Thursday, 7 March 2013

Cake Sale

It's no secret to friends and family that I do love to bake, it's a hobby which I indulge in at every opportunity, it's relaxing, fulfilling and of course at the end, something gorgeous to eat with a steaming hot cup of tea!

I have a good selection of recipe books and with the joys of the Internet, no recipe is ever out of reach for me. 

I have to say that currently my favourite recipe book is the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook! The number of cupcakes I have made over the years is innumerable ! They have been given as gifts, donated to bake sales, been part of a party buffet and generally enjoyed as an afternoon treat!

I also venture into all aspect of baking including sweet making, jam making, breads, pastries, tarts, preserves, pickles, chutneys, crumbles, brownies, pies and puddings. I've put together a small selection of things I love to make, I say it's a small selection, I could easily make a dozen montages as I love to photograph whatever I make to remind me what I have made, but this montage is probably some of my favourites. 

Anyway, I digress, the reason behind this post is my recent own attempts at raising money for Comic Relief.

The joys of writing my blog is shared with my love of reading other people's and I couldn't fail to notice a lot of clever crafty people producing a range of lovely handmade wares that will be auctioned off to raise money for Comic Relief. A link to the page can be found here:

Now I know I'm not nearly as talented as these people, but none the less I wasn't going to not do my part, however small it might be, so using my love of baking, I decided that a Cake Sale was the way to go and giving that Comic Relief is only a short time away, I thought my best chances of raising money and donations was to rely on the joys of social media and connect my Red Nose Day Giving Money Page to my Facebook page and see what happened. Fortunately I was quickly inundated 
 with orders and also donations and reached my target within a few days.

I chose to make one of my favourite Hummingbird Recipes, the Red Velvet Cupcake, although in hindsight, probably not the easiest, only because it uses an assortment of ingredients that include buttermilk, white wine vinegar, lots of red food colouring and cream cheese for part of the frosting. 

Now I live quite remotely with local large supermarkets being at least a 20 minute drive away and unfortunately, our local convenience shop doesn't stock such items like buttermilk (I might add that I have since discovered that natural yogurt can be used as a substitute!!) Red food colouring was easier to find but local shops only stocked a small amount and so I think I cleared out all stock within a 10 mile radius!

So here's how I made them, as I altered the amounts given in the Cookbook!


60g unsalted butter or margarine
150g caster sugar
1 egg
20g cocoa powder
1 entire bottle of Dr Oetker natural red food colouring!!!
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
120ml of buttermilk or natural yogurt
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp of vinegar (I used red wine vinegar, recipe asked for white wine)


300g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter (room temperature)
125g cream cheese

mix all together for a good 4-5 minutes to let it become light and creamy.


Firstly, set your oven to 170C / 325F / gas mark 3


Cream together the butter and sugar either with a handheld electric whisk, or as I prefer, in a food processor, until light and fluffy, then add the egg and mix till well incorporated. 

 In a separate bowl mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food colouring (it should make a thick paste!) and add to the butter/sugar/egg mixture

You now have yourself a vivid pink concoction that looks absolutely shocking!!!

Now having measured out your buttermilk and flour into separate containers, add half the buttermilk and mix in, then half the flour and mix in, then repeat this step again, adding the rest of the buttermilk and flour, mixing well in-between (making sure you scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side) 

Now give it a good whizz to make sure it's all mix well together!

Finally add into the lurid red mixture the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar and mix again for a couple of minutes to make sure everything is evenly mixed.

Now pour the mixture equally into 12 paper cases and bake in your pre heated oven for 20 - 25 minutes (I did mine for 20 mins but I know my oven and knew this would be long enough)

Once out of the oven, leave them to rest a few minutes in the tin then turn out onto a cooling rack.

If like mine, they raise up in the middle, cut them off with a serrated knife when cool and feed to eager children and husbands who complain that these cakes aren't for them!!!!

and once cool, pile on a generous topping of frosting and decorate how you like.

I had some red roses made from icing that I bashed up in a pestle and mortar and sprinkled over the top

And there you have it. These cakes really are so tasty and dense and rich and the cream cheese frosting, I think, isn't as sweet tasting as usual butter icing, so isn't as sickly, but this is only my opinion and will happily eat cupcakes in all shapes and sizes!

Now I still have orders coming in so I best go hunt for some more red food colouring.

Best of luck to the Red Nose Day Dolls contributors and all those raising money for Comic Relief.

I'll be back soon xx


  1. What a briulliant idea - an online cake sale! I'm not surprised you've done well. Those look delicious.

  2. They look delicious.....i hope you have some spare for crochet club on Monday so I can buy some! Well done x