• 4 oranges
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 50 ml whisky or brandy
  • 150 g clear runny honey
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 260 g self-raising flour
  • 200 g dark brown sugar
  • 50 g ground hazelnuts or almonds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons quality cocoa powder
  • 100 g quality dark chocolate (70%)
  • 300 g dried figs
  • 120 g hazelnuts
  • 50 g crystalised ginger
  • 25 ml clear runny honey
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 25 ml whisky or brandy
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
  • 125 g quality dark chocolate (70%)
  • 75 g unsalted butter (at room temperature) , plus extra for greasing

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  2. Finely grate the zest of 2 oranges into a large bowl, then squeeze in the juice of all 4 - you need about 150ml.
  3. Measure the oil, brandy and honey into the bowl. Crack in the eggs into a mug, lightly beat with a fork, then tip into the bowl.
  4. Sift the flour into a separate large bowl, then add the sugar, nuts, spices, cocoa powder and big pinch of sea salt.
  5. Chop the chocolate, halve the dried figs, and then roughly chop the hazelnuts. Finely dice the crystalised ginger, then tip into the bowl of dry ingredients, along wth the figs, nuts and chocolate.
  6. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and fold until well combined (be sure not to overwork it as the cake may become a bit too dense).
  7. Transfer to a buttered tin and place in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes. Rotate the tin in the oven, then continue to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Test the cake by briefly removing it from the oven and pressing gently in the centre – it should feel rather firm without any sinking. (The skewer test won’t work here as there is so much fruit and chocolate.) Then listen to the cake: it should be silent; if you hear a crackling or hissing, bake for a little longer.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 15 to 30 minutes. Flip to release from the tin. (If using a springform tin, you can leave it to cool completely in the tin before releasing, but bundts are best released while the cake is still warm.)
  10. To prepare the chocolate glaze, place the honey, sugar and whisky or brandy in a pan. Squeeze in half the orange juice, then measure in the orange blossom water, and 40ml of cold water. Bring to a rapid boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Rest for 3 minutes.
  11. Finely chop the chocolate and dice the butter. Add the chocolate to the pan and whisk to combine, until melted.
  12. Next, add the butter a little at a time, mixing continuously until everything is melted and looking lovely and shiny.
  13. Allow the glaze to cool slightly before drizzling all over your cake to serve (you can make the glaze a day ahead if you like – gently warm it up just before drizzling).

  • 70 ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil , plus extra for greasing
  • 2 medium carrots , (100g)
  • 1 beetroot , (100g)
  • 2 parsnips , (100g)
  • 1 orange
  • 120 g quality maple syrup
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 150 g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1 pinch of mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 60 g dried apricots , preferably unsulphured
  • 40 g pumpkin seeds , plus extra to decorate
  • edible flowers , to decorate (optional)
  • 150 g cream cheese
  • 150 g Greek-style natural yoghurt
  • 25 g clear runny honey
  • ½ teaspoon quality vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease the base and sides of an 18cm loose-bottomed cake tin with a little rapeseed oil, and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Peel and grate the carrots, beetroot and parsnip into a large bowl. Finely grate the zest of the orange and add two-thirds to the veg (reserving the rest for the frosting) along with the maple syrup, eggs and rapeseed oil. Fold in the flour, spice, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
  3. Finely dice the apricots, then add to the bowl along with the seeds. Mix everything until well combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the tin after 20 minutes, until the top is light pinky-golden and bounces back when pressed lightly, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the icing, whisk together all the ingredients except the lemon, and most of the reserved orange zest, until completely smooth. Squeeze in a tiny bit of lemon juice and whisk in. Cover and pop in the fridge until needed.
  6. When the cake is completely cool, transfer to a plate or stand, then finish with the icing, smoothing it all over the top of the cake with the back of a spoon.
  7. Decorate the cake with the remaining orange zest, extra pumpkin seeds and edible flowers, if you like, then serve.
  8. This cake will keep for up to five days in a sealed container in the fridge.

  • 300 g pecan nuts
  • 150 g medjool dates
  • 150 g dried figs
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 5 tablespoons raw cacao powder , (see note)
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 60 g cacao butter , (see note)
  • 150 g hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1½ tablespoons raw honey
  • 200 g coconut oil
  • 120 g cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons raw dark agave nectar , (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons bee pollen , optional

  1. Line a 20cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. To make the base, shave the cacao butter very finely into a small bowl, then place in a large bowl of hot water and allow to melt (it melts at about 34ºC, so is still considered raw).
  3. Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor until very fine, combine with the other base ingredients and press into the tin. Chill while you make the filling.
  4. Blitz the pecan nuts until very fine, then add the remaining ingredients (remember to destone the dates) and blitz until everything comes together. Press into the tin and chill for at least 3 hours.
  5. Combine the icing ingredients and chill for about 20 minutes to set a little, stirring once or twice.
  6. Run a round-bladed knife around the edge of the cake and remove from the tin. Spread the icing on the cake with a palette knife and dust with the bee pollen (if using).
  • 1 box yellow cake mix (15.25g) plus 6 Tablespoons (45g) flour (we used Duncan Hines Classic Yellow cake mix)
  • 1/2 cup (108g) light brown sugar (packed into cup)
  • 2 teaspoons (5g) cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) allspice
  • 1/2 cup (l08g) vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup (302g) buttermilk
  • 2 cups (204g) peeled and grated apple (2 large apples) I used 1 Golden Delicious and 1 Granny Smith apple - grate on the large holes of grater

  • This recipe makes 6 cups of batter
  • Works well for cupcakes
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease and flour two 8 inch round cake pans
  • In the mixing bowl, add the cake mix, brown sugar, spices, oil, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. With the mixer on low speed, increasing to medium speed, mix for 1 minute. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Beat on medium speed for 1 more minute ( longer if using a hand mixer). Fold in the grated apples and pour into the prepared cake pans. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. You may need to cover pans with aluminum foil during the last five minutes of baking to prevent over browning the tops of the cakes.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (54g) vegetable oil
  • 2 3/4 cups (322g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (82g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (don't skip the sifting)
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) salt
  • 1 cup (220g) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (220g) hot coffee, it can be instant or brewed (coffee does need to be hot)
  • cupcake liners

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (If making a cake rather than cupcakes, grease and flour three 8 inch cake pans). In a separate bowl, add the flour, sifted cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend and set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer, beat the softened butter on medium speed until light and creamy. Add the oil and vanilla. Gradually add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing after each egg just until the yellow disappears. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Mixing on medium speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 additions of milk)
Add the cup of hot coffee at this time. The batter will be very thin. Don't worry this is how it should be.

Pour into 3 prepared 8 inch pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Check for doneness at 30 min. by putting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with only a few drums attached, it is done.

Makes 9 cups of batter

FOR CUPCAKES: Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. The recipe will make 2 dozen plus cupcakes
For the cake:

  • Butter (for the cake pans)
  • Flour (for the cake pans)
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature:
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (solidified, not liquidy)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canned cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Pinch of salt
For the lemon curd filling:
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (from 3 to 4 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small cubes
For the buttercream:
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To finish the cake:
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
  • 1 cup lemon curd
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Want your own copy of the complete recipe?

  • 1 package French vanilla cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 cartons (8 ounces each) mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips


Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions, using two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, confectioners' sugar, cinnamon and extracts; stir in chocolate. In another bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, confectioners' sugar, milk and extracts on medium speed until creamy (do not overmix).

Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup filling. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining filling over top of cake to within 1 in. of edges. Frost sides and top edge of cake with 2 cups frosting.

Press almonds into sides of cake. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 12 servings.
This simple, old-fashioned cake tastes so good it will surprise you! this dessert is always the perfect ending.


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/4 cups 2% milk
  • 10 tablespoons butter, cubed


In a large bowl, beat eggs on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to batter; beat at low speed until smooth.

In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter just until butter is melted. Gradually add to batter; beat just until combined.

Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Prep: 15 min.
Bake: 25 min. + chilling
YIELD:15 servings

  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, undrained
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 package (1 ounce) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) reduced-fat whipped topping


1. In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, oranges, egg whites and applesauce on low speed for 2 minutes. Pour into a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray.

2. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

3. In a bowl, combine the pineapple and pudding mix. Fold in whipped topping just until blended. Spread over cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.Yield: 15 servings.
The cake is light and airy with a delicious chocolate taste.

Prep: 15 min.
Bake: 25 min.
YIELD:12 servings


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl. Add oil, coffee and milk; mix at medium speed 1 minute. Add eggs and vanilla; beat 2 minutes longer. (Batter will be thin.)
2. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans (or two 8-in. round baking pans and six muffin cups).
3. Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool on wire racks.
4. Meanwhile, for icing, combine milk and flour in a saucepan; cook until thick. Cover and refrigerate.
5. In a bowl, beat butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add chilled milk mixture and beat 10 minutes. Frost cooled cake.