This is such a fun cake – the weight of alternating spoonfuls of mixture dropped on top of one another cause it to spread in the tin and create a wonderful ‘zebra’ stripped pattern that will be revealed when cut. It’s useful to remember that the smaller your spoonfuls of mixture are, the more delicate and intricate your design will be.
15g butter, melted 1 teaspoon plain flour 300g (2 cups) self-raising flour 70g plain flour 330g (1½ cups) caster sugar 250g salted butter, softened 4 eggs, at room temperature 185ml (¾ cup) water 2 teaspoons natural vanilla essence or extract
Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Combine the 15g melted butter with the 1 teaspoon plain flour and use a pastry brush to grease a 2 litre (8 cup) Bundt or fluted ring tin (see Baker's Tips).
To make the cocoa mixture, place the cocoa in a medium bowl and gradually stir in the boiling water. Stir in the caster sugar and set aside.
Put the flour, sugar, butter, eggs, water and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 3-4 minutes or until paler in colour and silky smooth in texture. Transfer 2 cups (about 500g) of the cake mixture to a separate bowl. Add the cocoa mixture and use a spatula to mix until evenly combined.
Drop a large spoonful of the vanilla mixture into the prepared cake tin. Drop a large spoonful of the cocoa mixture into the centre of the vanilla mixture. Continue dropping alternating spoonfuls of the mixtures into the tin directly on top of each other until all the mixture is used. The mixture will spread and even out as you add more, creating the ‘zebra’ pattern.
Tap the tin firmly on the benchtop 3 times. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Stand the cake in the tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely (this will take about 1 hour).
To make the chocolate fudge glaze, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until almost simmering. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and then set aside for 2 minutes. Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a thick pouring consistency.
Place the cake on the wire rack over a tray and pour the chocolate fudge glaze over. Set aside for 30 minutes or until the glaze sets.
I used Baker’s Secret Fluted Tube Pan for this recipe but if you don't have this particular one, or a similar tin, you can use a greased and base-lined 24cm round cake tin instead.
This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
The uniced cake also freezes well for up to 3 months. For the whole cake (or a portion of it), seal in an airtight container appropriate for its size before freezing. For individual pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and seal in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature.
A good basic vanilla cupcake recipe is a must in anyone's repertoire. This one is not only super simple but also incredibly reliable – just make sure your butter is at room temperature and soft enough to make an indent when you press your finger into it lightly. The Vanilla Buttercream quantity will make enough for piping it onto your cupcakes, but if you prefer to spread it you only need to make half the quantity.
185g (1¼ cups) self-raising flour 165g (⅔ cup) caster sugar 125g butter, softened 80ml (⅓ cup) milk 2 eggs, at room temperature 2 teaspoons Queen Natural Vanilla Extract or Essence Edible sprinkles of your choice (optional)
250g salted butter, at room temperature 2 teaspoons Queen Natural Vanilla Extract or Essence 60ml (¼ cup) thickened cream, plus extra if required 350g icing sugar mixture, sifted
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line a 12-hole 80ml (⅓ cup) muffin tin with paper cases.
Place the flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 3 minutes or until the mixture is well combined, creamy and very pale in colour. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, dividing evenly.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a rack to cool completely (this will take about 30 minutes).
To make the Vanilla buttercream, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and vanilla , scraping down the side of the bowl when necessary, until very pale and creamy. Add the cream and beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until very creamy. Add the icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes or until light, creamy and a good spreading or piping consistency. Beat in another tablespoon of cream if the buttercream needs thinning slightly.
Pipe or spread the buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate, if desired.
These cupcakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool spot for up to 2 days.
Prep 25min (+ lemon curd making time)Bake 50minMakes 10-12 serves
This wonderful cake was created by one of our Make Me a Baker graduates, Lisa Frost, for her graduation ceremony. "The foundations for my baking business all began with this cake and encompass all I now do through The Naked Lion Co – create wholesome baked goods using the finest local produce. A layer of my vegan lemon curd is baked into the cake giving it a fabulously tangy, moist centre."
1 quantity Vegan Lemon Curd, chilled Double / thick cream, to serve 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios, to serve
Cooking oil spray, to grease 160g (1¼ cups) finely chopped pistachios kernels 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature 150g (¾ cup) organic coconut sugar 1½ tablespoons finely grated lemon rind 50g (¼ cup) apple puree 3 eggs, at room temperature 100g (⅔ cup) plain cake flour 1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 22cm round springform tin then line base and sides with 2 layers of baking paper. Spray the side lining paper with oil, avoiding the base of the pan. Place ¼ cup of the pistachios in the pan and rotate pan on its side to coat the side with nuts.
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and lemon rind until pale and creamy, scraping down the side of the bowl when necessary. Mix in the apple puree on low speed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add ⅔ cup of the remaining pistachios and stir to combine. Use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined.
Spoon the cake mixture into tin, spreading evenly. Drop the tin on the bench to settle the mixture. Spread 1 cup of the chilled curd over batter, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining pistachios. Cover the surface of the remaining curd with plastic wrap and return to the fridge.
Bake for 40 minutes. Cover the surface of the cake lightly with a round of baking paper to prevent the nuts from burning and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (the top of the cake will still be slightly wobbly).
Allow the cake to stand in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing the side. Serve warm or at room temperature with the cream, remaining lemon curd and pistachios.
Dating back to the early British settlers of North America, cobblers are based on seasonal fruits and topped with a wet, scone-like mixture. The result is a simple pie of sorts with the topping resembling cobblestones – thought to be the reason for this homely dessert's name.
Melted butter, to grease
800g (about 5 small) firm ripe pears (such as Williams or Packhams), peeled, cored and cut into eighths
1 bunch rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths (you should have about 500g trimmed rhubarb)
135g (⅔ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or essence
1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream or cream, to serve
225g (1½ cups) self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
125g chilled butter, cubed
75g (⅓ cup) raw sugar sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra for sprinkling
125ml (½ cup) buttermilk, plus extra to glaze
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Lightly grease a 1.5 litre (6 cup) ovenproof dish with the melted butter.
Peel, quarter and core the pears. Cut each quarter in half lengthwise and place in a large bowl. Add the rhubarb, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and toss gently to combine evenly. Transfer to a.
To make the Cobbler Topping, sift the flour and salt together into a medium bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and the butter is evenly incorporated. Stir in the sugar and make a well in the centre.
Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture and use a flat-bladed knife to mix with a cutting action until the dough comes together in clumps. Use lightly floured hands to bring the dough together – it will be a sticky dough. Use lightly floured hands to roll into 2 cm balls (or should they be larger) and place randomly over the top of the fruit.
Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the top of the cobbler mixture with the extra buttermilk and then sprinkle with the extra raw sugar.
Bake in preheated oven for 40–45 minutes or until golden brown and the Cobbler Topping is cooked through and the fruit is tender when tested with a skewer. If browning too quickly cover the top with a piece of foil towards the end of baking. Serve warm with ice cream or cream.
The pears can be replaced by apples in this recipe. Cut them into thin wedges before combining them with the rhubarb, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
Traditionally made with apples, this classic upside-down French tart was created by the Tatin sisters who ran a hotel in France in the early 1900s. If you don't have a ovenproof frying pan, transfer the cooled caramel and pears to a base-lined 22cm round cake tin before covering them with the pastry and baking.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 20–22 cm (base measurement) heavy-based frypan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with the sugar and then arrange the pears, cut-side up, in the pan, cutting some of the halves into quarters to fill the gaps. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the liquid becomes a dark caramel and the pears are almost tender and golden underneath. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 1 hour 15 minutes or until cooled completely.
Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan-forced).
Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the pastry out on a lightly floured bench top to about 5mm thick and then cut into a circle about 26 cm in diameter. Place the pastry over the cooled pears in the pan and carefully tuck the pastry edge around the fruit and down the side of the pan. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the pastry is deep golden and cooked through and the pear juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
Place a serving plate with a lip over the top of the tart and invert. Serve immediately cut into wedges and accompanied by ice-cream, cream or crème fraiche.
Bakewell tart is simply a buttery almond cake in a tart case with a welcome layer of jam in the middle. On first consideration you may not think this combination would work, but take my word for it, it does!
1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry 115g (⅓ cup) raspberry or cherry jam 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature 110g (½ cup) caster sugar 3 drops of almond essence or finely grated zest of 1 lemon 3 eggs 100g (1 cup) almond meal 35g (¼ cup) self-raising flour icing sugar, to dust
Preheat oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan-forced).
Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the pastry on a lightly floured bench top to a round about 3mm thick. Carefully drape the pastry loosely around the rolling pin. Place it over an ungreased round 23cm (base measurement) tart tin with a removable base and then unroll the pastry being careful not to stretch it. Gently lift the edge of the pastry and ease it into the tart tin to line the base and sides and settle it into the corners. Use your fingertips to press it gently into the corners without stretching it. Then, working around the tin, press the pastry into the side using your thumb or finger. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart tin to trim any overhanging pastry.
Place the tart tin on an oven tray. Prick the pastry base with a fork about 12 times. Line the pastry case with baking paper or foil and fill with pastry weights, dried beans or raw rice, making sure they press into the corners and they fill the case. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Remove the pastry case from oven and use the paper or foil to lift the weights out of the case. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and lightly golden. Remove from the oven.
Spread the jam evenly over the base of the tart case and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC (140ºC fan-forced).
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and almond essence or lemon zest until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the almond meal and flour, add to the butter mixture and beat on lowest possible speed until just combined. Spread the mixture evenly over the jam in the tart case.
Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing, dusting with icing sugar and serving warm. Alternatively cool in the tin and serve at room temperature.
This tart will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Lemon bars are one of those ‘clever’ slices that combines a simple shortbread-like base and an intensely-tart/sweet lemon topping to create a memorable mouth puckering moment – old-fashioned yet slightly sophisticated, all at the same time.
Icing sugar, to dust
150g (1 cup) plain flour
50g (¼ cup) caster sugar
150g chilled butter, diced
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
3 eggs, at room temperature
165g (¾ cup) caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
125ml (½ cup) strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons flour
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 16cm x 26cm (base measurement) slice tin with butter and line the base and sides with one piece of non-stick baking paper, cutting into the corners to fit.
To make the base, combine the flour, sugar, butter and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor and process until mixture is evenly combined and just starts to come together. Tip mixture into the prepared tin and use your hands to press it evenly over the base. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until it is golden around the edges.
To make the topping, use a balloon whisk to whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon rind and juice until well combined. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Pour the topping over the warm base and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the topping is just set in the center.
Cool the slice in the tin on a wire rack (this will take about 1 hour). Use the baking paper to lift the slice from the tin. Cut into bars and dust with icing sugar to serve.
These bars will keep in an airtight container in a cool spot (but not in the fridge) for up to 3 days.
Much more like a cake than a pie, this apple-dense traditional Norwegian dessert is comforting, homely and can warm the soul with just one mouthful – especially when served straight from the oven in generous scoops and topped with ice-cream or a large dollop of thick cream. Don’t overlook the fact that it is also pretty good served like any other cake, cooled and in wedges. The trick to this recipe is not to over-mix – only mix until the wet and dry ingredients are evenly combined.
Melted butter, to grease
110g (¾ cup) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
3 medium (about 150g each) apples (such as golden delicious, royal gala or pink lady), peeled, cored and cut into 2 cm pieces
80g slivered almonds, toasted
100g butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons milk
1½ teaspoons natural vanilla essence or extract
Vanilla ice-cream or thick cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 20cm springform tin with melted butter and line the base with baking paper.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and cardamom into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar, apple and almonds. Use a fork to whisk together the butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and use a spatula to mix until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Stand the pie in the tin for 5–10 minutes before removing the sides of the tin. Serve warm in scoops or at room temperature in wedges with ice-cream or cream.
This pudding/cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperaturein a cool spot for up to 3 days.
Prep 15min (+ 30min cooling time)Bake 20minMakes about 30
These good old-fashioned cookies are simple to make and even easier to devour! Either dark or milk chocolate (or a combination of the two) will work well – just take your pick. Eat them with a glass of cold milk.
125g butter, at room temperature, cubed
220g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or essence
2 eggs, at room temperature
300g (2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
200g good-quality dark or milk chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 180°C or (160°C fan-forced). Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together the flour and baking powder, add to the butter mixture and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until well combined. Mix in the chocolate.
Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the oven trays, leaving about 5cm between each for spreading. Flatten each ball to about 5 cm in diameter.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, swapping the trays around halfway through baking, or until light golden and cooked through. Leave the cookies on the trays until cool (about 30 minutes).
These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
There is something quite deliciously wholesome yet wonderfully wicked about these scones. It's worth making them to discover what I mean …
300g (2 cups) wholemeal plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra, to dust
2½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
100g butter, at room temperature, cubed
55g raw sugar, plus 1 tablespoon extra, to sprinkle
125g fresh blueberries
125ml (½ cup) buttermilk
60ml (¼ cup) milk, plus extra, to brush
1½ teaspoons natural vanilla extract or essence
Thick (double) cream, mascarpone or butter, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Put the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. With your palms facing upwards, use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and the butter is evenly incorporated. Stir in the sugar and blueberries. Make a well in the centre.
Combine the buttermilk, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and use a round-ended knife to mix with a cutting action until the dough comes together in clumps.
Use lightly floured hands to bring the dough together – it will be soft, but not sticky. Place on a lightly floured bench top and knead lightly and briefly (only about six times) to bring it together into a ball.
Shape the dough into a 20cm round about 2.5cm thick and place on the lined tray. Use a floured large sharp knife to cut the round into 8 wedges, leaving it as a round. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the top with a little extra milk, and sprinkle with the extra sugar.
Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until the scones are lightly golden and cooked through; they are ready if they sound hollow when you tap them on the base. Serve warm or at room temperature with cream, mascarpone or butter. These scones are best eaten on the day they are made.