Tag Archive for Cake

Apple and Apricot Cake

A moist cake, filled with fruit. The apple almost disappears, but gives the cake lots of extra flavour and moistness. It is quite firm, but not heavy. It is one of those cakes that is best when it is freshly baked. It is nice on its own, but would also work well with some whipped cream, crème fraîche or custard.


Apple and Apricot Cake
Slightly adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”

250 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
225 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 eggs
150 g butter, melted
225 g apple, peeled, cored and cubed
100 g dried apricots, cubed
25 g flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a brownie tin with baking paper.
Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, eggs and butter together in a bowl, then beat well for 1 minute. Fold the apple and apricots through. Spoon into the tin and level. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
Bake for about 1 hour, or until the cake is golden, firm to the touch and beginning to shrink away from the side of the tin. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then turn out, peel off the baking paper and serve. Or leave on a rack to cool down to room temperature.

Apricot Yoghurt Cake

A firm but light and airy cake with a good flavour that is really easy to prepare. It also freezes well. Try different fruits for variation.


Apricot Yoghurt Cake (12-16 pieces)
From “Das Grosse Backbuch – Kochen & Genießen”

1 can apricot halves (850 ml)
2 eggs
75 ml oil (something neutral, like rapeseed, or rice bran)
75 g yoghurt
150 g sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar
150 g flour
1 tsp baking powder

Grease and flour a 28 cm springform.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Let the apricots drip out in a sieve over a bowl. If they are whole, half them, so the bit of liquid in the middle will leak away too.
Mix eggs, oil, yoghurt, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the flour and baking powder and fold through. Pour into the prepared tin and spread out. Divide the apricots over the batter, with the round side up.
Cook for about 35 minutes in the preheated oven.

Treacle Spice Traybake

Mellow spiced, sticky tray bake. It is quite sweet and moist. Keeps very well, a few days is not a problem at all. And it would probably freeze well too. Try to bake it the day before you want to serve it, it tastes better when the flavours had some time to marry.

Treacle Spice Traybake2

Treacle Spice Traybake (21 pieces)
Slightly adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”

225 g butter, softened
175 g sugar
225 g black treacle
275 g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp speculaas spices
4 eggs
4 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 30 x 23 cm baking tin with baking paper.
Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin. Cut into 21 pieces.

Almond Cake

A light and fluffy cake with lovely almond flavour that stores well and is really versatile. It is lovely on its own, but also perfect as a base for layer cakes. It pairs well with chocolate, fruit and butter/whipped/pastry-cream, so it’s an allrounder – good to have in your repertoire.


Almond cake
Adapted from David Lebovitz

175 g sugar
150 g almond paste
25 g flour
150 g butter, cubed, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
70 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease a spring form (23-25 cm) with some butter and dust with flour.
Grind sugar, almond paste and the first measuring of flour together in a food processor, until it resembles sand (this is to prevent lumps). If you don’t have a food processor, use your fingers to rub everything together until it is sandy.
Add the butter and vanilla extract and mix until fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until is is incorporated before adding the next one.
Mix the second measure of flour, the baking powder and salt. Add it to the batter and fold trough until just incorporated.
Pour into the prepared form and bake for 45-60 minutes in the preheated oven.
Remove the cake from the oven and run a knife around the edge, loosing the cake from the sides of the form. Let the cake cool completely in the form.
Once cool, remove the form.

Can be kept on room temperature (well wrapped) for 4 days, and can be frozen for 2 months.

Banana bread

Actually it’s more like cake, but everyone calls it banana bread, so I’ll stick to that. I really don’t like overripe banana, but sometimes we have a few around. They work well in smoothies (you can freeze them in slices for that) but doing something else every once in a while is nice. The cake is really nice and fluffy, just like ‘normal’ cake, but has a subtle banana flavour. Serve it in thick slices, plain or with butter or cream cheese. I found that it got a bit dry after a day, for which popping the slice in the toaster is a great solution. The bread also freezes very well, so that’s an alternative for the toaster. It is also perfect as a quick bake for when people come over unexpectedly, made with ingredients I always have in the pantry, and a bit different than the standard things.

Banana Bread

Banana bread (makes 1)
adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”

100 g softened butter
175 g sugar
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
225 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper or grease well.
Measure all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Raspberry Mascarpone Cake

This cake is fresh and fruity, light and luxurious.

As this is a recipe from a German cookbook, it used some German ingredients. Klop-fix (or sahnesteif) is a powder that you mix with cream while whisking, to stabilize it. It prevents the whipped cream to collapse and weep, and it makes it more easy to pipe. I always use it when I make something with cream that will stand for a while. Although this recipe doesn’t contain whipped cream, but a quark-mascarpone mixture, I figured it could use some extra stabilization, so I added the klop-fix. Tortenguss is a powder that is mixed with water to make a jelly/glaze to pour over pie and tart (usually fruit tarts). It gives you a nice, decorative shiny layer on the fruit, but also binds the fruit together and sticks it to the base of the tart.

Raspberry Mascarpone Cake

Raspberry-Mascarpone Cake (serves 16)
Slightly adapted from “Das Grosse Backbuch – Kochen und Geniessen”

butter and flour for the tin
125 g butter, soft
125 g sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
3 eggs
150 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp milk

250 g full fat quark
250 g mascarpone
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar
1 sachet klop-fix

500 g raspberries

2 sachets red tortenguss
2 tbsp sugar

Grease a 26 cm springform and dust with flour. Preheat the oven to 175C.
Cream butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt. Add the eggs one by one, and mix until incorporated in between each addition. Mix flour and baking powder, and add together with the milk to the bowl. Mix until just incorporated. Pour into the prepared baking tin.
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then take out and leave to cool completely on a rack.
Add quark, mascarpone, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla sugar to a bowl. Add the klopfix while whisking. Make sure you only whisk until everything is combined, to keep it stable. Mix it to long, and it will not hold its shape in the cake.
Place the cake on a serving plate. Slide a cake-ring around (optionally lined with acetate or clingfilm). Pour the mascarpone mixture in and smooth it. Put the raspberries gently on top of the cream and even out.
Mix the tortenguss powder with the sugar in a pan. Add 500 ml cold water while whisking. Place on the heat and keep whisking, bring to the boil, then take off the heat. Leave to cool for 2 minutes, then pour on top of the raspberries.
Place the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.

Lemon yoghurt cake

This cake is extremely fast and simple to make, deliciously moist, tender and lemony, and a bit different than the standard (easy and fast) pound cake. It can be frozen very well (both whole and sliced), and I’ve even defrosted slices in the microwave (low wattage) successfully, while I normally let baked goods defrost at room temperature to prevent them getting dry. Or, keep it in the fridge and eat within a week. As a bonus, it is quite a light cake, while it doesn’t compromise on flavour.
If you want, you can ice the cake with an icing made with icing sugar and lemon juice, but I don’t think it is necessary. Also, freezing the cake with this icing will probably not work very well.

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

Lemon yoghurt cake (1 cake)
From “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”

300 g sugar
50 g butter, soft
3 eggs, separated
225 g Greek yoghurt
grated zest of 1 lemon
175 g self-raising flour

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20 cm round cake tin.
Beat together sugar, butter and egg yolks. Add the yoghurt and lemon, and beat until smooth. Gently fold in the flour.
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
Bake in the preheated oven for 60-75 minutes, or until the cake is golden, feels firm to the touch, and a toothpick comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.


I think anyone should have a recipe for fruitcake. It is easy to make, most people will like it, you can play around a bit with the different kinds of dried/candied fruit in it, and importantly: it is a classic. Fruitcakes come ranging from very light to very heavy, this one falls a bit in between (to keep the baking time reasonable, and to make maturing not necessary). Often, fruitcakes contain alcohol, this cake doesn’t, but I expect that you can soak the raisins and currants in something alcoholic before adding them (make sure you dry them), or drizzle the cake with alcohol after baking. Because it contains so much dried fruit, it will stay fresh and tasty for quite a while.
The washing of the cherries may seem a bit of a weird step in the recipe, but it is a necessary one. The sticky layer around the cherries is hygroscopic, meaning it will attract water. This will locally make the batter very running, causing an uneven bake, and the cherries will sink to the bottom as well. And, if you can find them, use natural glacé cherries, not the luminescent ones. I couldn’t, so I did use the luminescent ones, because in my opinion, you cannot make fruitcake without glacé cherry.


Adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”

100 g glacé cherries
100 g succade (candied peel)
75 g chopped dried apricots
50 g raisins
50 g currants
3 eggs
175 g self-raising flour
100 g softened butter
100 g brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 140C. Grease a loaf tin.
Cut the cherries into quarters, put in a sieve and rinse under running water. Drain well, then dry with kitchen paper.
Break the eggs into a large bowl. Add the flour, butter and sugar. Beat well until the mixture is smooth. Add the dried fruits and stir through. Pour into the prepared tin and level the top.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 80 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown, firm to the touch and shrinking away from the sides of the tin. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Olive Oil and Cider Carrot Cake

A lovely dense, spicy and moist carrot cake. It is not too sweet and not very fatty, which together with the whole grain flour, carrots and apple juice makes it quite a healthy cake. So it is perfect for those normal days, on which you still want to have something nice in the afternoon with a cup of tea, but nothing too heavy or too indulgent. I love a thick slice of it with some cream cheese mixed with a little brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla.
You can keep it at room temperature for a few days, or supposedly longer in the fridge. I didn’t try storing it in the fridge, because I always find storing baked goods in the fridge a bit iffy. But if you do want to keep it longer, slice the cake, put in a freezer container with baking paper between the layers and freeze. It will keep for about 2 months in the freezer. When you want a slice, take it out and leave to defrost at room temperature, or put it in the bread toaster.

Carrot Cake

Olive Oil and Cider Carrot Cake (for 1 23×13 cm loaf pan)
Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

200 g flour
90 g whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp speculaas spices
1/2 cup olive oil
145 g brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup soft cider (fresh, unfiltered apple juice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
260 g coarsely grated carrots
Olive oil for baking pan

Heat the oven to 175C. Coat a loaf pan with olive oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and speculaas spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, brown sugar, eggs, cider and vanilla. Stir grated carrots into wet ingredients until evenly coated, then stir wet ingredients into dry just until no floury bits remain.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out batter-free. Let cool in loaf pan for 20 to 30 minutes, then remove from pan and cool the rest of the way on a rack.

Dutch food: advocaat star cake

This cake breathes Christmas for me, because it’s luxurious, boozy, and star-shaped. You can serve it as an indulgent treat with coffee, but it is chique enough to serve as dessert. It does take some time to make, but it has to refrigerate overnight to firm up, so you have to make it in advance anyway. One downside: it contains alcohol, so it is not suitable for kids and pregnant women. It also contains raw eggs, so it is not suitable for the elderly and immunocompromised either.

Advocaat is a typical Dutch “drink”. It is made with egg yolks, sugar and brandy, and is often served in a small glass with a rosette of whipped cream, and a spoon to eat it (it’s quite thick). It is quite sweet and creamy (similar to custard), and has a slight kick from the booze (14-20% alcohol). Thinner advocaat (pourable/drinkable) is made with the whole egg and goes abroad. For some reason, they don’t like the thick stuff in other countries. This thinner version is similar to eggnog.

For my advocaat, I used a whole egg, because I had no use for the leftover egg white. And indeed, my advocaat was less viscous than the advocaat I know. Officially, you use brandy to make advocaat, but it works fine with whisky, rum, cognac and wodka too. I used whisky, because I didn’t want to buy a bottle of something especially for this recipe, and it turned out delicious, although it did taste a bit more alcoholic than the advocaat you buy in the supermarket. The shelf life is a bit of a mystery, some people say you can keep it for a few days in the fridge, others say you can keep it for weeks. To be safe, I would stick with the first. The recipe below will make way more than you need, either make it all and serve the remainder at cocktail hour, or make less. I made a batch with 1 egg (I weighed the egg and adjusted the other ingredients to that) and that was enough for the half sized cake I made. Make with 2 eggs to have enough for the full sized cake.

Advocaat Star Cake

Advocaat (lots)
Slightly adapted from Eerst Koken

250 g egg yolks or whole eggs
250 g sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
300 ml booze (brandy, whisky, rum, cognac, wodka)

Mix egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a heat-proof bowl. Place on top of a pan with simmering water. Add the booze and keep whisking until the mixture thickens. Directly take it from the heat and keep whisking until it has cooled slightly. Leave to cool completely before storing in the fridge in a clean container, or using it for the cake.

Advocaat star cake (for 8-12 people)
Adapted from “Blueband Kookboek Gebak”

4 eggs, split
90 g sugar, divided (35 g + 55 g)
pinch of salt
2 sachets vanilla sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
60 g flour
40 g corn starch
10 g slivered almonds
butter or oil to grease the tin

Preheat the oven to 165C. Cover the bottom of a 24 cm round springform with baking paper, then grease the bottom and sides.
Mix the egg yolks with 35 g sugar in a large(!) bowl until pale and creamy, until it pours from the whisks in a ribbon (use an electric mixer for this, it will take a while).
Whisk the egg whites stiff with a pinch of salt. Gradually add 55 g sugar and the vanilla sugar while whisking and keep whisking until the sugar has dissolved.
Scoop the egg whites on top of the yolks, together with the lemon zest. Sift the flour and cornstarch on top and fold everything carefully together. Carefully pour it into the prepared baking tin. Level the top and sprinkle over the almonds.
Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, leave to cool in the form for 15 minutes, then carefully take out and leave to cool completely on a cake rack.

8 sheets gelatin
2 eggs, split
100 g sugar
200 ml milk
250 ml whipping cream
300 ml advocaat
icing sugar

Soak the gelatin in cold water.
Mix the egg yolks, sugar and milk in a heat proof bowl. Place on top of a pan with simmering water. Keep mixing until the mixture thickens, then directly take it from the heat and keep whisking until it has cooled slightly. Add the gelatin sheets (squeezed, to get rid of extra water) one by one while mixing. Leave this custard to cool until it starts to get stiff.
Whisk the eggwhites until stiff. Whisk the cream until stiff. Add both to the custard, together with the advocaat, and fold together. Leave to set until it just holds its shape, but is liquid enough to transfer to the cake.
Slice the cake horizontally in half. Take the top half and slice it into 8 points, but stop 2 cm from the edge, to hold them together.
Pour or scoop the advocaat mixture on the bottom half of the cake, keeping the edge free. Place the top half on top. Carefully press the edges, so that the top opens up and forms a star. Dust the cake with icing sugar. Place in the fridge overnight (or at least 4 hours) to set.

Note: To make a smaller sized cake, suitable for 6-8 persons, half the recipe and use an 18 cm round baking tin.