Raspberry & Passion Fruit Yoghurt Birthday Bundt Cake- Clandestine Cake-a-long 9

raspberry passion fruit bundt cake


I love that I’m getting so much use out of my Bundt tin – next step is to experiment with wild and wacky ways of decorating my bundt cakes. For the time being, though, this is a bright, interesting cake that is super speedy to decorate and still has oomph!

I sent Dermot to the supermarket with instructions to buy ‘good quality raspberry yoghurt’ as told in the recipe. He arrived back with Yeo Valley Raspberry and Passion Fruit Yoghurt which was just perfect. I loved the addition of passion fruit to the cake although the yoghurt taste was very subtle.

The pink buttercream is delicious – I did meddle slightly by adding 1 tsp vanilla extract to it as I normally do.

I had wafer flowers left over and sugar dots from my Dr Oetker baking day and was really pleased with the finished article. We still have over half of the cake left and it is keeping well.

I was slightly later than expected with this bake as a really unusual phenomenon occured – I was caked out! Yep, I know, I never thought it would happen either. I think it was the combination of 3 weeks in France where plenty of cake goodness was consumed and 4 birthday cakes on arrival at home that rendered me useless. Never fear, normal service has been restored and the Costello kitchen is in full flow once more.


There was a problem with last month’s link up for the cake-a-long but happily it didn’t deter our cake-a-long bakers.

Victoria’s bundt has a lovely soft pink buttercream covering and great use of multi coloured stars.

raspberry yoghurt bundt cake I’m going to try to ‘interview’ Rachel McGrath who came up with the raspberry yoghurt cake in the next few days and will publish as soon as poss.

In the meantime, lets get going on another cake – I’ve had a conversation about how gorgeous apricots are at the moment, earlier this week so it seems the right time for us to look at Mike Wallis’ Apricot Cake on page 80. I’ll keep the linky open until Wednesday 18th September 2013. Happy Baking!

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Crispy Lemon Cake – Clandestine Cakealong

clandestine cake club lemon cake recipe

Oh my! I love this cake – I’ve made 3 times in the past week (I haven’t eaten them all – One made the perfect moving house present for a friend)

Really, really simple to make and such a refreshing taste and great texture. The picture was from the remnants of the last of the 3 cakes when it was slightly past its freshest so it looks a little heavy. The cake still tasted amazing though and got demolished very soon after.

I did think the we didn’t need quite so much of the lemon and sugar topping. It was a little too thick for me but it was gorgeous nevertheless.

Soured Cream Coffee Cake Roundup

Good to see the entries for the Soured Cream Coffee Cake were as successful as usual. What I forgot to mention in my post was, the cake actually has no coffee in it. It is considered to be the perfect accompaniment with a cup of coffee.

clandestine cake club soured cream coffee cake

Great job, ladies! We are doing really well with the cake-a-long. We will be taking a short break for the summer holidays but will return on Tuesday 26th August with Rachel McGrath’s Raspberry Yoghurt Birthday Bundt on page 198. Quite appropriate as I will be celebrating my 40th birthday the week before! EEK! SO OLD!

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Clandestine Cake-a-long Spiced Ale Cake & Meet the Author


We’re doing a slightly different cake this fortnight. We’ve not had a loaf cake so far and this is definitely a welcome change from the very sweet cakes (but yummy) cakes that we have been trying.

As I said in the introductory post, I’ve actually eaten a slice of this cake at one of our St Helens Clandestine Cake club nights. And very delicious it is too. I will admit to being a slight bit nervous about doing it justice when I baked it myself.

The cake does not contain any butter or eggs which seemed really unusual. I loved how it came together as a type of dough before putting in the loaf tin. Once again, I mentally thanked the Lakeland for their fabulous loaf tin liners! I didn’t have any light ale but had a tantalising can of Guinness in the fridge – the recipe calls for 350ml out of the 440ml tin. Dermot kindly finished the rest of the tin off as his contribution to the bake.

I’m lucky enough to know Deb. I met her early in 2012 at our WI meetings and have discovered since what a joy she is to know. What you might not know is that Deb recently won our Traybake competition at our WI Show. She is also a friend to the stars, having bullied persuaded Ross Noble to appear at the very same show.

So let’s get to know Deb some more…

1. How did you get into baking?
Helping Mum when I was little. I had my own little rolling pin & pastry cutters!

2. What is your favourite cake?
That’s a difficult one- depends what mood I’m in! Right now… Carrot cake would go down a treat! But I do love a banana cake! Oh & a chocolate cake! & things wouldn’t be the same without fruit cake now would they?

3. What is the last cake that you made?
I made my own recipe lavender & Banana Cake

4. You have friends coming round for the evening, which cake would you bake them?
Depends on the friends! I have a number of Vegan friends so would do a vegan cake if they were coming. For friends that need gluten free I’d do my port, cranberry, orange & olive oil cake. As a climber if they were climbing friends I”d make something big & hearty for the end of a hard day’s climbing- like my chilli chocolate cake. Severed in huge slices of course!

5. What famous person (past or present) would you like to bake a cake for?
I recently made a traybake for comedian Ross Noble and he liked it! I’d like to bake a cake for Tang dynasty ancient Chinese physician Sun Si Miao.

6. How many CCC events have you attended?
Only ever made it to one actual event, but frequently in touch with/ meet up with other CCC members by various means!

7. What recipe out of the CCC book do you fancy baking the most?
The Japanese Green Tea & Orange Cake

8. What would your baking tip be?
Just have a go… Practice makes perfect & experimentation can lead to get results! (We won’t mention the disasters!)

9. Do you have any baking ‘rituals’?
I like to play 80’s music while I bake- & yes there is always some dancing round the kitchen!

10. Do you have a favourite cake related saying?
Coined by my lovely husband Neil Peck when eating a large piece of cake for breakfast… “Cake is the food of athletes”!

11. Any baking disasters you wish to admit to?
I once made a courgette cake, following a bumper harvest from my veg patch. I obviously didn’t put the squeeze on them quite enough and finished up with a VERY soggy sloppy mess, thanks to the excess water. My husband politely tried some -apparently it was horrible (what? you didn’t think I tried it did you?) I put it out for the birds but even they & a skinny stray cat had more sense than to try it. Adding insult to the injury of this disaster was that 2 days later I slipped over in the soggy mess that was my courgette cake whilst hanging my washing out! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Deb has also kindly supplied us with some tips for getting the most out of our Spiced Ale Cake:

Tips for the Spiced Ale Cake:

  • Using a flavoured Ale- such as a Raisin or Bluberry ale adds a little something to the taste.
  • If you want a vegan cake then use Avgar Nectar rather than honey.
  • I’ve made this cake using corriander & gram masla spices rather than those listed- not for the faint hearted but if you dare give it a go!! (the original name for the cake was Curried Beer Cake- but that did put a few people off trying it!!)
  • The cake tastes best if kept in an airtight container for a couple of days before eating- yummy!
  • Nice with a bit of butter on it (or Vegan spread!)

Thanks very much, Deb.

Just two entries for last time’s Cakealong bake – I had a feeling the Giant Fondant Fancy would only get a small number.

Victoria Murray had the genius idea of including a paper wrapper for her Fondant Fancy – My Kipling would be so proud!


Source: Uploaded by user on Pinterest

Katy Hough gave us this very neat version of the Fondant Fancy. Well done ladies!


Our next bake is on page 32 The Soured Cream Coffee Cake – I have a new bundt tin and I’m desperate to try it. I’m sure the cake would work just as well in other shaped tins. Lets be creative!

For anyone who is slightly tempted to join in … Please Do! Baking our way through the Clandestine Cake Book is so much more fun baking along with friends. Disasters are most welcome – believe me, I’ve had plenty!

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Clandestine Cake-a-long Returns – Torta Columbina & Homemade Orange Curd Recipe

We’ve had a few weeks break from the Cake-a-long but its back raring to go! It seems that with every cake I’ve made from the Clandestine Cake Collection, I’ve learnt a new skill and developed a new addiction.

This time it is a delicious orange curd – when I came to make the Cake-a-long bake I discovered I didn’t have any orange curd in so undeterred made my own. Delicious! And so easy in the microwave. All the way through, I was convinced I’d mess it up, my eggs would curdle and it would taste awful – but NO – IT WAS A HUGE SUCCESS! We are now eating Homemade Orange Curd with everything – the kids might draw the line at Orange Curd Tuna Pasta however.

I’ve never heard of a Torta Columbina before – I have googled and found Tarta Columbiana which sounds very similar. This cake was the brainwave of Euan Greig who blogs over at Signor Biscotti, a lovely blog that will have your mouth watering. Euan’s version of the cake looks so much better than mine and you can find the recipe here. I’m going to try to interview Euan in time for the next round up in 2 weeks to find out more.

The cake itself was not too complicated – I did seem to end up with far too much egg white mixture for the topping though and had to crack it to make sure it was cooking. I personally would have liked a stronger orange flavour but I’m sure this is just me. I loved the addition of the almond flavouring too – it really added an interesting aftertaste. I’ve spotted Millie dipping into the cake over and over again which is a sure thumbs up!

Homemade Orange Curd Recipe

Homemade Orange Curd Recipe


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 eggs
  • Finely grated rind of 2 oranges
  • 175g caster sugar
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 2 oranges
  • 125g butter, chopped into small pieces


  1. Whisk the eggs in a large microwave bowl
  2. Add the orange rind, sugar, orange juice and butter
  3. Microwave on high at 30 second intervals for at least 8 minutes
  4. I whisked after every 30 second period so the butter was properly mixed in.
  5. The curd will thicken and form a thick coating on the back of a metal spoon.
  6. Taste and be transported to a delicious place!
  7. Transfer to either one big sterilized kilner jar or small sterilized jars and allow to cool fully.
  8. Keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

So there is the Cake-a-long for this fortnight. I will do a round up on Monday 20th May (the linky will be open until approx 8PM on Mon 20th May) and the new Cake-a-long will start on Tuesday 21st May. It is never too late to start joining in with the Cake-a-long. If you would like to suggest a cake for us to make, please feel free.

Our next bake will be the Giant Lemon Fondant Fancy on page 231 – Eek! Be brave with that fondant!

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Lime & Pistachio Round-Up: Clandestine Cake-a-long 1

Source: picmonkey.com via Helen on Pinterest

Wow! What a fabulous start to the Clandestine Cake-a-long. Our first bake seems to have been a great success with many more people saying they hope to take part.

The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook was published almost 2 weeks ago now and everywhere I go people are talking about it. I came across it in Costco last week when I was shopping with the 3 mini Costellos – we may have left it open on my recipe page for all to see ๐Ÿ˜‰ ahem!

Anyhow, back to the Lime and Pistachio cake – I thought it would be an idea to do a round up of all the bakes submitted to the Cake-a-long. I have added them all to the Clandestine Cake-a-long Pinterest board too. Feel free to visit the pics and leave comments.

For our first recipe, we had bakes from Katy Hough, Rhonda Kirby, Cassandra Simpson and Victoria Murray. We have had a fortnight of getting to grips with Pinterest aswell as a new recipe so we’ve all learnt something. I hope to add a Clandestine Cake-a-long Facebook page in the next few days to make it easier for FB diehards to add their bakes too.

Thanks to everyone who joined in – Our next cake is the wonderful, Julia England’s Toffee Shock Cake. Mine is cooling as I type so the post will be up tomorrow. Happy Baking!

Clandestine Cake-a-long Episode 1: Lime & Pistachio Cake

Cor, what a cake to start with! For those of you who haven’t read last week’s post – I’m embarking on a new mission to bake my way through the fabulous new Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook. Every fortnight I will hopefully be joined by other crazy bakers as we show our attempts at the cake choice of the fortnight.

I have been in contact with many of the contributors of the book (many of whom have said that they are also up for the challenge of baking along too) to find out more about them.

This week, I am starting with Lynn Hill, Founder of the mighty Clandestine Cake Club. I’ve not actually met Lynn yet but I feel like I know her well following several phone calls and email exchanges over the past 2 years. (One of my sisters has been in Lynn’s house for a Secret Tea Party so that makes us nearly relatives?!)

Lynn lives in Leeds, where she set up the very first Clandestine Cake Club. In order for us to get to know Lynn a little better, I posed some questions for her to answer:

How did you get into baking?
My mother baked and cooked at home and I loved the cookery classes at school.

What is your favourite cake?
I love citrus flavoured cakes but I also love a good layered sponge cake with a nice filling and topping.

What is the last cake that you made?
The last cake I made was the crispy lemon cake on page 130 of the CCC Cook Book

You have friends coming round for the evening, which cake would you bake them?
I’d make the Finish Lemon Mothers Day cake on page 194 of the CCC cook book.

What famous person (past or present) would you like to bake a cake for?
Mrs Beeton. I’m sure she would love to see what we bake in the 21st century.

How many CCC events have you attended?
In 2 years I must have organised quite a few but never counted them so I’m not quite sure how many.

What recipe out of the CCC book do you fancy baking the most?
I’d most like to make the Lingonberry White Chocolate Cake on page 106 because the author of the recipe actually sent me some Pomerans and dried Lingonberries that are generally not available in the UK. The recipe suggests using cranberries and orange zest as an alternative.

Thanks Lynn – You sure do like your citrus cakes!

For the first recipe for the cake-a-long, I thought it only right to choose the cover cake. The Lime and Pistachio Cake. An imposing cake, with 3 layers and several cooking techniques. This cake features on page 141 of the Clandestine Cookbook.

The recipe includes sections on baking the sponges, making a lime syrup, a lime curd, pistachio encrusted chocolate and lime frosting. Phew! I have to say that I completely loved making all the different elements of the cake.

The sponges were so much quicker to prepare than I thought they would be. The lime syrup was incredibly easy and just divine – I am definitely going to use this again for other baking projects.

I hit a bit of a stumbling block with the lime curd – I never seem to be able to gets curds thick enough although all the ingredients were easy enough to prepare. No matter, even though the curd was still fairly liquid, it was absolutely gorgeous – and sooo tangy!

And then it came time to assemble the cake together…Hmmm, perhaps my frosting needed to be thicker. To say I had a minor disaster is a bit of an understatement – My husband might have uttered the words, ‘Cake Wrecks’ at this point. Didn’t stop us eating it though! Completely gorgeous taste, very tangy but balanced by subtle nutty flavour and the creaminess of the frosting. Just need to do a bitย lot of work on my presentation. Considering it is February and my valentines flowers haven’t arrived yet (hint) I didn’t bother with the rose petals.

So how did you get on? I so wish I could have posted a successful picture of my first Cakealong attempt but here it is, faults and all. I loved the cake and the experience of preparing all the different elements.

If you have baked the lime and pistachio cake, add your picture or blog post url to the linky below. The link up will remain open until Monday 25th February. The Clandestine Cake-a-long pinterest page can be found here

Our next Cake-a-long will start on Tuesday 26th February and will be Julia England’s Toffee Shock Cake on page 227.