Party Recipes

Paper Doily Bakes: Lemon Layer Cake

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Happy Thursday all! Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time will know how much I love baking. Are you one of those bakers who has a certain speciality in the kitchen? My speciality used to be cupcakes, but nowadays I seem to get so much more excited from layer cakes (terrible for my waistline, I know!) I first tried my first slice of lemon cake last year in a local cafe. It was truly delicious and I kept going back for more. Fast forward a few months later and they stopped baking it. I thought I’d try baking it myself at home as I was hosting a small party. It was such a success and it was truly enjoyed by all. I’ve been making it ever since and it’s become a regular in this household! Would you like to know the recipe? Read on!

Firstly, I have two variations depending on how I’m feeling. Both versions are layer cakes made using the same sponge recipe but I alternate the icing technique.

One version is a lemon drizzle topping with small individual swirls of buttercream and sprinkles for decoration, alongside a few tablespoons of lemon curd and full layer of buttercream in between the sponge layers. (shown in the first photo above)

If I’m feeling like making the other version, I replace the lemon drizzle topping with a full layer of buttercream. I place a few tablespoons of lemon curd in between the sponge layers, alongside a second layer of buttercream. I finish this off with some sugarpaste flowers and sprinkles to give it a bit of colour. (shown in the first two photo’s below)

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Feeling inspired? Here’s the recipe…..

Ingredients

For the Cake:

Butter 250g, plus a little extra for greasing the tin

Golden Caster Sugar, sifted 250g

Self-Raising Flour, sifted 250g

Baking Powder, sifted 1 tsp

Organic Free Range Eggs 4 large

Lemons 2, zested

Semi Skimmed or Whole Milk, 1 tbsp

Choose either of the following:

For the Filling and Topping of the Lemon Drizzle/Buttercream Swirls Version:

Lemons 4 (2 for the buttercream icing, 2 for the lemon drizzle)

Caster Sugar 85g

Butter 125g

Icing Sugar, sifted 250g

Lemon Curd 4 tbsp

Cake Sprinkles

For the Filling and Topping of the Buttercream/Sugarcraft Flowers Version:

Butter 250g

Icing Sugar, sifted 500g

Lemons 3, zested and juiced

Lemon Curd 4 tbsp

Sugarcraft Flowers and/or Cake Sprinkles

Piping Bag and Star Nozzle

Method

Step 1

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter, line and flour the bases of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins. Beat the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs and lemon zest together until your batter is of a smooth consistency. Add the milk slowly until the cake batter glides off of a spoon.

Step 2 

Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. When they’re ready, a skewer or cake tester poked in should come out clean. Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes.

Step 3

Choose either of the following:

For the Filling and Topping of the Lemon Drizzle/Buttercream Swirls Version:

Make the icing by beating the soft butter with the icing sugar, lemon zest and juice from 2 lemons until light and fluffy. Spread half of this mixture over the top of the cake. Spread the lemon curd on top of this.

Take your second layer and place this on top. Gently prick this top layer all over with a skewer or fork.

Make the lemon drizzle topping by mixing together the lemon juice of 2 remaining lemons, alongside the caster sugar. Pour the drizzle over the cake, the juice will sink into it and the sugar will form a sweet, crisp topping.

Once the lemon drizzle topping has set, insert the star nozzle into the piping bag and fill this with the remaining buttercream icing. Make a series of small buttercream swirls around the outside of the cake. Add sprinkle/s to each swirl if you wish.

For the Filling and Topping of the Buttercream/Sugarcraft Flowers Version:

Make the icing by beating the soft butter with the icing sugar, lemon zest and juice until light and fluffy.

Divide the buttercream icing into half. Spread one half of it over the bottom layer of the cake. Spread the lemon curd on top of this.

Take the other layer and place it on top of the layer you’ve just finished. Gently spread the remaining buttercream on top of this layer. Decorate with sprinkles and/or sugarcraft flowers.

Voila! Enjoy. If you’ve made this cake, do let me know as I’d love to see it and hear your feedback. You can share photographs of your creation on my Facebook page if you like. Happy baking and see you soon!

 

 

 

Party Recipes

Paper Doily Bakes: How to make the perfect Victoria sponge cake

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Andrew, my husband recently celebrated his birthday and requested his favourite cake. He absolutely adores Victoria sponge cake and so do I for that matter. I’ve made many Victoria sponge cakes over the past few years and I’ve built up a certain technique due to all of that practice! You know what they say about practice making perfect! The last one I made was actually the best one in a long time, so I just had to share the results with you.

If you’re planning an afternoon tea party, yummy dessert table or just wanting to bake for a special someone, then this cake is a very good option. It’s very simple to make using my method and it’s a versatile bake. You can add fresh strawberries to it for extra deliciousness and also add flowers for decoration. You can also pipe some buttercream swirls on the top of the cake if you’re feeling in a decorative mood. You can add different flavours of jam or replace the jam with lemon curd. Why not? For this blog post though, I’ll be giving you my recipe for the classic version.

Ingredients

200g caster sugar

200g softened butter, at room temperature

4 eggs, beaten

200g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp milk

For the filling

100g butter, softened

140g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

4 tbsp strawberry or raspberry jam

icing sugar, to decorate

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Grease and line two 20 centimetre sandwich tins. Soften the butter and sugar until the mixture is of a creamy, pale consistency. Slowly add the beaten eggs and milk. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture. Gently mix until all of the ingredients together until fully combined. If using a mixer, don’t mix for longer than 2 minutes to avoid over mixing.
  2. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins. Smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon, then bake for 20 minutes until golden and the cake springs back when pressed. Leave the cakes in their tins for 5 minutes, before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. To make the filling, beat the butter until smooth and creamy and slowly sift the icing sugar into the mixture. Beat in the vanilla extract if you’re using it. Spread the jam over the bottom layer of the cake using a palette knife. Take a piping back and large star nozzle and pipe stars/shells on top of the jam across the entire bottom layer of the cake, leaving a bit of room around the outside. Carefully place the top layer of the cake on top of this layer. If you don’t have the piping tools, you can use your palette knife to spread the buttercream on the underside of the remaining layer, before sandwiching both layers together. Dust the top of the cake with icing sugar. Your cake will keep in an airtight container for 2 days.

Enjoy and do let me know if you decide to use my recipe. I’d love to hear your thoughts and see your pictures.

Party Recipes

Mini Glazed Ring Doughnuts Recipe

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After spending hours on Pinterest drooling over mini glazed ring doughnuts, it only felt right to buy a doughnut mould and get straight into the kitchen. With my best baking materials and apron at the ready, I began the bake. I was a little nervous at first, as I think doughnuts can look like a tricky, fiddly bake. Let me tell you that this isn’t true in the slightest. The doughnut mould makes the process incredibly easy and I think the outcome looks very impressive if I do say so myself. They are definitely fit for a special party, or even as cute little wedding favours placed in mini glassine bags. If only I had thought about that for my own wedding!

Anyway, if they look like your kind of thing and I’ve inspired you to have a go, please follow my recipe below. I would love, love, love to hear from you if you baked them using this recipe. This is the perfect recipe for a lazy Saturday. It’s also very well suited to those who have a moment of last minute panic when realising that there are no sugary treats in the house!

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To make these little bites of deliciousness, you’ll need:

Ingredients

150ml (5 fl oz) milk

1 large egg (US – extra large)

30g unsalted butter (1oz)

1 tsp vanilla extract

175g plain flour (6oz/ 1 1/2 cups)

75g caster sugar (superfine) (2 1/2 oz/ 1/3 cup)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

For the glaze:

225g icing sugar (8oz/ 1½ cups) (confectioners sugar)

A small selection of food colourings and sprinkles

2 – 3 1/2 tbs water

This recipe makes 48 mini doughnuts.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170C and lightly spray or butter a 12 hole mini doughnut mould. Beat the egg, butter, milk and vanilla extract until fully combined.

2. Sift the sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and cinnamon into another bowl and mix to combine.

3. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and briefly whisk until combined.

4. Unless you have multiple doughnut moulds, you’ll need to make 12 doughnuts at a time. Just simply clean the mould after each batch is finished and re grease it with the butter or spray.

5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until light brown.

6. Remove the doughnuts from the mould and allow to cool on a cooling rack. You may need to gently use a small pallet knife before turning out.

7. To make the glaze, whisk the icing sugar and water together. Choose your food colouring and divide your icing mixture into multiple bowls, dependent on how many colours you decide. Take a cocktail stick and dip this into the food colouring, before placing it into each bowl and stirring the colouring with a spoon.

8. Before moving onto the next stage, place a large piece of foil or baking parchment under the wire rack, to capture excess drips/icing/sprinkles.

9. Once icing has been fully mixed and coloured, dip one side of each doughnut into the glaze. Shake off any excess icing.

10. Decorate with sprinkles and enjoy!

A polite reminder: Images ©Paper Doily Party Shop and should not be reproduced or used without credit.

Children's Parties · Party Recipes

How to Make the Perfect Cupcakes

I’ve been baking for a good number of years now, and my love for cake decorating is still very strong. Whenever I have friends or family visiting or a party to prepare for, I always turn to my cupcake recipes for some inspiration. With so many recipes, tips and ideas out there, it’s very easy to get lost whilst planning. To help you to avoid this, I’ve put together my top ten baking tips, alongside some adorable styling ideas and a tried and tested vanilla cupcake recipe, so you can enjoy a stress free baking session in the kitchen. If the cupcakes pictured below look like just your cup of tea, then read on!

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1. Use the best ingredients you can afford

2. Bring the ingredients to room temperature before using them

3. Don’t over mix the batter

4. Try to be as precise as possible with weighing or measuring

5. Always sift the flour and baking powder to avoid lumps

6. Use an electric hand mixer where possible, mainly for consistency and time

7. Use the appropriate sized cases for your muffin tray and recipe

8. Ensure the oven temperature and cooking times are accurate

9. Do not open the oven door whilst baking. Even a small amount of cold air will cause the sponge to sink

10. Before icing, allow the cupcakes to cool completely, and do not refrigerate them

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Vanilla Cupcake Recipe:

Makes 12 regular cupcakes

Ingredients:

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature

225g golden caster sugar

2 large free range or organic eggs

150g self raising flour, sifted

125g plain flour, sifted

120ml semi skimmed milk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160c (fan)/180c/350F/Gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.

Cream the sugar and butter to a pale consistency. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix for a minute or so after each one is added.

Combine the sifted flowers into the same bowl. Measure the milk and add the vanilla extract to it.

Gradually fold the flours into the creamed mixture, using a large metal spoon. Add the milk.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases. An ice cream scoop or measuring scales will help you to achieve an even amount of batter into each case, meaning the cupcakes should be of equal size and baked consistently.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until fully cooked. Insert a skewer into the middle of the cupcakes when baked. If they are cooked through, it should come out clean.

Leave them in the tin for about 10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to fully cool. Once they are completely cooled, you can ice them using my delicious vanilla buttercream recipe below.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Ingredients:

110g unsalted butter at room temperature

60ml semi skimmed milk at room temperature

1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract

500g icing sugar, sifted

Method:

Beat the butter, vanilla extract, milk and half of the icing sugar until smooth. This can take up to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar until your buttercream is smooth and creamy. There are several ways to decorate cupcakes with buttercream icing. To achieve a finish similar to the cupcakes pictured above, you will need to invest in a piping bag and large nozzle. If you don’t have those tools, you can alternatively spread the icing on top of the cupcakes with a pallet knife. Top with cake decorations of your choice and serve with pride! Enjoy!

A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. 

Children's Parties · Decorations · DIY Party Crafts · Party Craft Tutorials

Paper Doily Makes: Paper Heart Cupcake Toppers Tutorial

Cupcake toppers can be purchased pretty much anywhere now, but can sometimes become an unnecessary expense, particularly if you have a large number of cupcakes to decorate. Cupcake toppers can easily be made at home to suit any party theme, and only require a few relatively cheap materials. You’ll be pleased to know that you should be able to find most, if not all of these materials in your local supermarket and craft store. If you have any cake to hand, go and find yourself a beautiful plate, some pretty napkins and make yourself a tea. All of which are the perfect accompaniments to any craft project of course.

Materials: 

Decorative Paper/Wrapping Paper

Double Sided Selotape

Large Heart Paper Cutter

Small Cocktail Sticks

Paper Scissors

Method: 

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1. First of all, decide on how many cupcake toppers you require. For 12 cupcake toppers, you will require 24 paper hearts, to ensure the hearts are all double sided. Take your paper cutter and cut out all of your hearts, placing them in pairs. There is a very wide selection of paper cutters, available in most craft stores. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can definitely adjust the tutorial to your taste and theme.

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2. Take a pair of sharp scissors and cut 3 strips of double sided selotape for your first cupcake topper. The reverse side of 12 of your paper hearts will contain 3 strips of double sided selotape. There will be one long strip in the centre of the heart, which the cocktail stick will be placed on top of, and 2 smaller strips either side of that, to stick the paper hearts together. Repeat this process for half of your paper hearts.

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3. You should now have 24 paper hearts. The reverse side of 12 of them should contain double sided selotape and a cocktail stick, and the other 12 paper hearts should be plain. These plain paper hearts can now be placed on top of those with cocktail sticks, ensuring the pattern is visible on both sides of the cupcake topper. You should now have something beautiful which looks like this.

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When finished, they will definitely impress your guests and give any dessert table that extra special touch! Enjoy!

A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. 

Party Recipes

Paper Doily Bakes: Mars Bar Slices

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Last week my husband and I celebrated our 6th anniversary. I used some of our wedding decorations to decorate the house with as a nice little suprise and served some delicious drinks with the paper straws I had decorated. See earlier post for these. I always bake something for special occasions and I had a browse on Pinterest for some inspiration. I intended to bake a victoria sponge cake, his favourite cake EVER but I felt like experimenting with something new. This recipe was absolutely great. It didn’t need to go into the oven and required minimal effort. The recipe can easily be doubled if you are intending to make this for a dessert table at a party. Supervised children would love making this, although be warned, it is a fairly messy, sticky process for little fingers! If you are feeling inspired, here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Maltesers. (I purchased a small box and used the remaining Maltesers for decoration)
  • 4 Mars Bars
  • Half a cup of Condensed Milk
  • 1 large pack of Chocolate Biscuits. I used McVities chocolate digestives but this can be easily changed
  • 1 large bar of Cadburys Dairy Milk
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Method

  • Line a 25cm X 16cm tin with baking parchment. You can alter the size of the tin for thicker or thinner slices
  • Crush the chocolate biscuits and maltesers. You can either use a food processor or place the ingredients in a food bag and use a rolling pin to crush
  • Slice the mars bars into small pieces. Make sure they are not overly warm or it could get a little messy
  • Place a heat proof bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water and add the butter and condensed milk. Gently stir until combined
  • Add the crushed maltesers, biscuits and the sliced mars bars to the butter and condensed milk mixture
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and press down with a metal spoon. Try to flatten this out as much as you can to achieve neat, even slices
  • Place this mixture into the fridge for 1 hour, or until completely set
  • Place a heat proof bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water and break the Dairy Milk Chocolate up into small pieces
  • Stir until melted but be careful not to overheat/burn the chocolate
  • When fully cooled, remove the tray from the fridge and pour the melted chocolate over the base
  • Arrange the maltesers on top of the chocolate. I used 8 maltesers for 8 slices but this can be easily changed
  • Leave to set in the fridge for 1 hour, or until cooled
  • Once fully cooled, take a knife and cut your slices. You can then remove the slices from the tin and store in a pretty cake tin before your party…. Or put the kettle on and enjoy!

Alternatively, these would make lovely edible gifts to take along to a party. You can easily make some beautiful wrapping, similar to the one pictured above, courtesy of the amazing Ghirlanda di Popcorn

Do let me know if you decide to make these. It would be lovely to hear from you!