Lemon and buttermilk loaf

Simple loaf for tea time
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Baking


  • 125 g butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 lemons Zested and juiced
  • 2 eggs
  • cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk or maas

For the glaze

  • 1 cup icing sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare a loaf tin (15cmx8cm) by greasing it well.
  • Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
  • Set aside a little zest for decorating the top of your loaf and add the remaining lemon zest.
  • Add one egg at a time, beating between each addition.
  • Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, and fold gently into the butter mix.
  • Set aside a table spoon of lemon juice for the glaze and add the remaining lemon juice to the mixture, then add the buttermilk and fold in.
  • Pour into prepared tin and bake for about 30 minutes until cooked through, and a skewer comes away clean.
  • Cool fully before glazing.


  • Mix the icing sugar with lemon juice and drizzle over the top of the loaf and finish off with a sprinkling of zest
Keyword lemon loaf

Kerry-Anne’s Hot Milk Sponge

Julie Donald
A lovely vanilla sponge, firm enough to be used with fondant.  Bakes with a flat top.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 23 cm


  • 125 g butter or margarine
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder


  • Preheat your oven to 180° C and prepare your baking tin.  
  • Bring butter and milk to the boil then switch off.
  • Beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla essence to the egg mixture.
  • Sift flour and baking powder into a separate bowl.
  • Add the flour and baking powder to egg mix and fold in with a metal spoon.
  • Add the hot milk mix to egg mix and blend well. 
  • Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until knife comes out clean (cooking time depends on the size of your tin) usually between 30-45 min.

Perfect Moist Chocolate Cake

Julie Donald
Moist and delicious, keeps for at least a week
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Baking


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp coffee powder
  • 1 cup maas
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence


  • Prepare two 23cm cake tins OR two 15cm cake tins by greasing well
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Sift together all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Boil the kettle and prepare 1 cup of coffee from the water and coffee powder
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and the coffee to the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk.
  • Divide the mixture into the two tins and bake for 35-45 minutes until the cake is baked through. Test by inserting a knife into the cake, it should come away clean. The baking time will depend on the cake tin size you used.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Keyword Chocolate cake, Dark chocolate cake, Moist chocolate cake

Kerry-Anne's Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Julie Donald
Kerry-Anne brought us the vanilla hot milk sponge and now a recipe for cupcakes - oil-based with buttermilk to ensure maximum moisture!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Cooling time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Baking
Servings 24 Cupcakes


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until foamy and pale.
  • Mix in the oil and beat lightly again.
  • In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt.
  • Gently, with a metal spoon fold in the flour a little at a time alternating with the buttermilk, ending with flour until all the ingredients have been added.
  • Spoon the mix out using a 1/4 cup measure into paper cases.
  • This mix makes about 24 large or 36 medium sized cupcakes.
  • Bake in a hot oven 180° C for approximately 15 minutes. 


Mixture can be halved or doubled.

Aneeka's Red Velvet Cupcakes

Julie Donald
Perfect red velvet cupcakes but this recipe can also be baked as a cake
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Baking
Servings 24 cupcakes



  • cups cake flour
  • cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • cups oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp red food colouring Moir's Crimson recommended
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the icing:

  • 100 g soft butter or Wooden Spoon Margarine if you want it to be white-white
  • 125 g cream cheese Philadelphia recommended because it is nice and firm and not watery, which can cause the icing to split
  • 2 cups icing
  • 1 t lemon juice/ a little squeeze of a lemon to taste and/or 1 tsp vanilla


  • Preheat your oven to 180° C, and prepare your muffin tin, by lining each with a paper case.
  • In a bowl sift together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, cocoa and bicarb) and set aside.
  • In another, larger, bowl mix all the wet ingredients (oil, buttermilk, eggs, food colouring, vinegar and vanilla).
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and combine.
  • Spoon into your cupcake cases, filling each to 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

For the icing

  • Beat the butter and cream cheese together in an electric mixer until combined (about 3 minutes).
  • Gradually add the icing sugar, beating all the while until it forms a smooth icing.
  • The add the lemon juice and/or the vanilla to taste.
Keyword cream cheese icing, Red velvet

Deluxe Christmas Cake

Julie Donald
Perfect dark and boozy fruit cake
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 2 hrs
Maturing 30 d
Total Time 30 d 4 hrs
Course Baking
Servings 23 cm


  • 250 g cake mix
  • 200 g currants
  • 50 g prunes pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 250 g dates coarsely chopped
  • 250 g glace cherries
  • 100 g mixed peel
  • 100 g glace ginger
  • 200 g nuts I use pecan but any will do – roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • Zest and juice of one orange
  • 80 g chunky marmalade I sometimes use apricot jam here
  • 100 g treacle sugar
  • 125 g butter
  • 200 ml water
  • 3 eggs
  • 50 ml espresso or 15ml instant coffee dissolved in a little water
  • 250 g cake flour sifted
  • 15 ml cocoa powder
  • 5 ml baking powder
  • Brandy for soaking


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 23cm baking tin, make sure that your lining comes up the sides about 5cm above the top of the tin.
  • In a big pot mix all the dried fruit, cherries, mixed peel, ginger and nuts. Add the zest and juice of the orange and lemon, marmalade, butter, sugar and water.
  • Bring to the boil and give it a good stir to mix everything. Then let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Leave it to cool, you should be able to hold the pot in your hands comfortably (or leave it overnight and finish off the following day). Once the mixture has cooled add the eggs and espresso and mix well. Sift the dry ingredients in and mix well again.
  • Spoon the mixture into your tin and bake for about 2 hours. The cake should feel firm to the touch and a skewer should come out clean. If the cake I getting a bit dark on the top and not cooked through yet, cover the top with foil and turn down the heat slightly.
  • When you take it out of the oven splash a good amount of brandy over the top while it is still hot. That should soak in quite quickly, after that you can remove it from the tin. You can eat the cake as is then, but it is definitely better if you keep topping up the brandy over the next few weeks.
  • I usually wrap the cake in foil and plastic wrap and once a week I water it with another healthy splash of brandy (as much as it can soak up at a time), each time turning it over to get even distribution. After a couple of weeks you will see that it has become quite moist and can’t really absorb any more brandy. I usually know when it is done because it kind of puts out a dark sticky syrup at the bottom.


For a non-alcoholic version soak with apricot juice, however this does not preserve the cake so that eat within a couple of weeks. Happy cooking!
Keyword Fruit Cake

Strawberry yoghurt mousse filled vanilla cake with white chocolate collar

Lovely mousse filling for cake
Prep Time 15 mins
Chilling 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 15 mins
Course Baking


  • 23 cm vanilla sponge cake
  • 80 g strawberry jelly one box
  • 125 ml boiling water
  • 500 ml cream
  • 500 ml strawberry yoghurt
  • 500 g white chocolate for collar and decorations
  • 250 g fresh strawberries for decorating


  • Bake (or buy) a plain vanilla sponge cake.
  • Dissolve the jelly in the boiling water and set aside to cool.  Beat the cream to stiff peaks and fold in the yoghurt and cooled jelly mixture.  Mix well. This mixture is often quite runny and only firms up once the jelly has set, so you will need to use your acetate to form a ring for the cake to set in.  Do this by curling it around the cake, so that it is the same size as the cake and staple or tape the ends together so that it doesn’t unravel. 
  • Cut your cake horizontally into 3 slices.  Place the first slice at the bottom of your acetate ring.  Pour one third of the filling over the first slice.  Place your next slice on top and cover with another third of the mixture.  Place your last slice of cake on top and fill up with the remaining mixture.  Leave this in the fridge to set for at least 5 hours
  • Remove your acetate ring by peeling it away.  Wash the acetate well, dry it and set it aside on the counter.  Melt the white chocolate in a bain-marie or in the micro. 
  • If you want to do some fun decorations colour a little of the chocolate pink, using coloured dust and drizzle or paint your pattern onto the acetate.  Allow the remaining white chocolate to cool slightly, until almost setting.  Pour out the remaining chocolate onto the decorated acetate and wrap around the cake. Leave for a few minutes in the fridge to set and peel away the plastic.  Decorate the top of the cake with some fresh strawberries (use leftover chocolate do dip the strawberries if desired).  Keep refrigerated
Keyword Strawberry mousse filling, Strawberry yogurt filling