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Vanilla cupcakes with lemon frosting

Thank you to Claire Giddy for this scrumptious recipe!

Makes 24

I like my cupcakes to be big so I use this amount to make 12

Actual cakes

1 vanilla pod

200g soft butter

200g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

200g self raising flour

1 x quantity of vanilla sugar syrup

  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC, fan 160oC, gas 4.
  2. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla pod lengthways and remove the seeds. Put the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds in an electric mixer and cream together until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat the eggs lightly in another bowl, and slowly add to the mix, using medium speed.  If the mixture starts curdling, add a little flour.  Once he eggs and butter mixture are well combined, mix in the remaining flour at low speed
  4. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases – I used a piping bag but you can just use a spoon.  Bake for 18-20mins or until the sponge is lightly golden and springs back to the touch.
  5. Leave the cupcakes to cook for 10mins.  Prick the tops with a skewer and, using a pastry brush and while the cupcakes are still warm, soak each one with sugar syrup. Once completely cooled remove from the tins. Tip – my cakes rose quite a lot in the middle so I cut the tops off and skewered the flattened cake – this made the icing much easier).

Vanilla Sugar Syrup

Makes enough for 24 (I always make the full amount of this even if I’m only making 12 to make sure the consistency is right)

25g caster sugar

1/2 vanilla pod or vanilla extract

  1. Put 5 tables of water and the caster sugar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to cool.
  2. Once cool, stir in the vanilla pod.

Lemon Frosting

Makes enough for 24 cakes (or 12 cakes with lots of icing)

200g full fat cream cheese – at room temperature

100g soft unsalted butter

600g icing sugar – sieved

Grated zest of 1 lemon

  1. Put the cream cheese, butter and icing in a mixing bowl
  2. Slowly mix together, using an electric hand whisk or wooden spoon until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add the lemon zest.  If it gets a bit runny, add a little more icing sugar (but add a small bit at a time).


Makes enough for 12

75g white sugar paste

50g of sugar paste coloured green (I use any green that I can find)

10g of sugar paste coloured lemon

  1. Roll out the sugar pasta thinly.
  2. Using cutters stamp out 24 daisies and 24 leaves (I didn’t have a leaf cutter so just used a knife and drew my own) and make 12 daisy centres from balls of sugar paste.  Mark the leaves to make them look leaf like (you could also do the same with the petals if you have time)
  3. Stick 2 daisies together at a slight angle using a dab of water.
  4. Dry upside on icing nozzles overnight to make a flower cup shape.  (I didn’t have enough nozzles so I used balls of foil and they worked just as well.)
  5. Stick on the centres using water and then place on top of the frosting.

I made these cakes for my Goddaughters 1st birthday and they were a great hit and quite a few people asked for the recipe. I’ve made them a few times now and every time they come out perfect although I only do the daisies decorations for special occasions.

Original recipe from Sainsbury’s Magazine


Raspberry and Blueberry Lime Drizzle Cake

Thank you to Claire Giddy for this yummy recipe!

Makes 12 slices


225g softened butter – plus extra for greasing

225g golden caster sugar

4 medium eggs

2 limes – grated zest and juice

250g self-raising flour – sifted with a pinch of salt, plus extra flour

25g ground almonds

100g each of blueberries and raspberries


8tbsp lime juice (I got this amount from 3 limes)

1 lime grated zest

140g golden caster sugar

  1. Line the base and sides of a 20cm/8in square cake tin (not loose-based) with greaseproof paper and butter the paper. Set oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan oven 160C.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little flour towards the end to prevent curdling. Beat in the lime zest, then fold in the flour and almonds. Fold in enough lime juice – about 3 tablespoons – to give you a good dropping consistency (the mixture should drop easily from the spoon when tapped).
  3. Fold in three quarters of the blueberries and raspberries and turn into the prepared tin. Smooth the surface, then scatter the remaining fruit on top – it will sink as the cake rises.  Tip – I dusted the raspberries and blueberries slightly to stop them from sinking to the bottom.
  4. Bake for about 1 hour (cover with foil if beginning to brown too much), or until firm to a gentle prod in the centre. A skewer pushed into the centre should be clean when removed.  I baked it for about 1 hour 5 mins and it was perfect.
  5. Meanwhile make the syrup: put the lime juice, zest and sugar in a small saucepan. Put over a gentle heat and stir, without allowing to bubble. The sugar should dissolve a little. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick all over with a skewer then spoon the syrup over it. Tip – The syrup took about 5-10mins to do so I would start doing this about 10mins before the cake needs to come out of the oven to save it sitting around for too long which can cause a “syrup skin” to form.
  6. Carefully remove the cake from the tin, discard the lining paper and cut into 12 slices to serve.

My cake didn’t rise very much but it was yummy and loved by everyone.  I would definitely recommend a slice with a cup of tea 🙂