Category Archives: Cakes

Courgette muffins

These taste much better than they sound, honest! 

My parents had a glut of courgettes in the garden, as ever. Some of which were the size of a baseball bat, almost. And my dad thought I’d appreciate a whole carrier bag full of them. Plus a punnet of tomatoes and an even bigger bag of runner beans. Anyone want some beans? I don’t think I can make cake out of them….

What do you do when your dad gives you courgettes? (After grill them, fry them, and make ratatouille…) Make courgette muffins! Of course. 

Added bonus, kind of by accident, these are also vegan! No, I’ve not “gone vegan”, but I know someone who has, so these are for Harriet, enjoy! 

Adapted from an Avel and Cole recipe, makes about 9 or 10.

  • 100ml olive oil
  • 50g sugar with stevia, or 100g caster sugar
  • 1 mashed banana (nice a ripe)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 250g plain flour 
  • 1tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Approx 200g grated courgette 
  • A handful of raisins/sultanas or nuts
  • A little honey

Preheat the oven to 180’c, or 160’c for a fan oven. 

Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.

Whisk olive oil, sugar, banana and cinnamon together. 

Siever in flour, bicarb, baking powder. Gently fold together. Carefully fold in courgette and raisins and/or nuts. Don’t over mix.

Divide the mix between the muffin cases, just to the rim on the tin. Dot tops with nuts, if using. I topped with sultanas, but you just end of with slightly burnt sultanas on top. 

Bake for 25 minutes. Drizzle a little honey over them when you take them out of the oven. Alternatively spread a little left over buttercream (from your fiancée’s 30th birthday cake….). Or both! 

Will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container. 


Sticky Toffee Cupcakes (dairy free)

This weather has been uncharacteristically lovely for England. It is wall to wall sunshine outside, but I’ve been stuck inside most days at my desk, with Jeff (the cat) keeping me company. At the moment he is lying across my arm in front of me, so I am typing with my hand protruding from underneath his soft furry belly.  He’s needy but I love him. Working normal office hours again really does make you appreciate the weekends, and we have been making the most of them, with trips to food fairs, long bike rides and visiting friends. Last weekend we were back up in London for dinner with my amazing group of friends, where everyone brought some item of food to contribute to dinner. Of course, I was charged with pudding….

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Minion Twins

Today, for the first time ever, we had the whole family together including all of our boyfriends. We were also celebrating me and my sister’s birthday (yes, we’re twins!). Add to that some degree results, a pay rise and a promotion, and you’ve got some pretty good reasons to celebrate. It has been a truly lovely day.

It couldn’t be CakeyKate’s birthday without a birthday cake. I spoke to my twin a few weeks ago and she requested a “proper cake like we used to have when we were kids, like the minie mouse one?”. So the first thing that came to mind was obviously Minions. For anyone who hasn’t seen Despicable Me a) go treat yourself to a dvd and b) this whole theme will go straight over your head.

I am going to say this now, these are not professional cakes! Nor are they professional photos, we just took them quickly in our kitchen, sorry…. They’re kind of mini minions, and one is definitely more Mike from Monsters Inc than Dave from Despicable Me, but you get the idea….. I left it a bit late as well, I only made them this morning, so I had both my sisters helping me decorate them this afternoon and they did an awesome job. If only I had two helpers every time I made a cake!

As I made two, I did one dairy free vanilla cake, with vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam. The other was dairy-full lemon cake, with lemon buttercream and lemon curd. It was quite strange using butter again, I found the buttercream was much easier to work with, but apart from that there was little difference, I just had to force myself not to lick the spoon! My sister honestly couldn’t guess which one was which. I indulged in buying some “buttery caramel” flavour and added it to my dairy free frosting, which made it taste like actual butter buttercream!

There was no recipe, just weigh the eggs and the same weight of flour, sugar and butter (or Trex/vegetable fat), + 1tsp baking powder and 1tsp of flavouring (lemon zest or vanilla bean paste) and a few tablespoons of milk. Put it all in the mixer and mix away until smooth. For the slightly squatter one, I did a 4 egg mix, in two 15cm tins and a hemisphere pan. For the bigger one I did a 5 egg mix, in three 15cm tins and the hemisphere pan. The sandwich tins took about 25 minutes at 170°C in a fan oven, with the hemisphere pan taking about 40-50 minutes at 160°C. For each cake I made quite a lot of frosting, I did 240g butter/fat and 750g icing sugar, with a few dribbles of milk, plus flavouring.

So without further ado! Minions!

Minion Twins


CakeyKate's birthday







Spot the bamboo skewer holding the whole thing together!


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I don’t know any little girls called Emma

I really don’t know any little girls called Emma. I do know a twenty-something woman called Emma, and this was her birthday cake. She was having a kid’s birthday party and said she really wanted a princess cake. Challenge accepted. I didn’t plan this one at all, I woke up on the day of the party and thought “ah, I should make the cake”. Luckily she specified “boring” for the actual cake, not that vanilla sponge, vanilla buttercream and jam is boring. I wasn’t about to try a full on princess castle, I did attempt a fondant crown but gave up and went for hearts instead. You might not be able to tell from the photos, but the overall colour is a very light pink, which I love, plus I got to use my gold shimmer dust and some shimmer sugar which have been sitting in the cupboard waiting for their time to shine. It went down pretty well. Sorry for the rubbish photos, my camera died.

Dairy free princess cake

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Apricot and Pistachio cupcakes with rose buttercream

I had one of those days when I said to myself “I just want some cake”. OK, I say that to myself most days. But most of the time I resist and have something to drink (because most of the time when we feel hungry we’re actually thirsty) like apple and blackcurrant squash which seems to distract my mind away from cake. Other times I whip up some plain old sponge cakes, or some slightly unseasonal mince pies with the leftover mince meat. This time, I saw apricots and pistachios. I tried out a basic recipe with them just chucked in, they were OK, nothing spectacular and a little dry. But I loved the flavour combination, so I tried again. Here’s what happened.

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