September’s recipes: Cakes & cups

Round & About

Join Macmillan Coffee Morning and get baking these treats

Coffee, walnut and cardamom cake

(Prep: 40 mins – Cooking: 30 mins – Serves: 8)


For the cake:
• 200g unsalted butter, softened
• 200g soft brown sugar
• 3 large eggs beaten
• 200g self-raising flour
• 100g walnuts, toasted and finely ground
• 2 tbsp ground coffee
• pinch salt
• 1 tbsp milk

Cardamom syrup:
• 100g caster sugar
• 100ml water
• 1/4 tsp ground white cardamom

Coffee buttercream:
• 185g unsalted butter, softened
• 300g icing sugar, sifted
• 1 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tsp boiling water
• Walnut pieces to decorate



1. Preheat oven to 160C Fan /180C/350F/GM4
2. Combine flour, ground walnuts, ground coffee and salt in a bowl.
3. In a large bowl or food mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
4. On medium speed, add eggs a tablespoon at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add a teaspoon of milk if the cake batter looks like curdling.
5. On the lowest speed, add the flour mixture until just combined (10 seconds).
6. Evenly fill the tins and smooth the surface with palette knife or back of a spoon.
7. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes until a skewer comes out cleanly and the top is springy to touch.
8. Remove cakes from the oven, leave in the tins for a couple of minutes, turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
9. Wrap the cakes in cling film and rest overnight at room temperature before icing.

Prepare the cardamom syrup
1. Place the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan and over a low heat, dissolve the sugar completely. Then bring to the boil for a couple of minutes.
2. Remove from the heat, add the cardamom and set aside.
Make the buttercream
1. Beat the unsalted butter in bowl or food mixer until pale & light in texture.
2. Add the sifted icing sugar in 3 batches, beating well between each addition, until the buttercream has increased in volume and is very pale and fluffy.
3. Add the coffee mixture and beat again.

Combine everything
1. Place one cake half upper side down on a plate, brush with the syrup.
2. Sandwich the cakes together using half the buttercream.
3. Put on top, brush with syrup, decorate with buttercream and walnuts.

Vegan raspberry lemon mini cheesecakes

(Prep: 2-3 hours, including chilling time in freezer – Serves: Plenty!)


• 3/4 cups almonds
• 1/2 cup dates, pitted
• 1/8 cup organic, naturally sweetened dried cranberries
• 1 pinch of salt
• 1-3 tbsp of water
• 2 cups raw cashews, previously soaked
• 1/2 cup coconut oil
• 1/4 cup water
• Juice and zest of 1 lemon
• 1/2 cup maple syrup
• Fresh raspberries, lemon zest and a few springs of mint for decoration


1. In a food processor, blend the almonds until they are ground.

2. Add in the dates, cranberries and a pinch of salt and continue to mix. (The mixture should be slightly sticky.) If the mixture looks too dry, add in a little bit of water, one tablespoon at a time and continue to mix.

3. Using cupcake cases (preferably made of silicone) spoon the mixture into each of the cases and press down, then put to one side.

4. Soak the cashews for 1 hour in hot water. Once soaked, strain them well.

5. Add the cashews, coconut oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup and 1/4 cup of water into the food processor and mix on high for about 5 minutes until a very smooth mixture forms.

6. Pour the mixture evenly over the base of the cupcake cases.

7. Place straight into the freezer for about 1-2 hours before serving.

8. Top with fresh raspberries, lemon zest and mint leaves to serve.

Cherry and almond traybake

(Cooking: 30-35 mins – Serves: 24)


For the filling:
• 300g Butter
• 300g Caster sugar
• 375g Self raising flour
• 1 Lemon, zest & juice
• 85g Ground almonds
• 4 Eggs, lightly beaten
• 25g Marzipan, chilled & grated
• 2 tsp Almond extract
• 1 tsp Baking powder
• 3 tbsp Whole milk
• 200g Glace cherries, quartered. Reserve 8 for decoration
• Flaked toasted almonds

Cardamom icing:
• Fondant icing sugar
• Juice of 1 lemon


1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

2. Grease and line a square traybake tin, about 28 x 28cm, with baking parchment.

3. Put all the cake ingredients (apart from the cherries) in a large mixing bowl or tabletop mixer and beat together until thoroughly combined.

4. Toss the cherries in a little flour, then fold them into the cake mixture using a spatula.

5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 mins until the cake is golden brown, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

6. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then add the lemon juice and enough water to make a thick yet fluid icing. Spoon the remaining icing over the cooled cake – it should be liquid enough to level itself out; if not, use a palette knife to smooth it.

7. Cut into squares and garnish with glace cherry quarters and toasted flaked almonds.

M&S gruyere, bacon and leek buttermilk scones

(Prep: 10 mins – Cooking: 15 mins – Serves: 6)


• Black pepper to taste
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp butter
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 100g Gruyère
• 150ml semi skimmed milk
• 40g softened butter
• 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
• 6 sprigs thyme
• 2 medium leeks
• 1 packet M&S buttermilk scone mix


1. Half lengthways, wash and finely slice the medium leeks. Separate the leaves and stalks of the thyme and discard of the stalks. Cut into lardons the smoked streaky bacon. Grate the Gruyère.

2. Heat the olive oil and butter together in a heavy bottomed saucepan.

3. Add the leek, thyme and bacon, season well with black pepper and cook over a very low heat for 15 minutes, until the fat has rendered out of the bacon and the leeks are starting to caramelise.

4. Empty the sachet of scone mix into a bowl with the salt and rub in the butter until you have something that resembles breadcrumbs.

5. Stir in the Gruyère, leek and bacon.

6. Mix in the milk to make a soft dough.

7. Roll the dough to a depth of 2-2.5cm and cut out scones with a 7cm cutter.

8. Place onto a lined baking sheet, brush with milk and bake at 180°C for 15 minutes until golden brown.

9. Eat warm, split and spread with good salted butter.