Tag Archives: cakes

Coconut Layer Cake



I don’t make cakes very often.  I like making them, but I know how quickly they will be gobbled up in our house.  So when someone asks me to bring dessert to an event it’s an invitation to bake!

This cake is so easy to make, and is moist and light.


  • 2 c self raising flour, sifted
  • ¾ c desiccated coconut
  • 1 c caster sugar
  • 1/3 c almond meal
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 160 g melted butter
  • Desiccated and flaked coconut for decorating

Preheat oven to 175C.  Line a 21 cm spring form cake pan with baking paper.

Combine flour, coconut, sugar and almond meal in a large bowl and mix together.

Whisk buttermilk, vanilla and eggs together.  Add butter and whisk again.

Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and mix with a metal spoon until well combined and smooth.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Leave to cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing. Cool completely before icing.


  • 2 c pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 90 g butter at room temperature
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 T milk

Beat all ingredients together until smooth, light and fluffy.  Add milk to adjust to the desired texture.

Using a large serrated knife, cut the cake in half horizontally.  Carefully lift the top of the cake off and place on a flat surface. Spread ¾ c icing evenly over the base of the cake. Carefully place the top of the cake over it.  Spread remaining over the top and sides of the cake.  Decorate with desiccated and flaked coconut.


Raspberry Rose Cupcakes


Raspberry Rose Cupcakes 3

These cupcakes are divine.  The combination of raspberry and rose with a sweet vanilla icing works deliciously well.  And they are SO easy.


  • 125 g butter, softened
  • ¾ c caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 c self-raising flour
  • 1 c ground almonds
  • 1/3 c milk
  • ¾ c raspberries (fresh or frozen), plus extras for decorating
  • 1 t rosewater *

Preheat oven to 180C.  Line a 12 x medium sized cup muffin pan with paper cases.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in flour, ground almonds, milk, and rosewater. Then very gently fold in the raspberries.

Divide batter between cases. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Leave to cool in pan.


  • 175 g butter
  • 1 1/2 c icing sugar
  • 1/4 t rosewater
  • 1/2 t vanilla

Beat all ingredients together until light and fluffy.  Spread generously over cupcakes and top with raspberries.

Raspberry Rose Cupcakes 4

Soccer cake


I was so surprised (not!) when my beloved son told me he wanted to have a soccer party followed by a BBQ at home  to celebrate his birthday.  I love the fact that he requested a BBQ so that the families of his friends could come too – so that his party would be fun for everybody. And the fact that he shares a birthday with his wonderful soccer coach sealed the deal.

Of course this means having enormous amounts of food! – but everyone is generous and helps out on that front, leaving me to do the odd dip, a couple of salads, a mountain of kebabs, and of course CAKE.

The rest of the plan sounds easy – take the boys to a park and let them run themselves into the ground before you bring them home for a feed and more playing.  Of course the reality is, there is no such thing as running a bunch of 10 year old-ish boys into the ground.  Five minutes of chill out time and they are full of beans again.

Anyway, I was immersed in kitchen activity when the boys made their noisy appearance at the house.  Suddenly a couple of mums screamed “out out OUT!!!”.  I looked up to see that the boys had had a water fight to cool down after the game, and so they arrived at the house sweaty, stinky, ravenous AND covered in mud! Yay – go the dads who were so thoughtfully supervising park activity!

I needn’t have fretted too much about the mud for there was worse to come.  In an uncharacteristically public place, our infamously socially inept cat (her actual name is Honey but there are SO many other names…) did the unthinkable under the porch table – with at least 10 people sitting around it. And of course, a good friend, wearing some stunning (and no doubt expensive) suede boots, stepped in it.  I do believe this was my ultimate definition of mortification.  Words cannot express the agony of the moment as I strut outside with a huge tray of dips and crackers and cheese, and the reality of the commotion sets in. The cat was lucky she didn’t become the next soccer ball – although of course she commited the deed and made a very speedy exit…

It is a true testament of our friendships that we could move on with the day.

Of course the boys played on in the backyard in happy oblivion.

Eventually, after large quantities of food were consumed, the garden was slightly trashed (the backyard had a bit of a Lord of the Flies vibe going on there for a while), and some sporadic quiet was acheived due to a live soccer match on TV featuring the Sydney Football Club, it was time for the cake.

In keeping with the party’s theme we had two cakes – in the shape of soccer jerseys and decorated in the colours of the birthday boys’ favourite teams.  I took the easy route and used shaped cake tin, rather than cutting them to shape.  The cake recipe that I use is my standard for all cakes I make in moulds.  It takes the mould well, and is solid enough to withstand a bit of prodding in the icing process, and it has a lovely buttery vanilla flavour.


  • 375 g butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c caster sugar
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 4 lg eggs
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 c sifted self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease cake mould.  This recipe will make the equivalent of two 18cm round springform pans.

Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time until well combined. Add vanilla and milk and beat in.  Fold in sifted flour and spoon batter into tin. Spread with a spatula to make sure batter reaches all crevices. Cook for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Once cooled to room temperature, place cake in fridge or freezer to firm up before icing.

Judy’s Blueberry Cakes


This cake recipe is from petit4chocolatier, one of my favourite blogs, and a source of regular inspiration. For me the blueberries make it a great springtime cake, and I love the sweet crunchy crumble topping.


Crumble Topping

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 5 tablespoons of melted butter

Combine all ingredients except butter in a bowl and mix well.  Add butter and mix until well combined and mixture becomes crumbly. Set aside.

Cake batter

  • 1 ¾ cup of flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • ¾ cup of 2% milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups of blueberries

Grease four 12 x 12 cm cake pans with butter. Preheat oven to 375C.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.

In a smaller bowl, beat sugar, eggs and oil until well mixed. Beat in milk and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Add to flour mixture and stir until well combined. Add blueberries and mix gently.

Pour mixture into prepared pans, and top with crumble mixture.  Bake 35-45 minutes. Cool in pans before removing, and leave to set for at least an hour before serving.


Almond Brandy Cake


I love cakes that are moist and dense and rich, cakes that you can chew.  So I love cakes using almond meal.  This cake isn’t too heavy or fudgelike, but it has a wonderful texture that you can enjoy with the flavour.  The almond flavour may be a bit strong for many kids, so I think of this as an adults cake. The brandy flavour is subtle so you can skewer the cake when it comes out of the oven and pour more brandy over the top – it can easily take another 1/4 cup without getting soggy.


  • 250 g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 t almond essence
  • 1 c raw caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c self raising flour
  • 2 c almond meal
  • 1/2 c brandy

Line a 23cm springform pan with baking paper. Preheat oven to 160C.

Using a large mixing bowl, beat butter, essence, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flours over butter mixutre and beat in.  Add almond meal and brandy, and stir until well mixed.

Spoon cake into prepared pan, and smooth top with a wet spoon or spatula.  Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Stand pan on rack to cool before turning out.


  • 200 g butter at room temperature
  • 3 c icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/4 c milk, or enough to acheive the desired consistency

Beat butter, icing sugar and vanilla together, gradually adding milk until the icing reaches the desired texture.

Serve the iced cake with a generous helping of fresh berries.  Generously serves 12.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, December 2009, p44.

Honey Cakes


A friend has passed and it is a terribly horribly sad thing.

Today food is a comfort. Lots of good comfort food is sweet – and in these moments honey seems to work best.

These cakes are sweet and moist and delicious.


  • 4 T honey
  • 2/3 c self raising flour
  • 1/3 c almond meal
  • 1/2 t freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t bicarb soda
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1 t grated lemon rind
  • 1 egg. lightly beaten
  • 2 T butter, melted
  • 1/3 c Greek style yoghurt

Preheat oven to180C.

Spray 4 ramekins or a 4 cake flexible teflon tray (my preference) with oil. Place one tablespoon of honey in the base for each cake. Mix flour, almond meal, sugar, nutmeg, soda and lemon rind in medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, yoghurt and butter together.  Stir into dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

Cook for 20 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean.

Invert on serving plates and serve with honey sweetened whipped cream.

Carrot Cake with Chocolate and Dates


I don’t make cakes very often, partly because they get eaten so quickly in this house.  However, when the in-laws come for an extended visit, you have to observe as many of the social niceties as you can manage, including serving a proper dessert after dinner. Wal loves carrot cakes, so I have many carrot cake recipes, but this one is a favourite with the sprogs because I put chocolate bits in it.


  • 3/4 c plain flour
  • 1 1/4 wholemeal SR flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 c raw caster sugar
  • 1/2 t freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 c grated carrot, firmly packed
  • 1/3 c slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 c dried dates, finely chopped
  • 150 g dark chocolate bits
  • 1 c macadamia oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Line 24 cm springform cake tin.  If you use a different style of tin as I did this time (in this case a small Angel Food Cake tin) you may need to use the old fashioned method of lining your tin: a thin layer of butter over the tin’s surface followed by a thin dusting of flour.

Sift dry ingredients together in large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and mix til fully integrated. Spoon into prepared tin and spread evenly.  Cook in moderate oven for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.  Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning cake out of tin.

 Once completely cool, ice with vanilla icing.