Last weekend was my best friends dads birthday and I was asked to bake a cake for him. He is a huge Manchester United fan, so it had to be a bright red cake! I’m definitely still al learner when it comes to cake decorations but I’ve been watching some online tutorials and blogs with great tips for teaching yourself – one of my favourites is Sweetapolita, beautiful cakes for inspiration and helpful tutorials.
The cake was to be as plain as possible, taste wise, so I stuck to my tried and tested vanilla cake recipe with vanilla buttercream, Then added a lot….and I mean a lot of food colouring to the buttercream for the outside of the cake. It felp wrong adding that much colouring I have to say, but luckily you couldn’t taste it. I use Wilton gel food dye which is really good and I haven’t ever needed to use too much of it before. However I’ve never made such a vibrantly coloured cake before!
Now I couldn’t have a strawberry week (and a half) without including a strawberry and banana recipe. Bananas seem to be turning into a bit of a thing for me, this is my third banana recipe in less than three months (others can be found here and here)! Banana bread is an absolute classic though, definitely one of my favourite snacks. I like to pretend it’s healthy because of all the fruit, kinda like carrot cake (no-one needs to worry about all the butter and sugar that’s in there too).
Luckily for me I have a flatmate who likes to buy bananas, but doesn’t like to eat them so much, so we are always left with a collection of very sad looking bananas in the fruit bowl. The only thing that can be done is bake with them, because I can only eat bananas when they are still tinged with green, which is weird and probably bad for me.
Cupcakes are sort of what stared all this baking I do. I’ve always enjoyed baking, from when I was little, but the first time I made some really pretty cupcakes I thought – this is a lot of fun, I could do this. People love having their own individual cake, especially when they look good and taste even better.
These are particularly adorable looking cupcakes, that would actually work pretty well for Valentines Day with their little strawberry heart on top, but for me they are my Wimbledon cakes. I was going to hold off on posting these for another week or so, to coincide with the tennis starting, but as they are one of my favourite strawberry recipes I had to share them this week.
I found this recipe online a few years ago and it has been a hit every time it’s been baked. For me, the star of the cake is the icing, but be careful, it’s the kind of icing you could accidentally eat way too much of and feel extremely ill. However, in moderation it you will come to no harm!
Wise words from one of your favourite singers is good for the brain – ‘…if you believe in something, do it and don’t worry about what other people think…’ [I might be paraphrasing slightly (due to my terrible memory) but the above was the general message. It’s cheesy message and has been said a million times before but sometimes you really need to hear it again from someone who means something to you.]
Krispy Kreme doughnuts are always the answer.
As I was busying driving to Leeds and back this weekend I didn’t have a lot of time for baking. I did manage to make these cornbread muffins with some left over cornmeal/polenta on Thursday. I’ve never cooked with cornmeal before, as it’s not the easiest to track down here, but if you happen to live in a town with a Wholefoods you can get it very cheaply or you can find it in giant bags in big Tescos. I spent 30p and had enough for muffins and a pie!
Last week my dad celebrated his 60th birthday, which is pretty awesome. In honour of this my dad, family and friends dressed up as hippies for a ‘flower power’ themed party, totally normal! The gathering was a lot of fun, it is always surreal to walk in to a room of about thirty people who are all wearing fancy dress, with lots of laughs and lots of good food (and a little Eurovision snuck in for good measure!).
I was in charge of the birthday cake. I’ve had an idea of how I wanted the cake to look for a few weeks and wasn’t sure if I could pull it off but I’m so pleased with the way the decoration turned out. As the flavours of the cake were simple, a plain vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream, I decided to try out a ‘funfetti’ style cake by stirring a handful of coloured sprinkles in to the mix. I think it makes for a colourful surprise when you cut yourself a slice of cake!