Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Two layers of moist carrot cake, sandwiched together with cream cheese frosting, dusted and cinnamon and sprinkled with chopped walnuts. A classic bake, perfect for your Easter Sunday celebrations.

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Ingredients (makes  a two layer 8inch cake)

300g soft light brown sugar
4 medium eggs, at room temperature
300ml sunflower oil
150g self-raising flour
150g wholemeal self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
300g carrots, grated
Zest of a large orange
100g walnuts, chopped
100g sultanas

For the cream cheese frosting:
150g icing sugar
70g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
100g full-fat cream cheese, cold from the fridge
Cinnamon, for dusting
20g extra walnuts, to decorate

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line two 8inch round baking tin with greaseproof paper.

Start by making the cakes. Put the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract into a large mixing bowl and beat until all the ingredients are well mixed (don’t worry if it looks slightly split). In a separate bowl combine the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and orange zest.

Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry and continue to beat until everything is just combined (be careful not to over mix). Finally, fold in the grated carrot, sultanas and chopped walnuts.

Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins, tapping them lightly on the side to remove any air bubbles, and bake in the oven for 35-40 mins until the cakes have turned a golden colour and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to completely cool before removing the cakes from the tins.

Now make the cream cheese frosting. Beat the butter, icing sugar and milk with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the cream cheese and fold together until just combined. Be careful not to over do it, as it can quickly become runny.

Spread half of the frosting on top of one of the cakes, place the other on top and repeat. Finish by dusting the cake with cinnamon and dotting the walnuts on top of the cake.

Mini Egg Easter Nest Cookie Cups

Soft baked cookie cups with a surprise Mini Egg centre, topped with a chocolate nest. Not only do they look super cute but they also taste delicious and are easy peasy to make.

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Ingredients (makes 8 Easter cups)

For the cookie cups
125g unsalted butter (at room temp)
75g light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg (cold from the fridge)
12 Mini Eggs

For the Easter Nests
200g milk chocolate
3 large Shredded Wheat biscuits
1-2 bags Mini Eggs

Method

Make your cookie dough by first creaming together the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy. Now add the vanilla extract, crack in the egg and mix. Fold in the flour fold until the mixture has formed a wet dough. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour (leave over night for best results).

Whilst your cookie dough is chilling, make your Easter Nests by melting 180g of the chocolate in the microwave in 10 second blasts. Once melted, crush in the Shredded Wheat and stir until covered in the chocolate. Take a large teaspoon of mixture and put it in a small cupcake case, use the back of the teaspoon to make a little indent in the middle and fill with 3 Mini Eggs. Repeat this for all 8 nests. Chill the nests in the fridge for at least an hour.

Once your cookie dough has been chilled, remove from the fridge and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole muffin tray with 8 cupcake cases.

Take approx. 1 tbsp of dough and flatten in the palm of your hand. Now place a Mini Egg in the middle and wrap the dough around the egg until completely concealed, now place it in a cupcake case. Repeat this for all 8 cookie cups. Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Keep checking on them, you want the edges to be slightly browned and the middle cooked through but still pale in colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Once your cookie cups are completely cool and your Easter nests are set remove the nests from the fridge and peel of the paper cases. Finally, melt the remaining 20g milk chocolate in the microwave and use this as ‘glue’ to stick your nests on top of the cookie cups.

Triple layer Chocolate Easter Cake

Triple layer chocolate cake, sandwiched together with white chocolate buttercream and decorated with Mini Eggs and Malteser Bunnies. Perfect for Easter weekend or as a way to use up all the leftover chocolate.

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Ingredients (makes one 8inch, 3 layer cake)

For the cake:
280g self-raising flour, sieved into a bowl
70g cocoa powder
350g caster sugar
350g unsalted butter
6 medium eggs, at room temp and beaten together in a jug
2 tablespoons milk (optional)

For the white chocolate buttercream:
250g unsalted butter, at room temp
280g icing sugar
200g good quality white chocolate

For the topping:
2 packs Mini Malteser Bunnies (8 mini bunnies)
1 pack Mini Eggs

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 3 x 20cm/8inch round baking tins with greaseproof paper.

In a large bowl cream the unsalted butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Now pour in a third of the beaten eggs along with a tablespoon of flour and mix. Repeat until all eggs have been mixed in.

Add in the remaining flour and sieve in the cocoa powder, now fold the mixture together until fully combined. If the mixture is looking too thick, add the milk and mix together to loosen it.

Divide the mixture equally between the cake tins, smoothing out the tops with a knife and tapping them on the side to release any air bubbles. Now bake the cakes for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to completely cool.

To make the white chocolate buttercream first cream the butter until fluffy and pale in colour. Sift in half the icing sugar and beat together until combined, now sift in the remaining icing sugar and beat together until light and creamy. Finally melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once completely melted add to the creamed butter and sugar and fold together.

Spread a third of the buttercream on top of one of the cakes. Place your second cake on top and spread another third of the buttercream on top. Place the final cake on top and spread the remaining buttercream on top.

Finish the cake by placing the Malteser Bunnies around the edge and filling the middle with Mini Eggs. Cut into 8-10 slices and enjoy!

Cadbury’s Creme Egg Cookies

Chocolate chunk cookie cups with a surprise Cadbury’s Creme Egg centre. A fun to make and delicious Easter bake for all those Creme Egg fans out there.

Ingredients (makes 12 cookie cups)

125g unsalted butter (at room temp)
75g light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
1 teapsoon vanilla extract
1 large egg (cold from the fridge)
200g milk chocolate chunks
12 Mini Creme Eggs

Method

In a bowl cream the butter and two sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and crack in the egg and mix.

Add the flour and chocolate chunks and fold until the mixture is combined and has formed a wet dough. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour (leave over night for best results).

Once chilled, remove from the fridge and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.

Take approx. 1 tbsp of dough and flatten in the palm of your hand. Now place a creme egg in the middle and wrap the dough around the egg until completely concealed, now place it in a cupcake case. Repeat this for all 12 cookie cups.

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Keep checking on them, you want the edges to be slightly browned and the middle cooked through but still pale in colour.

Remove from the oven and leave to completely cool before removing the paper cases.