Honey and Walnut Loaf Cake

Honey and walnut loaf cake topped with cream cheese frosting, decorated with homemade honeycomb and finished with a drizzle of honey. What a beauty!

Before we get into the recipe I have to mention that this cake is made using fresher than fresh honey, harvested by my niece and nephew (with the help of their parents of course!). I was so pleased when they gifted me a jar of the honey, I immediately started harvesting a whole load of baking ideas, with this cake being the top of the list.

Honeycomb walnut loaf cake

How to make honeycomb

Making honeycomb is so much easier than I thought it would be! I followed BBC Good Food’s Video Tutorial which was super helpful to see how it was meant to look at each stage. I definitely recommend giving that a watch, and here are a few of my own top tips to help you out:

Tip #1 – Be REALLY patient
It can take a while for the sugar to dissolve and turn to liquid. I had to patiently wait a good 10 minutes for this to happen. Just don’t be tempted to turn the heat up, it won’t speed it up and instead you’ll probably end up burning the sugar.

Tip #2 – Look for a deep golden colour
Before you add the bicarbonate of soda, you want the sugar to be a really deep golden colour and reaching a rolling boil in the saucepan. Think the colour of maple syrup. If you add the bicarb too early when the sugar isn’t hot enough, the honeycomb will end up chewy rather than crunchy.

Tip #3 – Only stir the bicarb in for a couple of seconds
As soon as you add the bicarb the honeycomb with froth and bubble up, you only want to stir the mixture for a couple of seconds before pouring it onto the greaseproof paper. Over-stirring will deflate the honeycomb and it won’t have those lovely air pockets throughout.

Honeycomb walnut loaf cake

How to decorate your honey and walnut loaf cake

I chose to decorate my cake with cream cheese frosting. It’s not as sweet as traditional buttercream and the tangy flavour of cream cheese pairs so well with honey. This recipe makes enough for a nice thick layer of cream cheese frosting. Use a spoon or a spatula to swirl the frosting on top.

Spreading cream cheese frosting on honeycomb walnut loaf cake

The final touch

A drizzle of honey is the finishing touch for this cake. Do this just before you’re ready to serve the cake, otherwise, the honey will soften the honeycomb.

Drizzling honey on loaf cake

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Honey and Walnut Loaf Cake Recipe (makes 8-10 slices)

Ingredients

For the loaf cake:

200g Stork tub (margarine) or unsalted butter
170g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
100g chopped walnuts

For the cream cheese frosting:

70g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
150g icing sugar
70g full-fat cream cheese, cold from the fridge

For the honeycomb:

100g caster sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350 F. Line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

Start by making the loaf cake. 

Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until pale and creamy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, along with a tablespoon of the flour each time to stop the mixture from curdling.

Now add the remaining flour, milk and honey and mix together until fully combined. Add the chopped walnuts and fold everything together one last time.

Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and spread it out into an even layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the cake has browned on top and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the baking tin before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Whilst the cake cools make the honeycomb.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

In a large saucepan add the caster sugar and honey. Heat gently on a low temperature, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and a clear liquid has formed. You’ll need to be patient as this can take 10 minutes or so.

Now turn the heat up to medium and heat the liquid until it is bubbling up and has turned a golden amber colour. Stir occasionally to prevent the sugar from burning. Again be patient as this can take another 10 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the bicarbonate of soda and immediately stir into the mixture until the powder has dissolved. This will happen very quickly and the mixture will foam and bubble up. Pour the honeycomb onto the greaseproof paper and leave to set.

Now make the cream cheese frosting.

Beat the butter and icing sugar with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the cream cheese (cold from the fridge) and fold into the mixture until just combined. Be careful not to overdo it, as it can quickly become runny.

Time to decorate!

Spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cake. Use your hands to break up the honeycomb into shards and scatter them on top of the frosting. Finish with a drizzle of honey.

Store your honey and walnut loaf cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.




Rainbow Cupcakes

It takes sunshine and rain to make a rainbow, or in this case, vanilla cake mixture and food colouring! These joyful rainbow cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream are sure to brighten your day and put a smile of your face.

Featuring a rainbow vanilla sponge base, these cupcakes are topped with a smooth and creamy white chocolate buttercream and are decorated with THE cutest unicorn sprinkles and decorations.

Rainbow cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream
Piping white chocolate buttercream onto rainbow cupcakes

Making a rainbow sponge is super easy!

Don’t you just love it when something looks really impressive but it’s actually so easy to make? Well, this recipe is exactly that!

Step 1: Whip up a simple cake mixture

Start by making a simple vanilla sponge mixture. Equal parts butter, sugar and flour, couple of eggs, a dash of vanilla extract, and I always like to add a tablespoon of milk.

Step 2: Dye the cake mixture

Split the sponge mixture into four bowls and dye each a different colour. I chose to use yellow, green, blue and red colours.

TOP TIP: Use food colouring gel or pastes to get a vibrant, bright colour. Liquid food colourings are more diluted and therefore the colours will look more washed out.

Step 3: Fill the cupcake cases

Spoon one coloured mixture into the left-hand side of the cupcake case, now spoon a different colour on the right-hand side. Repeat with the remaining two colours, spooning them on top. Hopefully that all makes sense, pictures below if not. This will give you lovely distinct colours in the sponge once they’re baked.

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Rainbow cupcake recipe (makes 12)

Ingredients

For the sponge:
200g Stork tub
200g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon milk
Green, blue, red and yellow food colouring – make sure you use the gels/pastes, not the liquid types. I used PME Concentrated Food Pastes.

For the white chocolate buttercream:
200g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
200g icing sugar
100g white chocolate

For the decoration:
Cute and colourful sprinkles – I used Dr.Oetker Unicorn Head Sprinkles and House of Cake Unicorn & Rainbow decorations

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a cupcake baking tray with 12 cupcake cases.

Start by making the cupcakes. 

In a large bowl beat together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of the 200g flour with each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.

Add the remaining flour, baking powder and milk and fold together until smooth and combined.

Divide the mixture into four bowls. Using the food colouring gels, dye one bowl of mixture red, one blue, one green and one yellow.

Spoon one of the coloured mixtures into the left-hand side of a cupcake case, now spoon a different colour on the right-hand side. Repeat with the remaining two colours, spooning them on top. Repeat for all 12 cupcakes.

Bake for 16-18 minutes until the cupcakes have risen, spring back to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Now make the white chocolate buttercream.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 20-second blasts until smooth. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the butter until super soft, pale in colour and smooth. Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl and beat again until you have a smooth, lump-free buttercream.

Pour the white chocolate into the buttercream and fold together until combined.

Time to decorate!

Spread or pipe the buttercream on top of the cupcakes. I used a large 12 point closed star nozzle to get that lovely swirl effect. Finish the cupcakes with a scatter of rainbow sprinkles. CUTE!

Store the cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Celebrate summer with these delicious strawberry cheesecake cupcakes. Topped with cream cheese frosting and filled with strawberry jam, these cupcakes are perfect for picnics, BBQ’s or just to enjoy on a warm summers day.

strawberry cheesecake cupcakes

Let’s break it down

There are four parts to this recipe, each step is really easy to make but together they create a show-stopping cupcake:

  1. The cupcake base – made using a classic sponge cake recipe, the base has added vanilla essence for a light and sweet flavour.
  2. The filling – the middle of the cupcake is scooped out and filled with strawberry jam. I used Bonne Maman Strawberry Conserve, which is a lovely high-quality jam you can buy in most supermarkets.
  3. The icing – the cupcakes are topped with a swirl of sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. Now they’re starting to taste like cheesecake!
  4. The decoration – the cupcakes are finished with a sprinkle of crushed digestive biscuits and a fresh strawberry.

These strawberry cheesecake cupcakes really are delicious!

strawberry cheesecakes cupcakes with a jam filling

Strawberry cheesecake cupcake recipe

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the sponge:
150g Stork tub (margarine) or unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
150g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk

For the cream cheese frosting:
300g icing sugar
150g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
150g full-fat cream cheese, cold from the fridge

For the filling/decoration:
1 jar of strawberry jam
12 fresh whole strawberries
4-5 Digestive biscuits (crumbled)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cupcake baking tray with 12 cupcake cases.

Start by making the cupcakes.

First beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and beat in the eggs one at a time, along with a tablespoon of the 150g flour each time to stop the mixture from curdling. Add the remaining flour and milk, and fold the mixture together.

Divide evenly between the cupcake cases and bake for 16-18 minutes until the cupcakes are a golden brown, risen and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer cakes to a cooling rack and leave to completely cool.

Fill the cupcakes.

Once the cupcakes are cool, scoop out the middle of each using either a cupcake corer, apple corer or teaspoon. Fill each cupcake with a heaped teaspoon of strawberry jam. Press the cake middles back into the hole to cap off the jam (you may have to trim them down).

Now make the cream cheese frosting.

Beat the butter with an electric mixer until really soft and pale in colour. Now sift in half the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Sift in the remaining icing sugar and beat again until you have a smooth and creamy frosting.

Now take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add to the bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently fold the cream cheese into the frosting until smooth. Be careful not to over do it, as it can quickly become runny.

Time to decorate.

Spread or pipe the frosting on top. I used an 11mm open star piping nozzle to get that lovely swirl effect. Crush a few digestive biscuits and sprinkle over the cupcakes. Finish by slicing a fresh strawberry in half and placing on top.

Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

These lemon meringue cupcakes are filled with tangy lemon curd and topped with lightly toasted meringue – a delicious cupcake twist on a classic dessert!

I have a new found love for developing dessert-inspired cupcake recipes. It’s so much fun experimenting and finding the best way to incorporate the flavours, the textures and appearance of the dessert into the cupcake. So far we’ve had Banoffee Cupcakes and Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes, and now these gorgeous lemon meringue cupcakes.

Lemon meringue cupcakes

How to make lemon meringue cupcakes

There are 3 parts to these lemon meringue cupcakes:

  1. Lemon infused cupcakes – the zest of 2 lemons is added to a simple vanilla sponge mixture. Light in texture and buttery in flavour, the sponge melts in your mouth and has a lovely citrus kick.
  2. Lemon curd filling – the middle of the cupcakes is scooped out and filled with sweet and tangy homemade lemon curd. Lemon curd is surprisingly quick and easy to make, and homemade always tastes SO much better! But if you fancy taking a shortcut or want to speed the recipe up, then you can use a jar of shop-bought lemon curd instead.
  3. Toasted meringue topping – a simple two-ingredient meringue is whisked up, swirled on top of the cupcakes and lightly toasted under the grill. You can also return the cupcakes to the oven or use a blow torch to toast the meringue. Just watch them very closely (I literally sat next to the oven!) as they can quickly burn.
Lemon curd

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
200g Stork tub
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
2 lemons, zest only

For the lemon curd:
4 lemons, juice only (you can use the two lemons from the cake ingredients above)
2 lemons, zest only
120g caster sugar
2 large egg yolks
20g unsalted butter

For the meringue topping:
4 large egg whites
200g caster sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a cupcake baking tray with 12 cupcake cases.

Start by making the cupcakes. 

In a large bowl beat together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of the 200g flour with each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.

Add the remaining flour, baking powder, lemon zest and milk and fold together until smooth and combined. Be careful not to over-mix. The mixture should drop off the spoon but still hold its shape.

Divide the mixture equally between the cupcake cases. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the cupcakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Now make the lemon curd.

In a small saucepan combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and egg yolk. Heat gently for about 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter to make thick, glossy lemon curd. Pour into a jar and leave to cool and thicken up.

Fill the cupcakes.

Make a hole in the middle of each cupcake (you can do this using a cupcake corer, apple corer, piping nozzle or teaspoon). Fill each hole with a teaspoon of lemon curd and press the cut-out piece of sponge back into the hole, trimming to fit if needed.

Now make the meringue topping.

Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk on a medium-high setting until they are thick, bright white and can hold their shape. Now add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time, whilst continuing to whisk, until you have a stiff and glossy meringue.

Spread the meringue on the top of each cupcake and put them under the grill to lightly toast the meringue. Watch them like a hawk as they can burn very easily, mine took roughly 30 seconds to brown. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 2 days.


Mojito Cake

Classic cocktail meets cake. Flavoured with white rum, mint and lots of lime, this mojito cake is light, refreshing and packs a real punch!

I had so much fun developing this recipe, spending an afternoon drinking rum and eating cake. Dreamy. I loved experimenting with the flavours to find the perfect balance between sweet and citrus, and making sure the rum comes through but doesn’t blow your head off!

So what makes this a mojito cake?

Well, first the three layers of sponge are flavoured with lime zest and vanilla. Then whilst the cakes are still warm, a sugar syrup infused with lime juice, fresh mint and white rum is then drizzled over, soaking into the sponge. A simple buttercream with fresh lime juice and white rum is used to sandwich the cakes together, and the final touches are a sprinkle of lime zest and a lime wedge placed on top.

Mojito cake
Mojito cake ingredients
Mojito cake mixture

Ingredients (makes a 3 layer, 8 inch mojito cake / 8 slices)

For the cakes:
300g Stork tub
300g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
300g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons whole milk
3 limes, zest only

For the syrup:
3 limes, juice only
100g caster sugar
Small bunch mint
100ml white rum

For the buttercream:
300g unsalted butter, at room temperature
600g icing sugar
3 tablespoons white rum
1 ½ lime, juice only

For the decoration:
1 lime, zest only
Mint leaves
Lime wedges

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base of three 8inch round baking tins with greaseproof paper and lightly grease the sides with a little butter.

Start by making the cake. In a large bowl beat together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy.

Mix in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the 300g flour with each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.

Add the remaining flour, baking powder, lime zest and milk and fold together until smooth and combined. Be careful not to over-mix. The mixture should drop off the spoon but still hold its shape.

Divide the mixture equally between the cake tins. Lightly tap the baking tins on the side to release any air bubbles. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Whilst the cakes are baking, make the mojito syrup. Add the lime juice, sugar and mint to a saucepan and heat on medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved, the liquid is bubbling up and is syrupy. Remove from the heat and stir through the rum. Leave to infuse for 10 mins, then strain into a bowl. 

Take the cakes out of the oven and leave them to cool for 5 minutes. Prick them all over with a toothpick or skewer and spoon over about 3 tablespoons of syrup per cake. Leave to cool completely.

Now make the buttercream. Beat the butter until really soft and pale in colour. Sift in half the icing sugar and beat together until smooth. Sift in the remaining icing sugar, add the rum and lime juice and beat again until smooth. If the buttercream is too soft add a 1-2 tablespoons of icing sugar.

Time to decorate. Put one of the cakes on a pretty plate or cake stand. Spread an even layer of buttercream on top. Top with the second cake and repeat. Put the final cake on top and cover the top with buttercream. Decorate with the lime zest, lime wedges and mint leaves.