Hello December! Can you believe we are heading towards Christmas?
It’s everyone’s favourite time of year and one of the highlights of all our festivities is sitting down with a good cup of tea and a lekker piece of cake.
Nothing beats tea time, especially if you sharing your favourite sweet treat making memories with those you love.
Its holiday season, the kids are on holiday and in many homes we bake more than usual during this time of the year. A slice of chocolate cake smothered in ganache or caramel, a carrot or red velvet cake topped with cream cheese or even a good old classic vanilla cupcake with icing, everyone loves cakes!
Cakes are arguably one of the most delicious baked goods that humans have ever made to eat, and the vast number of recipes and types of cake available continue to amaze. There are always new flavours, trends and bakes being introduced and Christmas is the perfect time to try them out and have your loved ones enjoy your new creations.
The first cakes – called plakous - were made in Ancient Greece and consisted of flour mixed with eggs, milk, nuts, and honey. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the word cake back to the 13th century and was derived from the Viking word kaka (boy are we thankful it was changed!).
Today cakes are everywhere – the centerpiece at weddings and birthdays, the star attraction at tea parties and a religious symbol in many countries around the world during holidays and celebrations.
On November 26th we celebrate Cake Day and this week we share some yummy cake recipes with you.
Khashifah Ismail’s Decadent Chocolate Cake
Recipe Credit Khashifah Ismail
250g soft margarine
1½ cups castor sugar
4 tsp baking powder
4 tbs cocoa powder
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
400g dark chocolate, chopped
400ml whipping cream
2 tbs butter
Pre-heat oven to 180°C and place a rack in the centre.
Line two 20cm x 20cm square pans with baking paper.
Place the margarine and sugar in a bowl and using a hand-held beater with a paddle attachment, beat until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat between each egg.
Add the vanilla essence and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
In a large bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing in slowly until well combined and lump-free.
Pour half the batter into each cake tin (I always weigh the batter to get the exact amount into each pan) and bake for 35 minutes.
Insert a cake skewer into the middle and if it comes out clean, the cakes are done.
Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes then remove from their tins.
Next make sugar syrup by heating half a cup sugar and half a cup water until the sugar dissolves.
When cool, use a pastry brush to apply the syrup to both cakes as this will keep them moist and allow the chocolate ganache to stick to the cake more effectively.
For the chocolate ganache, heat the cream until just before it starts to boil then remove from the heat and pour it over the broken-up chocolate stirring all the while so the chocolate melts.
Add the butter and mix well so the ganache is shiny. Leave to cool overnight.
To assemble: Cut the cakes in half so you have 4 layers.
Whip the ganache to a piping consistency, place into piping bag and apply it until it covers the entire cake.
Set in the fridge until firm then slice, serve and eat!
Jaen-Mari Breytenbach’s Carrot Cake
Recipe Credit Jaen-Mari Breytenbach
400g cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
295ml vegetable oil
200g brown sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
300g carrots, peeled & grated (save the peels for garnish)
125g pecan nuts, chopped
65g pineapple, grated
65g zucchini, grated
Zest of 2 lemons
130g dried cranberries
Heat the oven to 180°C. Grease two 23cm round cake pans and line the bottom with baking paper then grease the top of the paper.
In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, both sugars and vanilla essence.
Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until combined.
Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, gently stirring until they disappear and the batter is smooth. Stir in the carrots, nuts and raisins.
Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
Bake until the tops of the cake layers are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean (35 to 45 minutes).
Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks, peel off parchment paper and cool completely.
Cream Cheese Icing
113g salted butter, softened
226g cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ teaspoon salt
500g powdered sugar
½ cup lemon zest
Combine butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer (or you can use an electric hand mixer) and beat until creamy, well-combined and lump-free.
Add vanilla essence and salt and stir well to combine.
With mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined.
Use to ice completely cooled cake.
100g egg whites
100g icing sugar
50g corn flour
100g butter, melted
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180℃.
Add egg whites to a large bowl and whisk a little before adding the sugar and whisking until frothy.
Stir in the flour, corn flour and vanilla essence and then add the melted butter.
Add cinnamon and mix to a smooth batter.
Spoon onto two lined baking trays and spread thinly using an offset spatula and bake for 7 to 8 minutes until the tuiles are just turning golden around the edges.
Remove the baking trays from the oven and let cool completely. Break tuille into chards.
For the carrot peels – deep fry them in hot oil and remove when golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels then use for garnish on the cake along with the tuile as well as extra nuts and dried fruit if desired.
Hendrik Pretorius’ Chocolate Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Chocolate Frosting
Recipe Credit Hendrik Pretorius
6 eggs, separated
250g all-purpose flour
120ml vegetable oil
240ml hot water
50g cocoa powder
20ml baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
Orange Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
350g cream cheese
375g icing sugar
125g soft butter
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbs orange juice.
50g cocoa powder
zest of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Grease two 16cm round cake pans and line the bottom with baking paper then grease the top of the paper and the sides of the pans. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then mix in the cocoa powder, add the hot water and allow to cool.
In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks, oil, sugar, vanilla and cocoa mixture.
Add this to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Whip egg whites till stiff and fold lightly into the batter.
Pour evenly into the two cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the cake pans when they are completely cooled down.
Trim the top part of the cakes with a serrated knife so both cakes are flat on top. Use a pastry brush to brush about one half of the sugar syrup* over the top of the cake.
Spoon one third of the frosting* on top of the cake and with an offset spatula spread it evenly to the edges.
Place the other layer cake on top and repeat the process but using the remainder of the frosting. Garnish with Chantilly cream and orange slices.
* For the sugar syrup, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
** For the frosting, mix the butter, cream cheese and cocoa until smooth. Add the icing sugar followed by the orange juice and orange zest and mix further, then lastly add the vanilla essence and whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before use.
Ferdinand October’s Chocolate Caramel Cake
Recipe Credit Ferdinand October
100g cocoa powder
330ml boiling water
270g cake flour
10g baking powder
3g bicarbonate of soda
7 extra large eggs
440g light brown sugar
250ml sunflower oil
For the Chocolate Pouring Ganache
150g dark chocolate
For the Chocolate Spreading Ganache
250g dark chocolate
For the Caramel
2 tins caramel treat
Preheat oven to 170°c and prepare two 22cm pans with spray and cook and line the bottom with baking paper.
Whisk the cocoa powder and water until smooth and set aside. Sieve together the flour, baking powder and bicarb into a bowl.
In an electric mixer attached with a whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy.
Slowly add the oil while still mixing on fast speed.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Add the liquid cocoa and mix.
Divide the batter into the two cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.
Remove from oven and leave for 10 minutes before removing from tins to cool further.
For the pouring ganache: Place the cream in pot over medium heat and bring to just before boiling point. Pour hot cream over chocolate, add butter and lave for 5 minutes. Mix until smooth and glossy. Set aside.
For the chocolate spreading ganache: Place the cream in pot over medium heat and bring to just before boiling point. Pour hot cream over chocolate, add butter and leave for 5minutes. Mix until smooth and glossy. Set aside.
To assemble the cake, cut both sponges horizontally into two even layers. Place the first layer on a plate and spread evenly on top half a tin of caramel. Repeat with second and third layers. Place final cake layer on top and place cake in the fridge for 60 minutes to firm up. Remove from fridge and spread chocolate spreading ganache all around cake. Place the cake back in fridge for 30min. Remove from fridge, place on a drip tray with a pan underneath to catch excess pouring ganache and pour over the pouring ganache. If the pouring ganache has cooled and became thick, it can be reheated in the microwave until slightly warm. After the pouring ganache has been poured over the cake, leave the cake on the drip tray for 5 minutes. Get creative and decorate to your liking.
Pina Colada Layer Cake
Recipe credit Zola Nene
For the sponge:
125g butter, softened
250g Castor Snow
3 large eggs
165ml Double Cream Plain Yoghurt
Zest of 1 lime
220g cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups desiccated coconut
For the filling:
4 cups diced pineapple
¼ cup castor sugar
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup rum
For the frosting:
500g Full Fat Plain Cream Cheese, at room temperature
250g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups sifted icing sugar
Toasted coconut shavings
Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line 3x 20cm round cake tins.
Beat together butter and castor sugar until light and fluffy.
Whisk in eggs, yoghurt and lime zest.
Sift together flour and baking powder then fold into the wet ingredients.
Gently fold in the coconut, then spoon batter into the prepared tins.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Leave cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before unmoulding and cooling completely on a wire rack.
Make the pineapple filling by placing all the ingredients into a pot, then bring to the simmer and cook on
gentle heat for 5 minutes, remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until
smooth. Add the icing sugar and mix well until smooth.
Assemble the cake by placing one sponge onto a serving plate, then top with 1/3 of the cream cheese frosting,
then top with half the pineapple filling. Repeat layering, finishing off with a layer of cream cheese frosting.
Top the cake with toasted coconut shavings to decorate.
Red Velvet Cup Cakes
Recipe Credit Calum Matthys
300g butter, chopped into blocks
750g castor sugar
200g cranberry juice
red food colouring
875g cake flour
33g white vinegar
25g cocoa powder
600g icing sugar
100g salted butter (at room temperature)
250g cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 180°C and place cupcake cups in a cupcake tray. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients (castor sugar, cake flour, bicarb, cocoa powder), add butter and mix with your hands until you get a crumbly mixture.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, cranberry juice, buttermilk, white vinegar) until they are well combined and add red food colouring till you get desired colour.
With a mixer running on low, add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix well until everything is incorporated.
Distribute the batter evenly into the cupcake cups and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cupcakes are springy to the touch.
Remove from oven and leave to cool
For the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl so there are no lumps.
In a separate bowl, mix the butter with the cream cheese and beat together until they are combined and smooth. Add the vanilla essence.
Slowly add the icing sugar in intervals and mix until combined.
Ice each cupcake as desired, adding heart sprinkles, a strawberry or a cherry on the top of each for that final touch.