for 300g plain flour + 1.5 teaspoons baking powder.
  • Oranges – you’ll need 2 large oranges to make this recipe. The zest and juice is used to make the sponge, drizzle and icing.
  • Icing sugar – mixed with fresh orange juice to make the icing.
Orange drizzle cake

3 tips for baking orange drizzle cake

  1. Use a large 2lb loaf tin. This recipe will make enough cake mixture to fill a large 2lb loaf tin. It’s important to use to same size tin, otherwise the baking time will be affected. Here is a link to the exact loaf tin I used.
  2. Do not open the oven door too early whilst the cake is baking. Opening the oven door will allow the hot air to escape and this sudden change in temperature can cause the cake to sink in the middle. As a rule of thumb, leave the cake in the oven for at least 50 minutes before checking if it’s ready.
  3. Don’t worry if the cake cracks on top. This can happen when the oven is too hot or the cake is placed too high in the oven. But honestly don’t worry if this happens, the texture or taste won’t be affected. Besides we’re going to coat your orange drizzle cake in icing anyway 😉
Orange icing

How to prep your loaf tin

Here are the steps I follow to prep a loaf tin:

  1. Lightly grease the loaf tin with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper that is long enough to line the base and long sides of the tin.
  3. Press it into the base and sides of the tin, scoring the edges so they are sharp and straight.
  4. Leave enough greaseproof paper hanging over the long edges to help you lift the cake out.
how to prepare a loaf tin

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Orange Drizzle Cake

This light and refreshing Orange Drizzle Cake is the perfect balance of sweet and citrus flavours. The sponge is infused with a delicious orange drizzle and topped with a thick layer of white icing. For the decoration, I kept things simple and grated orange zest on top.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 300 g Margarine or unsalted butter I use Stork Original margarine, it makes the cake really light and fluffy
  • 300 g Golden caster sugar you could also use white caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 large Eggs at room temperature
  • 300 g Self-raising flour
  • 1 large Orange zest and juice

Orange drizzle

  • 0.5 large Orange juicy only
  • 35 g Golden caster sugar

Orange icing

  • 250 g Icing sugar
  • 1 large Orange juice only
  • 2-3 tsp Cold water if needed

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan).
  • Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin (I used this one by Circulon) and line with greaseproof paper (see notes in the post above for how to do this). Set the baking tin aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the margarine (or butter), golden caster sugar and vanilla extract together until creamy.
  • Mix in the eggs one at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of the 300g flour after each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.
  • Add the remaining flour, and the zest of the whole orange plus the juice of half of the orange. Fold the mixture together until smooth and fully combined.
  • Spoon into the loaf tin, smoothing it out the top. Bake for 55-60 minutes* until risen, golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile make the orange drizzle

  • Mix the orange juice and sugar together in a bowl. You can use the remaining half of the orange used to make the cake.
  • As soon as the cake is out of the oven, prick it all over with a toothpick or skewer and spoon over the orange drizzle, letting it sink into the cake.
  • Leave to cool in the baking tin for 30 minutes, then carefully lift the cake out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Decorate with orange icing

  • Mix the icing sugar and orange juice together until combined. The consistency of the icing should be thick but still pourable. If it's too thick, mix in a teaspoon of cold water at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
  • Pour the icing over the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
  • Leave to set for 20 minutes, then decorate with orange zest. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

*If the cake starts to brown too much, you can lightly place a piece of foil over the cake after 50 minutes. 
Keyword Eggs, Golden caster sugar, Orange, Self-raising flour, Vanilla extract

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Mini Chocolate Cakes with Ganache Frosting

Watch me bake these Mini Chocolate Cakes

Mini Chocolate Cakes
Little disclaimer: this post is kindly sponsored by Menier Chocolate, however all opinions are my own.

Don’t you just love mini cakes!? They may be small in size but these chocolate mini cakes are big on flavour, texture and appearance. Mini cakes just seem to have that extra wow-factor and cuteness-factor!

For this recipe I’ve used Menier’s Moelleux rich chocolate sponge mix for the mini chocolate cakes and Menier’s 70% Swiss Dark Chocolate for the ganache frosting. Both products really deliver on quality and taste. I’ve always been a big fan of Menier’s cooking chocolate bars, but this was my first time using their new baking kits and I was seriously impressed! I was amazed at what a rich and chocolatey sponge it produced, and the texture of the sponge is spot on too. Soft, fluffy and buttery. Completely on par with a baked-from-scratch cake.

So this is me telling you that it’s okay to cut corners sometimes in baking 😉 just make sure you choose high quality substitutions like Menier’s cake mixes so you don’t compromise on taste or texture. Plus, they’re free from preservatives, colouring and artificial flavours.

Mini Chocolate Cakes with ganache frosting

About these Mini Chocolate Cakes

Ease. With the help of Menier’s Moelleux sponge mix these mini chocolate cakes are so easy to make. You can whip up the chocolate cake mixture in less than 5 minutes and only need to add eggs and butter.

Flavour. Chocolate + chocolate = double chocolate heaven! I’ve added a generous amount of salt into the ganache frosting which helps to balance the sweetness and intensify the chocolate flavour.

Texture. The mini sponges are soft, light and fluffy. The ganache frosting is velvety smooth and melts-in-the-mouth. It’s a wonderful pairing of textures.

chocolate ganache frosting

3 ways you can make mini chocolate cakes

There are 3 different ways you can make these mini chocolate cakes. Each way has pro’s and con’s so it just depends on your personal preference and what equipment you have to hand.

  1. Cut the cakes out using a small round cookie cutter. First bake the sponge in a large rectangular traybake tin, let it cool down and then stamp out the mini cakes. This is how I made these mini cakes using a 4.5cm sized cookie cutter (check out the photograph below). The downside of this approach is that the cakes won’t stay fresh for as long because cut cake tends to dry out more quickly.
  2. Bake the cakes in a mini cake baking tray. Divide the cake mixture between the baking tin holes, then bake and leave to cool. You can then stack two of the mini cakes to make a double layer cake. I can personally vouch for this mini cake baking tray from Lakeland. It’s loose-bottomed so the mini cakes can be easily released.
  3. Use individual mini cakes tins. Bake the cakes in the individual tins, let them cool and then slice them horizontally to create two layers. Just bear in mind that these tins tend to be on the larger size (roughly 10cm) so the cakes won’t be as miniature in size.
mini chocolate cakes

5 tips for making the chocolate ganache

  • Very finely chop the chocolate. The smaller the better because the hot cream will melt the chocolate more easily. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.
  • Make sure the cream is piping hot. You need to make sure the cream is hot enough to melt the chopped dark chocolate. Heat it in a small saucepan sat over a low heat until steaming hot and small bubbles start to form around the edge. Remember to stir the cream every so often so it doesn’t burn.
  • Cover all the chopped chocolate with the cream so it’s completely submerged.
  • Place a plate on top and let the chocolate sit for a 2 minutes. This will trap the steam from the hot cream and give the chocolate chance to melt before you stir it.
  • Gently whisk until smooth and shiny. Stir slowly so you don’t add too much air into the ganache or cause it to split.
Menier chocolate
Menier chocolate ganache

Trouble with your chocolate ganache? Here are some troubleshooting tips:

There are chunks of chocolate that haven’t melted

Either your cream was not hot enough, it didn’t sit for long enough, or the chocolate wasn’t chopped small enough. Place the bowl on top of a pan of simmering water and gently stir the ganache until the chunks of chocolate has melted. Just take care not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.

The ganache split and turned grainy

First of all, don’t panic! This can happen sometimes and your ganache can be saved. Stir in a teaspoon at a time of cold double cream until the ganache comes together again.

Frosted cranberries


Mini Chocolate Cakes with Ganache Frosting

These gorgeous Mini Chocolate Cakes have two layers of soft and fluffy chocolate sponge, stacked with swirls of velvety smooth chocolate ganache frosting! Perfect to bake for a Christmas celebration or as a thoughtful homemade edible gift.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 48 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 7 mini cakes

Ingredients
  

Mini chocolate cakes

  • 1 box Menier Moelleux Sponge Mix
  • 90 g Unsalted butter
  • 4 medium Eggs at room temperature

Chocolate ganache frosting

  • 150g Unsalted butter soft at room temperature
  • 350g Icing sugar
  • 0.5 tsp Salt
  • 100 ml Double cream
  • 100 g Menier 70% Dark Chocolate

Decoration

  • Frosted cranberries
  • Desiccated coconut

Instructions
 

First make the mini chocolate cakes

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a large rectangular traybake tin (the link to the one I used is above) with greaseproof paper.
  • Make up the Menier chocolate cake mix as per the instructions on the box. 
  • Pour the mixture into the baking tin and spread out to the edges.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes* until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the baking tin on a wire rack.

Make the chocolate ganache frosting

  • Beat the soft butter, icing sugar and salt together until smooth. Set aside for now.
  • Very finely chop the dark chocolate and place it in a bowl.
  • Heat the double cream in a saucepan on low heat until piping hot and small bubbles start to form around the edge. Stir every so often so the cream doesn't burn.
  • Pour the hot cream all over the chopped chocolate and cover with a plate to lock in the heat for 2 minutes.
  • Use a whisk to gently stir the chocolate until it melts into a glossy ganache**.
  • Let the ganache cool for 10 minutes, then add it to the buttercream and mix well until smooth.
  • Spoon the ganache frosting into a piping bag fitted with a small open star nozzle.

Assemble the mini cakes

  • Lift the cake out of the baking tin and peel back the greaseproof paper.
  • Use a small round cookie cutter (4.5cm) to stamp out the mini cakes. You should get about 15 in total. TIP: you can use the leftover cake crumbs to make cake pops.
  • Pipe a swirl of ganache frosting on top of half of the mini cakes.
  • Place the other mini cakes on top, gently pressing them down to sandwich them together.
  • Pipe another swirl of frosting on top, sprinkle on a little desiccated coconut and decorate with frosted cranberries.

Notes

*If you’re using a mini cake baking tray, reduce the baking time to 15-16 minutes. If you’re using individual mini baking tins (roughly 10cm each) bake for 18-20 minutes. 
**Issues with your ganache? Read the troubleshooting tips in the main blog post to fix it. 
Store your mini chocolate cakes covered, at room temperature, for up to 3 days.
Keyword Butter, dark chocolate, Double cream, ganache frosting, mini cakes

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Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Reasons to love these Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

  • Soft and fluffy bread texture
  • Crunchy pecan swirls throughout
  • Gooey caramelised cinnamon sugar filling
  • Topped with maple cream cheese frosting
  • Made using fast action yeast so they’re quicker to make
  • Require a little patience but aren’t complicated
Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

What ingredients are used to make the cinnamon roll dough?

Cinnamon rolls aren’t made with any complicated ingredients, in fact, it’s likely you’ll have most of the ingredients in your cupboard already. Here are the ingredients you will need to make the dough:

  • Strong white bread flour: bread flour is the secret to a fluffy and soft texture.
  • Time Saver Instant Yeast: I love using this type of yeast because it significantly reduces the proving time. I’d recommend Allinson’s Time Saver Yeast packets.
  • Milk: Use full-fat whole milk (blue top if you live in the UK). The milk is heated to 40°C to activate the yeast.
  • Granulated sugar: sugar helps activate the yeast and add a little sweetness.
  • Eggs: 1 whole egg plus an extra egg yolk adds richeness.
  • Unsalted butter: melted butter is added to the dough, giving it it’s signature buttery flavour.
  • Salt: a little salt helps to balance the sweetness from the filling and frosting.
Pecan Cinnamon filling

What equipment do I need?

I used to be put off from making cinnamon rolls because I always assumed you needed fancy equipment and tools. Yes, an electric mixer with a dough hook will help, but it’s not essential. You can bake these pecan cinnamon rolls using these basic tools: 

  • Mixing bowl: used to mix the dough ingredients and for the first prove.
  • Wooden spoon: used to roughly bring the dough together. 
  • Electric mixer with a dough hook OR your hands: used to knead the dough and activate the yeast. The dough will take 8 minutes using a dough hook, or 12 minutes using your hands.
  • Rolling pin: used to roll out the dough.
  • Measuring tape: helpful when rolling out the dough but not essential.
  • Sharp knife: used to slice the rolled dough into cinnamon rolls. 
  • Large baking/roasting tin: used to bake the cinnamon rolls.
  • Greaseproof paper: used to line the baking tin and prevent the cinnamon rolls from sticking to the sides.
  • Not essential but a thermometer is also useful for testing the temperature of the milk.
Cutting the cinnamon rolls

What type of yeast should I use?

There are four types of yeast: Active Dry Yeast, Fresh Yeast, Instant Yeast and Rapid Dry Yeast. If you’re an experienced bread baker you will most likely have your preference, but if you’re a bread newbie like me, I would 100% recommend using Allinson’s Time Saver Instant Yeast for these Pecan Cinnamon Rolls. Here’s why:

  • Pre-measured into easy to use packets
  • There’s no ‘prooving’ required, so you don’t need to wait for it to bubble up
  • Reduces the proving time by 30-60 minutes in total
Cinnamon roll dough

What does ‘prove’ mean?

This is where the dough is left in a warm place to rest and rise before shaping and then again before baking. During this rest period, yeast ferments the dough and produces gases, causing the dough to rise. 

How many times do I need to prove the dough?

For this pecan cinnamon roll there are two proving stages:

  • First prove: this takes place before the dough is rolled out and shaped into rolls.
  • Second prove: this takes place once the dough is shaped into rolls and before they’re put in the oven.

Below you can see the size difference the second prove made to the shaped cinnamon rolls.

Why didn’t my dough rise?

There are a number of reasons why this could have happened:

  • Check the sell by date on the yeast packet. Allinson’s Time Saver Yeast tends to have a longer shelf life than fresh active yeasts, but it could be the case that if the yeast is too old it won’t work its rising magic. 
  • The milk was too hot or too cold. I know, tricky right! Too hot and the milk will kill the yeast, too cold and it won’t have the heat it needs to bloom. Next time, use a thermometer to make sure the milk temperature is exactly 40°C/110°F.
  • Your mixing bowl was too small. The dough needs plenty of space and room to grow. If the mixing bowl is too small it will tear the dough and stop it from rising. 
  • The dough didn’t rise in a warm place. Yeast loves to be warm and cosy, so avoid placing it in a cold spot or where there could be a cold draft coming through. You need to let the dough in the warmest part of your home. This could be in the bathroom, by the radiator, next to your computer, or in a proving drawer if you’re lucky enough to have one! Find the perfect place and call it your proving spot for here on out
Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

How to freeze pecan cinnamon rolls

Want to save some for later? Or, worried you won’t be able to resist eating them all!? Here are two freezing options:

  1. Freeze before baking: after the first prove, roll the dough up with the filling and slice the cinnamon rolls. Then either wrap individually in clingfilm or place in a baking tin and cover with clingfilm, then place in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake, let the dough defrost in the fridge, then continue with the normal process… second prove, bake and frost! 
  2. Freeze after baking either plain or frosted: first let the pecan cinnamon rolls cool to room temp. Then wrap individually with clingfilm or cover the baking tin, and place in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat them, defrost in the fridge, then bake at 170°C (fan oven) for 10 minutes so they’re fresh and warm. 

6 tips for making pecan cinnamon rolls

  1. Be careful not to overheat the milk. Yeast is very particular when it comes to temperature. It’s a living thing and is killed off at temperatures higher than 60°C/140°F. The ideal temperature for your milk is 40°C/110°F. The best way to test the temperature is to use a thermometer like this one. You can pick one up for a couple of pounds and will be surprised how often you will end up using it for things like caramel, jam and bread. Alternatively, test the temperature by dipping your finger into the milk, it should feel like warm bath water and shouldn’t be too hot to touch. 
  2. If the dough is sticky, add 1 tbsp more flour. The dough should be smooth and springy to the touch. If it feels wet and is sticking to your mixing bowl of hands, add 1 tbsp more flour to bring it together. 
  3. Yeast loves to be warm. Help to dough rise by laying a warm tea-towel over the mixing bowl and then place it in the warmest space in your home. I leave the dough to prove on a shelf above a radiator in my home. 
  4. Take before and after photos during the proving process. You want to dough to double in size during the proving process, so taking a photo before you leave the dough to prove, and then an after photo once the proving time is up, will help you judge the difference in the size. I love sharing the before and after snaps on my Stories too, it’s so satisfying seeing the difference.
  5. Rub the butter and cinnamon sugar into the dough. This may be a little messy but it’s important to make sure the filling is worked into the dough and is well combined. Not only will this improve the appearance of the cinnamon rolls, but also the flavour will be more buttery and the texture more soft. 
  6. Roll the dough really tight. This will make sure the cinnamon rolls hold their shape and have that signature swirl when you slice them. 

Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft and fluffy Pecan Cinnamon Rolls topped with maple cream cheese frosting. Warming flavours and a buttery texture, these cinnamon rolls are simply irresistible!
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Proving Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 8 Rolls

Ingredients
  

For the dough

  • 180 ml Full-fat milk
  • 1 packet Allinson's Time Saver Yeast
  • 50 g Granulated sugar
  • 1 medium Egg at room temperature
  • 1 medium Egg yolk at room temperature
  • 60 g Unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 460 g Strong white bread flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp Salt

For the cinnamon sugar filling

  • 60 g Unsalted butter soft at room temperature
  • 130 g Light brown sugar
  • 3 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 large Orange Zest only
  • 100 g Pecans roughly chopped

For the maple cream cheese frosting

  • 100 g Unsalted butter soft, at room temperature
  • 200 g Icing sugar
  • 100 g Full-fat cream cheese cold from the fridge
  • 3 tsp Maple syrup
  • 3 tsp Fresh orange juice use the same orange that was zested for the filling

Instructions
 

Start by getting everything prepped

  • Place a tea towel on a radiator to warm up ready for the proving stage.
  • Gather all your ingredients and prep them accordingly e.g. melt the butter for the dough, chop the pecans for the filling etc.
  • Line a large baking tin with greaseproof paper. Depending on the shape and size of your baking tin, you should be able to fit 8-10 cinnamon rolls inside. The baking tin I used was a white ceramic roasting tin that is 12×8 inches in size.

Now make the dough

  • Measure the milk into a jug or bowl and microwave for roughly 40-60 seconds. The milk needs to be 40°C/110°F to properly activate the yeast. No thermometer? No problem. Test the temperature by dipping your finger into the milk, it should feel like warm bathwater.
  • Pour the warm milk into a large bowl of an electric mixer. Haven't got an electric mixer? Just use a normal large mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle the yeast on top of the milk and let it rest for 1 minute.
  • Add the melted butter, sugar, whole egg and egg yolk. Use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients together.
  • Now add the white bread flour and salt. Use your wooden spoon to work the mixture into a rough dough.
  • Attach a dough hook and your mixing bowl to your electric mixer. Turn the speed up to medium and knead the dough for 8 minutes. No electric mixer? Just tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes instead. The dough should be smooth and springy to the touch.
  • Lift the dough out and lightly brush the inside of the bowl with oil. Place back inside and cover with clingfilm and a warm towel.
  • Place the bowl in a warm part of your home (I put mine next to a radiator) and leave to prove for roughly 45-60 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.

Roll the dough out

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, it's time to roll it out.
  • Lightly flour a worktop and rolling pin. Roll the dough out into a 14×9 inch rectangle.

Add the filling

  • Use your hands to rub the softened butter into the dough, leaving a 1 cm margin around the edge of the dough.
  • Stir the light brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest together in a bowl. Scatter it on top and again use your hands to rub it into the dough.
  • Scatter over the chopped pecans and lightly press them into the dough.

Roll the dough up

  • Starting from the 9inch edge, tightly roll up the dough into a log shape.
  • Use your hands to squish the sides together so the roll is compact.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut off roughly 1-inch of excess dough from each end. The ends tend not to have as much filling or be as neat.
  • Now cut the roll into 1-inch sections, you should get between 8-10 cinnamon rolls in total.
  • Place the cinnamon rolls in your lined baking tin. Depending on the shape and size of your baking tin, you should be able to fit 8-10 cinnamon rolls inside*. Remember they will need space to rise during the second proving stage.
  • Cover the baking tin with cling film and a warm towel, and leave to prove for another 30 minutes. They should double in size again.
  • Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 170°C/350°F (fan assisted).

Bake the cinnamon rolls

  • Bake in the centre of your oven for 20-25 minutes until slightly golden brown around the edges. It's best to underbake cinnamon rolls so they're still soft and fluffy inside. Remove and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Final step… the cream cheese frosting!

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft, pale in colour and lump-free.
  • Sift in the icing sugar, add the maple syrup and orange juice. Beat until smooth and combined.
  • Mix in the cream cheese until the frosting is smooth.
  • Spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls and tuck in straight away**. Enjoy!

Notes

*Leftover cinnamon rolls? Check out the ‘How to freeze cinnamon rolls’ section in the main blog post.
**Cinnamon rolls are best when they’re fresh and warm from the oven. If you have leftovers you can freeze them (see notes in the main blog post) or store them in the fridge for up to 2 days. 
Keyword Bread flour, Butter, Caster sugar, Chocolate orange, Cinnamon rolls, Eggs, Maple syrup, Pecans

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Classic Carrot Cake

Watch me decorate this cake

Classic Carrot Cake

Welcome to Jessie Bakes Classic Cakes Part 3

This is the third recipe in my latest baking series: Jessie Bakes Classic Cakes. Simple, timeless, comforting cake recipes that ANYONE can easily make time and time again.

In case you missed the first two recipes, here’s a link to my Classic Victoria Sponge Cake and Classic Coffee Cake. Both equally delicious!

Who invented Carrot Cake?

Our modern-day or “classic” style carrot cake most likely evolved from Medieval carrot puddings, where carrots were first boiled until soft, then mixed together with spices, flour and eggs.

It wasn’t until the early 1900s that carrot pudding started to be baked in a loaf tin and transformed into a sweet bread-like cake. Fast forward some time and a thick slather of cream cheese frosting was added (thank you America 😅) to make what we now know as a Classic Carrot Cake.

This Classic Carrot Cake recipe is:

  • Flavoured with grated carrot, orange zest and spices
  • Filled with chopped walnuts
  • Moist and soft in texture
  • Sandwiched with cream cheese frosting
  • Free from sultanas 😉 but feel free to add some if you’d like
Classic Carrot Cake

Ingredients & alternatives

To make this carrot cake you will need:

  • Carrots – you’ll need 200g whole carrots, which is roughly 2 medium-sized carrots.
  • Spices – cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg give this sponge a lovely warming spice.
  • Orange – you’ll zest a large orange (not a satsuma or tangerine) and add this to the cake mixture.
  • Walnuts – chopped walnuts are added to the sponge.
  • Sunflower oil – using oil instead of butter makes the cake texture really moist and soft. You can use vegetable oil instead.
  • Light muscovado sugar – you can use light brown sugar instead.
  • Self-raising flour – you can instead use 300g plain flour + 1.5 teaspoons baking powder.
  • Eggs – you’ll need 4 medium eggs for this cake, or you can use 3 large eggs instead.

Wondering if you can use an alternative ingredient? Leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe, and I’ll reply to you ASAP!

Carrot Cake ingredients

5 tips for making Cream Cheese Frosting

Problems making cream cheese frosting? Does it always turn into a lumpy, runny disaster? Trust me, I’ve been there! Follow these 5 tips to make a thick, spreadable and smooth cream cheese frosting:

  1. Use Full-fat Philadephia Cream Cheese
  2. Beat the butter on its own for 1-2 minutes first.
  3. Sift the icing sugar to remove any lumps.
  4. Add the cream cheese straight from the fridge so it’s still cold.
  5. Gently fold the cream cheese into the mixture. Be really careful not to over-mix as this will loosen the frosting.

Need more help? Check out this detailed Cream Cheese Frosting blog post.

Recipe troubleshooting

Below I’ve answered the most common questions you might stumble across with this recipe. Got a different question? Leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe, and I’ll reply to you ASAP!

What size cake tin should I use?

This recipe uses 2 x 20cm (8inch) round cake tins. Here is a link to the exact tins I used from Lakeland. Make sure your baking tins aren’t too shallow because the cakes will rise, the tins I used were 8cm in height.

Can I use a different sized baking tin?

Yes absolutely! Here’s how to adjust the baking time:

  • 15cm (6inch) round tin = plus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • 23cm (9inch) round tin = minus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • 20x20cm square tin = minus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • Cupcakes = the recipe will make roughly 18 cupcakes. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 180°C.
Can I use gluten-free flour?

Yes you can! Just sub the 300g self-raising flour for 300g gluten-free flour + 1.5 teaspoons of xanthan gum (this will improve the texture of the cake) + 1 teaspoon baking powder.

My cake sunk in the middle, what happened?

Urggh, this can be so annoying! There are three main reasons this could have happened:

  1. The oven was too hot which caused the cake to rise too quickly
  2. You opened the oven door too early and caused a sudden change in temperature
  3. The cake wasn’t fully baked before it was taken out of the oven

But don’t worry, there is a way you can rescue your cake. Use a round cookie cutter to stamp out of the middle of the cake layers, and then sandwich them together with frosting. It’s basically a carrot bundt cake!

My cream cheese frosting isn’t thick enough, what do I do?

Whatever you do, do not try adding more icing sugar 😅 it won’t work! Instead, put the frosting in the fridge for 1 hour. This will give it time to set and hopefully thicken up.

Ways to upgrade this Carrot Cake

This Classic Carrot Cake is delicious as it is, but here are a few ways you could upgrade the recipe:

  1. Add 50g sultanas or raisins to the sponge
  2. Double up the cream cheese frosting ingredients to coat the entire cake
  3. Dust the top of the cake with a little cinnamon

Equipment & ingredients used for this recipe


Classic Carrot Cake Recipe

This delicious Classic Carrot Cake is spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, filled with chopped walnuts and sandwiched together with cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Carrot Cake

  • 300 g Light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
  • 4 medium Eggs at room temperature 
  • 300 ml Sunflower oil 
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract 
  • 300 g Self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp Ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of Ground cloves 
  • 1 large Orange zest only
  • 200 g Carrot grated
  • 125 g Chopped walnuts

Cream cheese frosting

  • 150 g Unsalted butter soft at room temperature
  • 150 g  Full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese use cold straight from the fridge
  • 300 g Icing sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 170°C (fan oven).
  • Lightly grease two 8inch round cake tins with butter and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the wet ingredients together: sugar, eggs, sunflower oil and vanilla extract. Set the bowl aside.
  • In a separate bowl stir the dry ingredients together: flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and orange zest together.
  • Pour the mixed wet ingredients into the dry and mix together until combined.
  • Add the grated carrot and chopped walnuts and fold into the mixture.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes until risen, golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool for 20 minutes in the baking tins, then transfer onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Make the cream cheese frosting

  • Beat the butter until really soft and pale in colour.
  • Sift in half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Sift in the remaining icing sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy.
  • Now take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add it into the bowl.
  • Gently fold the cream cheese into the frosting until smooth. Be careful not to overdo it, as it can quickly become runny.

Assemble the cake

  • Place one of the carrot cake layers on a cake stand or plate. If the cake has domed on top, use a sharp knife to trim off the top and make the cake flat.
  • Spread half the cream cheese frosting on top.
  • Place the second carrot cake on top and lightly press down to sandwich the cake layers together.
  • Spread the remaining cream cheese frosting on top.
  • Decorate with either walnut halves or cute carrot shaped sugar decorations.

Notes

Store your carrot cake in a container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Keyword Butter, Carrot cake, Cinnamon, Cream cheese frosting, Eggs, Flour, Walnuts

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Classic Coffee and Walnut Cake

Coffee and walnut cake

Welcome to Jessie Bakes Classic Cakes Part 2

This is the second recipe in my new baking series: Jessie Bakes Classic Cakes. Simple, timeless, comforting cake recipes that ANYONE can easily make time and time again.

In case you missed it, a few weeks ago I shared the all-time British favourite Victoria sponge cake and for my second recipe, I decided to share this delicious coffee and walnut cake with you.

I attempted to research the origins of coffee and walnut cake, but strangely couldn’t find much online. So to whoever invented it, I salute you 🥳

What I did discover however is that a classic “coffee cake” recipe will vary depending on where you’re from. This recipe is a British “coffee cake”; two coffee sponge layers sandwiched with coffee buttercream and decorated with walnuts. Whereas, a German or Amercian “coffee cake” has a cinnamon crumble topping and actually contains no coffee at all 🤔 it’s instead served with a coffee on the side.

This Coffee and Walnut Cake is:

  • Flavoured with freshly brewed coffee
  • Filled with chopped walnuts
  • Sandwiched together with coffee buttercream
  • Decorated in a simple way with walnut halves
  • Homely and comforting to make and eat
Coffee and walnut cake

Ingredients & alternatives

You will need 8 simple, everyday ingredients to make this coffee and walnut cake:

  • Coffee – you can use either freshly ground or instant coffee.
  • Walnuts – chopped walnuts are added to the sponge and walnut halves are used to decorate the top of the cake.
  • Margarine or butter – I prefer to use Stork Original margarine instead of butter. It makes the sponge light and fluffy, and helps the cake layers rise with a flat top.
  • Golden caster sugar – you can use either white or golden caster sugar for this recipe.
  • Self-raising flour – the raising agent in self-raising flour will help the cake layers rise. You can instead use 300g plain flour + 1.5 teaspoons baking powder.
  • Eggs – you’ll need 3 large room temperature eggs for this cake, or you can use 4 medium eggs.
  • Salted butter – it may sound strange, but using salted butter for buttercream helps to balance the sweetness. Just trust me on this 😊
  • Icing Sugar – to get a super smooth buttercream, sieve the icing sugar before adding it.

Wondering if you can use an alternative ingredient? Leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe, and I’ll reply to you ASAP!

Coffee cake ingredients

Recipe troubleshooting

Below I’ve answered the most common questions you might stumble across with this recipe.

Got a different question? Leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe, and I’ll reply to you ASAP!

What size cake tin should I use?

This recipe uses 2 x 20cm (8inch) round cake tins. Here is a link to the exact tins I used from Lakeland. Make sure your baking tins aren’t too shallow because the cakes will rise, the tins I used were 8cm in height.

Can I use a different sized baking tin?

Yes absolutely! Here’s how to adjust the baking time:

  • 15cm (6inch) round tin = plus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • 23cm (9inch) round tin = minus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • 20x20cm square tin = minus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • Cupcakes = the recipe will make roughly 18 cupcakes. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 180°C.
Can I use gluten-free flour?

Yes you can! Just sub the 300g self-raising flour for 300g gluten-free flour + 1.5 teaspoons of xanthan gum (this will improve the texture of the cake) + 1 teaspoon baking powder.

My cake sunk in the middle, what happened?

Urggh, this can be so annoying! There are three main reasons this could have happened:

  1. The oven was too hot which caused the cake to rise too quickly
  2. You opened the oven door too early and caused a sudden change in temperature
  3. The cake wasn’t fully baked before it was taken out of the oven

But don’t worry, there is a way you can rescue your cake. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out of the middle of the cake layers, and then sandwich them together with coffee buttercream. It’s basically a coffee bundt cake 😅

Do I need to cool the coffee before adding it?

Yes. Particularly for the buttercream otherwise it will melt the butter. Just brew the coffee beforehand and pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

Coffee and walnut cake

Tips for making the coffee buttercream

Here are a few tips and tricks that will make your buttercream super smooth and creamy:

  1. Beat the butter on its own first, until it’s really soft and pale in colour.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar so that it’s really fine and free of lumps.
  3. Make sure the coffee has cooled to room temperature before mixing it into the buttercream.
  4. At the end, swap your mixer for a flat spatula. Use it to smooth the buttercream against the side of the bowl. This will help knock out any air bubbles and make the buttercream smoother.

Ways to upgrade this Coffee and walnut cake

This coffee and walnut cake is delicious as it is, but here are a few ways you could upgrade the recipe:

  1. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon spice to the sponge
  2. Swap 50g flour with 50g cocoa powder to make a mocha cake
  3. Add a tablespoon of hazelnut or caramel coffee syrup to the buttercream

Equipment & ingredients used for this recipe


Coffee and Walnut Cake

Flavoured with freshly brewed coffee and filled with chopped walnuts, this delicious coffee and walnut cake is an all-time classic and couldn't be easier to make!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Sponge layers

  • 300 g Margarine or unsalted butter If you're using Stork, use it cold straight from the fridge. If you're using butter, then make sure it's at room temperature.
  • 300 g Golden caster sugar
  • 3 large Eggs at room temperature
  • 300 g Self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp Coffee, dissolved in 3 tbsp hot water Cooled to room temperature
  • 100 g Chopped walnuts

Coffee buttercream

  • 250 g Salted butter soft at room temperature
  • 500 g Icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Coffee, dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water Cooled to room temperature

Decoration

  • 10 Walnut halves to decorate

Instructions
 

Make the coffee sponge layers

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Lightly grease two 8inch round cake tins with butter and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the margarine and golden caster sugar until creamy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
  • Gently fold in the flour until the cake mixture is smooth.
  • Now mix in the cooled coffee.
  • Fold through the chopped walnuts.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes until risen, golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool for 15 minutes in the baking tin, before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely.

Make the coffee buttercream

  • Beat the salted butter until really soft and pale in colour.
  • Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and beat until smooth.
  • Add the cooled coffee and fold together until smooth.

Assemble the cake

  • Place one of the cake layers on a cake stand or plate. If the cake has domed on top, use a sharp knife to trim off the top and make the cake flat.
  • Spread half the buttercream on top, taking it to the edge of the cake.
  • Place the second cake on top and lightly press down to sandwich the layers together.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream on top.
  • Decorate the edge of the cake with walnut halves.

Notes

Your coffee and walnut cake will stay fresh for up to 3 days in an airtight container. 
Keyword buttercream, Coffee, Eggs, Flour, Golden caster sugar, Walnuts

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This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. I only recommend products that I know, trust and love!