Big Banana Bliss Cake

Gareth provided for the troops this week with the most enormous banana cake ever seen at Cake Club, nestling on the most enormous plate ever seen at Cake Club. Wholesome yet sugary with a crunchy nut topping, this was a definite winner, and seconds went down the gullets of the hungry cake clubbers even more quickly than the first helping. Gareth’s recipe follows.

Big Banana Bliss Cake
(a.k.a. Simple Banana Cake ex Stephanie Alexander’s ‘The Cook’s Companion’)

160 g softened butter
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
1¼ cups mashed ripe banana
A few drops of vanilla essence
300 g plain flour
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon mixed spice
¾ cup milk mixed with 1½ tsp lemon juice (or ¾ cup buttermilk)

4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
4 tablespoons self-raising flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
125 g softened butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar

Butter and flour a 24 cm spring-form cake tin then line with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, banana and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add to mixture alternating with the milk. Spoon batter into tin. Combine the topping ingredients and scatter over top of uncooked batter.

Bake for around 45 mins or until cooked in centre. Cool a little in the tin on a wire rack then release from the tin to cool completely before storage. Delicious!

Published in: on July 10, 2012 at 18:45  Leave a Comment  

Engadiner Nusstorte

Katarina stepped up to the table this week with a nutty delicacy from mountainous Switzerland. She described it as a “calorie bomb” and she wasn’t wrong, but it was exactly what we all needed to kick start a frosty day at work. Second servings went down even quicker than firsts, and a good time was had by all.

“A dense caramel walnut pastry cake- think of it like a pecan pie with a lid! Traditional from the Graubunden part of Switzerland. The crust is quite biscuit like.”


350 g flour
250 g butter
200 g sugar
1 pinch salt
1 lemons, rind of
1 eggs


500 g sugar
500 g walnuts
500 g cream
50 g tbsps honey
1 egg yolks


Cream butter and sugar.
Mix flour, rind, salt and egg on high speed until a dough is formed.
Divide the dough into 1/3 and 2/3 parts, wrap well in foil and chill for minimum 1/2 hour.
In the meantime, heat the sugar for the filling until it caramelises to a very light brown.
Heat the cream (can be in microwave) and add it to the caramel, stirring rapidly.
Add the honey, heat until it reaches a rolling boil.
Add nuts and stir well. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Mix well and allow to cool.

Roll out the larger of the pastry dough rolls and fit into a greased 24cm springform pan to cover the base and sides.
Pour in the cooled filling.
Roll out the remaining dough to form a lid for the cake. Put on top of the filling and join the edges well.
Paint the top of the cake lightly with whisked egg yolk.

Cook the cake at about 180 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Take the cake out of the oven and allow to cool. Do not remove outside of tin until cool! The cake should be totally cold before serving – I put mine in the fridge on the base, and only take it off the base once it’s cold and the filling has set. Otherwise if the filling is still hot the bottom will sag when you pick it up.

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 20:00  Leave a Comment  

Rich and sticky gingerbread with marmalade

What do you do with a surfeit of marmalade? Make ginger cake, of course! Amy served up this delight recently, and cake clubbers schanufed it down in short order. The rule of waiting until 10.15 before diving in for seconds served us badly, as several late comers turned up at the last minute and deprived us of quite so much cake, but everybody agreed that it was most excellent!

Rich and sticky gingerbread with marmalade

Make it like this recipe.

As always, I made this entirely in the food processor and deviated from the recipe. I used about 1/4 c molasses and 1/2 c golden syrup (mainly because I ran out of the former). And added chopped dates instead of raisins.

The reason for making sticky gingerbread with marmalade was an overabundance of marmalade made from this recipe. Warning: Use small fruit or you will suffer the same fate! I ended up with 15 cups of pulp!

Mighty Citrus Marmalade, from here.

About 7 x 350g jars

2 grapefruit
2 lemons
2 oranges
2 1/4 litres water
Sugar – 1 cup for each cup of fruit pulp

1/ Wash the fruit and cut into small wedges. Remove any excess pith, blemished parts and the pips.

2/ Place the fruit in a kitchen whizz.

3/ Whizz the wedges until they are chopped into fine pieces.

4/ Place all the pulp into a large saucepan and cover with the water.

5/ Bring to the boil and boil for 45 minutes until the fruit is soft.

6/ Let the fruit pulp cool down slightly.

7/ Measure the pulp in cupfuls and return it to the large saucepan. You may wish to leave the marmalade at this stage and continue making it the following day.

8/ Add 1 cup of sugar for every cup of pulp. Bring the pulp back to the boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

9/ Boil briskly and stir regularly until the “setting stage” is reached. This can take up to 50 minutes.

10/ Place 1 tsp of mixture on a saucer and allow to cool.

11/ Run your finger across the top of this cooled marmalade and if a skin forms across the surface, then the setting stage has been reached.

12/ Take the marmalade off the stove and cool for 10 minutes.

13/ Place into sterilised jars using a ladle or small jug and seal firmly with hot rubber-lined lids.

14/ As the jars and marmalade cool, the lids will be sucked down and may even make a popping sound. This indicates a secure sealing of the marmalade. The marmalade can be stored in a cool, dry place and will keep for a number of months.

To sterilise the jars: Wash the jars and lids thoroughly in hot, soapy water. Rinse, then place in an oven preheated to 100[Degree] for 10 minutes. Lids must be free from rust and have a rubber seal.

Published in: on March 19, 2012 at 21:11  Leave a Comment  

Zuger Kirschtorte

Katarina treated everyone to a boozy experience with Zuger Kirschtorte, a beetroot pink delight that tasted exquisite. The 200 ml of kirsch that made the flavour so good undoubtedly contributed to some inspired work in the hour or two after morning tea, but cake clubbers who went back for seconds (and there were many) would probably benefit from a pint of rehydrating water afterwards. Katarina confessed that several hours hard work went into this creation, for which she earns the Most Hardworking Baker Award, as well as being a contender for Most Lurid Cake of 2012.

It is with relief that we are able to link to the recipe for Zuger Kirschtorte in English, at, else you would all have been translating from Swiss German. (This is easier before you have finished the bottle of kirsch.)

Nut Layer

4 egg whites
1/2 cup powdered sugar (125g)
1/2 cup hazelnuts , ground (100g)
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold in half (1/4 cup) powdered sugar.

Combine the remaining sugar, nuts and cornstarch, then fold this into the stiff egg whites.

Bake two layers from the mixture, using a spring form. at 350F for 10-15 minutes. Trace 2 circles on parchment using the 9 or 8” spring form Place the parchment on a baking sheet, then divide the batter between the 2 circles and lightly smooth to the lines of the circle then bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes. This is like a large macaroon and should be dry when done.

Biscuit Layer

3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
1/3 cup powdered sugar (75g)
1/2 cup flour (50g)
1/2 cup cornstarch (50g)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 lemon , the zest of

In a large bowl beat the egg yolks with 3 Tbsp warm water until creamy then add ¼ cup of powered sugar.

In a medium bowl beat the egg whites with the remaining ¼ cup sugar until stiff.

Fold the egg whites into the yolks and add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and lemon zest to make a batter.

Using the same sized spring form as for the nut layer, grease or line with parchment then add batter.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F.

Butter Cream

2/3 cup butter (150g)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (150g)
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons kirsch

Beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and egg yolk and lastly the Kirsch. Divide into 3 portions.


4 tablespoons kirsch
1/2 cup hazelnuts , chopped (125g)
1 cup powdered sugar (100g)

Let all the layers cool.

Spread 1/3 of the butter cream on the nut layer. Stack the biscuit layer on top.

Sprinkle the biscuit layer with Kirsch then spread on the next 1/3 butter cream .

Lay the second nut layer on top.

Spread the remaining butter cream on top and on sides.

Sprinkle the sides with nuts and decorate the top with powdered sugar.

Published in: on January 26, 2012 at 14:53  Leave a Comment  

Plum cake

Gareth continued the fruity theme of 2012 with a caramelized plum cake, liberally covered in a tasty batter topping, dusted with icing sugar and served with cream. For this, we applaud him.

Mieze’s plum cake

This recipe (from Stephanie Alexander’s “The Cook’s Companion”) calls for blood plums like ‘Satsuma’ but I used orange-fleshed European plums courtesy of my neighbour’s productive old tree.

275 g softened butter
250 g sugar
200 g plain flour
200 g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
100 ml milk
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2/3 cup ground almonds
Around 12-20 plums, halved and stoned dude

125 g butter
200 g sugar
2 tsps ground cinnamon
4 eggs

Preheat oven at 180°C (a little cooler in a fan-forced oven) and grease a 28 cm spring-form tin. Cream butter and sugar well, then mix in flour and salt. Add eggs and milk and mix to make a light dough. Spoon the batter into the tin to no more than 1/4 of its volume, spread lightly then sprinkle almonds and breadcrumbs over the top. Arrange the plums cut-side up in concentric circles working from the outside in.

To make the topping, melt butter and stir in sugar and cinnamon, then allow it to cool. Whisk the eggs well then stir into the butter/sugar mix. Spoon the mixture over the plums. Bake the cake for around 1 hour or until the cake is cooked in the centre. Serve warm with thick cream or ice-cream.

Published in: on January 17, 2012 at 21:22  Leave a Comment  

Lemon cake

The first cake of 2012 was a splendid lemon effort by Nina, who valiantly leaped into the blank spot on the calendar at short notice. Phew! A special mention for the icing, which was sweet, tasty, and exactly the right thickness.

Lemon cake

In a baking emergency I usually follow my basic cake recipe and add whatever cake-worthy is in the fridge, in this case lemons.

200 g sugar
200 g butter
Grated lemon peel from 1 lemon
4 eggs – or 2 eggs and a volume of yoghurt substituting the two other eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
200 g flour
1 cup icing sugar
~ 3 tablespoons Limoncello + lemon juice of ¼ lemon

Melt the butter and mix with sugar, lemon peel and eggs/yoghurt.
Add baking powder and flour.
Grease and dust a cake form, preheat oven to 180C.
Bake cake for 55 minutes and let cool
Combine icing sugar and limoncello and/or lemon juice until it is pasty–sort-of-liquid and pour it over the cake. Let cool and enjoy.

Published in: on January 17, 2012 at 06:57  Leave a Comment  

Banana Cake

Amy won the award for Freshest Cake Ever this week, after forgetting she was on cake duty until early on Tuesday morning. She mixed up a fine banana cake and served it up with gusto, and everyone went back for seconds.

Banana Cake
From the Women’s Division of the Federated Farmers Cookbook (circa really old).

100g butter
1.5 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 bananas
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups flour
0.5 tsp baking soda
0.5 cup milk

Make the whole thing in the food processor in an ad break (if you’re really organised!).
Cream butter and sugar, adding the sugar first or you end up with 0.5cm butter stuck to the bottom.
Add eggs, bananas and vanilla essence and beat until smooth.
Add flour and baking soda dissolved in milk and beat until smooth.
Bake at 180C for 45 mins.

Published in: on November 17, 2011 at 19:17  Leave a Comment  

Pineapple upside-down cake

Kat made a pineapple upside-down cake to cheer up the troops, and it worked. Looking at this cake is like looking into the heart of a sunflower – one cannot help but smile. And when you get to eat a tasty piece of cake as well, what more could you possibly need to make your day?

Pineapple upside-down cake
(Source: 500 cakes and bakes, Martha Day 2010)

115 g butter
200 g brown sugar
1 can pineapple rings (approx 450g)
4 eggs, separated
Rind of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt
115 g caster sugar
75 g plain flour
1 t baking powder

Preheat oven to 180°C (I set mine at 160°C on fan bake)
Melt butter in an oven proof frying pan (25cm in diameter). Reserve 1 tablespoon of the melted butter in another bowl.
Add the brown sugar to the melted butter and mix well
Place pineapple slices in a single layer in the butter/brown sugar mixture and set aside.

Add egg yolks to the bowl containing the 1 tablespoon of butter and add the lemon rind. Whisk together and set aside.

Beat egg whites and salt together until they form stiff peaks. Slowly add the caster sugar.

Fold the egg yolks into the beaten egg whites then fold in the flour and baking powder, in three batches.

Pour the mixture over the pineapple rings in the butter/brown sugar mixture and bake in the oven until an inserted skewer come out clean (about 25-30min)

While still hot, invert onto a serving plate.

Can be served hot or cold.

Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 20:55  Leave a Comment  

Spiced Apple Cake

Robyn seems to like this baking lark, because her name comes up the most frequently on the cake calendar. None of us are about to complain though, because she’s right good at it. Her spiced apple cake feels healthy, tastes great, and has the requisite sugar and butter loading required of a Cake Club regular. Read on and salivate.

Tea Time Apple Spice Cake

2x large Granny Smith apples,
1 cup white sugar 100gm butter,( just melted, and just warm)
1 egg;
1 1⁄2 cups plain flour
1 teasp baking soda
1 teasp cinnamon
1⁄2 teasp nutmeg
1⁄2 teasp allspice

Preheat oven to 180 C.
Peel and thinly slice apples and place in a mixing bowl
Sprinkle sugar over apple
Melt butter and beat egg into it
Pour butter mixture over apple
Add flour, baking soda, and spices to the mixture
Mix well
Bake for 45 mins approx, or until cake is cooked and golden.

Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 20:38  Leave a Comment  


Daggi’s first offering to cake club was the exciting Biskuitrolle, which was new to all and gone in minutes. This citrus delight recipe is not for the faint hearted, but if you want to impress the troops, read on and repeat. If you just want to remember the tasty, you can just skip to the photos…

Mandarin-quark-sponge-roll (Biskuitrolle)

For the sponge dough:
5 eggs, separate
125 g sugar
25 g vanilla sugar
 half peel of a lemon
150 g flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons rum
bit salt

For the stuffing:
2 tins mandarines
250 g quark (or cream cheese if you really have to)
200 mL cream
25 g vanilla sugar

80 g icing sugar
gelatine for 250 ml liquid
1 tablespoon rum (optional)

icing sugar
OR Cream
OR stuffing and mandarins

How to do it

Stuffing first:
Decant the liquid of the mandarins (but keep it for later) and purée half of the mandarins.
Whip the cream.
Mix Quark with icing sugar and vanilla sugar, add all forms of mandarins and as well the cream gently with a spoon (fold in).
Add prepared gelatine, thus melted or dissolved in mandarin juice, and leave the stuffing for some hours in fridge.

Now the Sponge dough:

Separate the eggs and whisk stiff the egg white with the salt.
Mix yolks with rum, lemon, sugar and vanilla sugar vigorously until it gets foamy. Now add flour and baking powder and mix properly again.
Fold in the dough the egg white carefully, and give the dough on a baking paper in a baking tray with a rim.
Bake the dough for 10-15 minutes at 200 °C and put it upside down on a moistened and with icing sugar covered cloth. Remove the baking paper, roll the dough (far easier when it’s still warm) and leave it to cool.

Unroll the dough, put most of the stuffing evenly on the dough and roll it again. Put the rest of the stuffing around the roll and decorate it as you like… this time I used mandarins and eggnog… ;0)


How to do the quark? Easy as…

Heat 3 L of milk to 30 to 35 °C in a REALLY sterile pot (wash with boiling water several times) while stirring and add 9 tablespoons of buttermilk.
Close the pot with a cloth or a lid with tiny holes and leave it for 2 days without shaking on a warm place (I use our hot water boiler).
Then hang the quark out in a cloth over night in a cool place to get rid of the whey…
That’s it!

Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 20:26  Leave a Comment