There's no greater component of a ritual Sunday teatime than cake. There you are chomping your way through a mound of cucumber sandwiches, which, frankly, are quite pointless. Where's the flavour? Where's the nutrition? Where are the calories? Following a mouthful of soggy bread and limp watery vegetable with a divine and large chunk of something sugary will definitely lift the spirits and will put a smile on your face.
And what better way to sate your hunger than by making one of the following cakes provided by the h2g2 Community? We defy you not to lick your lips once during the course of this entry...
This is an old family recipe, which is great to take for a picnic on a hot summer day.
- Cream together 1/2 cup butter and 1-1/2 cups brown sugar.
- Blend in 1 egg and 1 cup buttermilk.
- Sift in 2 cups flour, 1/2tsp salt, and 1tsp baking soda, and blend until smooth.
- Fold in 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups raw rhubarb.
- Turn batter into a greased and floured 13x9 glass baking pan. Top batter with a mixture of 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, 1tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 cup copped nuts.
- Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes until done.
It is best served cold.
This is a Pennsylvania Dutch classic that has a lot of sugar, butter and molasses. It tastes a bit like that other Pennsylvania Dutch staple Shoofly Pie. The name 'Shoofly' is a reference to the fact that it's so sweet that you must 'shoo' the flies away while you're baking it and eating it.
- 4 Cups flour
- 2 Cups brown sugar
- Half pound butter
Ingredients for the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- While the oven is heating, grease and flour a 10x15-inch cake pan.
- Combine the ingredients for the crumbs (flour, brown sugar and butter), mixing by hand so it's nice and lumpy while being evenly mixed.
- Measure out one-and-a-quarter cups of the crumbs for the topping and set that aside.
- With the remaining crumbs, add the molasses and 1 cup of hot water, beating it well.
- Add the remaining cup of water and beat again.
- Dissolve the baking soda in a tablespoon of warm water and add to batter with a 'dash' of salt.
- Be sure to mix it all well.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and sprinkle the top with the crumbs you set aside earlier.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes.
- Remove and let it cool on rack.
Chocolate Courgette Cake
If courgette (zucchini, to our American friends) has ever been a part of your annual vegetable garden, then you're familiar with the inevitable summertime dilemma of how to get rid of it. Every year the plants start small and seem harmless enough, but before you know it, they produce more food than you know what to do with, leaving you with two options - leaving the courgette anonymously on unsuspecting neighbours' doorsteps in the dark of night, or worse yet, trying to palm it off in person and earning yourself an unfortunate nickname like 'Run-Run-It's-...'.
This year, however, h2g2 will save you from reverting to these desperate options by offering you a third choice: trying this recipe. You'll never find a more delicious way to cook your courgette...
- 1/2 Cup margarine
- 1/2 Cup oil
- 1 3/4 Cup sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup sour milk (1/2 cup milk with tbsp vinegar)
- 1tsp Vanilla
- 2.5 Cups unsifted flour
- 4tbsp Cocoa
- 1/2tsp Baking powder
- 1tsp Baking soda
- 1tsp Salt
- 2 Cups finely diced courgette
- 3/4 Cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 Cup crushed walnuts
Cream margarine, oil, and sugar.
Add eggs, vanilla, and sour milk.
Mix all dry ingredients together and add to the creamed mixture.
Stir in diced courgette.
Spoon into a greased and floured 9x13-inch pan.
Sprinkle topping on batter in pan.
Bake at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick, when inserted in the middle, comes out clean.
Rich Fruit Cake
Below are two recipes for a great treat that is usually a firm festive favourite, but we'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that fruit cake is not just for Christmas...
- 12oz Mixed fruit
- 4oz Butter (or margarine)
- 8oz Self raising flour
- 4oz Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1/4pt Water
- 2tsp Baking powder
Place fruit, sugar, butter and water in a pan and simmer slowly for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
Add beaten egg and stir in flour and baking powder.
Put in 6"-7" cake tin and cook in the centre of the oven, 300 - 350°F for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hrs.
To check that it is cooked properly, push the blade of a cold knife into the middle. If the knife comes out clean, it is done, if some mixture sticks to the blade, return to oven and try again after, say, ten minutes.
After removing from oven, allow to cool for about 15 minutes then remove from tin.
To add a little something, include a few drops of rum essence just before adding the flour.
Alternatively, you can double the amounts in the recipe above, and make the following small changes/additions for a fruit cake to die for!
- 5oz Almonds or a teaspoon of almond essence
- 4oz Mixed peel (oranges, lemons)
- 3/4lb Plain flour and 1tsp baking powder rather than self raising flour and baking powder as that's a bit pointless.
- 1/4oz Mixed spice
- A wineglass of brandy or sherry
- 5 Eggs
Mix it all together, put it in a big cake tin lined with baking parchment and cook it slowly for 2-3 hours. Wrap it in foil, and put it in an airtight container. Eat 12 weeks later when it has matured and has the best flavour.
This is a recipe that will not only challenge your very perception of cake, but it is also guaranteed to knock your socks off.
Mix all the dry ingredients - except the sugar - together.
Melt the treacle, sugar and butter in a pan and blend gently.
Add the dry ingredients, beat the eggs, and thoroughly mix in.
Pour into a well-greased and lined 9-inch cake tin and bake at 170°C, for 1 1/2 hrs. or until firm in the centre.
Victoria Sandwich Cake
Victoria sandwiches are like sponge cakes, but they always have butter/margarine in, so they keep well. They are also the staple of the English High Tea.
- 4oz Caster sugar
- 4oz Butter/margarine
- 2 Eggs
- 4oz Self-raising flour, sifted
Preheat the oven to around 180°C (or slightly hotter to start with), and grease two sandwich tins (flat shaped, round tins) with lard or butter, and sprinkle them with flour.
Beat the sugar and butter together, until they look like whipped cream. (As you are using equal amounts of sugar and margarine, it actually should look like cream rather than just a vague approximation that one gets in many recipes).
Beat in the eggs, one by one. To prevent curdling, you may want to add a sprinkling of flour with each egg - just a small amount, though. (Flavourings should be added with the last egg - see below.)
Then fold in the flour, making sure to do the bare minimum amount of work to get the flour mixed in properly. If you handle the mixture too much, the cake gets a 'hard' texture.
Split the mixture in half and put it into your greased tins. Bake for about 20 minutes - it's worth checking on them after about 18 minutes to see if they're ready, need to have the heat turned up, need to be switched round in the oven, etc.
Use a thin skewer to test if the cakes are ready. Dip it into the cake, and if it comes out completely clean, the cakes are properly cooked.
Turn the cakes out onto wire racks to cool.
Filling - Butter Icing
Butter icing is an easy way to fill your cake. The amount you make is up to personal taste. If you want to ice the top of the cake as well, you may want to make double the amount given below. If you don't want to ice the top of the cake, sprinkle some icing sugar on it instead.
- 2oz Margarine/butter
- 4oz Icing sugar
Beat the margarine with half of the icing sugar until creamlike. Then beat in the rest of the sugar and the flavouring (see below).
Turn one cake over so that the side which was in the tin is now facing up, and spread the icing over it. You don't need to be to careful to make it even, just be gentle so the icing doesn't get mixed up with crumbs. Then put the other cake on, not turned over.
Victoria sandwich with no flavour is just sweet. Here are some suggestions for flavouring.
Vanilla - add half a teaspoon of vanilla essence with the second egg; fill the cake with jam (raspberry), and add a few drops of vanilla essence to the icing.
Lemon (Same for lime or orange) - zest a fresh lemon, (either with a lemon zester, or use a grater on its finest side) and add to the mixture with the second egg, with a little lemon juice (about a teaspoon full). Add a tablespoonful of lemon juice to the icing for really fresh, zingy flavour.
Ginger - add a teaspoonful of ground ginger with the second egg. For the filling, put a tablespoonful of ginger cordial (or ginger syrup) in the icing, and chop up some crystallized ginger and mix that in with the filling too.
Chocolate - mix a tablespoonful of cocoa powder with two tablespoons of hot water. Leave to cool for a while, and add with the second egg. For the filling, mix a tablespoonful of cocoa powder with a tablespoonful of water, and mix this with the icing.
Coffee - add a tablespoon of camp coffee/coffee essence to the cake with the 2nd egg, and add a tablespoon full to the icing as well. You can also add some finely chopped walnuts to the filling.
Variations and Advice
You can also use a victoria sandwich mix for making small cakes - get a bun tin, and some cake cases, and put about a tablespoonful of mixture in each case, and bake for about 10 minutes (perhaps a bit longer, but you should check at 10 minutes at least) at 180°C.
It's better to use glacé/water icing for these - mix a tablespoon of water with 4oz icing sugar. To flavour you can replace the water with any of the icing flavourings above (except for vanilla, when you should use vanilla essence and water). You may need a little more than a tablespoon of water to make the icing run properly, but be sparing, as you can't remove liquid from the icing, and if it's too runny it can be very messy! If your icing is too runny, add a bit more sugar. (Beware: you can get in a cycle of adding more water and more sugar until you have twice or more as much icing as you meant to! Then you have to eat the remainder.)
You shouldn't use a victoria sandwich mix for:
Filling with whipped cream - you need a proper sponge mix for that, or the cream dissipates
Making swiss rolls
Chilled Italian Chocolate Cake
This is easy to make, there's no cooking, it always comes out well and it's the best chocolate cake you'll ever taste!
- 225g/8oz Semi-sweet chocolate - cut into small pieces
- Half medium wineglass rum or brandy
- 225g/8oz Soft unsalted butter
- 50g/2oz Caster sugar
- 2 Eggs - separated
- 150g/5oz Grated, blanched almonds
- Pinch salt
- 12 Butter biscuits (petit beurre) cut each biscuit into four pieces
- Icing sugar
Lightly grease bottom and sides of a two-and-a-half pint loaf tin.
Melt chocolate in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring constantly.
When all chocolate has melted, stir in rum or brandy.
Remove pan from heat and cool to room temperature.
Cream the butter until light and fluffy, beat in the sugar and add egg yolks one at a time. Stir in the grated almonds and then the chocolate mixture.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff enough to form soft peaks. Fold this into the chocolate mixture.
When all streaks of white have disappeared, gently fold in the cut-up biscuits, discarding the crumbs.
Spoon the mixture into the greased tin and smooth top.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours or until very firm.
Unmould one hour before serving. To do so, run a sharp knife around the sides of the tin and dip the bottom of the tin into hot water for a few seconds. Place a chilled serving dish upside down over the tin and grasping both sides, quickly turn the plate and tin over. The cake should slide out easily, if not repeat process.
Smooth the top and sides of the cake and return to refrigerator. Just before serving sieve a little icing sugar over the cake.
Nadeen School Chocolate Cup-Cakes
My lad brought this recipe home from school today. Being as synchronicity is vogue right now, fate is clearly directing me to share.
- 100g Margarine
- 100g Caster sugar
- 100g Self-raising flour
- 1 Egg
- 30g Cocoa powder
Cream the margarine and the sugar together.
Add in the egg and flour and mix well.
Mix in the cocoa powder.
Distribute paper cup-cake cases onto a baking-tray.
Put a teaspoon of the mixture into each of the paper cases.
Bake in the oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes.
Known as Kvandæfjord, after the place in northern Norway where it originates. Also, it is not that hard to make.
- 100g Butter or margarine (room temperature)
- 120g White sugar
- 4 Egg yolks (the whites are used for the meringue)
- 3tbsp Milk
- 150g Flour
- 1tsp Baking powder
- 1tsp Vanilla sugar
- 4 Egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 200g Sugar
- 100g Sliced almonds
- Vanilla custard
Beat sugar and butter until white and creamy. While beating, add egg yolks, milk and flour mixed with baking powder and vanilla sugar. Put in a papered baking tin (30x40cm). It can be a bit tricky to distribute the batter without the paper sliding around so try glueing the paper down in the corners with a little butter.
Put egg whites in a bowl, and add a pinch of salt. (The salt is optional, most recipes don't use it, but it makes beating the egg whites simpler.) Beat the egg whites until stiff and white. Add sugar a little at a time while beating, until there's no crunching sugar left. Put the meringue on top of the already spread out batter and sprinkle with sliced almonds. (Unless you are allergic to them, in which case it's just as good without.)
- Put in the middle of a preheated oven (175°C) and cook for up to 30 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown.
Let it rest for a little while before easing it out of the pan. Then let it cool while you make the filling.
You can buy the vanilla custard ready made, or you can make it from scratch. When the custard is ready, carefully cut the cake in two equal halves. Put the filling on one half and place the other half on top. Leave the cake to cool. If left overnight in the fridge the moisture will ruin the meringue, but the cake will be just as tasty.
One Cup Fruit Loaf
Measuring the quantities for this cake is easy. All you need is a cup or mug, but you must use the same cup throughout. Using an Imperial half-pint mug gives enough mixture for a 1lb loaf tin.
- 1 Cup mixed fruit
- 1 Cup self-raising flour
- 1 Cup milk
- 1 Cup All-Bran (or similar bran cereal)
- 1 Cup demerara sugar
- 1tsp Mixed spices
Put all the ingredients except the flour into a large bowl and mix well. Cover and leave to stand overnight - or all day if you've mixed the ingredients in the morning. This allows the fruit and cereal to absorb the milk.
In the morning (or evening, as the case may be) add the flour and mix well. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C, 350°F.
Grease and line a 1lb loaf tin. Pour in the mixture and bake for 1 to 1.5 hours.
When cooked, remove from the oven and cover with a clean cloth. Leave to cool in the loaf tin - this keeps the cake moist.
When cold, remove from the tin and serve in slices. This loaf may be eaten with or without butter.
I have been assured by friends that this cake improves with keeping, provided that it is kept moist. Unfortunately, I have never been able to keep one for long enough to find out if this is true.
- 8oz Sugar
- 5oz Butter/margarine
- 2tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Ripe bananas - mashed
- 4tbsp Sour cream
- 8oz Plain flour
- 1tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 13fl oz Double cream
- 3tbsp Icing sugar
- 1tsp Vanilla extract
- 3.5oz Melted chocolate chips
- 2 Bananas
- 2tbsp Chopped nuts
Heat oven to gas mark 4/350°F.
Mix sugar, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl, adding the eggs one by one, until the mix is creamy. Then add the mashed bananas and sour cream. Then add the flour and bicarbonate of soda.
Pour the mix into two 8-inch greased cake tins, and cook for 25-30 minutes. Take the cakes out of the tins and cool on a wire rack.
In a bowl beat the double cream and add the sugar and vanilla, then add the melted chocolate chips.
Get your serving plate and place the 'lower' piece of cake on it. Spread with half of your choccy mix, and one sliced banana. Place on 'lid' piece of cake, and put the remaining choccy mix on top. Refrigerate the cake for 2 hours.
Before serving, top with the remaining banana slices and add the chopped nuts at the last minute.
Here's a very simple way to make a dessert that will seem like you fussed a lot. It's called dump cake mostly because you dump the ingredients together and bake it without even mixing them.
First you have to determine what sort of combination of fruit and cake interests you. Common choices are chocolate cake with cherries, spice cake with apples, and white or yellow cake with peaches. All of these are fine and you can certainly experiment with any others that strike your fancy.
Once you have decided what flavours you are going to blend you need a prepared cake mix in the chosen flavour and a can of prepared pie filling mix in the chosen fruit flavour. Use a rectangular cake pan (13x9 inches) which you can grease or not as you wish. The clean up is usually not bad even if you don't, as the pan almost always gets scraped for the last bits of flavour.
Here comes the fun part. Open the can of fruit filling and dump in the pan, spreading it out into an even layer, covering the whole bottom of the pan. Then open your box of cake mix and dump it, dry, right on top of the fruit. Spread this out evenly covering the fruit completely and try not to tamp it down too much. A good clean set of hands is the best tool for this job. To finish up, take a 1/4 pound of butter or margarine and cut it into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange the slices all around on the top of the dry cake mix so that it will cover most of the top as it melts and spreads out.
Pop this mixture into the oven at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Surprisingly, the moisture from the fruit filling will rise up through the dry cake mix and the butter will soak down giving you a not-at-all dry, fruity-cakey dessert when it is done. Spoon it out into shallow bowls and enjoy. This is wonderful served warm with ice cream and it's not bad when cold either.
Butter pecan cake mix (if you can find it) and almost any fruit are great together because the butter flavour in the mix and the pecan crunch just add to the whole experience.
Fruit cocktail with yellow cake is a kids' party hit.
Strawberry pie filling (again, if you can find it) with white cake mix makes an instant warm strawberry shortcake that begs for whipped cream.
The following is a great variation on a real treat. Not only is it surprisingly easy to make, it is also extremely filling and rich - a real crowd pleaser.
- 1lb Sugar
- 2lb Cream cheese - softened
- 4 Eggs
- 8fl oz Sour cream
- 1tbsp Cocoa
- 2tsp Vanilla extract
- 1tsp Almond extract
- 12oz Chocolate chips
- 2oz Blanched almonds - chopped finely
Pre-heat oven to gas mark 3/160°F.
Mix sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl until the mix is light and fluffy. Then add the eggs one by one, till the mix is creamy. Then add the sour cream, cocoa, vanilla and almond extract and mix well. Then swirl in the chocolate chips - this will give the marble effect.
Butter a 9-inch baking tin, and put the almonds over the bottom of the tin.
Pour in the cheesecake mix and put in the oven for 65-75 minutes (or until the mix has set) when the time is up, switch off the oven and leave the cheesecake in there for two hours. Cool completely, then chill overnight.
Chocolate Cornflake Cakes
These are absolutely gorgeous and although everyone knows how to make them anyway, they have to be mentioned.
Melt chocolate. This can be accomplished by using a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl or the chocolate will get too hot), or by placing it in the microwave on a low power setting and watching it very carefully. Take it out to look, poke and stir into creamy chocolate smoothness from time to time until it's all melted. Do this in a large bowl if you can.
If your bowl of chocolate is large, pour cornflakes, rice crispies or another cereal of your choice into it and stir around until it is evenly covered in the chocolate. If your bowl isn't large, scrape as much of the melted chocolate as you can into a large bowl and proceed with the pouring of cereal.
Transfer spoonfuls of the resultant chocolate-covered cereal into bun cases. It's best if these are set onto a tray of some sort so you can move them around easily.
Once you've put all the mix into the bun cases, all you need to do is leave the cakes to set.
Once set, put in a cake tin and enjoy at your leisure. While you're waiting, it's perfectly acceptable to lick the bowl.
Shredded Wheat, split up so that the strands of wheat are roughly intact, can be used to make nest-like constructs for Easter or other spring festivals celebrating the emergence of new life. Put chocolate mini-eggs in them once they're set and feed them to your children, thus appeasing them with chocolate and getting fibre into them in one fell swoop.
Add syrup and a bit of butter to the chocolate while melting to make sweeter, stickier cakes.
Fill a flan case with the mixture to make a huge cake you can slice up, although this isn't as fun to eat. You can top it with chocolate though. For interest, use a different kind of chocolate to the one you coted the cereal with.
This is one for adults with its high alcohol volume and decadence factor. The moonshine glaze is optional but highly recommended nonetheless.
- 8fl oz Milk
- 1tbsp Lemon juice
- 7fl oz Golden syrup
- 4oz Caster sugar
- 2 Beaten eggs
- 13oz Plain flour
- 2tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp Baking powder
- 1tsp Cinnamon
- 1tsp Ground ginger
- 9oz Shredded suet
- 7oz Chopped walnuts
- 10oz Raisins or sultanas, chopped
- 4fl oz Rum or whisky
Grease a round 9-inch cake tin.
Mix the milk with the syrup, sugar and eggs.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and spices together. Tip one third of this into a bowl and stir in the suet, nuts and raisins.
Sift the remaining flour mixture into the syrup mixture and pour in alternate spoons of milk. Stir in the whisky or rum.
Mix in the suet, nuts and raisins.
Pour the mixture in the tin and put in a preheated oven (160°C, 325°F Gas 3).
Bake until the top is firm to the touch and cracked open (about 1 hour 30 minutes).
Now decorate it with Moonshine Glaze, for which you will need:
- 4oz Icing sugar
- 1oz Softened butter
- 2tsp Rum or whisky
- 1tsp Vanilla essence
Stir all these together and mix well.
Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the oven then turn it out on a wire rack. Spoon over the glaze while the cake is still hot. The glaze will run in glossy runnels down the sides.
Easily everyone's favourite cake, this is also very easy to make. The cake is basically the simple French quatre-quarts or four-quarter cake. This is because of its equal proportions.
- 4 Eggs
- Same weight as eggs of butter, caster sugar, self-raising flour
- A little milk
- The zest of one lemon
- Juice of above lemon
- Icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4.
Beat the butter and sugar together, with a wooden spoon. Make sure it's nice and fluffy. Or you could use an electronic mixer - quick 'n' easy.
Beat in the eggs whole, one at a time. If you have added three of the eggs and the mixture looks a bit grainy, stir in a spoonful of flour to soak up excess moisture.
Now all the eggs are beaten in, slowly sieve in the flour a spoonful at a time and fold the flour in with a metal spoon.
Add enough milk to give a smooth mix which drops easily from the spoon.
Stir in the grated lemon rind.
Butter a small roasting tin and line the base with grease-proof paper.
Pour the mix into the tin.
Let the cake bake in the middle of the oven for 45-50 mins. It should be golden brown and well-risen. If it feels soft to your finger and is still hissing, bake it for another 5-10 mins.
Once cool, you start making the icing. This is quite difficult so be careful. Pour you lemon juice into a decent sized bowl, now add icing sugar slowly by the spoonful and keep stirring the icing. Once you are getting quite a thick mixture add a little more. Make sure the icing isn't too runny because you now pour the icing out of the bowl and on to the cake. The icing will run slowly down the cake giving it a nice smooth coat. The icing will harden after about an hour, and then - Enjoy!