A Carrot Cake … With Lots of Banana?

I’m an office feeder. Yes, I know it’s shameful.  I make lots of treats and I take them to work for everyone to eat; it’s gotten worse since my family decided to become healthy and reject my baking. However, I eat as much baked goods as everyone else so I could say I’m not as bad?!

Anyway, my colleague requested a carrot cake for his birthday and I just couldn’t say no. I’ve already tried my hand at the carrot cake from the Hummingbird Bakery recipe books, so I thought I’d give Mary Berry’s Baking Bible a go, as it’s on a great running streak.

So I prepared my cake tin the Mary Berry way, (lining it with greaseproof paper) and turned my oven on. To save time I bought chopped walnuts from the supermarket, I admit it’s ridiculously lazy but it was definitely worth it.

What confused me most in this recipe was the amount of banana used, there was actually more banana than carrot! I used the tiniest two carrots I could find and I still had to eat half of one; but I used 2 large bananas. I was starting to question Mary Berry’s methods but I kept going – I figured at worst it would be a nice twist on a carrot cake.

Once all the ingredients were grated, mashed and whisked I poured the batter into the prepared dish and cooked it for the recommended time.  The cake had risen beautifully when I took it out too cool. The smell managed to send my entire family into the kitchen, scavenging for a slither of cake.  I had to hit hands with the spatula and bribed them with berries and cream cheese icing to keep them away!

It was pretty late the time I had finished baking and preparing the icing and I was still waiting for the cake to cool completely.  My need for sleep increased drastically and I resorted to spreading the icing on a semi-warm cake and quickly put it in the fridge to stop the icing melting/dripping etc.  Now I know this is blasphemous in terms of baking but sleep comes first for me!

I woke in the morning to find that it didn’t run as much as I thought it would. I wacked on a few walnuts, and whisked it off to work, where it was demolished before I could take any proper photos – damn.

  The cake tasted great – which was insinuated by the speed at which it disappeared. I’m generally not the biggest fan of using oil in cakes as I can always taste it but version of the carrot cake managed to hide it well and the banana added a lovely moistness to the sponge.

All in all a great recipe, Mary Berry hits the nail on the head again. I promise I will not doubt her ever again!

An Attempt At A Blueberry Masterpiece.

For the first time in my life, I got a cake order… OK so it was from my mum but it was still a huge thing for me.  It was my uncle’s birthday and I was asked to bake a blueberry cake for a dinner party.

I’ve made this recipe twice before so I thought it would be quick and easy.  Oh how wrong could I be! I had to buy the ingredients on my way home from work and completely forgot the recipe needs a lot of butter and blueberries, big oops!  After a second mad dash to the supermarket, I managed to get everything and start baking.

When I first made this cake I was put off by the soured cream and 6 eggs in the recipe but for reasons beyond my understanding, it makes the cake taste amazing.  It does make the batter quite thick however so it was a bit of a struggle to get it into the cake tin.

Tip for preparing the cake tin: grease it with butter and dust it with flour.  It’s a lot harder to get these cakes out of their tins because of the shape but doing this should make it very easy.

The cake went into the oven for 40minutes and came back out as a monster, it was huge!  I was sure the cake tin was the right size but obviously not.  I was pretty sure the cake wouldn’t  stand on the  stand properly so I whipped out the longest knife I could find and cut it along the top of the tin it so that it would stand straight.

Then came the dreadful task of actually attempting to get the cake out. Both times I made this cake before, I had no problems with getting the cake out perfectly, but this time the cake decided it just didn’t want to come out of the tin, about a third of the top layer decided to stay in the tin.  Joy.

After a mini heart attack, I peeled off the rest of the cake and pieced together what I could.  The cake decidedly now looked like Frankenstein’s monster. Then it hit me. Cream chees frosting…glue… it could work.  So I put on a thin first layer of the frosting to hopefully stick everything together.

Once this dried, I put on the remainder of the icing and attempted to get it all to look smooth and nice.  With a few blueberries on top and a quick dusting of icing sugar, I can say I actually managed to hide its flaws.


The cake was a big hit at the party and was completely eaten up.  I was even told it was my tastiest cake yet. Not my best masterpiece aesthetically, but a lesson that not giving up and struggling on is the best way to bake.