“Minecraft” Birthday cake

It was a no brainer: the boy plays Minecraft all the time and had his 7th birthday coming…. It seemed like an easy thing to do, icing blocks of cake one on top of the other… Not so so. I am not quite ecstatic about it but Sebastian loved it, especially the TNT bloc!


All I did is bake one batch of my “No fail chocolate cake”


and same again without the cocoa powder, adding some vanilla powder: it was actually very nice and will post that recipe too soon….

Coca~Cola Cake

I was in Atlanta recently, where Coca~Cola has its headquarters. Needless to say that it is everywhere and used for anything so why not a cake? The old fashioned southern recipe from Georgia requires “full fat” coke, the locals might even say “is there anything else?” and I did comply…. I haven’t bought that version in soooo many years! And a lot of sugar, that’s where I drew the line, I just couldn’t put the amount stated…. a healthier version it is and it tasted wonderful! It also came right on cue for another birthday treat: I didn’t fancy making anything complicated, organising the party is tiring enough. The cake is actually best done the day before, so the icing can sip into the cake overnight…



For the cake:

  • 125ml buttermilk
  • 225g/ 8oz butter (it can be half flavourless oil)
  • 50g/ 2oz cocoa powder
  • 250ml Coca~Cola
  • 255g/ 9oz flour
  • 255g/ 9oz sugar, only! I would even reduce that next time to 200…. {original: 350g}
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • sprinkle of ground vanilla *optional
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Coca~Cola frosting (what did you expect?)

  • 115g butter
  • 80ml Coca~Cola
  • 25g/ 1oz cocoa powder
  • 280g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp of coke extract ( if not available, use vanilla)



The cake:

  • Prepare a rectangular 33x23cm/ 13×9″ baking tin with butter and flour or greaseproof paper

My brownie pan was not deep enough as slightly smaller, it needs to be at least 5cm/ 2″

  • As usual, I need to address the lack of buttermilk in France first: add a tsp lemon juice to 125ml of semi or full fat milk, at room temperature and leave for 10mn
  • In a pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the cocoa, stirring constantly, then the coke
  • Bring to the boil and whisk for 5mn then set aside


  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/ Gas 4
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, the baking soda and the salt. Whisk in the sugar ( I used dark brown) and the ground vanilla if used


  • Gradually, mix in the coke mixture


  • To the buttermilk add both eggs and vanilla extract and stir into the batter in 3 or 4 batches until well combined


  • For the purists: at this stage in Atlanta, one adds 2 cups of mini marshmallows to the batter, which disappears in the baking… I had 1 cup in my pantry so I did…


  • Pour the batter in the tin and bake for 30 to 40mn (should have been 30mn but it took longer so check your oven) until your testing needle comes out clean


The Frosting:

Cannot be done whilst waiting but once you take cake out of the oven….

  • Sift the icing sugar in a bowl
  • Melt butter in a pan over medium heat then add cocoa and coke. Stirring constantly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add extract if used
  • Add to the icing sugar, whisking until smooth and glossy


  • Pour all over the cake, filling all the gaps but never using a spatula, if you want to keep the shine

I cut the top of my cake as I needed it to be flat for my birthday icing topper

  • Let it cool overnight, in a sealed container or can be kept longer in the fridge but it won’t last that long!



*** On a personal note: the coke flavour is particularly stronger in the frosting and it tasted very sweet. The cake is definitely a keeper as it rose so well, is a bit different than the usual chocolate cake and benefits from being done the day before to allow the flavour to develop…. Next time, I would probably ice it with my usual chocolate buttercream or ganache!

Baseball Cake

At least, I was given enough notice: since the “football cake”, I had been told what was expected of me….


For the base, I used my recipe of “Custard cake”, without the rhubarb


Two of, sandwich together with some plain vanilla icing, also used for the top. For the sandy texture of the playing field, I just coloured some sugar

IMG_3696 and let it dried… any left over can then be used for a carrot cake! 😉

As for the ball, I used the same method as for my football


in order to have something “chocolatey” too…


Not perfect but the Birthday Boy was happy!


Football Cake

It might be a bit strange to post now about a cake I made over a month ago but With work and my computer playing up, it is only now that I am managing to post about my 2nd son’s birthday…. The idea came to me 2 weeks before the due date, at night as sleep eluded me: he hadn’t asked about his cake yet ( the usual being whatever cake with an icing cake topper picture) and I was thing, he loves football so what about…..

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I am sharing this with you to show you that anyone can do that sort of thing: I had never attempted anything of the sort before and I am no professional! All you need is to get organised, this was done over 3 days!

  • Day 1: bake a chocolate cake, simple 8″ round cake and once cooled put it in the food processor to make it into breadcrumbs. Mix in a chocolate fudge made to taste and enough to bind it all together into a ball

113 Cover in cling film and keep in the fridge overnight

  • Day 2: I bake another chocolate cake, rectangular this time, as my hubby pointed out the ball had to be perched somewhere! That’s when I came up with the idea of a “pitch”…. Covered with chocolate buttercream


  • Day 3: I spent the morning just decorating…. I had cut out polygon shapes on icing paper to create an exact football but quite frankly it became too fiddly and geometrical for my liking…. did you know that on a football, the white shapes have 6 sides and the black ones only 5? you do now!


And it doesn’t have to be to size either! That was just enough to feed about 10 hungry boys!


Gravity Cake

This week was my older son’s 10th Birthday so I took this opportunity to try my hands at a “gravity cake” which I have fancied doing for quite a while… As I got to do what I wanted on the outside, he got his wish for the inside: Custard cakes sandwiched together, without the fruit!


This post isn’t so much about the recipe as I have already posted it! But more of my step by steps effort to achieve the cake and I must admit, I was quite pleased with the end results….

  • Step 1: I baked the cakes the day before, and once cooled, sandwiched them together with chocolate buttercream, a standard one but instead of using cocoa powder, I melted a 200g bar of dark chocolate. I also covered 2/3 of a wooden stick and placed it all in the fridge overnight001
  • Step 2: On the day, I cut a wedge out, at an angle, allowing me to quality control the cake at the same time! I had kept some buttercream to cover the hole, and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look pretty!


Place your wooden stick in the cake and in the box (you can also use a pouch, filled with cotton  or else, I used bubble wrap, so the stick doesn’t move) at an angle.

  • Step 3: at first, you can just drop the chocolates as they are, they will stick to the buttercream. As you add more on top of each other and onto the stick, I used plain melted chocolate, cooled down so it’s thickened, as glue.


Et voilà! Really not much to it and well worth the effort!

022 My son was well happy

And so were his friends! I didn’t even get to try some!031

Giant Jaffa Cake

It was my younger son’s birthday last week and we celebrated over the week end… As his favourite biscuits are Jaffa cakes, I had the idea to make one as a birthday cake, and I personally think it turned out better than I ‘d ever hoped!


On this occasion, I will present the process rather than the recipe, step by step!

Step 1:

Make the jelly! I used the powdered packets, 2 of, raspberry flavour, which happened to be the sugar free kind. Made it up to 500ml and added 4 very generous tablespoons of mixed fruit jam, in a wide round bottom pan


Step 2:

Bake a Victoria sponge. I used 175g soft butter/ 150g caster sugar/ 3eggs/ 175g self raising flour and 1 ½ tsp baking powder and baked in a 25cm/ 10″ round baking pan as I wanted it quite flat


Step 3:

Getting the jelly on top of the sponge…. good luck!


Step 4:

The chocolate ganache made with 200g dark chocolate and 200ml cream, it was too much but it can be frozen!


Step 5:

Smooth over so it looks like a Jaffa Cake , as above! and inside:


Obviously, as it was for the birthday boy, some more “beautifying” had to be done…. The end result:

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