Christmas Confetti Bundt Cake

Christmas Confetti Bundt Cake

I make no apology for posting a Christmas recipe in November – Its almost December and I’m excited already. I bring this recipe to you vis the Secret Recipe Club which is hosting an extra special instalment this week. Due to there being an extra week in November, we had the opportunity to take part in a themed Recipe Swap with Party/Celebration/Holiday Treats being the theme. All in honour of Thanksgiving being around now. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK, so I decided to skip ahead to the next holiday – Christmas.

I was paired with th lovely Terri of Our Good Life – A prolific blogger from New Town, Missouri – Her blog is incredible – You will get lost in it for hours. There’s news of book groups, travel tales, tons of crafts and linkies and sooo many recipes. Honestly, pop on over there and find out for yourself.

There were 2 recipes that I kept on coming back to Orange Dreamsicle Confetti Cake and Lemon Confetti Bundt Cake. Both look stunning and I’ve wanted to try a Confetti cake for so long.

Lemon Christmas Confetti Bundt Cake

Now Terri’s recipes involve the use of cake mix so I adapted them and went with my trusty Madeira mix – I needed the cake to be sturdy enough to hold its own in the bundt tin. I was so happy with how the confetti sprinkles came out – I followed the instructions not to be tempted to use too many sprinkles and good advice it was too.

I used Christmas sprinkles – Basically any strong coloured ones will do. For decoration I went with simple icing sugar made into quite a thick consistency and a squeeze of lemon juice. Extra sprinkles on top finished off the cake perfectly!

Now its been really dark around here for yonks – Taking photographs is hideous at the moment so I decided to embrace it and go with a dark & mysterious shot.

Christmas Confetti Bundt Cake

Serves 10+
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Hot
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Thanksgiving
Festive Lemon Sprinkle Confetti Bundt Cake


  • 12oz Butter (Softened)
  • 12oz Caster Sugar
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 Lemons (Finely grated zest & Juice)
  • 15oz Self Raising Flour
  • 4oz Icing Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar Sprinkles (plus more for decoration)


This recipe is fine to be frozen before the icing is added


Preheat the oven to 170C and butter/flour a bundt cake tin - I sometimes leave a thin ring of parchment paper in the bottom too
Using an electric mixer, whisk together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
Add the eggs, one at a time whilst still mixing on a medium setting. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure the mixture is fully combined
Add the lemon zest and juice of 1 of the lemons
Stop the mixer and fold in the flour gently, using a figure of 8 motion. At the last minute add the sprinkles and mix gently
As soon as the mixture comes together and the sprinkles are fairly well distributed, stop folding and pour into the cake tin
Bake for approx 55-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clear
Leave to cool inside the bundt tin. Once cool transfer out onto a wire rack
Mix together the remaining lemon juice and the icing sugar then top up with enough water to just make the icing a pouring consistency
Pour over the top of the cool bundt cake and allow to drizzle down the sides and the center.
Finish off by decorating with added sprinkles

Lemon Confetti Bundt Christmas Cake

For more information on joining the Secret Recipe Club visit the website

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Orange & Raspberry Swirl Cookies #Bakeoftheweek

Orange Raspberry Swirl Cookies

I’m super happy to be back in the Costello kitchen. If you have read my post earlier today you will realise why I’ve not been around much. It hasn’t stopped me constantly thinking about and reading about food though, so the good news is, there are tons of recipes coming up!

Some more after-school cookies for this week’s Bake of the Week – Even my jam-hater, Violet loved these cookies. You can experiment with various flavours of jam and even use lemon or lime zest for different effects.

Orange & Raspberry Swirl Biscuits

Orange & Raspberry Swirl Cookies

Serves 20-24
Prep time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 27 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold
Occasion Casual Party
Crumbly tangy orange cookies with a raspberry jam swirl - Perfect for after school snacks and great for freezing


  • 200g Softened Butter
  • 110g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Oranges (Use the zest of both and juice of 1)
  • 1 Medium Egg
  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 6 tablespoons Seedless Raspberry Jam


Using an electric whisk, mix together the sugar and butter until pale and well combined.
Add the egg, orange juice and zest - ensuring they are well mixed in.
Fold in the flour and baking powder and bring together in a dough
Wrap in double cling film and refrigerate for 45 minutes
Roll out onto a floured surface until 1/2 cm thick and a rectangle shape
Spread over the raspberry jam and roll into a long sausage
Wrap in double cling film again and place back in the fridge for another 10-15 minutes
Meanwhile, line 2 baking trays with baking parchment and preheat the oven to 180C
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into slices approx 1cm thick
Arrange about 6-8 per baking tray depending on the size of your tray and bake for 12 minutes or until turning golden
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Bake the next lot of swirls.

My featured bake from the last Bake of the Week entries is the brilliantly named Christmas Morning Wife Saver – I have such great intentions of relaxed, leisurely breakfasts on Christmas Morning but the reality is we tend to have coffee served with a side helping of wrapping paper and chocolate. Perhaps this ingenious recipe from Made With Pink that can be prepared beforehand will change all that?

Christmas Morning Wife Saver

Bake of the week baking entries

1. I just love the simplicity of Sprinkle Cakes and A Strong Coffee’s is one of the prettiest. Don’t be fooled though, they are incredibly messy to make!
2. Perfect for autumn snacks, these Apple & Cinnamon Chunk Muffins from ET Speaks From Home are just divine. Love the muffin cases too.
3. I didn’t think Gingerbread could get any better but Domestic Gothess has gone that step further with her Toffee Apple Gingerbread Loaf.
4. Perfectly mobile and ultra tasty, Hijacked by Twins’ Yorkshire Parkin Buns are ideal for getting through these winter months.
5. A real table showstopper, Peanut Butter Cake from Hijacked by Twins
6. The More Than Occasional Baker has over achieved again with her Banana, Chocolate & Walnut Waffles – these look so rich and filling. Delicious!

We are now open for entries for our next Bake of the Week – as usual there is no theme, anything baked in an oven or slow cooker counts. Sweet, savoury, little, large, novice or professional. Old posts are welcome as long as you include the badge (below). If you tweet your recipes, don’t forget to tag me @CasaCostello and include the hashtag #Bakeoftheweek and I will share like crazy.

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Apple & Walnut Oat Loaf #FeelingFibrant Oats & Veg Box Giveaway

Apple & Walnut Oat Loaf

This is an advertorial feature.

There are times when you want the feel and comfort of a piece of cake without the guilt of indulgence. Contrary to popular belief, I more than occasionally eat heathily – You can’t bake as often as I do without having a selection of ‘healthier’ recipes in the repertoire.

This Apple & Walnut Cake manages to be tasty enough to eat on its own and interesting enough that even the kids enjoy it. They never guess that it is healthier than some other cakes. Containing vegetable oil instead of butter, this cake is not as high in saturated fats as most cakes, therefore being a better treat for people watching their cholesterol levels. The oats too, have been linked to lowering cholesterol. Over time, I’ve managed to reduce the sugar content – I use Pink Lady apples so they are not too tangy and just 100g of soft brown sugar. You may even find that you can reduce the amount of sugar you like in the cake even more than me. The crunch of the pecans and the spice from the cinnamon keep this cake interesting – There’s no need for any topping or icing. Its definitely a sit down with a good book and a brew type of cake.

Tea & Walnut Apple Oat Loaf Cake

I’ve talked before about my love of using oats in my baking – cakes, breads, crumbles, biscuits all benefit from substituting flour with some oats. Quaker Oats are challenging bloggers to come up with creative recipes using oats. I struggled to do just one – I put oats in nigh on everything!

Slices of Apple & Walnut Oat Loaf Cake

Apple & Walnut Oat Loaf


  • 60g Oats (equivalent of 2 Quaker Oats packets.
  • 260g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 100g Light Soft Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Medium Eggs
  • 150ml Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Pink Lady apples – Grated & juice squeezed out.
  • 60g Chopped Walnuts


  • Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 2lb loaf tin.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and sugar.
  • Whisk together the eggs and the oil and add to the dry mixture. Mix together until just combined.
  • Add in the grated & squeezed grated apples and walnuts and mix.
  • Pour into the prepared loaf tin and flatten down the surface.
  • Cook in the oven for 30 mins.
  • Reduce the heat to 160C and cover the loaf with tinned foil. Continue to bake for a further 1 hour.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • Best eaten within 24 hours – Suitable for freezing.

Apple Walnut Oat Loaf Cake

  • Oats contain a form of soluble fibre called beta glucan, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol. High levels of blood cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease.
  • The recommended daily intake of fibre has recently been increased from 24g to 30g per day. The UK has a traditionally low fibre intake compared with other countries – Oats are high in fibre content and can contribute towards this daily suggested intake.
  • Oats are 100% wholegrain – Dietary guidelines suggest we should be achieving an intake of 48g of wholegrain per day.

I’m happy to be hosting a quick competition to win a 3 month supply of Quaker Oats plus a 3 month fruit & veg delivery from Abel & Cole. To enter, simply leave a comment telling me about one of your recipes that includes oats. The competition closes on Friday 27th November after which time, I will chose my favourite from the entries. Please see Terms & Conditions for more details.

Fruit Oat Loaf Cake

This blog post was commissioned by Quaker Oats and Foodies100 as part of the Quaker Oats #FeelingFibrant campaign. I was compensated for the cost of ingredients and my time.

This giveaway can be found over at The Prize Finder

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Toasted Coconut Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream Frosting

Toasted Coconut Cupcake with Orange Buttercream Frosting

Now aren’t you yearning for one of these? One of my favourite flavours of buttercream – light and not to claggy (I think that’s a word – you know, when it just sits in your mouth). The zesty citrus breaks through the homely toasted coconut cakes brilliantly.

I was asked a couple of days ago if I would showcase a recipe I make that uses Clover. I’m a bit of a stickler for the right sort of spread in my cooking and baking. Clover has the same great taste as butter as it made with buttermilk but has half the saturated fat of butter. For me, there is no recipe that showcases the quality of a buttery taste than buttercream. Cannot stand artificial spreads that make buttercream inedible. Clover contain no artificial ingredients.

Weighing Clover

Toasted Coconut Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

Serves 18
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 18 minutes
Total time 48 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party, Formal Party


  • 200g Clover Spread
  • 300g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 Medium Egg
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 225g Self Raising Flour
  • 180ml Semi Skimmed Milk (plus 3 tbsp of milk for the buttercream)
  • 100g Desiccated Coconut
  • 400g Icing Sugar
  • 2 Zest Oranges


These cakes are fine to freeze prior to the buttercream frosting being added. Store in an air tight container and defrost at room temperature for 2-3 hours before piping the frosting on.


Toast the coconut lightly for 2-3 minutes in a dry frying pan - Keep stirring continuously and remove from the heated pan as soon as the coconut starts to turn golden. It will catch and burn really quickly if left. Keep to one side until needed.
Preheat the oven to 180C and line 18 muffin tray with cupcake liners.
Using an electric whisk, mix together the caster sugar and 100g of the Clover, on a medium speed until well combined
Slowly add the egg whites and full egg, one at a time whilst still whisking. Add the vanilla extract.
Alternate adding a tablespoon of the flour with a small drizzle of the milk until both are fully added. Keep clearing down the side of the mixing bowl to make sure it is all combined.
Add in 80g of the toasted coconut and gently stir through until all mixed in.
Distribute evenly in the cupcakes cases and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden.
Orange Buttercream Frosting
Meanwhile, mix together the remaining 100g of Clover with the icing sugar and 3 tbsp of milk - You want a sturdy, thick buttercream that will hold its shape when piped.
Add in the grated zest of the oranges and fill a disposable icing bag with a plain nozzle
Pipe in a swirl and top with a sprinkle of the remaining toasted coconut

Piping Orange Buttercream

Clover are also hosting a competition over on their Facebook page to win personalised fridge magnets (with your face on) and branded oven gloves. Simply share a picture of a dish you have made using Clover to enter.

Disclaimer: This post was commissioned by Clover. As always, all views expressed are my own personal opinions.

Toasted Coconut Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream Frosting

Toasted Coconut Cupcakes

Homemade Digestive Mummies

Halloween Mummy Digestives

I wanted a biscuit that was not too sweet to go with all the icing on these Mummies – I’m determined that this year, my girls won’t feel left out at Halloween but will also manage not to eat as much processed, sugary rubbish. Well, that’s the plan so far anyway!

The ideal biscuit is the digestive – Oaty and not too much sugar. I made my own in less than 20 minutes but obviously used shop bought if you need to be even quicker.

Halloween Mummy Cookies

Homemade Digestives

Serves 12-15
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 37 minutes
Meal type Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Halloween
Homemade digestives with quick and easy decoration to look like a Halloween Mummy


  • 100g Self Raising Wholemeal Flour (Yes, I'm still using it up!)
  • 45g Porridge Oats
  • 60g Soft Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons Milk


Place the flour, sugar and oats into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until just combined.
Stir in the milk with a spatula or kitchen knife until it starts to come together in a ball of dough
Sprinkle flour on the work surface and roll out the dough to a 1/2 cm thickness and prick 3 times with a fork
Chill for 10 minutes while you heat the oven to 180C
Bake for 12 minutes until just starting to turn golden
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack
Dip into melted white chocolate and add 2 M&M's of the same colour to each biscuit
Pipe loosely with the remaining white chocolate in zig zags to look like a mummy

Homemade Digestive Biscuits Cookies

My featured Bake of the Week this week, comes from Jibber Jabber with her Cut & Come Again Cake – I love the idea behind this cake in that its all about friendship. Ness shared this cake at her local Clandestine Cake club (Which reminds me I haven’t been to one near me for ages! Must remedy that asap). This cake can be be prepared and baked in less than an hour – all in case of unexpected friends popping in.

Cut come again cake


Bake of the week

1. Totally divine Black Forest Gateau from the super talented Eileen, Et Speaks From Home

2. Making Brownies even more spectacular with her Raspberry Fudge Brownies is Tin & Thyme – These remind me that I really must join in with We Should Cocoa this month!

3. Giving us some fabulous tips to stop pastry shrinking along with these pretty Mini Chocolate Tarts is Patisserie Makes Perfect

4. More Halloween Cookies and a welcome return to the Bake of the Week family is Julie’s Family Kitchen.

5. If you like your chocolate then this Chocolate Croissant Bread & Butter Pudding is the one for you! Many thanks to De Tour Coeur Limousin for the recipe.

6. These amazing Chocolate Salted caramel Hazelnut Tarts are what Domestic Gothess produces after a mini blogging break. Just incredible!

7. Beautiful Chocolate Apples (even with the help of the children) from Et Speaks From Home.


bake of the week

8. I am so tempted to see what the combination of these flavours taste like in Winnie’s Apple Tart with Nuts – There’s Caramel & Cinnamon in there too! The overall look is a work of beauty.

9. Another beautiful bake and quite a light one is Winnie’s Oatmeal Lemon Bars – I love using Oats in cooking so am definitely bookmarking this one!

10. Alida from My Little Italian Kitchen is sharing a very personal recipe from her Grandmother this week – Polenta Cake with nuts

11. Happy Birthday to Pot Pourri , who was celebrating with her tarty and zingy Lemon Bundt with lemon frosting.

12. Using some of her supplies from her wonderful Kitchen Shed Veg Garden is Sarah from Tales from the Kitchen Shed with her Pumpkin & Cranberry Bread

13. No boring Iced Fingers for Only Crumbs Remain – We have Barm Brack Fingers with Blackberries & White Chocolate. Fabulous!

14. Reminding me that I have never yet tried a Pumpkin Spice Latte in a well known coffee shop is Baking Queen 74. I would love to try her Slow Cooker Spiced Pumpkin Cake though!

15. What a great alternative base for a cheesecake to use Peanut Butter – This Cheesecake from ET Speaks From Home sounds divine.

16. Truly beautiful and inspired flavours from Lancashire Food with her Fig, Yogurt & Rosemary Loaf Cake – Those figs are just a stunning addition!

17. Possibly one of my most favourite #Bakeoftheweek ideas ever! Apple Crumble Ice Cream – Whatever the weather, I would eat this from Only Crumbs Remain

The linky is now open for your entries – Up to 3 from each blog please. All entries are linked to in the next roundup as well as commented, Pinned, Google+ed and tweeted – I do get round to them, I promise! If you tweet your entry and tag me in @CasaCostello then I will also retweet.

Here’s the badge to include and share the Bake of the Week love:

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In My Kitchen – October 2015

My favourite season – Autumn! The kitchen starts to fill up with food for comfort & warmth. Dried fruit is soaking in port for the Christmas cake, the girls demolish their carbohydrates and hopefully the freezers get their longed for defrosting.

When I’m not on the motorway transporting Millie around the country, I can be found in 2 places – In front of the TV or happily creating in the kitchen. I’m loving all the autumn programmes – We watched all of Doctor Foster over 2 nights and intend on doing the same with The River. I seem to have no problem coming up with autumn recipes, just the time to get them blogged! Watch this space for dips, homemade snacks and pie recipes coming soon!

The Christmas deliveries have started too – The parcels are arriving thick and fast. The trick is to remember which boxes are Christmas presents and which are blog work. We nearly came unstuck on Saturday evening with a huge box!

So what’s new in the kitchen this month? Let start with chocolates. Elizabeth Shaw launch their Christmas selection this month – We’ve devoured their Christmas Creations during a First Dates marathon – Just my sort of chocolate box. Orange cremes, Amaretto Neapolitans, Caramel Neapolitans & my favourite Gingerbread Crisps – Good sturdy flavours and smooth chocolate. RRP £5.99.

Elizabeth Shaw Christmas Chocolates

We were sent a selection of Amy’s Kitchen Organic Soups last month too. Our soup maker hasn’t quite made it out of the cupboard yet so these tins were super (souper?!) handy after late training sessions (both for swimmer and chauffeur) They come in 3 flavours, Chunky Tomato, Spanish Rice & Red Bean & Red Lentil (which disappeared before I could even get the camera out!)

Organic Tinned Soup

I’m a strictly traditional English Tea, stand your spoon up in your Yorkshire Tea girl but as I’ve said before here, Mr C loves a meander around the world of tea. He is trying to cut down how much coffee he takes in, so welcomed these Organic Rooibos Teas from Land Farm. 2 flavours,Raspberry & Caramel – The caramel is very strange for people who don’t take sugar in tea but am sure it will grow on us. The raspberry is subtle and refreshing – Caffeine free and much better without milk.

Organic Rooibos Tea

I’ve been going through packets and packets of Nairns Organic Oatcakes – Just love them spread heavily with Soft Cheese and liberal helpings of prawns. My lunchtimes at my desk are far more delicious and healthy than they used to be!

Nairn's Organic Oatcakes

I’m not going to pretend that these Ombar Organic Chocolate Buttons are the same as what we are used to but they disappear none the less. Perfect for handbag treats (wasn’t quite expecting T to find them in the dentist’s waiting room however). For the adult snacks, we have these Clearspring Tamari Roasted Sicilian Almonds – Oh wow, I wasn’t expecting these to taste so strong. Once that initial shock had worn off, I really liked them – They don’t seem as hard and dangerous for your teeth as normal almonds, nor did I feel like I was eating raw sugar that I so often do with coated nuts.

Organic Snacks

I had an unexpected surprise last week, when my Auntie gave me a belated birthday present – Hidden Surprise Cakes. I’ve dabbled before at cakes with hidden shapes but this book has all sorts of extra tips and ideas.

Hidden Surprise Cakes Book Review

Disclosure: All products except for the Hidden Surprises book were sent for the purpose of review – We have been open and honest with our thoughts and opinions on the products.


We're going on an adventure

Cheese & Pink Peppercorn Dinner Rolls – Bake of the Week

Cheese & Pink peppercorn Dinner Rolls

These beauties came about after a friend was telling me about some amazing Cheese & Black Pepper Bread she had bought. I couldn’t resist having a go but when it came to the point of adding the pepper, I remembered some pretty pink peppercorns I brought home from France. Obviously, it goes without saying that any colour peppercorns will work just as well!

The recipe listed is for 8 Dinner Rolls – Please take my advice & make double – They will disappear in a flash.

Cheese & Pink Peppercorn Dinner Rolls

Serves 8
Prep time 1 hour, 50 minutes
Cook time 22 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 12 minutes
Meal type Appetizer, Bread, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue
Wow your dinner guests by serving Pink Peppercorn and Cheese Wholemeal Dinner Rolls - Crunchy yet soft


  • 125ml Warm Milk (Blast in the microwave for 20-30 seconds should do just fine)
  • 3 teaspoons Dried Yeast (This is about 1 packet)
  • 1 teaspoon Caster Sugar
  • 110g Strong Wholemeal Bread Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 25g Melted and cooled Butter
  • 1 Medium Egg (Whisked)
  • 2 teaspoons Crushed Pink Peppercorns
  • 100g Grated Cheddar Cheese


Warm the milk in the microwave and stir in the yeast (make sure the milk is only lukewarm) Leave for 5-10 minutes until you notice the milk mixture starting to bubble
Place the flour, Salt, and sugar into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
Pour the warm milk, whisked egg and milk into the well and stir through gently until fully combined. This should now start to feel dough like.
Knead the dough for 9-10 minutes - You will start to notice the dough feeling more elastic. It is really noticeable in this recipe so if you haven't quite got that elastic feeling, carry on kneading until you do.
Lightly grease a large bowl with vegetable oil & leave to prove in a slightly warm place (I use my oven that has been on 140C for 5 minutes then turned off with the door slightly ajar) for 1-1.5 hour
After an hour your dough should have doubled in size.
Remove from the bowl and pour onto a floured surface - Knead in the grated cheese and the crushed pink peppercorns.
Split the dough into 8 even sized pieces. Roll them each into a sausage shaped around 6 inches long and tie in a loose knot. Sit the bun/knot on top of its end to stop them unravelling. I place them on 2 lightly greased baking trays.
Prove again for 45 minutes until risen again, then bake for 22 minutes - the underneath should be golden aswell as the top. leave to cool on a wire rack and eat same day.

It has been so difficult to choose a featured bake from last week’s Bake of the Week entries but this Triple Chocolate Tart with Mango from Only Crumbs Remain just really appealed to me. Pastry still scares me a little if I’m honest – I think its now my weakest baking area, after conquering yeast. I love the extra decorations – so delicate and inviting. Well done!

Triple Chocolate & Mango Tart

So many lovely entries again last week – I’ve separated the bakes into Fruit Bakes and Non-Fruit Bakes this week:

Fruit Veg Bakes of the Week

Having huge technical difficulties with numbering pictures this week so apologies if its a little difficult to work out which bake is which.

We have 7 Fruit & Veg Bakes:

  1. Alida from My Little Italian Kitchen provided this moist Carrot Cake complete with pistachios.
  2.  Totally perfect for snuggling up on wet & windy afternoon, these Apple & Blackberry Cream Turnovers from Giraffes Can Bake.
  3. Healthy yet tempting Apple Flapjacks with the extra bonus of Chia Seeds from Jenny at Mummy Mishaps.
  4. Using up a stash of pears and tempting us with talk of blackberry gin is Domestic Gothess with her Dark Chocolate, Pear & Hazelnut Cake.
  5. Amazing colours in these Beetroot & Vanilla Cupcakes from Snack to the Future.
  6. There’s no such thing as a boring cake from De Tout Coeur Limousin – Spicy Carrot Cake with marmalade Frosting.
  7. And an ultra pretty carrot cake with cream cheese frosting from PoPourri Saswati.

And 7 Bakes in the other category:

BeFunky Collage

  1. Absolutely love this transfer/stencil on Winnie’s Chocolate Cookie Cake
  2. Luxurious beauty from ET Speaks From Home’s Coffee & Mascarpone Cupcakes.
  3. Blimey these Peanut Butter & Jelly Stuffed French Toasts are original – Giraffes Can Bake
  4. Love the story behind ET Speaks From Home’s Traditional Piglet Mooncakes and they are super cute too!
  5. Ooh Domestic Gothess, I don’t think I could stop at one Chocolate Dipped Lime Shortbread Biscuits.
  6. Cannot resist a pretty loaf and Winnie’s Honey Challah is gorgeous!
  7. Just look at the shine on Baking Queen 74’s Very Chocolatey Tart!

Thanks so much everyone for continuing to join in – There’s been so much sharing of the Bakes of the Week entries that I hope you are seeing more traffic and engagement in your posts.

The link is open until Monday 19th October – up to 3 entries per baker and no theme as usual. I will continue to share on Twitter, Pinterest, Yummly, Google+ & comment.

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Wholewheat Pancakes with Chocolate Chips & Orange Blossom – Secret Recipe Club

Chocolate Chip & Orange Blossom Wholewheat Pancakes

How have I never made Chocolate Chip Pancakes before? Such a simple idea, easy & quick to make but really tasty! Its Secret Recipe Club time again – That last month just flew by. This month I was paired up with Elizabeth from Food Ramblings – A blogger who seems to love food and yarn as much as I do! I spent forever searching Elizabeth’s past recipes deciding which one to do – There are several containing ‘Hot Sauce’ that we don’t seem to have readily available in the UK that I really fancy. After doing a bit of research, I thinking perhaps Hot Sauce means Hot Chilli Sauce? Anyone know?

Anyway, I opted for a sweet recipe, Chocolate Chip Pancakes – I’ve talked before about my girls’ love of pancakes so I knew this recipe would be a winner. I used a slab of Dark chocolate that I chopped into Chocolate Chip sized chunks – I like using Dark Chocolate in cooking as the flavour stands out so much better. I’ve also got an abundance of Orange Blossom so threw a few drops of that in too – the results were magic! I’m still using up all our Wholewheat flour and bunged that in too! A very frugal recipe :-)

Wholewheat Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Chips & Orange Blossom

Wholewheat Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Chips & Orange Blossom

Serves 3-4
Prep time 3 minutes
Cook time 6 minutes
Total time 9 minutes
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
Light fluffy Wholewheat Pancakes with Dark Chocolate & Orange Blossom


  • 1 Medium Egg (Whisked)
  • 1 cup Wholewheat Self Raising Flour ((approx 125g))
  • 1 cup Semi Skimmed Milk ((I used a bit more than Elizabeth's original recipe due to using Wholemeal Flour))
  • 3-4 drops Orange Blossom Extract
  • 100g Dark Chocolate (Chopped into Chocolate Chip sized chunks)
  • 3-4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil (For frying)


If you don't have any Orange Blossom, Vanilla Extract is just as nice!


Mix together the flour and the egg.
Gradually add the milk until fully combined - Will take only 1-2 minutes (Wholemeal flour doesn't tend to go lumpy)
Add the chopped chocolate and the orange blossom and stir in
Use a small frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil until just starting to sizzle
Add a small ladle full of pancake mix and cook on both sides for 2-3 minutes until golden & crispy
Remove from pan and blot on a piece of kitchen roll
Serve whilst still hot with a serving of vanilla ice cream

Secret Recipe Club

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Mississippi Mud Cake with Raspberry Italian Meringue Buttercream – Bake of the Week

Mississippi Mud Cake Raspberry Italian Meringue Buttercream

I’ve got a special bake for you this week – The past few Bakes of the Week have been quick, easy bakes – Tasty and handy to know but not exactly WOW! Well look no further, here’s full baking luxury for you – and its residing in my fridge! Mr C has just described it as ‘the Mother of all cakes’.

Mississippi Mud Cake is a dense, rich cake so Italian Meringue Buttercream goes perfectly with it. I like to balance the light, fluffy buttercream – This is a cake that can take lots of filling but you don’t need a heavy buttery filling. Even though this buttercream uses 500g of butter, it is still light and airy.

I seem to have an abundance of Wholemeal flour so used a good chunk inside this cake – Raspberries are at the end of their best at the moment too, so I got a bargain with these 2 punnets.

Raspberry Italian Meringue Buttercream

Mississippi Mud Cake with Raspberry Italian Meringue Buttercream

Serves 8+
Prep time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 5 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Valentines day
Mississippi Mud Cake with a light, tangy Raspberry Italian Meringue Buttercream


  • 400g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 60g Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Strong Instant Coffee Granules (Dissolved in 200ml of recently boiled hot water - Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before adding to the cake mixture)
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Extract (+ 1 teaspoon for Buttercream)
  • 120g Wholemeal Flour
  • 200g Self Raising Flour
  • 200ml Milk
  • 5 Egg Whites
  • 500g Very Soft Butter
  • 100ml Cold Water
  • 300g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Punnets Raspberries


Mississippi Mud Cake
Preheat the oven to 170C and line 3 x 8" Cake tins
Whisk together the Dark Brown Sugar and the 2 whole eggs until they become paler and fluffy.
Add in the cocoa - When the coffee/water mix has cooled sufficiently, add this whilst still mixing
Alternate adding 1 tbsp of the flours and a small drizzle of milk until all flour and milk is added
Continue to whisk on a medium setting for 20 seconds then distribute evenly between the 3 tins and bake for 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Up to this stage can be done up to 3 days in advance - this is the sort of cake that can take standing (wrapped in foil) If you can wait that long!
Raspberry Italian Meringue Buttercream
Whisk the 5 egg whites until they achieve stiff peaks and very slowly add 50g of the caster sugar a very tiny amount at a time
In a small pan, add the remaining 250g of caster sugar and 100ml of water. Heat on a slow heat and whisk until the caster sugar has just dissolved. Stop whisking and speed the heat up to high. Brush down the sides of the pan once with a wet pastry brush to stop sugar crystals from appearing and burning
You are then waiting for the sugar/water mixture to reach 121C (use a sugar thermometer) As soon as it does, dip the pan into a large pan of cold water and remove immediately. Wipe down the base of the pan - you don't want any excess water dripping into the meringue mixture
Add a thin but steady stream of sugar/water mix into the egg white mixture, whilst mixing on a medium-high setting
Once it has all been added, keep mixing on a medium setting until the sides of the bowl start to feel cooler
Add tablespoons of the butter at a time whilst still whisking - This bit freaks me out as I always think it will curdle but it doesn't
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining vanilla extract
Mush one punnet of raspberries with a fork (you can blitz in a blender but I prefer some texture from the raspberries) and stir into the meringue mix.
Divide into 4 equal parts and spread between each layer of cake - Decorate as you wish on top and add the other punnet of raspberries
Refrigerate for 2 hours and eat

Raspberry Mississippi Mud Cake Italian Meringue Buttercream

3 tier mississippi mud chocolate cake Mississippi Mud Pie Cake Bake of the Week

A small but perfectly formed number of Bake of the Week entries last week – That’s what happens when the host accidentally closes the linky early! Oops. Apologies to anyone who wanted to take part – I also had huge technical problems on the blog last week again that deleted links from previous Bakes of the Week. Happy to say all fixed now. I’m fiercely proud that everyone who takes part in Bake of the Week gets their fair share of promotion – I link to all entries in the roundup and comment (eventually), pin, Google+ & tweet every single one too. Takes ages but that’s why we do it?


There was one entry that really got my attention – Domestic Gothess’ incredible Chocolate & Raspberry Battenberg – I’d spotted this on my travels around my favourite blogs even before it was entered. Perfectly baked and amazing photography as ever!

Chocolate Raspberry BAttenburg

Bake of the Week

1. Celebrating National Cupcake Week with Espresso martini Cupcakes is Domestic Gothess. I’m really intrigued to try her cooked flour frosting – Read her post for more details.
2. Fair play to Baking Queen 74 for doing such a marvellous job of her Cherry & Vanilla Charlotte Russe – True persistence meant her bake took her an entire day. Magnificent results though! This GBBO has got a lot to answer for!
3. A thought provoking post about the use of Palm Oil from My Little Italian Kitchen and some pretty Shortbread Chocolate Cookies to go with it. Once again, I am so glad we cut down on the amount of shop bought biscuits we consume in our house.

Feel free to add up to 3 entries (old bakes are fine as long as they include the badge below) If you have chance it would be great if you could visit some of the other entries – Let them know how you found them by #Bakeoftheweek. There’s no theme as usual – Savoury, Sweet, Small, Large, Fruity, chocolatey, Biscuits, Bread, Pies, Oven Bakes & Slow Cookers all welcome!

Right, so lets spread the word and get Bake of the Week busy again! I promise no mishaps with the linky this week :-) You are welcome to join in if you are part of other baking groups – There’s plenty of baking love to share around!

Casa Costello
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Ginger Oat Chewy Creams – Bake of the Week

Ginger Oat Creams

Blimey these are good! I’ve been after a hugely tasty cookie for ages – I found these in my latest edition of Baking Heaven, got stuck in and of course, messed around with the recipe a little. I didn’t expect them to be quite so filling with the White Chocolate centre but they are truly amazing. Tara and Violet prefer them without the filling – They are just a good and chewy the following few days too.

The original recipe comes from Eve & David O’Sullivan and is featured in their Bake in Black cookbook which I am seeing everywhere at the moment. I’ve not invested yet but if more recipes are half as good as this one, then its a must!

Ginger Oat Chewy Cookies

Disclosure: Recipe contains an associate link

Ginger Oat Creams

Serves 16
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 11 minutes
Total time 51 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Birthday Party, Casual Party
From book Bake in Black
Chewy, rich Ginger Oat cookies with a luxurious White Chocolate Filling


  • 160ml Vegetable Oil
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg (Whisked)
  • 3.5 tablespoons Black Treacle
  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 200g Jumbo Rolled Oats
  • 2 teaspoons Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 3 teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 100g White Chocolate
  • 140gg Butter (The original recipe says unsalted but I quite happily use lightly salted)
  • 200g Icing Sugar


ThThe original recipe also include 1 tsp of ground cloves which I chose to omit


Ginger Oat Cookies
Preheat the oven to 180C and line 2-3 baking trays with baking parchment
In a large bowl, combine the oil, caster sugar & egg - Gradually add the treacle, oats, bicarb & spices. Fold in the flour.
Once mixed, you should be able to bring the dough together in a large bowl. Chill for 10-15 minutes.
Separate the mixture into 32 evenly sized balls and flatten slightly with the heel of your palm - Place on a baking tray. They will spread a fair bit though so don't place too close together.
Bake for 11 minutes - They will just start to develop a slight shell but be moist and chewy inside - Cool on a wire rack
White Chocolate Filling
While the cookies are cooling, start on the filling - melt the white chocolate over a bowl of boiling water (not allowing the bottom of the bowl to touch the water) Leave to cool for 5 minutes
Whisk the butter until pale and fluffy and add the icing sugar. With an electric whisk on a slow setting, gradually add the melted white chocolate - speed up the whisk once all added until the mixture thickens and is well combined
I piped the White Chocolate filling with a star nozzle but if you can't wait that long, spread it on with a spoon - Delicious!

It feels like forever since I did a Bake of the Week roundup – I don’t like to post until all posts have been commented on and shared, therefore why there has been such a delay. The good news is that Tara is now fully ensconced at school so Bake of the Week will be back to its regular Tuesday slot every week now. Thanks for bearing with me until now!

Limoncello Mascarpone Layer Cake

My featured Bake of the Week is this absolutely stunning Limoncello Mascarpone Layer Cake from Andrea at All You Need Is Love And Cake – Just a beautiful spectacle that would be a delight at any table.

I couldn’t leave out this Flower Bread from Sarah at Tales from the Kitchen Shed either. Proving (pun intended) that pre-planning pays off with her Flower Bread work of art.

Flower Bread

I also want to give a mention to the Free From Fairy for her post on Tips for Free From Baking – A lot of knowledge, expertise and time goes into these type of posts – Thank you for sharing your tips.

Bake of the Week

1. Very impressed with this Coconut & Pineapple Cake from Its Not Easy Being Greedy that is Sugar Free, Gluten Free & Dairy Free – That is a talent!
2. Challenging us to let this Sticky Date, Orange & Cinnamon Cake sit for 2-3 days! De Tout Coeur Limousin
3. Read all about Lancashire Food’s quest to make their own honey – They have also been producing a magnificent Banana & Honey Loaf Cake with is GF & contains no artificial sugars. Looking forward to hearing more about the bees soon.
4. Loving the crunchy top on Winnie’s Buttery Plum Cake
5. I was really sad to run out of time and not be able to make a meringue layer cake – Baking Queen 74 did a beautiful job of hers.
6. Perfectly pretty Cherry Clafoutis from Petite Raisin – I love a clafoutis in autumn!
7. I had shop bought muffins this week – they weren’t a patch on homemade and now I’m yearning for SnapHappyBakes’ Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffins
8. Pink Grapefruit & Kirsch Savarin – Amazing flavour combination from Lilis Cakes
9. Mouthwateringly tempting Self Saucing Apple & Blackberry Pudding from Sarah at Tales from the Kitchen Shed

Bake of the Week

10. Mini Chocolate, Nutella Ganache & Hazelnut Praline Layer Cake from Domestic Gothess – her fiancé is a lucky man! Happy birthday to him!
11. My kids would kill for some of these! Oreo Biscuit Cakes from ET Speaks From Home
12. Wow to this combination of Chocolate Crunchie Frangipane Tart from Its Not Easy Being Greedy – I am so impressed!
13. Slow Cooker Chocolate Oat Bars – The creations Baking Queen 74 comes up with in a Slow Cooker just blow me away – Fantastic!
14. Can’t beat a Chocolate Kiss – Love these from ET Speaks From Home and they are from the Bake in Black book too!

Bake of the week

15. Totally over performing in her British Bake Off creations – This Gingerbread Biscotti will definitely be coming to Bonfires with us in November – Foodie Quine
16. You can always guarantee that Winnie will go the extra mile – Homemade cheese made into this amazing cheesecake – completely with translated recipe. What a woman!
17. I promise myself I will make more savoury muffins for the kids’ breakfast – These Cheese & Onion Muffins may just help me out from NicBakes
18. Ingenious design from Domestic Gothess with her Garlic Mushroom Manchego Baked Egg Bread Boats
19. Just look at those tempting green basil speckles – Parmesan, Sundried Tomato & Basil Soda Bread from All You Need Is Love and Cake

As usual, all bakes are welcome and shared manically across the internet. Savoury, sweet, small, big, tarts, biscuits, cakes, pies, anything slow cooked or baked in an oven.

Casa Costello
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Joining in with CakeyBoi & Baking Explorer for Treat Petite