3 modern twists on the classic carrot cake

13 April, 2017

The carrot cake, with its moist sponge and flavoursome spices, has taken over the cake world. Okay, so a cake baked with carrots and covered in soft cheese may not sound particularly appealing, but the smooth, sweet taste of cream cheese is ideal when combined with the piquant, carrot-littered sponge. In fact, it tastes amazing.

Often presumed to be a modern concoction of ingredients, thrown together to push the cake boundaries, baking with carrots is not a new phenomenon, but was a popular practice during the rationing of World War II.

Armed with a classic recipe for your favourite carrot-speckled bake, also featuring cinnamon, walnuts and more, we thought it would be interesting to see how far the carrot cake has come since World War II, offering modern ways to re-invent the much-loved bake.

1. Carrot cake pops



So, imagine having the deliciousness of a carrot cake, but in small, delightful truffles. That’s exactly what carrot cake pops are. The popularity of cake pops has sky-rocketed over the past two years, and they’ve since become a well-recognised cake trend. Like with all cake pop creations, simply bake your cake, and once cooled, crumble into small, spherical pieces. Then, cover your rounded mini cakes with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with pecans! This recipe by Deliciously Yum includes white chocolate – amazing!

Why not experiment with different frosting flavours to cover your cake pops, including chocolate orange or even pineapple frosting, and finish with a topping of sprinkles?

2. Carrot cake loaf


After you’ve established that carrots taste delicious in a cake, it’s time to explore other variations, including creating this mouth-watering carrot loaf. This recipe by Juniper Cakery offers a healthier dessert option to your customers, combining pomegranate’s antioxidants with the health benefits of pistachios and carrots. Their mouth-watering glaze creates a striking and sweet addition to your carrot loaf, while sprinklings of pecans and pomegranates add bursts of flavour. Drizzle your glaze along the sides of your cake for added decoration, and serve with a side of vanilla ice cream.

3. Carrot cake doughnuts



Doughnuts. They’re currently in the middle of a popularity surge. Bakers around the world have been boldly experimenting with these fried delights, combining the deliciousness of another classic sweet treat and creating eye-popping flavours. We’ve seen cronuts, doughnut wedding cakes, and even doughnut French toast, so it’s no surprise that carrot cake doughnuts are now a thing. Combining a traditional cake with a fried dessert could go so wrong, but these taste delicious.

Although they sound indulgent, carrot cake doughnuts are actually healthier than the average doughnut. This recipe by Nourish Your Glow is gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar free, and suitable for vegans, offering a sweet alternative that fulfils your customers’ needs.

As bakers around the world re-invent traditional cakes, there’s plenty of inspiration to be had. So, why don’t you experiment with your best-selling bake?

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3 delicious hot cross bun variations to try this Easter!

27 March, 2017

A tradition traced back to the 12th century, hot cross buns have become a mouth-watering Easter staple, usually eaten on Good Friday in all parts of the world. A spiced bun, speckled with currants and raisins, and decorated with its trademark cross on top, this delicious and filling treat is popular as a mid-morning snack, and best served oozing with butter. Over the years, however, this Easter tradition has been made-over, and teamed with some of your favourite preserves, spreads and fruits. In this blog, we’re showcasing three unusual yet scrumptious hot cross bun variations you should serve to your customers.

Chocolate, ginger and cranberry hot cross buns


Chocolate hot cross buns

The deliciousness of hot cross buns lies in the complementing fruit and flavours, which is why these – made by Sarah from Sugar Hit, are so delightful. The cocoa addition to your bun’s flavour adds a little indulgence, while the crystallised ginger and chopped hazelnut provide contrasting tastes. Each bun has a delectable chewy texture, thanks to added dried cranberries. Sarah uses Tangzhong as a unique way of baking her hot cross buns, all the while adding plenty of flavour. Why not experiment with this technique to serve striking chocolate hot cross buns with an unusual flavour?

Earl Grey hot cross buns


Earl Grey hot cross buns

A simple way to experiment with the taste of your hot cross buns is to replace water in the classic recipe with a flavoursome alternative. In this case, Earl Grey has been tried and tested by Izy from The Kitchn, and gives your hot cross buns that recognisable Earl Grey taste and aroma. Steep Earl Grey teabags in boiling water for several minutes, discard and leave the tea to cool. Then, add this to the rest of the mixture to bake. Interestingly, Izy recommends glazing her hot cross buns with apricot jam or golden syrup, adding a kick of flavour.

Follow the full recipe from The Kitchn.

Cheesy hot cross buns


Cheesy hot cross buns

If you want to totally transform your hot cross buns, why not make them savoury? We love these filling cheesy hot cross buns by Simone’s Bakery – great served with a mug of homemade soup! To create these delicious mini breads, cheddar cheese is kneaded into the dough and baked. Then, the crosses are created using parmesan cheese and water!

Hot cross buns are a much-loved Easter tradition, and could be served to your customers as a quick takeaway snack or part of a delicious breakfast deal. If you want to showcase how diverse your talents are, why not whip up one of these recipe variations, offering a different take on an old favourite?

Have you experimented with hot cross buns before? Tell us what you did on Twitter!

3 beautiful floral cake designs for spring

23 March, 2017

As the mornings become lighter and temperatures rise, it’s time to think about spring. A beautiful time of year, we can take plenty of baking inspiration from not just the colours of this season, but the blooming landscapes surrounding us. Floral cake designs have been around since forever, but there’s never a more apt time of year to experiment with what attractive creations we can produce, and the new designs you could whip up with your baking skills. In this blog, we’re showcasing three amazing floral cake designs, for talented bakers.

1. Daffodil bouquet cake


A tricky yet rewarding design, making daffodils from ready to roll icing really does need a little patience, but the end result is definitely worth it. To create the flowerhead, you’ll need a calyx cutter. Roll out your yellow icing and cut out two calyx shapes. Using a knife, draw several lines at the centre of every petal for extra detailing. Then, using water, stick one floral shape to the other. Place diagonally to create the full floral effect.

Mix orange and yellow sugar icing, and roll into a cone. Using a blunt object, hollow out its centre to create a trumpet design. Stick the trumpet to the centre of the two floral icing shapes, and voilà – you have a flowerhead!

To create the stems, roll green marshmallow fondant into thin tubes, before sticking them to the sides of your cake – covering the sponge. Then, carefully place the flowerheads to the top of your sponge.

Tip: Why not experiment with different shades of green for the stems, and add ribbon around to finish off the baked bouquet?

2. Daisy lemon cake pops


Daisy lemon cake pops

Beautifully intricate, cake pops are miniature sweet treats without the hard work! These, however take a little more effort. Crush your lemon sponge into fine crumbs. Add a small amount of lemon syrup to the crumbs and mix together, creating a slightly stickier consistency – you want the mix to hold a ball shape. Scoop out the ingredients and place into cake pop moulds, following the instructions on the packaging. Then place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Melt yellow colour melts in a glass bowl over a water-filled saucepan. After removing the cake pops from the freezer, dip each end of the cake pop stick into the yellow colour melts, and insert into the cake pop.

Following this, dip your cake pops into the yellow colour melts, making sure each one is completely covered. With white roll icing, cut out a daisy shape using a small cutter. Then, using an edible ink pen, colour the centre of each daisy. Stick to the cake pop’s exterior, and leave to dry.

Tip: Why not cover a proportion of your cake pops with daisies, and create simpler ones featuring alternative frosting detailing?

3. Hydrangea cupcakes


Hydrangea cupcakes

To incorporate some of those seasonal colours we love so much, it has to be hydrangea cupcakes. And, they’re actually really simple to make – it’s all in the frosting! After baking your cupcake sponges, you’ll need to decide which colours you want your floral icing to be. Add food colouring in your chosen shades to three or four batches of frosting (depending on how many shades you want! Then, using a seven-point open star frosting nozzle, simply pipe your hydrangea cupcakes, starting with the edges, and then filling the centre.

Tip: Create several shades of each colour for a more authentic hydrangea design!

What delightful cakes would you recommend for this time of year? Share your recipes with us via Twitter!

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