1st Birthday Cake | Hot Milk Sponge

It is my niece Jaime's first birthday on the 3rd of September, the lucky wee thing is going to Spain with her mum and dad on her birthday though so we threw a little party at the weekend. I baked this cake, a hot milk sponge. I had some problems with the layers though, they didn't rise. I checked the date on the baking powder and it was fine so I can only imagine the problem was in the recipe. Doubling the amount of baking powder worked in the third layer I made to bulk it up, usually it makes two layers only.

It was also my first time using a silicone case, how did I ever cope without them before?! They are absolutely brilliant. I got mine from tesco for £5 as well so they don't break the bank!

For the icing I just made a plain light vanilla buttercream which works wonderfully with this cake, which is quite dense. I also sprinkled crushed flake chocolate over the icing between the layers. It's definitely comfort food at it's greatest. Perfect with a cup of tea.

For the letters, I rolled plain white regal icing out with a rolling pin and cut the letters with some metal cookie cutters dusted with icing sugar to stop it from sticking. I then mixed up some caster sugar with hot water and dipped a brush into it and then into my gold edible glitter and painted it on. I love this glitter, I'm going to buy it in every colour it just looks great. Although it can be very messy.

Happy Birthday Jaime!


  • 235 ml milk
  • 15 g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 335 g white sugar
  • 2 g salt
  • 10 ml vanilla extract
  • 3 ml almond extract
  • 250 g all-purpose flour
  • 15 g baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Set aside. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan until just boiling, then remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Beat eggs until thick and pale yellow in color. Beat in sugar, salt, vanilla and almond extract. Reduce mixer speed to medium and add hot milk in a steady stream. Quickly beat in flour mixture. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center springs back when lightly tapped.

You can't go wrong with vanilla!

I'm sure most baking fanatics out in the UK have heard of The Hummingbird Bakery in London. Well you can now get their cookbook which is choc full of amazing, delicious baked goods (not only cupcakes but cakes and savory foods as well).

When baking vanilla cupcakes I always use a recipe from Nigella Lawson, however the Hummingbird Bakery have a great recipe as well. I baked these vanilla cupcakes for a birthday, well two birthdays. They're simple vanilla but with a bit of chocolate and glitter on top. This recipe makes quite moist cakes, in future I might cut back the butter just a little bit but they're still very yummy!

Hummingbird Vanilla Cupcakes

240g plain flour
280g caster sugar
3 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
80g unsalted butter at room temperature
240ml milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
250g icing sugar sifted
80g unsalted butter at room temperature
25ml milk
A couple of drops of vanilla extract
A couple of drops of food colouring (I used red for pink frosting)


1. Line muffin tray with paper cases and preheat oven to 180C.

2. Cream the sugar and butter then mix in the flour, baking powder and salt until combined.

3. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.

4. Whisk the eggs, vanilla and remaining milk together in a separate bowl and then pour into the flour mixture and continue mixing for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth.

5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases but only fill them two thirds full. Bake in the oven for 25 mins or until slightly golden and then cool on a wire rack.

6. Beat the icing sugar and butter together until well mixed.

7. In a separate bowl combine the milk, vanilla extract and food colouring then add to the butter mixture gradually. Continue to beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

8. Decorate the cupcakes with the frosting once cool.

In other news Cupcake Camp NI was today and it was just brilliant! I have so many photos to upload and I'll post those soon and make a little post about the day. Thanks for reading! And hello to anyone who picked up one of my cards at Cupcake Camp, do say hello!

Nigella Cheesecake

Cupcake camp is fast approaching so I guess I should be practicing cupcakes at the moment but today I wanted to try something different. I found a recipe in Nigella Express for cherry cheesecake which looked great. We had strawberries in the fridge to use up though so I adapted it slightly. It was simple to make and it tastes so good. It's not too sweet but not sour at all either. And not too filling! Maybe I will have another slice...


125g digestive biscuits
75g soft butter
300g cream cheese
60g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
250ml double cream
1 jar strawberry conserve
Strawberries to decorate
Serving Size : Serves 6–8


1.Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until beginning to turn to crumbs, then add the butter and whiz again to make the mixture clump.
2.Press this mixture into a 20cm springform tin; press a little up the sides to form a slight ridge.
3.Beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth.
4.Lightly whip the double cream, and then fold it into the cream cheese mixture.
5.Spoon the cheesecake filling on top of the biscuit base and smooth with a spatula. Put it in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.
6.When you are ready to serve the cheesecake, unmould it and spread the black cherry over the top.

I left the lemon juice out since we didn't have any lemons but it's fine without it! And I used whipping cream because the shop had no double cream and that worked too. Yum!