Pumpkin cake with lime and almonds


I have been fucking remiss! Doubly so, since despite not blogging for a couple of months now, I have in fact had a recipe photographed and stored up since August. And it’s SUCH a perfect August cake. Not that you can’t eat a delicious citrus-frosted vegan pumpkin cake in spring, just that it’s so much more an autumn/winter thing. Luckily, it’s October – month of the pumpkin! Well, just ignoring the whole Halloween is supposed to be in autumn deal. In any case this cake is still – despite all the flaws of its maker – perfect!


August is my mum’s birthday and so to commemorate the day my family all came over to my place to crash on the floor for a night and eat cake. Actually, Tom was supposed to be in charge of cake, but I received a text message from him the day before saying he accidentally got day drunk instead.

So proud.


Actually though, I understand that sometimes you need/want to get day drunk. Sometimes you also have to make emergency cake as a result of someone else’s day drunk. Is cool.


Anyway, the cake turned out pretty lovely. It’s based on a recipe for pumpkin slice I’ve been using for so many years I’ve forgotten where it came from. The icing I made up myself. The original slice uses just lemons and icing sugar for frosting, but I sincerely believe limes > lemons. For guacamole, for gin, for everything. Pfft, “lemons”.

(Shh. No, Actually I like lemons too, but limes rule so much more)

Anyway, now it’s October (month of pumpkins! – sort of) and since I last blogged I’ve done a huge presentation for uni, participated in a writer’s festival and moved house. And on Halloween it’s my birthday. Which is both horrifying and sweet. So here is a cake that I dare you to not want to eat right now. Along with a promise to be less remiss next time something like this is lurking in my to do list.

IMG_0762IMG_0755❤ These dorks.


2 cups brown sugar
2 cups cooked pumpkin
1 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
4 cups S.R. Flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp ginger
1 tsp salt

1 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup coconut oil

For on top:
slivered almonds

Combine sugar, pumpkin, oil and vanilla then add remaining ingredients. Cook in moderate oven 1-1.5 hrs OR until middle of cake springs back when touched. Combine coconut oil and icing sugar. Stir until smooth. Then add lime juice. Allow cake to cool. Ice cake. Dry fry almonds or roast in oven. Arrange on top of cake. Eat cake.

Epic four-tiered launch cake


I’ve been a little off my blogging game over the last couple of months. I put it down to having to juggle writing a thesis with other projects – “other projects” like making a giant fish piñata and cake for the launch of new comedy e-book anthology The Sturgeon General at 107 Projects. Of course I’ve also just been watching a lot of Gilmore Girls and going to Gatsby themed parties at The Victoria Room.

IMG_9648 IMG_9641 But back to the cake, because that’s what we’re all here for. A couple of weeks ago now I went through the process of baking and freezing four tiers of cake in three different flavours, so that on launch day I could ice together a layered monstrosity that had launch guests boggling at its height (not so much girth, it was pretty much regular cake-girth). IMG_9651 The frosting was this one here. Which is a highly unusual recipe using flour and sugar instead of confectioner’s sugar. It is amazing! But, of course I forgot that I no longer have any kind of electronic help in the whisking department and my icing turned out a lot less fluffy and white than I dreamed. It was tasty, and held together the cake component competently, but if you are going to make it try to remember to own some kind of electric mixy thing. Sometimes I am just so fucking hopeless at life/cooking/not being hungover when there are things to get done. Speaking of: the night was sponsored by Raidis Estate, who make pretty darn-tootin’ tasty wines. I’ll have to get my hands on some more for future cooking adventures. IMG_9330 The whole thing was pretty simple in the end – despite having to bake three cakes. I made a rose tea flavoured cake first up, using a cup of cooled rose tea for liquid. Then I whipped up an orange, almond and ginger cake, using almond meal, orange juice + zest and ground ginger; and finally I made a double batch of vanilla cake. IMG_9307 The decorations were also made by hand. While I was painting the sturgeon piñata I also painted both sides of a sheet of paper in the same orange. I then cut out little fish from the paper and glued them to the end of skewers using a square of the same paper as backing. After icing I arranged them with some silver cachous on top of the cake and VIOLA! You have my permission to pronounce this VIE-OH-LAH in your head (or aloud) IMG_9633 Anyway, the launch was super fun: the readers were all fucking hilarious and entertaining (which is so, so rare at any reading), the warm-up act was a blast, the piñata (eventually) got beaten to bits and most of the stupidly large cake was devoured. Good effort kids. You can buy the Sturgeon General on e-reader here. There are five collections from five authors who are all funny assholes deserving of your time. IMG_9509



Rose tea cake:
1 cup butter
2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
2 ¾ cups plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup rose flavoured black tea, steeped and cooled
1 tsp vanilla essence

Orange almond cake:
1 cup butter
2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
2 cups plain flour
¾ cup almond meal
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup orange juice
zest 1 orange
2 tsp ground ginger

Vanilla cake (double if you want four tiers):
1 cup butter
2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
2 ¾ cups plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla essence

Directions (same for all):
Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs one by one. Gradually add dry ingredients. Finally stir in wet ingredients. Bake at 160 degrees until cake is brown on top and doesn’t wiggle on top/ bounces back when touched. Depending on the cake/your oven this could take between 45min to 2 hours – more if you’re doing a double batch.