Launching The Great Bloggers Bake Off and a Victoria Sponge

To anyone who knows me this will come as no surprise, but I have a confession.


I love making them. I love thinking up new recipes and taste combinations. I love eating them. Yes, I LOVE cake!

So, I am rather excited that tomorrow night sees the return of BBC 2’s Great British Bake Off! I so enjoy this show and if I were a bit more talented I would enter. However, instead I use my blog as a reason to practise my show stoppers and bakes and cakes as it is a hobby I am very passionate about (and because I like to eat cake!).

For a bit of fun and to create some blogger cake making community spirit, myself and my fellow cake twin, Helen from The Crazy Kitchen will be hosting the Great Bloggers Bake Off. The idea is very simple:

**the Wednesday morning following each episode of the GBBO a linky will open on mine and Helen’s blogs, and you need to bake a recipe inspired by one which was featured in the show the night before. It can be an exact copy, one you have created yourself or a mix! As long as it can be connected to the themes used in that episode it can be linked up.

**the linky will remain open until Sunday night which gives Helen Hollywood and myself, Jenny Berry, time to look at all the entries and pick a Star Baker for that week. The blogger who receives this coverted accolade will win an exclusive blog badge to wear with pride.

**the next linky will open the following Wednesday as before but obviously with a new theme based on Tuesday’s episode.

This is not a serious linky at all (unless you make it so of course!).  It is just for fun and any blogger is welcome to enter whatever their baking skills are and don’t be afraid to link up any diasters –  credit will be given for effort too! I mean, I have never made my own bread before so that challenge could be majorly embarrassing for me!

Word on the internet is that in tomorrow nights episode the themes will be sandwich sponge, angel food cake and the showstopper will be associated with chocolate. I base most of my sponge cake recipes on the sandwich sponge recipe and just made minor adjustments eg. adding cocoa powder or lemon zest etc…

In honour of the start of the GGBO on TV and the launch of the GBBO in blogging land I thought I would share a Victoria Sponge that I made a few weeks ago for a picnic. It is such an easy recipe and as I said one I use a lot with my own adaptations of course! You can use fresh cream, buttercream or even cheat and use a tub of Betty Crocker’s finest !



200g self raising flour
200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
Strawberry or raspberry  jam
Tub of ready made vanilla buttercream
Pre heat oven to 180oC / 16o c (fan)
Grease and line 2 x 8 inch cake tins
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and soft
Add the eggs and vanilla essence and beat well
Fold in the flour
Divide between the cake tins
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and cooked right through
Once cool sandwich the two sponges with the buttercream and jam
( Check out Helen’s much more refined version of this recipe – here ! )

Raa Raa The Noisy Lion Birthday Cake And Party Food

It has been obvious in my mind for some time what the theme for Jenson’s 2nd birthday party would be. Both boys love watching Raa Raa The Noisy Lion and Jenson in particular is a big fan and would probably watch it all day long alongside his other favourite, Peppa Pig!

 Raa Raa The Noisy Lion Birthday Cake

I am not very good at using fondant icing but I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go using some for the Raa Raa cake. I opted for a triple layer chocolate marble cake, sandwiched together and covered in chocolate buttercream and then decorated with icing and orange flavoured chocolate buttons.
Raa Raa The Noisy Lion Birthday Cake And Party Food
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The cake batter filled 3 x 25cm pie pans It served 18 and were good sized portions but smaller slices would have served more guests!
Recipe type: desserts
Serves: 18
  • 375g unsalted butter
  • 375g caster sugar
  • 225ml cola
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tube of bright orange liquid gel food colouring
  • 2 tubs Betty Crocker chocolate buttercream
  • (the boys cousin cant eat dairy and this is dairy free so just as easy to use it as make my own with dairy free spread and tastes yummy!)
  • 2 bags of Tate & Lyle orange buttons
  • 1 pink marshmallow
  • 1 packet of yellow fondant icing
  • 1 packet of orange fondant icing
  • 1 packet of black fondant icing
  • (I had left overs of all 3)
  • 1 large chocolate button
  • 4 flaked almonds
  • 2 tsp of jam, warmed slightly (I used raspberry)
  1. Pre heat oven to 180oC / 160oC fan
  2. grease and line your cake tins
  3. melt the butter and cola in a saucepan over a low heat until melted
  4. take 2 bowls:
  5. - in one add the coca powder, half the qty of sugar and 112g of the flour
  6. - in the other add the remaining sugar and flour
  7. Beat 3 eggs into each bowl of dry ingredients
  8. divide the butter and cola mix between the two bowls
  9. Mix all the ingredients in each bowl
  10. In the bowl that does not contain the cocoa powder, all the whole tube of orange food colouring and mix again to distribute the colour in the batter
  11. Pour the batter from each bowl into the cake tins - each bowl needs to be divided between each cake tin as you want to create a marbled effect. Once the tins have been filled with the orange and chocolate batter mixes, swirl the end of a wooden spoon through the batter to create a marbled effect.
  12. Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes until cooked through properly and then
  13. allow to cool completely
  14. Once cooled, sandwich each sponge with the buttercream and then cover the cake with the buttercream too.
  15. Add the orange buttons around the perimeter of the cake
  16. To make the fondant face and mane, I drew around the cake pan onto grease proof paper. I then drew Raa Raa's face and ears, hair etc.. within the circle and traced all of his features onto the different coloured fondant icings (which had been rolled out) and then cut them out. I stuck them onto the buttercream using the warmed jam. The buttercream was the same colour as Raa Raa's mane so this meant I did not need a brown coloured fondant icing (phew!).
  17. I then cut a large chocolate button in half to make the eyebrows, broke 4 flaked almonds in half to make his teeth and sliced the end of a pink marshmallow to make his tongue.
That was it – my Raa Raa The Noisy Lion Cake was done – hurrah!
Raa Raa The Noisy Lion Themed Party Food
I like to think of ways of presenting party food to the guests which are a little different and in keeping with the theme. This year to make life easier and not to make far too much food (my mistake with previous parties – I seriously under estimated how little children eat at birthday parties in the past!), I decided to plate up the food for each child just before the party began. The children were aged from 2 to 8 so I tried to do a good mix of food.
I made two plates – a savoury and sweet one and they each contained the following

**The Savoury Plate **

Cubby Buggy Hot Dog
a roll filled with tomato sauce and sausages and wheels were made using grapes and cocktail sticks
Jungle Drum
sausage roll
a circle of ham, topped with a smaller circle of cheese and topped with a green grape cut in half as wings and a red grape sliced long ways as the head with 2 twiglet halves for antennas
Hufty Hooty Sticks
Zebby Snacks
cheesy puffs and hula hoops
(just puffs for the birthday boy being only 2)
Crocky’s Wobbly Teeth
cucumber sticks
Raa Raa’s Whistle
a party blower (well it was a noisy lion party!)

**The Sweet Plate** 

Topsy’s Musical Stones
2 iced biscuits

Raa Raa’s Favourite Fruity Things
fruit on a stick
Topsy’s Book
mini flapjack
Jingly Jangly Jungle Jelly
orange jelly
Jungle Jiggle Choob
fromage frais in a tube
2 butterfly sweets
Each child also had an Ooo Ooo banana and strawberry smoothie

It was a successful jingly jangly jungle party for Jenson 🙂

( I was sent some party accessories eg, the blue table cloths the party blowers and party string from Asda which I used at the party which proved very useful)
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Thank you xx

Ferrero Rocher Cake

With this delicious Ferrero Rocher Cake I am really spoiling you. Layers of chocolate cake with a hazelnut chocolate frosting ,topped with some Ferrero Rocher chocolates makes this a very special cake indeed.

For my partners birthday I wanted to bake him a birthday cake which was a little bit special. His favourite chocolates are Ferrero Rocher, in fact every Christmas his Gran buys him (and me but mine usually end up in his stomach!) a box and it doesn’t take him long to demolish them all! Therefore, a Ferrero Rocher Cake seemed the perfect cake to bake him

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A Very Hungry Caterpillar Party

It was Jenson’s 1st birthday on Friday (30th).
We had a lovely day and the birthday boy and his brother really enjoyed themselves!
Mummy and Daddy gave Jenson a wooden trike and an activity cube and Burton gave him a Melissa & Doug latches board. He also ‘wrote’ a birthday card out for Jenson and made some lovely colourful squiggles inside it!
We also gave Burton two small presents to open so that he wouldn’t feel left out and to occupy him so that Jenson would be able to play with his new things. Hmmm… that was going to work!! Burton has enjoyed trying out all of his brother’s new toys and especially likes riding his new trike!!
I spent most of the day in between occupying the boys, trying to finish off the party food. Luckily I managed to get Jenson to nap for an hour after lunch which enabled me to get some food prep completed!
Due to the weather being so glorious and because we don’t have a garden to host the party in, Jon’s parents very kindly agreed to let us host the party at their house so that the children could run around outside and use the trampoline and swings. The guests were a mix of family and friends, and even though several of the guests couldn’t make it, which was a shame, it was a lovely gathering and everyone enjoyed themselves.
I did a theme for the party which was The Very Hungry Caterpillar , and I based all of the party food on the items that features in the story. I replaced some items for similar ones e.g.. cherry pie was actually cheese & onion quiche, the chocolate cake became mini triple decker sandwiches on wholemeal bread, I made blue & yellow cake pops for the lollipops, pizza wedges for the watermelon, mini cheddars for the oranges and ham instead of salami! I also filled ice cream wafer cornets with jelly for the ice creams. I made mini caterpillars using grapes and a cherry tomato on cocktail sticks. I then wrote cards out with the lines from the story on as menu cards

The cake turned out much better than I had imagined!! I made two chocolate sponge cakes filled with chocolate butter cream, which I placed on top of one another and covered with white chocolate ganache. Then I stuck smarties around the sides and finally I cut a hungry caterpillar out of icing to decorate the top of the cake with.

It really was a fun afternoon and Jenson really seemed to be enjoying himself and he didn’t cry once!
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Thank you xx