Freshly Baked Bits

Sticky Orange & Ginger Cake with Candied Orange Topping

Posted on by Yvette

For any of you who are still trying to hang on to that festive season a little longer, then this is the cake for you! For me, the inspiration for this recipe came from the healthy smoothies I’ve started making for breakfast! Whilst trying to be healthy, (after my Christmas indulgence!) my mind is never far away from cakes… of course!

I blended up some banana and orange juice with fresh root ginger to make a smoothie, and whilst the blender was working its magic, so was my brain! I thought the orange and ginger would work really well in a cake! So the next day I did some baking …. I decided to make a ginger sponge using just ground ginger, however you could add in ginger chunks if you really want an extra spiced taste! I then poured over an orange syrup to allow the sponge to soak in and finished up with some homemade candied orange zest which I sprinkle over the top.

This cake has just the right amount of ginger to it, whilst the orange gives it a delicious zesty twist. The candied zest gave it a pleasant sugary crunch to finish off! I found that the flavour actually came out more once it had been in the fridge (covered well with cling film or foil) and tasted even better the next day! So why not give this simple recipe a try!


Bake Time: 30 mins or when skewer comes out clean


For the sponge

  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 60g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 60g Light Brown Sugar
  • 120g Margarine / unsalted butter (I used “I can’t believe its not butter”)
  • 2 eggs
  • 50ml sweetened soy (can use milk instead)
  • 1 tbsp Molasses
  • 3 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spiced
  • 3/4 tsp Bicarb of soda

For the Orange Syrup

  • 60ml Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 60g Granulated sugar

For the Candied Orange Zest

  • 100ml Cold Water
  • 100g Granulated sugar
  • 2 x Orange zest


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180’c and line a loaf tin (8inch x 5inch)
  2. Gently melt the margarine, both sugars and molasses in a saucepan.
  3. Set aside to allow to cool.
  4. Combine the soy / mil with the eggs in a separate bowl, then gradually add to the cooled melted mix, beat until well combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the spices with the flour and bicarb of soda, then add to the liquid mix, preferably in 2 stages, ensuring not to over mix.
  6. Pour into cake loaf tin and place on middle shelf in oven.
  7. Whilst baking, start on the syrup by heat the orange juice and sugar in a saucepan until sugar has dissolved. As soon as its dissolved, remove from heat.
  8. Once the sponge has baked, leave in tin and pour over the cake. Allow the cake to cool in its tin before turning out onto a wired wrack.

For the Candied Orange Zest

Gently heat the water and sugar in a saucepan until sugar has completely dissolved, then add the zest and simmer for around 8-10 minutes. Drain the liquid cover the zest in a little granulated sugar before adding it to the cake.

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Lemon Meringue Marshmallows!

Posted on by Yvette

“Little bites of heaven” That’s how I would describe these marshmallows! If you love lemon (yes!), if you love meringue (yes!) and if you love marshmallow (yes!) then you are going to LOVE these!

After watching Paul Hollywood’s “Puds & Pies” on BBC 1 the other day, I became intrigued with homemade marshmallows. He had a guest baker on called Genevieve Taylor, who is the “Queen of Marshmallows” and has a couple of books on how to make them. So I ordered one of her books called “Marshmallow Magic” and the rest is history….

The one thing you have to realise with these marshmallows is that they’re actually really easy to make! Its just a case of whisking egg whites, making a sugar syrup, and adding gelatin! There is a crucial point during the method that you need to get right in order for them to turn out fluffy and light and that is when you heat the sugar and water to get the right temperature. If you get this right then you’re on for a winner!

You can be as creative as you like! As long as you have the basic marshmallow mix, you can create any flavour. I made chocolate marshmallows by mixing cocoa powder to a little boiling water to make a thick paste then adding this to the marshmallow mixture. I also made Rose flavoured marshmallows by adding a few drops of rose water!

Kitchen Essentials for Making Marshmallows:

Free standing food mixer (hand whisk may also work but be a little trickier).

Non-stick vegetable spray or a light brush of sunflower oil.

Thermometer – if you don’t have one like me then I will explain how to test whether the sugar syrup has reached the temperature needed (122’c).

A couple of tbsps of cornflour and a couple of tbsps of icing sugar mixed together.


Makes 36 small squares

  • 16g (8 sheets) of leaf gelatin
  • 2 egg whites
  • 500g granulated sugar
  • 250ml cold water
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • 6 meringue nests
  • 1 jar of lemon curd


  1. STEP 1 – Prepare a 20cm square cake tin by spraying with oil or brush with vegetable oil then line with a long strip of greaseproof paper leaving two “tails” hanging over each side, this will help you release the marshmallow without damaging the surface. Coat the paper with a little more oil then sprinkle a mixture of icing sugar and cornflour and tap around to cover base and sides.
  2. STEP 2 – Add gelatin sheets to a bowl of shallow cold water, adding them one at a time to prevent sticking together and set aside.
  3. STEP 3 – Whisk egg whites until firm peaks then stop whisking (be careful not to over mix at this stage)
  4. STEP 4 – Heat the sugar and water in a pan stirring until dissolved, then increase heat and leave to bubble for 15 minutes. Temperature needs to get to 122’c or to test, after about 10 minutes of bubbling, put a tsp of the sugar water in a cup of ice cold water, if it goes toffee like between your fingers then its done! TIP: whilst bubbling, brush the sides of the pan with a wet brush to prevent crystallization.
  5. sugarmix
  6. STEP 5 – Turn the whisk back on at low speed, gently pour the sugar water into the egg whites.
  7. STEP 6 – Increase speed to high and add gelatin sheets, giving them a squeeze to rid of excess water, then whisk for 10 minutes until mixture is glossy and firm.
  8. STEP 7 – Add the lemon zest and mix in until combined.
  9. STEP 8 – Crush 4 of the meringue nest and fold into mixture.
  10. STEP 9 – Pour about half the mixture into the prepared tin, levelling with a knife.
  11. STEP 10 -Spoon over half the lemon curd, swirling it a little into the marshmallow.
  12. STEP 11 -Scrape the remaining of the marshmallow mixture over the top, levelling with a knife.
  13. STEP 12 -Spoon over the rest of the lemon curd and swirl about.
  14. STEP 13 -Break up the remaining meringue nests and sprinkle over the top.
  15. STEP 14 – Set tin aside in a cool place and leave to set for at least for 4-6 hours to set or overnight.
  16. STEP 15 – Once set slide a knife around the sides to release then lift the marshmallow out by using the tails and place onto a chopping board. Cut into squares using a knife coated lightly in oil.
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Rich Fruit Cake

Posted on by Yvette

So it’s that time of year again where we get a load of fruit and soak it in lots of boozy liquid!! I really look forward to soaking my fruit each year because the aromas that fill the air get me into a festive spirit!

Here is a recipe that I used last year and am also using this year. This is a recipe by Mich Turner, taken from her Cake Masterclass book. It’s a delicious and straight forward recipe for anyone who wants to have a go at making their own christmas fruit cake. And trust me, you will get an amazing result, it will not disappoint. The cake itself is extra moist, but not too moist that it’s soggy! You can make it up to 6 weeks before you eat it.

I like to soak my fruit for a couple of days before baking, so get the Brandy and lets start soaking that fruit….


To soak fruit you will need:

  • 320g Sultanas
  • 450g Raisins
  • 550g Currants
  • 360g Glazed Cherries
  • 225ml Brandy


  • STEP 1 – Tip fruit into a large bowl and pour Brandy over the mixture. Stir and cover with cling film. Leave for up to 3 days, if desired or for up to 6 hours.

For the Cake:

  • 250g Unsalted butter
  • 260g Dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp Treacle
  • 5 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 240g Plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 40g Glaced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract


Estimated Bake Time: 2.5 hours

  1. STEP 1 – Line a deep 8in round or square cake tin and preheat oven to 140’c (fan oven 120’c)
  2. STEP 2 – Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature.
  3. STEP 3 – Melt the butter and sugar together in a saucepan, stirring until well mixed. Pour into a mixing bowl.
  4. STEP 4 – Add the treacle and mix well, then add the eggs and mix again.
  5. STEP 5 – Sift the flour, baking powder and spices and fold into the mixture.
  6. STEP 6 – Stir in the steeped fruit and remaining liquid, add the glaced ginger and vanilla extract.
  7. STEP 7 – Spoon mixture into the prepared tin and bake until a skewer comes out clean.
  8. STEP 8 – Leave the cake to cool completely before turning out.

To Store: Wrap in a double layer of greaseproof paper and a layer of foil. Store at room temperature to mature for up to 6 weeks.

Tip: If the cake looks as though its starting to go darker on top, cover with greaseproof paper and cook for the remaining duration.

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Caramel Apple Spiced Cupcakes

Posted on by Yvette
caramel apple cupcakes

Here is a great festive recipe I would love to share with you, taken from The Cupcake Diaries

What I love about this recipe is that the caramel sauce can be added to the cupcake as a filling, so when you bite through the cupcake you get this delicious caramel that melts into you mouth. YUM!

Here’s the recipe…..

Makes around 18 cupcakes

For the cupcake

  • 312g All-purpose/plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 226g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 450g white sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 70ml hot water
  • 4-5 freshly grated apples (I used gala apples)


Bake Time: 25-30mins (or when skewer comes out clean)

  1. STEP 1 – Preheat over 350’f / 175’c and line a 12 hole cupcake tin
  2. STEP 1 – Peel and core the apple. Grate them then set aside.
  3. STEP 2 – Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (takes around 5-10mins with electric whisk)
  4. STEP 3 – Add the eggs one at a time until mixed in well.
  5. STEP 4 – In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon , salt.
  6. STEP 5 – In stages of 3, alternatively add part of the flour mix and part of the hot water to the egg mixture and mix in between each stage, scraping from the sides after each addition.
  7. STEP 6 – Add the grated apple to the batter and mix in with a wooden spoon.
  8. STEP 7 – Pour the batter into each cupcake case and fill 3/4 full.

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 450g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 226g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 240ml heavy/whipping cream, at room temperature


  1. STEP 1 – Melt the butter sugar nd water together on a low heat
  2. STEP 2 – Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract and mix in
  3. STEP 3 – Whisk the cream before adding to the caramel sauce
  4. STEP 4 – Once cream has been added and mixed well, set aside to thicken for 5 minutes before placing in refrigerator for a further 20 minutes
  5. STEP 5 – Once the cupcakes have cooled, take an apple corer and core out the middle of the cupcake and pour the caramel sauce into the hole. The continue with the frosting for the top of the cupcake

for the Vanilla Cream Cheese frosting:

  • 4tbsp unsalted butter
  • 500g powdered/icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 170g (6oz) Cream Cheese


  1. STEP 1 – Mix the cream cheese and butter together until soft.
  2. STEP 2 – Add the sugar and continue to mix.
  3. STEP 3 – Add the vanilla extract and mix for an extra 30 seconds.
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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Posted on by Yvette

These are one of the best red velvet cupcakes I’ve far, I really don’t think you could get any better!


I decided to try out a red velvet cupcake recipe, found online by Georgetown Cupcakes. I have never been to their Washington DC bakery but when I watched their series ‘DC Cupcakes’ everything they created looked so yummy!


So here is how simple this recipe is…seriously, you MUST try it (if you haven’t already!)


  • 350g Caster sugar
  • 400g All purpose flour / plain flour
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 170g Unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 4 tbsp No-taste red food colouring
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2½ tbsp Cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 367ml Whole milk (cold)
  • 1½ tsp Baking soda
  • 1½ Apple Cider Vinegar


    Bake Time: 16-18 minute or until skewer comes out clean

  1. STEP 1 – Pre-heat oven to 350’f / 175’c and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake cases.
  2. STEP 2 – Mix together the butter and sugar until light a fluffy (takes about 5-8 minutes)
  3. STEP 3 – Add the eggs one at a time and mix until blended.
  4. STEP 4 – In a small dish/bowl mix together the vanilla, cocoa powder and red food colouring then add to the mixture.
  5. STEP 5 – Sift the flour in a separate bowl.
  6. STEP 6 – Add the salt to the milk.
  7. STEP 7 – Add a third of the flour, followed by a third of the milk, and mix. Repeat. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed.
  8. STEP 8 – Add the last third of the flour, followed by the last third of the milk, and mix until incorporated.
  9. STEP 9 – In a small bowl, add the baking soda to the apple cider vinegar. You will see the baking soda and vinegar fizz up! Mix thoroughly and add this reaction to the batter. Mix until just incorporated.
  10. STEP 10 – Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into a cupcake pan so each well is 2/3 full.
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