About Me

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Hi all! My name is Becca and I am a 21 year old from Berkshire, England with an interest in all things cake. I have only been baking for the past couple of years and if someone had told me 5 years ago that I would be a passionate cake maker at the age of 21, I'm afraid to say I probably would have laughed in their face! I have had many cake disasters in the past (including a Barbie cake for my friend's 16th Birthday that was still raw in the middle when she cut into it...) However one Christmas I opened my stocking to find a Giant Cupcake making kit, and hey presto, my love for all things sweet emerged. I have developed this blog as a way of sharing my baking experiences with others. I love to read other baking blogs, you can learn so much from them and discover some great new ideas. Plus I just love looking at photos of yummy scrummy cakey goodness ;) (possibly a touch of 'food pornography' going on there!) Whilst I am still on a massive learning curve with my baking, I will share any tips I have with you as well! Thanks for popping by! Love Becca xxx

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Macmillan Coffee Morning

I have been meaning to write this post since we held our Macmillan Coffee morning at the end of September, so sorry it's late!

On Friday 28th September 2012 my Mum, sister and I took part in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning to raise money for the Macmillan nurses. This is the first year we have taken part and what a great time we had! We have witnessed the wonderful work the Macmillan nurses do and felt that hosting this coffee morning was our way of saying thank you x

This was our first experience of holding a proper bake sale, but we were determined that everything (and I mean everything) would be home made! I must admit, when I was still baking at 2am the morning of the bake sale I thought I was completely mad. My dog was looking at me as if to say, "You crazy lady, go to bed!" But it was so satisfying to be able to say everything on the table was home made. As this was our first time we had no idea how much cake we should make. Our worst nightmare was that we would run out of cake, so in the end we agreed...you can never have too much cake! ;-) Turns out we did have too much cake as we were sending people home with big boxes of the stuff, and our staple food the rest of the week was indeed, cake. But it was worth it! Of course, we couldn't have done it without the help of our beautiful, fantastic, wonderful friends who kindly made some treats for us to sell as well. In the end we had quite a selection!

Strawberry and vanilla cake;
Big old carrot cake with orange cream cheese frosting;
Assorted cupcakes (chocolate, vanilla, chocolate orange and lemon);
Coffee and walnut cake;
Home made fruit scones with clotted cream and jam;
Banana bread;
Chocolate caramel slice;
Rocky road squares;
Fruit loaf;
Raspberry and almond shortbread;
Cookies with white and milk chocolate chunks;
Bread pudding;
Rock Cakes

And what a delicious spread it was! Here are a few of the Becca Bakes creations...

Assorted cupcakes: vanilla, chocolate, lemon and chocolate orange

Home made fruit scones. First time I have ever made scones...and I think they turned out pretty well!

Luxurious rocky road with Maltesers, Mars bar, marshmallows and biscuit...see my blog called Chocolate Malteser Slice with a touch of Mars Bar! 

Strawberry and vanilla sponge cake

A whopper of a carrot cake finished with lots of orange cream cheese frosting

Soft and gooey chocolate chunk cookies
The coffee morning kicked off at 11am and went on until the evening. We decorated the house with bunting and balloons (provided by the organisers of the coffee morning) and set up our donation box in the middle of the table. We had invited all our friends, neighbours and family (who weren't at work!) and had a great turn out. Everyone was amazingly generous as well and we raised a total of...are you ready for this?....


We were all so chuffed and I want to say thank you again to everyone who came and supported us. We are planning to do it all again in 2013 so watch this space and let's see if we can make it even bigger than this year!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you. And thank you to the Macmillan nurses; the work you do is unforgettable and so valued xxx

I hope this inspires some of you to host a cake sale/coffee morning for yourselves. You don't even have to wait until next year. Get baking and raise some money for charity...there are lots of worthy charities out there who always need our help :-)

Happy Baking,

Love Becca <3

Me with my happy cake face on :-)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Baking Challenge 3: Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie

I seem to have a bit of an obsession with caramel apple concoctions at the moment but I found this recipe on Disney's Family Fun website and couldn't wait to try it. It's the perfect Autumnal treat and brings together a pie and a crumble in one ;-)

The original recipe (which can be found here) is all in US measurements, so I converted it to my preferred method of grams. The only problem I had was with the crumble topping; I probably made a mistake when converting the measurements, but it was really dough-like and gooey...not crumbly at all! It was easily fixed by adding more flour. I also changed a few bits of the original recipe, for example I added more cinnamon and sugar to the apple mixture.

The recipe also asks for a pre-made pastry base, but I chose to make my own using Jamie Oliver's sweet pastry recipe (which can be found here). I halved the recipe as I didn't need a lid on this pie! 

I also chose to serve the pie up with a spoonful of caramel sauce instead of pouring it on top of the whole pie, which is what the recipe suggests. Each to their own, you decide what you want to do. 

It was a really yummy pie and I will definitely be making it again. 

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 125g cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • splash of milk
  1. To make the pastry, sieve the flour onto a clean work surface and sieve the icing sugar on top. Add the butter and work it into the flour and icing sugar using your fingertips, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. PASTRY WORKS BEST WHEN YOU HAVE COLD HANDS! :)
  2. Crack in the egg and add the milk if needed to bring it all together. Work it as little as possible.
  3. If it's a bit sticky, roll in a little more flour, then wrap in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface and place it in the bottom of a well greased pie tin. 
Apple Filling

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 20g brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 6 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  1. Mix together the sugars, flour, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl then stir in the apples so they are coated in the sugar mix.
  2. Pour into your pastry case.
Crumble topping

  • 110g brown sugar
  • 150g flour
  • 50g oats
  • 110g butter
  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until crumbly.
  2. Pour on top of the apple filling.
Bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 20-25 minutes. Then cover with foil so the crumble topping doesn't burn and bake for another 20 minutes.

When the pie is cooked, scatter with pecans and serve with caramel sauce (I used Carnation tinned caramel).

Happy Baking!
Love Becca x

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

I love Autumn, it's my favourite time of year. Particularly the lead up to Halloween, just as the leaves turn golden brown and you can spend your evenings snuggled up under a blanket with a cup of tea and a piece of cake! I love autumnal woodland walks with the dog, too. But probably the main reason I love Autumn is it really gets me in the mood for baking lots of home comfort treats. Hot puddings and custard, rich cakes, sweet pies. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! The Americans are big on Halloween and fall baking (pecan pie, pumpkin pie, toffee apples...) and after living in both the US and Canada this tradition has definitely rubbed off on me.

So to kick off the Autumn season I decided to take the traditional caramel apple and turn it into cupcake form.

A deliciously moist apple and cinnamon sponge with a big dollop of caramel buttercream, fudge chunks and a lollipop stick (for authenticity!). I also melted down some chewy toffees and spooned them into the centre of the cupcakes. This made for a sweet, chewy candy surprise in the middle. You could also use fudge or something softer to make a gooier centre. Or nothing at all (I personally think the cupcakes will be just as yummy without it!)

I spent a while searching the net for a good recipe for these cupcakes, but I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. So I decided to experiment a bit and bought together a few different recipes. I was more than happy with the result!

My Caramel Apple Cupcake Recipe (makes approx 12 large cupcakes)

For the apple cinnamon cupcakes
  • 200g soft light brown sugar
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tbsp ground cinnamon (I LOVE cinnamon!)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
For the caramel buttercream topping
  • 150g butter, softened
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 120g tinned caramel


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin sized cases
  2. Beat together the sugar, oil, cinnamon and vanilla
  3. Add the eggs one at a time to the sugar mixture
  4. Sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt then gradually fold it into the sugar and egg mixture
  5. Stir in the apples
  6. Pour into the cases and bake for approx 22mins
  7. For the frosting, beat together the ingredients until smooth and creamy then spread/pipe on top of the cupcakes. Decorate with lots of fudge chunks, or nuts or sweets if you wish!
  8. If you decide to make a toffee filling, just melt a handful of toffees in the microwave. BE CAREFUL- THIS GETS VERY HOT!!!! Cut a hole in the centre of each cupcake and fill.

Why not decorate your caramel apple cupcake with sweets or nuts instead of fudge? Be as creative as you like...!

Watch this space now as I really get into the full swing of Autumn baking! I have already found a recipe for a delicious looking crunchy caramel apple pie, so I'm thinking that will be my next experiment...

Happy Baking!!!

Love Becca xxx

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Baking Challenge 2: Cookies and Cream Chocolate Fudge Brownies

This post is waaayyyy overdue! I have finally had a chance to do another 'Baking Challenge' and this time it's from Lorraine Pascale's Baking Made Easy. In case you haven't read my blog post for the first baking challenge then I'll just explain a bit about it...

Basically I have set myself a challenge to bake as many cakes/pastries/puddings/tarts/desserts/traybakes (and so on) as I can over the next few weeks, whilst I have lots of spare time on my hands before being overwhelmed with my third year dissertation for Early Childhood Studies! I based the challenge on the Great British Bake Off books, but as you can see I have already branched out to other books and bakers.

delicious gooey centre
So last week I made a big batch of Lorraine's cookies and cream chocolate fudge brownies. I had just bought myself a new brownie tin and was dying to use it! I am not usually a big fan of chocolate brownies (particularly if they have nuts in, that is a big no-no in my book). But this recipe looked so delicious I just couldn't resist. I think it was the Oreos that persuaded me!

I have attempted brownies before but the recipe I used seemed quite dry and the brownies came out more like cake. In my eyes a good brownie should be moist and gooey in the middle, and this recipe gives you perfect results!

I doubled the recipe as my brownie tin is slightly bigger than the tin Lorraine says to use, so the recipe below is enough to fill an 8" square tin.

Lorraine Pascale's Cookies & Cream Chocolate Fudge Brownies


  • 165g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g dark chocolate, grated or finely chopped (I personally found chopping easier- it takes forever to grate chocolate!)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 165g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 154g pack of oreo biscuits, broken into quarters

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 6. Grease the tin and line with baking parchment.

Melt the butter in a pan then remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Leave the chocolate to melt then gently stir together.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla until fluffy. Then add half of the sugar, pouring it in down the sides of the bowl so you don't knock the air out of the egg mixture. Whisk together then add the rest of the sugar.

Whisk the mixture together until it becomes stiffer (note: I felt this was a really vague direction, I had no idea how to tell when the mixture was ready so I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best! I did whisk it for about 5 minutes).

When the mixture is "ready" pour in the chocolate mixture (again around the sides of the bowl). 

Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, salt and a third of the Oreos using a wooden spoon. Pour into the prepared tin and scatter the remaining Oreos on the top, pushing them into the mixture slightly. 

Cook for 25-30 minutes. The middle should still be slightly gooey in the middle! As the brownie cools the top will crack a little, which I think gives it a nice homemade effect.

I served the brownie when it was still slightly warm. It tastes really good with a big scoop of vanilla icecream!

And there you have it! Delicious cookies and cream chocolate fudge brownies. You could substitute the oreos for other things such as dried fruit, chopped mars bar, marshmallows, or even nuts (if you reallllyyyyy have to). After trying these I have been inspired to try making blondies next! Watch this space...

 Happy Baking!
Love Becca

Monday, 3 September 2012

"A Fashionista's Afternoon Tea"...Posh Tea & Cake at the Berkeley Hotel, London

I have been very excited about writing this blog! Today I went to Knightsbridge in London with my Mum, sister and 2 of our friends to have Afternoon Tea at the Berkeley Hotel. Now, when someone mentions afternoon tea I immediately think of scones with cream and jam, cupcakes, or big slices of carrot cake. But let me tell you this was no ordinary afternoon tea! The Berkeley themselves describe it as afternoon tea, "...with a fashionista twist". I'm not even sure if the word 'Fashionista' is in the dictionary but hey, it sounds good! Instead of serving up traditional scones and clotted cream, customers are presented with a variety of different cakes all inspired by the latest fashion designers, including Louboutin, Mulberry and Dolce and Gabbana. I am not a huge fan of fashion and don't tend to buy products by flashy brand names, but I was very impressed with this afternoon tea. From a baking perspective all of the cakes were creative genius and very inspiring.

So let's start from the beginning...

When we first sat down I was drawn to the unique china on the table. It was only when a friend pointed it out that I realised all of the china was Paul Smith...I just loved the colours and how it all matched!

We loved the shoe with Pat's name on!

I think the tea pot is my favourite :) Even the menus were lovely. They came in lots of different colours, my favourites being pink and green!

The menu itself sounds wonderful.

A wide selection of teas...I stuck with traditional English Breakfast tea (my favourite) but Max chose the Chocolate Mint Truffle!

The menu excites you and gives you a clear idea of what you will be eating. One of the things I loved about the menu is it includes an insert with photos of exactly what each cake is inspired by.

"From the Cakewalk"...love it!

How cool is that?! Whilst we were looking at the menu we sipped Champagne (we were feeling very posh by this point, even after my Mum gave away that we aren't used to 'fine dining' by responding to the waiter's question of what Champagne we would like with, "the cheapest one"!!!)

We started with a selection of sandwiches. I was happy to hear none of them had any prawns or caviar or something in- I'm really not into that kind of thing! They were all popular fillings that most people would eat and were very yummy.

 Egg mayonnaise roll
Cream cheese and cucumber on a tomato bread. The bread was gorgeous!
Simple, traditional and one of my favourites- Smoked salmon sandwich
Coronation chicken sandwich

Cheese and tomato wrap- with lots of salad!

We hadn't long finished our sandwiches when the waitress asked us if we wanted a refill of sandwiches! I was really surprised as I have had experiences of afternoon tea where they can be quite stingy on the portion sizes. It made a refreshing change to know you could get your fill of food and get your money's worth! Of course, none of us could turn down more sandwiches...however when we saw all the cakes I wished I had saved more room! 

The cakes were served on matching china cake stands. The top tier held the mousse and biscuits, the middle tier held the cakes and the bottom tier held the savoury spoons and cucumber soups. I'm not a big fan of the savoury tasters, plus I didn't think I would have enough room in my stomach, so I dived straight into the cakes...

I started with the white chocolate creme de menthe and raspberry mousse topped with a lemon meringue, which was inspired by Mulberry. The lemon meringue was amazing. The mousse was delicious too, although I'm not sure about the flavours together. They tasted yummy separately though!

Next was the cherry bavarois and coconut cream topped with an edible skirt and heel. Both flavours came across really strongly and I loved the decoration of the leg sticking out the top!

The biscuits were very inspiring and I'd like to have a go at making more biscuits myself. Biscuits can be very simple to make (which I must admit sometimes put me off- I like to challenge myself!) however they can be decorated in so many ways. The shoe and the bikini biscuits looked so effective and were really yummy too- the shoe was chocolate biscuit and the bikini was vanilla. 

**Scroll up back to the menu to see the pictures of what they are inspired by!**


This next cake looked really effective. I loved the leopard print on top (inspired by Michael Kors) however the filling was coffee and I am not a coffee fan! 

 This Gucci inspired cake was described as a chocolate mousse embellished with golden beads. The first mouthful came with an exciting surprise that gave me a brief reminder of my childhood...popping candy :-)
The layers look so effective.

This cake is probably my favourite when it comes to looks. The cute Dolce and Gabbana handbag is made out of blueberry cake and wrapped in coloured chocolate. The chocolate was very tasty, but it did turn your tongue blue! I was a little disappointed with the blueberry cake. I couldn't taste any blueberry at all! 

This is a red and white striped vanilla cake inspired by Fendi, filled with fraise de bois cremeux (which was like a raspberry mousse) topped with a large "yellow button". The filling was beautiful.

I have saved my favourite until last...Whilst the colours did put me off at first, this Valentino inspired lemon and raspberry cheesecake was like a piece of heaven in your mouth! It is so original and creative, plus I am a sucker for any kind of cheesecake... The flower on top wasn't edible but was a nice touch.

We were all so full up afterwards (as soon as we had finished a few of the cakes they bought out more!!) but I am happy I managed to try everything. We were so stuffed we couldn't finish everything, so they put our left overs into these rather fancy "doggy bags".

Again they all came in different colours and were a great finishing touch to the experience! 

It was a great day out and an experience I will remember for a long time.
Look how happy we all are :-)

To top it all off we took a trip to Harrod's...but I think I'll save that for another post in the fear of rambling on too much!!

Love Becca x