Friday, 23 October 2015

Happy Half Term Cake

This recipe is an amalgamation of two recipes and I haven’t followed the recipes exactly so I’m posting this for the next time I want to make it.


I should explain that I’m not always one to bake a Happy Half Term Cake, and this particular cake followed a fractious car journey in which I annoyed Ethan by mentioning the lost scrum cap and the fact he has to buy a replacement, and then Ethan annoyed Hannah by telling her she was rubbish at doing homework.  I told them there was no cake for anyone in a bad mood and by the end of the journey we were all smiles.


  • 165g butter, plus extra for greasing - I used Stork baking marg which often produces better results than butter
  • 165g soft light brown or light brown muscovado sugar
  • 325g self-raising flour
  • 1 rounded tsp baking powder
  • 1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 2 large ripe bananas - I think the recipe can take an extra half a banana
For buttercream
  • 125g soft butter (i.e. not straight from the fridge)
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 150g Carnation Caramel
For Caramel drizzle
  • Most of the rest of the Caramel tin.  If you’re a pig like me half of the rest will end up in your mouth and never make it to the cake.
You will also need three cake tins, mine were 8 inch.  The original cake recipe only used one deep tin but I cannot cut cake to make layers; things just get messy when I try.  If you only have one deep cake tin and do have the skill to do this then by all means knock yourself out - just increase the baking time to about 45 mins.
  • Pre-heat oven to 170C fan.
  • Grease and line the bottom of three round 21cm/8 inch loose-bottomed cake tins.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and a pale, creamy colour.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • One at a time, beat each egg into the butter mixture along with a tbsp of the dry mixture
  • Beat in the milk and fold in the rest of the dry ingredients until well combined (you can just use the mixer but don’t go mad - you just need to mix until it’s all combined).
  • In the bowl that contained the flour, mash the bananas until smooth and lump-free
  • Then fold into the rest of the mixture until well combined or just mix in using a mixer.
  • Spoon into the tins and smooth over the surface.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. The edges of the cake should also be coming away from the sides of the tins.
  • Leave to cool for 5 mins, then remove from tin and continue cooling on a wire rack.
  • Beat butter, icing sugar and caramel.  Start this slowly to avoid icing sugar clouds.
  • When it’s light and buttercreamy then it’s ready to use.
  • I found it’s best to stack the cakes with the top bit facing uppermost as the buttercream can lift cake crumbs as it’s being spread.  This only really matters for the top deck so stack in a way that suits you.
  • I use slightly less than a third of the icing sandwiching the cakes and just over a third for the top layer.
  • Beat the remaining caramel to loosen it and try and drizzle it on the top of the buttercream.  I got in a mess doing this and ended up blobbing lines of caramel on the top.  To make it look like this was deliberate I used a skewer and dragged the icing in a spiral.  Go mad, do whatever comes naturally.  For me that was trying to rescue something that hadn’t quite gone to plan. 
Eat with tea or coffee, or a bottle of wine.  Remember, this is Happy Half Term Cake.

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