This is one of my favourite cakes – ever! Not only is it super easy to whip up and can be made with a whole variety of different fruits (you can replace the pears with the same quantity of plums, firm ripe nectarines or peaches for example), but it is also incredibly versatile when it comes to serving it. It not only makes for the perfect morning or afternoon tea cake but it is also wonderful served warm with lashings of cream or ice cream for dessert. I’ve also been known to eat the leftovers for breakfast (which I would also highly recommend!)
Melted butter, to grease 185g (1¼ cups) self-raising flour 165g (⅔ cup, firmly packed) brown or raw caster sugar, plus 1 tablespoon extra 125g salted butter, at room temperature 85g (⅓ cup) sour cream 2 eggs, at room temperature 1½ teaspoons natural vanilla extract or essence 2 (about 200g each) firm but ripe Williams pears, cored and each cut into 12 wedges Icing sugar, to dust Cream or ice cream, to serve (optional)
Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F (150°C/300°F fan-forced). Grease a 21cm (8 1⁄4in), base measurement, springform tin with melted butter and line the base with non-stick baking paper.
To make the Crumble Topping, combine the flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Use your fingertips to quickly rub in the butter just until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs (it will be quite moist). Stir in the almonds. Cover and put in the fridge while making the cake.
To make the cake, place the flour, sugar, butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to beat on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 3 minutes or until the mixture is well combined, very pale in colour and silky smooth in texture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
Toss the pear wedges with the extra 1 tablespoon sugar. Arrange the pears evenly over the top of the cake and then press gently into the batter. Sprinkle with the prepared Crumble Topping to cover.
Bake in preheated oven for 65-75 minutes (the baking time will depend on how juicy the pears are) or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand the cake in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring, still on the base of the tin, to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature on its own or accompanied by cream or ice cream, if desired.
Prep 30min (+cooling and standing time)Bake 40-45minMakes 10-12 serves
With an underlying hint of orange and the warm nuttiness of roasted walnuts, this divine cake completely delivers when it comes to a rich, decadent and utterly satisfying chocolate cake. Gluten-free chocolate cakes have been widely adapted as the Passover dessert of choice, and with the absence of dairy, this one is also appropriate to serve following a meat-based main course.
75g (⅔ cup) Dutch cocoa powder, sifted 165ml (⅔ cup) boiling water 200g walnuts, toasted 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder 4 x 59g eggs, at room temperature 220g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar 200ml light olive oil, plus extra to grease 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Grease a 20cm springform tin with extra oil and line the base with non-stick baking paper.
Place the cocoa in a medium heat-proof bowl and gradually stir in the boiling water until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Process the walnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the baking powder until evenly combined.
Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla on high speed for about 5 minutes or until thick and paler in colour. Add the cocoa mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the walnut mixture and orange zest to the chocolate mixture and whisk on low speed until just combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until wet crumbs cling to a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake. Cool the cake in the tin sitting on a wire rack (this will take about 2 hours).
To make the Coconut Ganache, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it just comes to a simmer (do not boil). Pour over the chocolate and set aside for 1 minute. Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth, well combined and glossy. Set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until the ganache thickens to a thick spreadable consistency.
Remove the cake from the tin and place on serving plate. Spoon the ganache over the cooled cake and use the back of a spoon to spread. Set aside for 30 minutes or until the ganache sets. Serve in wedges.
This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature (in a cool spot) for up to 5 days.
Choc-orange, or jaffa, is such a great flavour. This dead-easy cake is made completely in the food processor using a whole orange, rind and all (no that isn’t a mistake!). Orange flower water is optional in this recipe but will give the cake a slightly more ‘refined’ orange character.
1 orange, quartered, core and seeds removed 220g (1 cup) caster sugar 125g butter, melted and cooled 2 eggs, at room temperature 1 tabsepoon orange flower water, or to taste (optional) 185g (1¼ cups) self-raising flour 35g (¼ cup) plain flour 100g good-quality dark chocolate (54% cocoa), chopped 35g (¼ cup) coarsely chopped toasted pistachios, to sprinkle
Preheat oven to 170ºC (150ºC fan-forced). Grease 11cm x 21cm (base measurement) loaf tin with melted butter and line the base and two long sides with non-stick baking paper.
Place the whole orange, sugar, butter, eggs and orange flower water in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the orange is finely chopped. Add the self-raising and plain flours and process until just combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold in the chocolate.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool (this will take about 2 hours). Place the cake, still on the wire rack in the fridge for 1 hour to chill (this will help the glaze set).
Meanwhile, to make the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until almost simmering. Pour over the chocolate and stand for 1 minute. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to until cooled to room temperature. Pour the glaze over the cake on the wire rack, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Sprinkle with the pistachios and set aside for 30 minutes or until the glaze sets. Serve in slices.
This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Simple yet sublime. This pound cake is infused with a tangy lemon syrup and is perfect to serve on its own with a cuppa or used as a base for a more elaborate celebration cake. This recipe was originally published in BakeClass.
Melted butter, to grease 250g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed 220g (1 cup) caster sugar Finely grated lemon zest of 1 lemon 4 eggs, at room temperature 250g (1⅔ cups) plain flour 2½ teaspoons baking powder 2 tablespoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 20cm (base measurement) round cake tin or springform pan with melted butter and line the base with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl until pale and creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Use a spatula to fold half of the flour mixture through the batter mixture. Fold in the lemon juice and then the remaining flour mixture until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Meanwhile, to make the Lemon Syrup, combine the caster sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside until the cake is cooked.
Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, brush the top with a little of the syrup. Leave the cake to stand in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Brush the top of the cake with the remaining syrup and set aside to cool.
This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
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.
Immensely well-loved in Latin America, a recipe for this wonderfully milky cake appeared on the label of Nestle’s sweetened condensed milk cans in the 1940s, possible explaining why its popularity has spread so widely in this part of the world.
5 eggs, at room temperature 220g (1 cup) caster sugar 125g butter, melted 150g (1 cup) plain flour 75g (½ cup) self-raising flour 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 20cm x 30cm (base measurement) shallow cake tin or lamington pan and line the base and two longs sides with one piece of non-stick baking paper.
Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the eggs on high speed until combined. Gradually add the sugar, about ¼ cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk on high for a further 4 minutes or until the mixture is very thick and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the melted butter, whisking until just incorporated. Sift together the plain and self-raising flours. Add to the egg mixture in three separate batches, whisking on low speed between each addition until just combined and scraping the bottom of the bowl when necessary to make sure all the flour is incorporated.
Pour batter into the prepared tin and gently tap it on the bench three times to remove any excess air bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the cake is firm when touched in the centre and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Just before the sponge is ready, make the Milk mixture by combining the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and milk in and bowl and stirring with a balloon whisk until well combined. Transfer to a jug.
Remove the sponge from the oven and stand in the tin for 3 minutes before inverting onto a tray with a lip. Use a skewer to prick holes all over the surface of the cake and all the way through. Pour the milk mixture evenly and slowly over the warm cake, allowing it to soak it up. Stand at room temperature until cool (this will take about 2 hours) and then refrigerate, uncovered, for 3 hours or overnight. Cut into pieces to serve (see Baker's Tips).
For an extra rich cake you can top it with 375 ml (1½ cups) thickened cream that has been whisked to soft peaks with 2 tablespoons of sifted icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of natural vanilla essence or extract before serving.
This cake will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If you are looking for a quick, easy, impressive, and not to mention delicious, cake, this is the one. Lots of clever shortcuts (like using your food processor to make it) means that this cake will be in the oven in less than 10 minutes!
Melted butter, to grease
100g (3½oz) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
110g (½ cup/4oz) caster sugar
75g (¾ cup/2¾oz) almond meal
75g (½ cup/2¾oz) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract
150g (5¼oz) fresh or frozen raspberries
25g (¼ cup/¾oz) flaked almonds
Icing sugar, to dust
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C/315°F fan-forced). Grease a 20cm/8in springform (base measurement) with the melted butter and then line the base with a piece of baking paper.
Put the butter, sugar, almond meal, flour and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well evenly combined and the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the eggs and vanilla use the pulse button to process until smooth and just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle evenly with the raspberries and then use the back of a clean spoon to press the raspberries into the cake mixture. Sprinkle with the almonds.
Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden and cooked in the centre when tested with a skewer.
Stand the cake in the pan for 5 minutes before removing the side of the pan and placing the cake (still on the base) on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature dusted with icing sugar.
The raspberries can be replaced with 150g (5¼oz) blueberries or quartered strawberries.
For a nut-free version, the almond meal can be replaced with 75g (2¾oz) desiccated coconut and sprinkle with 25g (¼ cup/¾oz) flaked coconut.
This cake will keep in an airtight container in a cool spot (but not in the fridge) for up to 3 days.