Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Madagascar Zebra Birthday Cake - Inside and Outside - Kids Party Ideas

I love baking and do it quite often, as I am on maternity leave at the moment at least once a week when I get a chance. What I have never really made though is birthday cakes, also opting to pay someone instead rather than take on the stress.

However I decided to take the plunge last month and have loved making birthday cakes for loved ones.

This is a Madagascar inspired cake, which is one of Bubs favourite movies, he loves helping me baking.

I was always quite intimated by decorating a cake but this was really easy to do. I baked the cake on a Friday, covered it with ganache on a Saturday afternoon and did the royal icing decoration on a Saturday evening. We enjoyed the cake on Sunday and it was still deliciously moist.

I ordered the cake toppers from eBay but be careful- Gloria's belly was too chubby and caused her to keep falling over.

This is also my 100 post and no celebrations is complete without a cake. I love blogging and try to find a few minutes whenever I can to type up recipes and share insights into my life.

The cake would be great for a kids birthday party.

Birthday Cake Recipe 

Requires - Two 9Inch cake tins
               - Cake Board
               - Ribbon

Bake at 170c/350f/gas mark 4



230g Caster Sugar
230g Stork
4 Eggs
230g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp. Milk

Chocolate Ganache 

200ml Double Cream
200g Dark Chocolate 
250g Milk Chocolate 
20g Unsalted Butter


Pre- rolled fondant icing
Black and Orange/Green Fondant Icing
Cake Toppers


1. In a stand mixer or with a hand electric whisk cream together sugar and stork for 4-5 minutes

2. Whisk together eggs and vanilla and add to mixture combine for 2-3 minutes

3.Sift in flour, baking powder and combine for a further minute

4. Half mixture, placing one half in a bowl

5. In remaining mixture add in sifted cocoa powder and milk and combine for a further 1-2 minutes

6. Pre line two baking tins and into the centre place 1 Tbsp of the vanilla mixture

7. Into the centre of this mixture place a Tbsp of the chocolate

8. Repeat this pattern, shaking tin to level out mixture after every spoonfuls

9. Bake cakes for 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean

10. Leave to cool in tin for 5 minutes before placing on a wire cooling rack and allowing to cool completely

11. Make chocolate ganache by placing all ingredients into a microwaveable bowl and melting in bursts of 30s- 1minute until fully combined

12. Allow ganache to cool down and thicken up in fridge for around 15-30 minutes

13. Once both are cool, place a third of the ganache in the centre ( I used a salted caramel buttercream as I had some leftover in this case) and sandwich cakes together

14. Place remaining ganache on top and sides of cake, use a palate knife or flat edge tool to ensure a smooth finish

15. Leave to set in fridge for 30 minutes

16. Roll out white fondant icing and place over the cake, smooth down all edges and air bubbles using a smoothing tool or your hands, I used pre rolled icing to make this step faster

17. Trim around the bottom edge of the cake to remove excess and attach a ribbon to hide the raw edge 

18. Roll out a golf ball size of black fondant and using either a sharpe knife or pizza cutter cut into random strips

19. Place black strips onto the cake using a little water

20. For the final touch add any lettering and cake toppers before serving 

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Spiced Caramelised Pear Cake

A delicious cake to enjoy with a cup of tea, chai or coffee. I love pears in cake but had gotten a bit bored of making the pear and almond cake which although is without a doubt delicious, but it's fun to try new reciepes. I love the warming spices and addition of caramel in this upside down cake which make it perfect to enjoy during the colder months.

We enjoyed this along with an elaborate afternoon tea on a cold Sunday afternoon and then finished the rest for desert. It's a very moist cake so would keep well for a few days in an airtight container. 

I used a 9Inch tin to bake this, which I forgot to grease but you should. As it was a ring tin I placed it onto a baking sheet in case of any leakages. 

This was my first time making an upside down cake but something I will definitely be trying again with lots of different fruits. 


2 Cups Light Brown Sugar 
1/4 Cup of Cold Water 
2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup of Stork 
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup of Milk
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon 
1/4 tsp Sea Salt 
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda 
2 Pears 


1.Cream together 1 cup of light brown sugar and the stork

2.Sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder

3.Whisk together milk, eggs and vanilla

4.Add dry and wet ingredients to cake batter and continue mixing until fully combined for 2-3 minutes

5.In a heavy bottomed saucepan heat remaining 1 cup of brown sugar along with water

6.Allow this to come to the boil then whisk in butter

7. Peel and slice the pears and arrange at the bottom of a cake tin

8.Top with caramel and spread out  across the bottom of the pan so all pears are coated

9.Top with cake batter, smooth out

10. Bake for 45 - 50 mins at 170/350/Gas Mark 4

11.Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes before turning out to a cooling rack

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Aussie Bites

Aussie Bites 

Continuing on with the 'healthy' vibe for February, these are the most delicious bite fulls you will ever taste. I first tried these when I purchased a box from my favourite store Costco, however in true Costco style they hook you in and then stop selling them, I have not seen these on the shelves in so long, so to help my cravings and also up my oats intake - as they are great for breastfeeding; I did a little online research and found a recipe online that I have adapted to make them perfect for me. The original recipe is from Aussie Bites.

I use a mini muffin tin which makes 24 in one go, it always seems like I have made loads but they never last more than 2 days, even Bubs love them. They make a perfect grab and go snack for breakfast, especially when in a rush. I find that the key to try to eat healthy is preparing ahead so you can reach for these instead of a sugar filled cereal bar or biscuit. 
They are not sugar free - each one has around 6g of sugar in it, 2 bars of kitkat have around 22g of sugar in comparison. I'm not trying to lose weight drastically but it does help to know these are made from only the ingredients listed, a lot of which are very good for you. 
The most time consuming part is probably gathering all the ingredients as there are so many that go into them and then waiting for them to bake and cool for long enough to come out of the tin, in terms of actual cooking its is very minimal more of a case of being an expert mixer to combine all the ingredients.

I use jumbo porridge oats to make these not the instant oats and the larger oats give a better texture. I also used cooked quinoa in some instances(when I have some leftover from dinner) but uncooked works fine too, just gives the bites more crunch. 
Also I have used butter in this reciepe but it can easy be substituted for 2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil instead to make these vegan friendly too.

Makes 24 Bites


1 3/4 cups Oats
1/4 cup Dried Apricots
1/4 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Ground Flaxseed
1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar 
1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup Desiccated Coconut
1/4 cup Quinoa
2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 cup Honey 
1/4 cup Unsalted Butter melted
1/4 cup Rapeseed Oil
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract 

1.Pre-heat oven to 170C/350F/Gas Mark 4

2.Take 1 cup of oats and grind into oat powder using a food processor

3.In the same food processor chop up apricots and raisins

4. Add remaining whole oats to a large mixing bowl

5.Add in flaxseed, sugar, sunflower seeds, coconut, quinoa, chia seeds and baking soda

6. Top with honey, oil, melted butter, apricots and raisins and vanilla extract

7. Combine everything together 

8. Grease a 24 mini muffin baking tray 

9. Add a heaped tablespoon to each muffin and press down with the back of the spoon to squash mixture down
10.Bake for 12 mins

11. Allow to cool in the tray for 10 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack

12. They will keep for around a week in an airtight container - if you manage to make them last that long.