I’m sure it won’t come as much of a surprise if I say that I love cake.  Pretty much all cake, but my favourite flavours are anything fruity or vegetablely (new made up word alert), carrot cake is probably my all time favourite.  So when the Great British Bake Off had the signature challenge of a ‘Fresh Fruit Cake’ last week, my mouth was salivating.  I’ve made a couple of fruit based cakes this week, and thought I’d share the recipes.

‘Pina Colada’ Cake

I loved the idea of Peter’s Coconut Cake and had some coconut in the cupboard, so I decided to give a coconut twist to an old favourite in our house, the Hummingbird Cake.

I adore Hummingbird Cake.  It’s soft, and moist and fruity and I could eat about 3 slices in one go (apologies to friends that saw photos of me in a bikini poolside over August on Facebook…….blame the Hummingbird Cake).  I usually use Jamie Oliver’s recipe, which I find works really well, so I used that as a basis but changed a few things to give it a coconut twist.

I kept the pineapple, which makes it beautifully moist and which made it a ‘Pina Colada cake’ according to my daughter, but didn’t include the banana to keep the flavours a bit simpler.  I added some pineapple juice to compensate for the dessicated coconut, so that it didn’t dry out.

I kept the pecans, just because I absolutely love them and would have them on pretty much anything (“sausage and mash for supper children……with pecan nuts?”).  And I reduced the sugar, as the coconut I had was sweetened, so I didn’t want it to end up too sweet – feel free to ignore that and use the original sugar quantity (350g) if your coconut isn’t sweetened or is fresh.

So here is my adjusted recipe for a coconut version of Jamie Oliver’s Hummingbird Cake –

  • 250 ml olive oil , plus extra for greasing
  • 350 g self-raising flour
  • 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 1 x 425 g tin of pineapple chunks
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • 50 g pecans

The steps are exactly as in the above recipe link, just include the coconut and pineapple juice with the wet ingredients.  And then enjoy a large slice as a reward for all your hard work!

hummingbird cake

Blackberry and Apple Muffins

blackberry apple muffins

On a dog walk at the weekend, my daughter and I picked an awful lot of luscious looking blackberries, and so a lot went in the freezer for future puddings/cakes, but the rest were turned in to Blackberry and Apple Muffins.  I used this recipe from Very Berry Handmade’s Blog for these, and didn’t change a thing except for the additional of some Demerara sugar sprinkled on the top to go crispy and brown once in the oven.  Absolutely delicious and the taste of Autumn.  If you’ve got a glut of blackberries, I highly recommend this as a quick and delicious way to use them up.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to get myself a large slice, a cuppa, and get ready to watch the next episode of the GBBO tonight.  Happy baking!

Lucy. x