Category Archives: Cakes

Giant Victoria Sponge Donut Cake

Here’s a great way of reinventing the classic Victoria sponge into a showstopper of a cake, this is my Giant Victoria Sponge Donut Cake.

I bought my giant donut mould from Lakeland when it was on offer for £2.50. I don’t often bake with silicon moulds but I enjoyed making this donut cake; greasing the moulds made the cakes turn out really easily and I loved how the cakes looked after they were turned out with the golden brown rings on the base.

The donut mould comes with a lid that you can put on one half so that the cake is baked with a slight hollow so you can fill it like a donut; unlike my Victoria Sponge donut, the filling is instead concealed giving it a more authentic doughnut look but I prefer having the filling exposed, it looks much more inviting to me! And even if you can’t find this exact mould, any savarin-shaped mould will do. Make sure that the inside is well greased and you may want to flour it too to extra ensure it turns out.

This cake went down a huge storm with the teachers at school who requested a cake from me. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a picture of a slice but when you get an empty cake stand brought home, you know it must have been good!

225g margarine

225g granulated sugar

4 eggs

225g self raising flour

1 tbsp whole milk

75g raspberry jam, sieved

300ml double cream

50g granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

80g icing sugar

Red food colouring

Sprinkles, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Grease two 21cm silicon donut moulds well and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine with the granulated sugar until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one, scraping down the bowl with a spatula after each addition. Add in the self raising flour and fold through until incorporated. Then beat in the tablespoon of milk until mixed through.

Divide the cake batter evenly between the 2 donut moulds and use the back of a spoon to level the surface. Bake the donut cakes for around 25 – 30 minutes until the cake is golden brown, coming away from the edges and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the mould for 10 minutes before peeling away the mould and leaving to cool fully on a cooling rack.

In another bowl, whisk the double cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until it holds a thick but soft peak. Then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.

Prepare the icing by mixing together the icing sugar with enough milk to form an icing that is thick enough to stay on the cake but not too thin that it runs off the cake straight away. Add a drop of red food colouring to make a baby pink colour.

Place one donut half on your serving stand and use a serrated knife to level off the top if necessary. Spread the sieved jam over this top half, making sure it doesn’t go over the edge. Carefully pipe over the whipped cream in a swirl pattern, filling in any gaps after. Sprinkle over a few pink pearl sprinkles and then place the other sponge on top the right way up.

Then spread the pink icing over the top of the sponge, covering the entire surface and allowing it to drip down the sides slightly. Before the icing sets, sprinkle over some rainbow sprinkles and leave the icing to set before slicing to serve.

Giant Homemade Jaffa Cake

We were all transfixed to The Great British Bake Off when Mary set them the challenge of making 12 Jaffa cakes. Whether it was making sure the cakes weren’t stuck to the tin or putting on the jelly the right way up, there were a lot of hurdles to overcome. I even tried them myself in a 90 minute time limit with varying degrees of success. But I’m giving it another go, this time without a 90 minute time limit but also making a giant version; this is my (edited) Giant Jaffa Cake recipe!

Mary’s recipe calls for a whisked sponge, which is practically impossible for me in my uni kitchen since I don’t even have an electric whisk! All of my bakes have been made completely by hand, from my Crystallised Stem Ginger Cookies to Red Velvet Hazelnut Biscotti. And while I’m happy to whisk up a 1 egg white meringue, I don’t fancy whisking 3 eggs with sugar by hand until the ribbon stage so I use a basic sponge recipe for this cake.

The relatively small amount of water used to make the jelly means it has a relatively firm set, ideal for slicing up when serving the cake as well as transferring on top of the cake. I didn’t get it dead centre the first time but I found that the set of the jelly meant it was fairly forgiving when it needed moving.

1 x 135g pack of orange jelly

200ml boiling water

125g margarine

125g granulated sugar

2 eggs

140g self raising flour

Zest and juice of 1/2 an orange

140g dark chocolate

30g margarine

2 tbsp runny honey

12 Jaffa cakes, halved

Line a 18cm sandwich tin with a few layers of clingfilm, making them as smooth as possible with some overhang.

Cut up the pack of jelly into cubes and place into a heatproof jug. Pour over the boiling water and stir until the jelly has dissolved. Place the sandwich tin into the fridge and then pour in the orange jelly and refrigerate for around 2 hours. When you are ready to bake, remove the tin from the fridge so the jelly comes to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm springform tin.

In a bowl, cream together the margarine, the sugar and orange zest until it is light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one by one beating well between each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl between mixing. Sift in the self raising flour and baking powder and using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Lastly mix through the orange juice until the cake batter is smooth and even.

Transfer the mixture into the tin, using the back of the spatula to get the surface as level as possible. Bake the cake for around 20 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown, risen, springs back to the touch and an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool, level off the top of the cake using a serrated knife to get a smooth top. When the cake is cool and the jelly has set, flip the jelly onto the centre of the cake.

Prepare the chocolate glaze by breaking up the dark chocolate into a microwaveable bowl and add the margarine and honey. Microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring between each one until the chocolate glaze is smooth and very shiny. Leave to cool slightly for 5 minutes.

Now working quickly, use a palette knife to spread the glaze over the cake and jelly, covering the jelly and the visible top of the cake to get that distinctive Jaffa Cake shape. Then before the glaze sets, place the halved Jaffa cakes on top of the jelly, arranging them in an overlapping circle. Leave the glaze to set at room temperature.

Apple and Sultana Hot Cross Scones

Scones are a brilliant starting place for any beginner baker and homemade scones fresh from the oven are far superior to supermarket scones. I’ve given the classic scone a slight twist with the addition of apple and seeing as we’re in April and Easter is around the corner, I added a cross on top of the scones, as an alternative to hot cross buns. These are my Apple and Sultana Hot Cross Scones.

Traditionally, the liquid used to bind the ingredients in scones is milk however I toyed with the idea of using apple juice as the binding liquid and I found it worked just fine, adding slight sweetness as well as flavour. The variety of apple I chose was Gala as they looked the most delicious and sweet in the shops. I like to keep the red skin on however you can peel the apples too. The size of the diced apples is about 1cm.

I usually avoid using a rolling pin to flatten the dough so that I resist the temptation of rolling it too thinly and it also prevents knocking out as much of the air created thus far. Also, when you cut out your scones, don’t twist the cutter otherwise the scones won’t rise properly. The cutter I used was a mug which was 7cm wide at the top so these scones are fairly sizeable but feel free to use a smaller cutter for daintier scones (and also reduce the baking time).

250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

3 tsp baking powder

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

60g margarine, cut into cubes

45g granulated sugar

1 Gala apple, cored and diced

30g sultanas

1 large egg

60 – 80ml apple juice, plus extra for brushing the scones

30g plain flour


Preheat the oven to 190˚C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Sift the flour, baking powder and the spices into a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the margarine into the dry ingredients until it resembles fine and even breadcrumbs. Shaking the bowl will move larger pieces of the margarine to the surface. Create a well in the centre and add the sugar, diced apple and sultanas and stir to combine so the fruit is coated in the flour.

Make another well and crack in the egg and add three-quarters of the apple juice and using a palette knife and a cutting and stirring motion, bring together until it forms a loose dough.

Tip it out onto a lightly floured work surface and use your hands to knead the dough for about 10 seconds to bring it together. It should look quite rough but hold together as a dough; if it’s smooth, then you’ve overworked it. Use your hands to flatten the dough to around 2cm thickness.

Use a lightly floured cutter (I used a mug which was 7cm wide at the top), cut out as many scones as you can from the dough and place onto the baking tray, leaving space for expansion. Reroll and reshape any of the scraps of dough, doing this a maximum of 2 times to avoid overworking.

Brush the tops of the scones with apple juice. In a small bowl, mix together the flour with enough water to form a thick pipeable paste. Transfer into a piping bag and cut off a small hole at the end and then pipe a cross over the scones, starting from and finishing at the sides of the scones.

The scones took around 20 – 25 minutes to bake in my oven. I waited for the tops and sides to be evenly golden brown and lifting up the scones from the parchment, it should come cleanly off the parchment and be browned well on the base. Leave to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Brownie Pudding

Sometimes you just really need a pudding on a cold night to make you feel so much better. And in amongst the revision for my first university exam, I managed to find a bit of time to rustle up a Chocolate Brownie Pudding.


This pudding is rich and chocolatey and is just so utterly comforting; it’s everything you want in a pudding. The recipe is easily scalable to serve as a pudding for a family or for friends to share.

I read somewhere that if you beat the brownie mix for a bit after it’s fully mixed, that gives you the wonderful wafer thin crust on top of the brownie and so I’m following that same method here to get a crust on top of the pudding. It’s got a slight crunch to it and that contrasts so well with the fudgy chocolate pudding.

The dish that I used is a 14cm oval ceramic dish from Poundland. It’s been one of my favourite purchases and I’ve used it for so many meals, it’s incredibly versatile. I baked my Homemade Chicken Enchiladas in the dish and you can go read the recipe by clicking on the name.

60g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

50g margarine

60g granulated sugar, you can use soft light brown sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

35g plain flour

Natural yoghurt or crème fraiche, to serve

In a microwaveable bowl, melt the dark chocolate and the margarine in the microwave. You can use the residual heat from the melted margarine to finish melting the chocolate. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease a 14cm oval ceramic dish.

Add in the eggs one by one, mixing well between each one. Fold through the plain flour gently until it is just combined and then give it a good mix for about 20 seconds to help form the crust on the pudding.

Pour the brownie pudding batter into the greased dish and bake for around 20 – 22 minutes until the pudding has slightly risen and a crust has formed on the top of the pudding. Serve the pudding immediately and top with some natural yoghurt or crème fraiche.


Day 9 of 12: Christmas Present Cake

One of the most exciting parts of Christmas is opening up a present from a friend or a family member and loving what’s inside. And with my Christmas Present Cake, you are sure to love what’s inside this present; 2 layers of chocolate cake sandwiched with a white chocolate buttercream.


I used a 26.5cm x 21.5cm x 4cm traybake tin for this cake. Once it’s baked, I trim off the rough edges and then measure the length of the remaining cake and divide into 2 rectangles, forming the 2 sponge layers. I fill the cake with a layer of buttercream before doing a crumb coat.


Crumb coats are a process whereby you cover the cake in a thin layer of buttercream to prevent any crumbs from the cake getting into the buttercream which could ruin its appearance. It allows any further layers of buttercream to be smooth and allow fondant to be applied more easily and smoothly. A good tip is to keep a small bowl and kitchen roll on hand to remove any excess frosting from your palette knife.

When handling fondant icing, it’s always important to keep your work surface clean and dusted with icing sugar to prevent it sticking to your surface. Personally, I think that fondant should be a thin layer so I roll out the white fondant ‘wrapping paper’ as thinly as I can.


When I cover the cake, I roll it loosely up on my rolling pin before unrolling back over. This is the easiest and safest way to transfer your fondant and is less risky than moving it with your hands as it could split or fall.  Always lift the fondant and move it so that it drapes down the side and the fondant on top is smooth.

By far the hardest part of the fondant work is covering the edges of the present. Unlike a round cake, the fondant doesn’t manipulate easily around the sharp corners of a square cake but the way I got around this was smoothing the fondant on the sides of the cake, using my hands which had icing sugar on them, so that at the corners, the fondant gathered up. Then I got a sharp knife and trimmed off leaving only 0.5cm excess and smoothed it together with my hands. The pizza cutter is also an essential tool.

For the chocolate sponge

110g margarine

110g granulated sugar

2 eggs

½ tsp vanilla extract

100g self raising flour

15g cocoa powder

1 tbsp milk

For the white chocolate buttercream

100g margarine

200g icing sugar

60g white chocolate, melted

2 – 3 tsp milk

For the decoration

150g white fondant icing

100g red fondant icing

Silver balls

Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Grease and line a 26.5cm x 21.5cm x 4cm traybake tin with baking parchment, cutting diagonally in at the corners so that the parchment fits better in the tin.

Cream together the margarine and the sugar until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract and the eggs one by one, beating well between each addition, scraping down the bowl halfway through. Sift in the cocoa powder and the flour and then using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients until they are incorporated followed by the milk.


Pour the cake batter into the tin and use a spatula to level out the mixture. Bake the cake for 16 – 18 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully. Then trim off the edges and divide the cake into 2 rectangles.

Prepare the buttercream by beating together the margarine with the icing sugar, in 2 batches, until it is light and fluffy. Add in the melted white chocolate which has cooled down slightly and fold through until incorporated, adding in some milk if it feels too thick. Chill the buttercream for 30 minutes.

On your cake board, stick down the first layer of cake with a small amount of buttercream. Take about a quarter of the buttercream and spread it onto the first cake layer evenly, allowing some to go over the edge. Place the other sponge on top and take another quarter of the buttercream and spread it on top, and over the edges slightly.


Now do the crumb coat by covering the cake in a thin layer of buttercream. You can see that if this were the visible layer of buttercream, that it has a very dirty and rough look but this will get coated with more buttercream and fondant. Chill the cake and the buttercream for 30 minutes before coating the cake with the remaining buttercream. The cake should be as smooth as possible. Chill again.


For the fondant icing, knead the white fondant icing on a work surface dusted in icing sugar. Roll it out as thinly as possible and larger than your cake board. Roll it up over your rolling pin and then unroll it over the cake (see above for more details). Smooth out the fondant around the cake, using your hands to work the fondant icing. Use a pizza cutter to trim around the base of the present. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect at this stage.


Roll out the red fondant into a long strip and use the pizza cutter to cut out a 1cm wide strip long enough to go around the whole cake. This will cover up the bottom edge of the present. Wrap it around the bottom edge and use a little water to adhere the strip together. Make 2 more strips in the same way to create a cross over the present as in the picture, again using water to stick the fondant down.


Press silver balls firmly and evenly into the fondant cross. Then roll small balls of red fondant to create a spotty wrapping paper effect. Use a sharp paring knife to push the white fondant down slightly, creating a dip for the fondant balls to sit in. Leave the fondant to dry out overnight before serving.


Make sure to also check out the first 8 Days of Christmas. We’re nearing the end of the series and the feedback has been amazing, you’ve all seemed to love my 12 Days!

Day 1: Dairy Milk Caramel Cupcakes

Day 2: Melted Snowman Chocolate Chip Cookies

Day 3: Lidl’s Favorina Spiced Biscuit Spread Review

Day 4: White Chocolate and Cranberry Crunch Biscuits

Day 5: Red Velvet Hazelnut Biscotti

Day 6: Melted Snowman Chocolate Cupcakes

Day 7: Essential Cuisine Turkey Gravy Review

Day 8: Gingerbread Hazelnut Latte Biscotti

Day 6 of 12: Melted Snowman Chocolate Cupcakes

Back on Day 2 of 12 Days of Christmas, I posted my recipe for Melted Snowman Chocolate Chip Cookies. The story behind those was the idea of seeing your snowman melt away slowly and needing some comfort with some warm chocolate chip cookies.


I’ve since seen quite a few melted snowman themed bakes which involved fondant icing and marshmallows for the snowman’s head. This inspired me to create some Melted Snowman Chocolate Cupcakes based on the idea of a chocolate snowball, which is a marshmallow covered in chocolate and desiccated coconut.


The layer of ‘marshmallow’ frosting contrasts the soft and light chocolate sponge, I use the inverted commas because it’s a cross between a Swiss meringue and marshmallow but I use marshmallows to help set the frosting and give a bit of chewiness. The marshmallow topping is quite runny so would just run down the cupcake and the case if I didn’t trim off the tops of the cupcakes; the excess cake is a chef’s perk!

Remember to also check out the other 4 days of my 12 Days of Christmas, you can find the links here:

Andrew in the Kitchen’s Dairy Milk Caramel Cupcakes

Andrew in the Kitchen’s Lidl Favorina Spiced Biscuit Spread Review

Andrew in the Kitchen’s White Chocolate and Cranberry Crunch Biscotti

Andrew in the Kitchen’s Red Velvet Hazelnut Biscotti

110g margarine

110g granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

15g cocoa powder

100g self raising flour

1 tbsp milk

1 egg white

60g granulated sugar

4 tsp water

2 tsp honey

40g mini white marshmallows

Desiccated coconut, to sprinkle on top

Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Line a 6-hole muffin tin with muffin cases.

Cream together the margarine and the sugar until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract and the eggs one by one, beating well between each addition, scraping down the bowl halfway through. Sift in the cocoa powder and the flour and then using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients until they are incorporated followed by the milk.

Use an ice cream scoop to divide the cupcake batter between the 6 cases, not filling them more than three quarters full. I like to level out the surfaces before baking (which also helps me to see if they need more (or less) batter in them) with a teaspoon.


Bake the cupcakes for 18 – 22 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully. Once cool, trim off the tops of the cake to create a flat surface.

Over a pan of simmering water, whisk together all of the ingredients for the frosting except the marshmallows for around 6 – 7 minutes until it increases in volume, is thick and holds the shape of the whisk; it doesn’t need to be stiff like a meringue.

Melt the marshmallows in a bowl in the microwave and whisk the melted marshmallow through the meringue. Spoon the icing on top of each cupcake and use a spoon to spread the frosting out into a single layer. Sprinkle over a generous layer of desiccated coconut and finish with a sprinkling of the leftover cake crumbs.


Day 3 of 12: Lidl’s Favorina Spiced Biscuit Spread Review

We’ve all seen the jars of Lotus Biscoff spread in the supermarkets. If you’ve not tried a Lotus Biscoff biscuit before, it’s like a spiced caramel biscuit which is just so addictive!! Spreading it on toast is just the epitome of deliciousness!

So it was to my surprise when I saw that Lidl had released their own version of Lotus Biscoff spread for their Favorina Christmas range. Their Spekulatius spread (which, like Lotus Biscoff, comes in two forms, either crunchy or smooth) retails at £1.49 for 350g which is slightly cheaper than Lotus, whose average price on the 4th December was £1.75. I couldn’t resist buying it to try and I was bombarded with requests on Twitter to review it.


Tasting it on its own out of the jar (which seems quite student-esque of me!), the spices and the caramel flavour profiles were immediately apparent and I was instantly reminded of Lotus Biscoff. The flavour, however, was not quite as intense as Lotus Biscoff but it was still pleasant and enjoyable. For the price I paid, I was satisfied that it was worth paying for.

Next I tried on toast and none of this fancy sourdough toast, plastic white bread toast! The spread started to melt on the warm toast and as I was spreading it on the toast, the aroma and the spices just screamed the festive season and this was a great breakfast! I’d say that about half of the jar has been eaten in the space of 2 weeks!


Then I had the thought of using it in cupcakes like Jane’s Patisserie did over on her blog! Much like when I was spreading it on the toast, when the cupcakes bake, you can smell the spicy caramel flavour and it’s just one of the best smells ever! I also add a tiny amount of mixed spice and cinnamon to heighten the spice profiles.


You can check out Jane’s Patisserie’s Biscoff recipes here as well as the first 2 recipes I posted for 12 Days of Christmas:

Jane’s Patisserie’s Biscoff Cookie Butter Cupcakes

Jane’s Patisserie’s No-bake Biscoff Cookie Butter Cheesecake

Andrew in the Kitchen’s Dairy Milk Caramel Cupcakes

Andrew in the Kitchen’s Melted Snowman Chocolate Chip Cookies

90g margarine

110g granulated sugar

50g spiced biscuit spread

2 eggs

125g self raising flour

¼ tsp mixed spice

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp milk

For the frosting:

40g margarine

20g cream cheese

40g spiced biscuit spread

100g icing sugar

1 tbsp milk

Spiced biscuits, such as Lotus Biscoff, crushed into crumbs

Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Line a 6 hole muffin tin with 6 paper muffin cases.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine with the sugar and biscuit spread until it is lighter in colour and mixed. Beat in the eggs one by one, beating well between each addition. Do not worry if it has curdled. Sift in the dry ingredients and fold through, adding in the milk at the end.

Using an ice cream scoop, divide the cake batter between the 6 cases, not filling them more than three-quarters full. Bake the cupcakes for around 18 – 22 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool down completely.


If the cupcakes have a dome, use a knife to trim off the tops so you have a flat surface – but don’t throw the tops away, you can make an ice cream sandwich or whoopie pies with them!


For the frosting, cream together the margarine, cream cheese and the biscuit spread until it is fluffy. Beat in the icing sugar all at once until the frosting is light, the colour of toffee and is smooth. Depending on the thickness, you may need to ask some milk to soften the frosting slightly. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.


Pipe the frosting onto the top of the cupcakes, starting from the centre, exerting equal pressure moving the bag outwards from the centre. When you get to the end, release the pressure but continue moving in the circle to get a perfectly frosting cake. Sprinkle with some of the biscuit crumbs to finish.