Booming good bakes for garden parties

Round & About

Good Bakes

We’re serving up a slice of inspiration ahead of the National Garden Scheme’s Great British Garden Party, raising funds for great causes

Victoria Sponge with a twist
This recipe comes from Sarah Prall

• 175g self-raising flour
• 175g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
• 175g caster or vanilla sugar (plus a little extra to finish)
• 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
• 250g mascarpone
• 150ml double cream
• Punnet of raspberries
• 3-4 tbsp soft set raspberry jam
• 2 tbsp fine white sugar
• 1 tsp rose extract
• Pinch of sea salt
• Garden roses to decorate

• Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4, Prepare two 8″ cake tins, well greased and then lined.
• Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl and put aside.
• In a large mixing bowl beat the butter to a cream.
• Add the caster sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very light and creamy.
• Add the eggs, about a quarter at a time, adding 1 tbsp of the weighed-out-flour with each addition and beating thoroughly before adding the next. Beat in the rose extract with the last of the egg
• Sift in the rest of the flour, half at a time, and use a large metal spoon to carefully fold it in.
• Divide the mixture equally between the prepared cake tins, spreading it out lightly and evenly with the back of a spoon. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes or until the cakes are lightly golden and spring back into shape when gently pressed.
• Leave the cakes in the tins for a couple of minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
• Make the rose and mascarpone cream.
• Beat together cream, mascarpone, and a couple of drops of rose extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
• Add sugar gradually, mixing continuously until frosting is smooth and stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
• Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator.
• When the cakes are cold, spread one cake with the raspberry jam, and add a layer of fresh raspberries.
• Spread half the mascarpone cream over the other cake and gently place on top of raspberry layer.
• Spread the remaining cream mixture on to the top of the cake and refrigerate. When you are ready to serve dress the cake with fresh garden roses.
* For an extra special twist, if you have any, place three or four deliciously scented geranium leaves, such as Mabel Grey or Attar of Roses, in the base of the lined tin. Remove when the cake is turned out to cool.

Lisa’s zingy lemon drizzle cake
Lisa from Thames Hospice has shared their zingy lemon drizzle cake recipe.

Ingredients for the cake
• 125g butter (room temperature)
• 175g caster sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 175g self-raising flour
• 4 tbs milk
• Zest of 1½ lemons (unwaxed)

Ingredients for the lemon syrup:
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 100g icing sugar

Ingredients for the lemon icing:
• 75g icing sugar (sieved)
• Juice of ½ lemon

• Preheat your oven 180C / 160C (fan) / Gas Mark 4
• Butter and line a 450g loaf tin
• Make the sponge by creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time along with a little of the flour (this stops your mixture splitting) add the lemon zest , beat well. Add the remaining flour, fold in gently but thoroughly, followed by the milk. Spoon mixture into your prepared loaf tin and bake for approx. 45 mins (ovens vary so do keep an eye on it!) it should be golden, risen and a skewer (or knife) when inserted should come out clean. If you find it is browning too quickly you can place a piece of foil over the top.
• While your cake is baking, make the lemon syrup by adding the lemon juice and icing sugar to a small saucepan and heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved.
• When your cake is baked remove from the oven and puncture the top of the cake all over (use a skewer, knife of long pronged fork). Pour over the syrup ensuring it covers the top of the cake evenly, don’t worry your cake will absorb all the syrup like a sponge!
• Leave your cake to cool completely before removing the tin, don’t be impatient!
• Once the cake is cold, carefully remove from the tin and place on a plate.
• Make the lemon icing by sieving the icing sugar into a bowl and bit by bit adding lemon juice until a smooth, thick (but still pourable) icing is made, you may not use all the lemon juice or you may need to add a little boiling water to slacken if not enough. Drizzle the icing over the cake however you wish, let the icing set then enjoy!

For more inspiration on planning your own party, or to donate to life-changing charities, please visit