Sandie’s Lemon Drizzle

I’ve always loved a lemon drizzle but for some reason have never made one. Then along came Ovengate and put a stop to all baking. Now that I’ve got the power of the oven back again, I’m determined to bake all those recipes I never got around to.

This week my lovely friend Sandie posted some delicious-looking photos of her lemon drizzle cake and I knew that’s what I had to bake next! She kindly leant me her recipe, given to her by a friend years ago.

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I tried searching online for the history of this oh-so-perfect cake but found nothing. Whoever it was that first decided to flavour a sponge with lemon and then pour gorgeously sweet and citrusy sugar syrup over the top is a genius who I think needs to be remembered and celebrated!

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Sandie’s recipe was quick and easy to follow; she usually bakes a round lemon cake whereas I decided to go for the loaf tin approach, but the recipe still fit. If you don’t have a Sandie in your life to share her lemon drizzle recipe, there are loads online, including an article in the Guardian that compares and contrasts all manner of variations on the traditional recipe.

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The cake came out and looked so good I couldn’t help but have a piece straight from the oven! It was delicious: lemony, soft and with a nice density to it, not too much as it still crumbled slightly but enough to keep the slice in one piece. The best bit is when you get a slice where the syrupy lemon sugar has pooled in the sponge, it’s just so sweet and moist and lemony! Yum!

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Spiced Apple and Raisin Cake

Looking out of the window today you wouldn’t have believed that it’s nearly June – the rain was unrelenting and the sky, at 2pm, was dismally dark. I’d already decided to be good and healthy and have a salad for dinner but the weather was fast making me want to change my mind. In the end I compromised, I still had my salad but I also decided to make a satisfying, warming, spiced apple cake – perfect for beating those rainy, post-bank-holiday Tuesday blues!

I’ve wanted to make an apple cake for a while but have been slack up until now of looking up a recipe, today’s rubbish weather gave me the push I needed. I used this recipe from Delia Smith and added in some extra raisins for a bit more texture.

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The recipe was really easy to follow and the batter tasted delicious – always a good sign of a yummy cake in my experience! It rose well and came free of the cake tin easily. If I was serving it at dinner I’d add a good amount of single cream, turning it into more of a dessert than just a cake. Either way I think it’s a delicious, easy cake to have in one’s baking repertoire

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This cake would be perfect at Christmas time too, the spices giving it that festive smell and taste!

Victoria Sponge with Cream

A friend from work is sadly leaving us on Monday so, as has become the norm, I am baking a cake for her. I had planned on trying a new recipe for white chocolate cake, but when I checked back for the ingredients I also read the reviews and they were pretty poor so I have reverted to an age-old classic – Victoria Sponge.

Named for Queen Victoria who enjoyed a slice of sponge cake with her afternoon tea, the Victoria Sponge is, according to the Women’s Institute, a two layer sponge cake sandwiched together with raspberry jam and dusted with caster sugar. My Victoria Sponge however is sandwiched together with strawberry or raspberry jam and whipped double cream. I then dust it with icing sugar as I find this stays on the cake better than caster sugar.

So, while I may never win the best Victoria Sponge award when the WI are judging, I think my way of doing it is more tasty!

I used my favourite victoria sponge recipe from, yep you guessed it, The Great British Bake Off cookbook and then simply whipped some double cream with a hand-held electric whisk and added some strawberry jam – delicious!