Baking Trends

Canadian Celebration Cake

Today, this blog features a guest recipe from my lovely friend Cadence who was the winner of the Wedding cake competition (taste Category). This cake was so good, not only did she win by a mile, everyone fought over the leftovers after the day! I’m glad to say that I got it though!

Canadian Celebration Cake

When deciding what cake to bake for a friends wedding ‘bake off’ competition the choice of which category of competition I would enter came down to the time I had to bake. With only the evening available the night before the happy event I thought cracking out the fondent icing could turn into a long night and as I wished to be awake the following day my attention turned to a cake which could be worthy of wining any taste competition……..step forward Maple syrup and orange cake!
A beautifully moist cake with a delightful double cream filling and topping……white, perfect for a wedding occasion!
Recipe (based on the recipe in Mary Berry’s Baking Bible)
225g Softened butter
225g of light muscovado sugar (I used a mixture of light brown sugar and caster sugar)
Grated rind of 1 large orange
4 eggs
100 ml maple syrup
350g self raising flour
2 level teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
(Can add 50g chopped pecans – I chose not to as am not a fan of nuts)
The topping
450ml double cream (I had plenty with this 400ml would probably be fine)
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (no more or is far too sweet)
Shredded rind of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 160*C/140*C/gas 3
Grease a 20cm (8in) deep round cake tin and line the base with baking parchment
Measure the butter and sugar into a bowl and blend together, then add the remainder of the ingredients and mix until evenly blended
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and level the surface
Bake for 1-1.5 hours until well risen and golden
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out and removing the parchment and leaving to cool on a wire rack
To make the filing and topping whip the cream until it holds it’s shape and them gently fold in the maple syrup.
Split the cake horizontally into 2 and fill with the cream
Cover the the cake top and sides with the cream smoothing it as evenly as possible. Decorate with shredded orange rind.
Keep in the fridge, I would recommend covering as otherwise the cream becomes a dull colour and cracks.
Enjoy! ( is nicest eaten if cut and allowed to come to room temperature rather than directly from the fridge and cooled)
Baking · Cake · Europe · Nation Cake Challenge

Italy: Limoncello and Basil Drizzle Cake

English: Italian Flag

This cake was inspired by a holiday to the Amalfi Coast several years ago. This part of the country seemed filled with lemons of many different varieties, Ranging from the Amalfi bread lemons, served in slices, to the combination of lemon and orange juice served in cafe’s around the small seaside town of Positano. They also found their way into limoncello, a local lemon liquor which gladly is starting to be seen in England more these days!

Looking back to Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy.
Such a beautiful place!

Lemons were as big as footballs. And twice we ...

When I decided to start creating an Italian cake, limoncello seemed an obvious choice, especially as lemon drizzle cake is a personal favourite of mine. However, lemon itself wasn’t enough – It didn’t scream ‘Italian’ to me! My mind quickly went to basil, knowing that the two flavours are a good pairing, and seeing no reason why it should not work in cake form. The following cake soon developed: A lemon sponge cake with a basil and limoncello drizzle topped with a limoncello mascarpone frosting and candied basil leaves. Very good, and extremely lemony! The basil drizzle imparts enough of the flavour to heighten the taste, without seeming pesto-y, a problem I found with many other lemon and basil cakes. The candied basil leaves offer a lovely contrast in texture whilst still maintaining the flavour, though you may omit these if wished.


Lemon and Basil Drizzle Cake with Limoncello Mascarpone Frosting and Candied Basil Leaves



  • 4oz plain flour
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 4oz butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • zest of two lemons


  • Juice of one lemons
  • Large handful of basil leaves
  • 50g caster sugar

Mascarpone Icing

  • 4oz mascarpone cheese
  • 4oz double cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp limoncello

Candied Basil Leaves:

  • 60ml water
  • 100g sugar
  • A handful of basil leaves


Preheat the oven to gas mark 5. Line and grease a loaf tin, and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until soft and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the zest of two lemons to the mixture and stir. Fold in the flour and baking powder to the mixture until well combined.

Add the mixture to the tin and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

To make the lemon syrup, heat the sugar, lemon juice and basil leaves in a small pan, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has formed a thin syrup. Remove from the heat and stir in a tbsp of limoncello. Remove the basil leaves from the pan.

When the cake has been removed from the oven, use a sharp knife or skewer to make small holes in the cake before pouring the syrup over. Leave the cake to cool completely.

To make the candied basil leaves, make a simple syrup using half the sugar and the water, placing the remaining sugar in a small bowl. Line another baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Dip each basil leaf in the sugar syrup and the dredge in the remaining sugar. Place each leaf on the baking tray and allow to cool

To make the icing, whip the icing sugar and cream together to form soft peaks. Separately whip the mascarpone before folding the two mixtures together and adding the limoncello. Spread this on the top of the cake and decorate with the candied basil leaves.