Sunday, 26 September 2021


Lemon Curd Surprise Coconut Top Hats

Beautiful, tasty, cup cakes with a lemon curd filling. [when did buns become cup cakes??] Easy Peasy to make and fill. Old fashioned they might be, but I like that. I adapted this from an old cookery book, given over with an oven and handed to me by a friend. Everyone knows I collect old books.

The quantity below makes about 15 or 16 large buns.

You will need a large muffin tin, lined with cases. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

6 oz of softened butter

8 oz caster sugar

3 large eggs

7 oz plain flour

2 teaspoonfuls baking powder

pinch of salt

1 teaspoonful vanilla extract

4 oz desiccated coconut

6 fl oz buttermilk

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time…. you all know the routine! Add the vanilla and the coconut, then beat in half the flour with half the buttermilk, mix well and repeat the the other half.

Spoon carefully into the cup cake cases, until about three quarters full. Bake until golden and firm to the touch, about 25-30 mins. Cool in the tin for a short while, then place on a wire rack and wait until cold.

Filling and topping

Good quality Lemon Curd - I used left over from the previous post.

vanilla butter icing [2 oz soft butter and 2 oz icing sugar, vanilla extract]

Using a small sharp knife, carefully cut around the centre of the top of the bun, making a little well and your top hat. Carefully leave the circular piece you have sliced beside each bun. Fill the wells with lemon curd, top with a dob of vanilla butter cream and place the top hats. Easy. Dust with a little icing sugar to finish off.


If you wish, you could use fresh whipped double cream. Also toast a little extra desiccated coconut to add to the cream, if you wish to add to the coconut theme. So many variations.

Sunday, 19 September 2021


Lemon Cake with homemade Lemon Curd filling

A twofer special, as I begin a series of posts, over the next month or so, featuring lemon! This is a totally delicious cake. No flour, no butter [in the cake]. Dead easy and with added whipped double cream, the most scrumptious dessert. Given to me by a cousin, it is now a firm favourite. The cake is just as good on the third day - not that it will last that long.

The Lemon Curd

Makes 2 medium size jars, store in your fridge when cold and use within two or three weeks.

I sterilised the clean jars in a oven for ten mins.

4 unwaxed Lemons - juice and zest

3½ oz butter

7 oz caster sugar

3 large eggs, whisked

Place a large basin over a pan of barely boiling water and add the lemon zest and juice, the sugar and the butter. Allow to melt, stirring now and then. When everything is melted whisk in the eggs and continue whisking until it is well combined. Watch the curd as after 6 or 7 mins it will thicken. Cook for a couple more mins then take off the heat and allow to cool before tipping into the jars. Just lovely and so much better than bought. You can add a little more sugar if you wish.

Note: I often have duck eggs and used these for the above.


Lightly grease, then line a spring form 8 inch cake tin. Pre heat your fan oven to 170C

The zest of 3 large lemons, unwaxed if possible

4 oz caster sugar - in ½s

4 large eggs, separated

5 oz ground almonds

1 teaspoonful baking powder

1 teaspoonful white wine vinegar

½ teaspoonful salt

icing sugar for dusting, if not using cream

In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks, one ½ of the sugar and the zest. Add the ground almonds and BP and mix well.

In another medium bowl, start whisking the egg whites, then as it starts to get frothy, add the salt and vinegar. Continue whisking until soft peaks, then add the other half of the sugar and carry on whisking until fairly thick. Fold this into the almond mix then tip into your prepared tin and bake for about 30 mins until golden and firm to the touch.

Cool in the tin for a couple of mins then release the spring form clip and cool on a rack.

When cold, split and fill with some of the delish lemon curd and also some double cream if you wish. Whatever. Or leave it plain for a simple afternoon tea.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Rhubarb and Ginger Fools

Well, over the summer, I have still been cooking and Fools are one of our family favourite summer desserts. But then, we think they are great any other time too. Plus Ginger and Rhubarb are a marriage made in yummy heaven. A very easy and make ahead dessert that is so delicious!

Makes 4 generous portions [or 6 wine glassfuls]

About 12 oz of fresh rhubarb [not stringy]

2-3 tablespoonfuls caster to taste [I used two]

Start the night before by thinly slicing your rhubarb and place it in a small saucepan along with the sugar and a tablespoonful water [no more] and simmer for about ten mins until just softened. Set aside, break up any larger bits and when cool tip into a small basin and chill, covered.

The next day….

300 ml tub of double cream

400 ml full fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoonfuls of icing sugar

½ teaspoonful ground ginger

1 tablespoonful finely chopped crystallised ginger [plus a little extra for the top]

In a large ish bowl, place the cream, yogurt, sifted icing sugar and ginger then whisk until just holding its shape. I usually use a balloon whisk as it is so easy to over whisk. Good exercise anyway.

Stir in the chopped ginger, then carefully spoon though the chilled rhubarb, taking care to not completely stir in the fruit. You are looking for a marbled affect.

Pour into your serving dishes and lightly sprinkle over some more ginger. Enjoy!

Note: You can, at a pinch use fat free Greek yogurt, but it is not as good.

Sunday, 5 September 2021


Conference Cake

One of my favourite fruits are Conference Pears and the new season fruit are with us.

I also love making cakes with oil, they are always moist, and so easy. I chopped an extra smaller pear along with some demerara for a topping, or you could perhaps drizzle over some icing - whatever! Or just leave plain, cause it needs nothing really. I found this recipe in an old book someone gave me, knowing how much I love trawling through other folk’s cast offs!

You can make it in a conventional round tin, or a loaf tin. But I used a 10 inch square tray bake tin. 

You will need a tin of your choice, oiled and lined if using a larger round tin. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

9 oz plain flour

8 oz golden caster sugar

½ teaspoonful baking powder

pinch of salt

2 large eggs

6 fl oz sunflower oil

1 teaspoonful vanilla extract or bean paste

2 medium-large size Conference pears, peel and chopped - not too small

2-3 oz of roughly chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, sift in your your ingredients, then making a hole in the centre, pour in the beaten eggs and oil. Mix well and stir in the fruit and nuts. Well, that was hard work - not! Yes, the dough is stiff, making allowance for the fruit to soften.

Tip into your prepared tin, level off the top and bake for about 50-55 mins, until firm to the touch and nicely golden. Less for a tray bake.

Cool before drizzling over some icing if using. Cut into squares, as I did if using a tray bake tin.

Note: Substitute walnuts for pecans or hazelnuts if you wish. Or why not sprinkle over some crystallised pears if you can find some.

Enjoy! This recipe is absolutely scrummy. Trust me.

Sunday, 29 August 2021


Crushed Pineapple Carrot Cake

I love baking with a can of crushed pineapple and combined with the ease of baking with oil, trust me, this is one of the easiest bakes!! Except for grating the carrots - hey ho, can’t have it all ways. But it is worth it. An old friend passed this recipe on to me some time ago and I kept forgetting to make it. Well, I wish I had before now. I made this for dessert after a Sunday roast.

You will need a 9 “ x 12 or 13” tray bake pan, not too shallow, greased. Line it with parchment, hanging plenty over the long ends to help you lift it out. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

10 oz plain flour, sifted

1 heaped teaspoonful baking powder

large pinch of salt

1 teaspoonful cinnamon [a little more if you wish]

12 oz caster sugar

8 fl oz of rapeseed oil [or vegetable]

3 large eggs

1 teaspoonful vanilla extract or bean paste

1 can of crushed pineapple, drained as much as you can

8 oz of grated carrot

3 oz desiccated coconut

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until well combined then stir in the carrots, pineapple and toasted coconut. Then fold in the remaining dry ingredients. Mix well.

Tip into your prepared tin and bake for about 40 mins, until golden and firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for a short while, before lifting out, holding the long ends of the baking parchment. When cool…….

8 oz cream cheese

3 heaped  tablespoonfuls of icing sugar

a little grated lemon zest

2 oz desiccated coconut

Make a topping with the cream cheese, zest and icing sugar, then lightly spread it over the tray bake. Cut into square or slices. Sprinkle with the extra toasted coconut.

Yum yum. So very good. Very moist and the tropical flavour combinations are just perfect.

Note: I like to add some dried fruit to my carrot cake…. sometimes. Golden sultanas are good. 

It is also great if you lightly toast the desiccated coconut before using. Use a dry fry pan, tossing all the while until lightly browning.

Monday, 23 August 2021

Raspberry Buns

Continuing the summery fruit theme…… here is a simple bake, perfect for afternoon tea! I have had this recipe forever, but have never posted it before. They are super delish left baked plain, but I added a small dob of icing for glue and topped with another fruit. Whatever.

This quantity makes about 18 cup cakes. I lined a 12 [x2] hole muffin tin with cup cake cases. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

8 oz softened butter

6 oz caster sugar

3 eggs

2 oz cornflour

6 oz SR flour

6 oz fresh raspberries + extra for topping if using

First off, unless they are very small, gently tear the fruit in half or pieces.  Sift together the flour and cornflour.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, as per. Add the eggs, one at a time, adding a small amount of the flour with each addition. Now fold in the sieved flours and finally gently stir through the raspberries before spooning the mixture into your bun cases. Filling to about three quarters full.

Bake for around 25-30 mins and place on a wire rack to cool, before lightly dusting with a little icing sugar - or make a topping as I did above.

So good!! In fact absolutely brilliant. The smell when they come out of the oven is amazing.


Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Clotted Cream Cake with Strawberries!

I am back after my break with a summery, very special recipe, handed to me from follower Liz, who comes from Downderry and her mother passed it to her, after finding it in a magazine, and so I must thank her for this super delicious cake. Once upon a time, many moons ago, we only had strawberries available during June and July. Many of you will remember, but these days, this cake can be made at any time of course. But still, what a great cake for a summer - or autumn dessert.

Plus it is an “all in one” dead easy method.

You will need a 9 inch spring form cake tin, greased and lined. Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

11-12 oz of ripe strawberries

8 oz SR flour

¼ teaspoonful of baking powder

8 oz caster sugar

8 oz clotted cream

2 large eggs

the zest of 1 large lemon

1 teaspoonful of vanilla extract or bean paste

plus strawberry Jam for a glaze

Slice about 7 or 8 of your strawberries into thick ish slices and set them aside and chop the remainder.

In a medium bowl, place all the ingredients except the chopped fruit and beat well, add the fruit and stir in until evenly distributed. Tip into your prepared tin and level off, then careful arrange the sliced fruit in a pattern to your taste!

Bake for about an hour, until just firm to the touch and nicely browned but check after 50 mins. Mine took the full hour.

Cool in the tin for five mins and while it is cooling slightly, warm up the strawberry jam [no large bits] then brush it over the whole top of the cake while still hot.

What can I say about this heavenly cake. Serve it with more clotted cream perhaps!

Enjoy! I just know you will all love it!