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Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream

One of my many weaknesses is ginger . . .  ginger anything really  . . . but especially gingerbread and gingerbread cakes!  Oh boy, they are truly one thing I cannot resist.

This fabulous Gingerbread Cake is one of my absolute favourites.  Why? Because it is easy to throw together and the end result is moist and delicious with a beautiful crumb.  

On its own it is a beautiful cake, baked in a Bundt pan and dusted with icing sugar.  That is my preferred tin to bake it in as it is really pretty, but you can also bake it in a 9 inch square tin or even in cupcake or muffin tins.  Do remember that you will need to adjust the bake times accordingly.

You could of course enjoy it plain, or warm with a lemon sauce, or ice cream. Or you could just enjoy it cold and spread with butter (don't judge!).

My favourite way to enjoy it however is with a lovely thick dollop of Lemon Cream!

Another easy make, I have included the directions for that in the recipe.

It is as easy as whipping some double cream and folding in some good quality lemon curd. 

It truly is delicious, trust me on this  . . . 

The cake and cream together are a marriage made in heaven! 

It really is a delicious combination!

I was only going to have a little taste today . . .  I promise  . . .  but before I knew it  . . .

Yield: Makes 16 servings

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream

prep time: 10 minscook time: 45 minstotal time: 55 mins
This delicious gingerbread cake comes together easily and can be baked in a variety of cake tins. You can bake it in an 8-cup bundt tin, a 9 inch deep square tin, or in muffin cups, adjusting the time for baking as required. The smaller the tins, the less time will be needed.


For the Cake
  • 350g cake flour (2 1/2 cups) (to make cake flour, measure out flour and remove 5 TBS and replace with 5 TBS cornflour/cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp each ground cloves and allspice
  • 125g butter at room temperature (1/2 cup)
  • 50g soft dark brown sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 350g mild molasses (1 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 240ml hot water (1 cup)
  • Icing sugar to dust
For the Lemon Cream:
  • 240ml double cream (1 cup)
  • 72g good quality or homemade lemon curd (1/3 cup)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4.  Butter and dust your chosen pans lightly with flour, shaking out any excess.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt and spices.  Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and brown sugar in a bowl.  Beat in the egg and vanilla, until well incorporate.
  4. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the hot water, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Pour into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes (bundt pan) or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before tipping out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. When you are ready to serve beat the cream until it forms soft peaks  Fold in the lemon curd to combine.  To serve, dust the cake with icing sugar and cut into slices, accompanying each slice with a nice dollop of lemon cream.
Created using The Recipes Generator

This is all that was left of that piece . . .  Oopsie!  Happy weekend! 

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Marie Rayner
Fudgy Flapjacks

Fudgy Flapjacks

I must apologise upfront if you came here looking for pancakes!  I'm not talking about that kind of flapjack!  Here in the UK, on the Isle of Mann, in Ireland and yes, surprisingly . . .  Newfoundland, a flapjack is a oaty bar, baked in a flat tin in the oven and then cut into squares or rectangles. 

Typically it is made from four basic ingredients.  Oats, butter, golden syrup and sugar.  This results in a dryer version of a flapjack.  Today's version has the inclusion of sweetened condensed milk, which will give you a fudgier, less crumbly version.

Both are delicious.  Both are simple to make.  You can find my recipe for the regular ones here . . .  four perfect ingredients.

Flapjacks are quite sweet . . . but glorious.  I suppose this is why they are so enjoyed with a hot cup of tea or a cold glass of milk.  Children absolutely love them! 

No surprise there!

The addition of sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk) results in a chewier flapjack, not quite so dry as the other ones . . .  an attribute which I quite enjoy. 

I can remember the first time I saw a flapjack here in the UK.  I wasn't quite sure what to make of them.  I wasn't sure that I was actually going to like them  . . .

I was actually quite, quite surprised.  It was love at first bite!

This is the kind of treat I dreamt about all those years ago when I was devouring Enid Blyton books and wondering about Tuck Boxes  . . .

These are great keepers and perfect for the Tuck Box! 

They also freeze very well  . . .

Perfect for tucking into lunch boxes and picnic baskets  . . . .

Perfect for enjoying as a sneaky mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack  . . .

In short, pretty perfect no matter how you wish to enjoy them, and I guarantee you will enjoy them! 

Yield: 25

Fudgy Flapjacks

prep time: 10 minscook time: 30 minstotal time: 40 mins
Using condensed milk helps to create a dense fudgy flapjack.  Flapjacks are oaty bars here in the UK.  Perfect for enjoying with a hot cuppa or a cold glass of milk.


  • 125g butter (1/2 cup)
  • 100g golden syrup (generous 1/4 cup,  3.5 oz)
  • 90g  caster sugar (1/2 cup fine granulated sugar)
  • 280g porridge oats (3 1/2 cups)
  • half to a full tin  (397g) sweetened condensed milk (14 oz tin)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F gas mark 4.  Line an 8 inch square baking tin with greaseproof paper.  Set side
  2. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup together in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring often.  Do not allow to boil.  Add the condensed milk and vanilla (1/2 of the tin).  Cook, stirring for a further 5 minutes until the mixture turns a shade darker.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the porridge oats.  You may need some extra oats, depending on whether your oats are  jumbo oats or not. You want a mixture which is well filled with oats, but not stiff.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin, smooth out and flatten in the tin.
  5. Bake for between 12 and 30  minutes, turning the pan around halfway through the bake time to help them bake evenly.  If they are browning too quickly or you are afraid they might burn, turn the oven temperature down  slightly. They are done when the edges are browning slightly, whilst the centre is just turning golden.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin for 25 to 30 minutes before lifting out and cutting into squares.
Created using The Recipes Generator

These were baked to enjoy with some yogurt for a teatime dessert.  I think you need to give them a go.  I think you will find that they are incredibly tasty and invariably moreish!  How's that for a tasty mouthful!  Todd just loves these.  

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Marie Rayner
Little Meatball Soup

Little Meatball Soup

One thing I have always loved doing it just going into my cupboard or larder, or freezer and seeing what I have available to throw together a delicious meal for us.

Its just something that I have always done and something that I enjoy.  I see it as a challenge that I am very happy to rise to!

There used to be a show on the telly when I first moved over here on which celebrity Chef's would race against the clock to create several delicious dishes from the ingredients in a bag brought to the show by the contestants.  Two contestants, two chefs and an allotted period of time in which to accomplish said challenge.

At the end of the time period, the contestants would taste and comment on the chef's dishes and the audience would vote on which chef had produced the tastiest dishes.  I'm probably not explaining it very well, but hopefully you get the picture.  The show was called Ready Steady Cook. 

Of course there was a vast store cupboard of basic ingredients available to put together with the ingredients in the bag! 

So today I took a package of macaroni, a tin of tomatoes, some stock cubes and a pound of Italian sausage and challenged myself to come up with something tasty.

Of course I could have just done the basic, and skinned the sausage and crumbled it into a sauce with the tomatoes, and mixed that into cooked macaroni and baked it.  I am sure that would have been quite tasty too . . .  but instead this is what I did. 

I cooked the macaroni, rinsed and set it aside.   

I skinned the sausage and shaped it into tiny meatballs   . . .

With the tinned tomatoes, I added fresh minced onions and garlic and a few seasonings to create a chunky tomato soup broth. Use a good quality tinned tomato. This is one of the main ingredients so you want a tinned tomato with a great flavour.  For me that is always Cirio tomatoes and tomato puree.  Fresh from the vine flavours  . . .

I poached the little sausage meatballs in the tomato broth  . . .

And then I threw in the cooked macaroni and heat it through . . .

Ladled into hot soup bowls with a smattering of grated Parmesan cheese scattered over top, it went down a real treat on this cold . . .  wet . . .  wet . . . day.  Crusty bread on the side is a must.

Yield: 4 - 6

Little Meatball Soup

prep time: 10 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 30 mins
There are no two ways about it, this is one delicious bowl of soup!  Serve with some crusty bread for a hearty meal that will please the whole family!


  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
For the soup:
  • 230g dry macaroni (2 cups)
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 TBS tomato puree (tomato paste)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
  • 2 (400g) tins of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice, undrained (28 ounces)
  • 950ml chicken stock (4 cups)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 45g grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)
  • chopped fresh basil (a good handful, about 1/4 cup)


  1. Remove the casings from the sausages.  Using wet hands, shape
    the meat  into 1/2 inch in diameter sized meatballs.  Set aside in a cool

  2. Cook the macaroni as per package instructions in  a
    large pot of salted water.  Drain well.  Rinse in cold water and drain
    again.  Set aside.

  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onions.
    Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, without browning. Stir in
    the tomato puree, garlic, and thyme.  Cook until very fragrant.  Add the
     tomatoes and broth.  Add the meatballs and cook at a simmer, without
    stirring, until the meatballs are tender and cooked through, about 15 to
     20 minutes.  Stir in the pasta.  and season with salt and black pepper
    to taste. 

  4. Spoon into heated bowls, topping each serving with some Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
Created using The Recipes Generator

What would you make if you had the same ingredients to work with . . .  a tin of tomatoes, a pound of Italian sausage and a package of macaroni?  I would love to know!  Bon Appetit! 

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Marie Rayner
Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Jam

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Jam

We are having the Missionary Sisters come to us for supper tonight.  Its been a while since we have had Missionary Sisters in the Chester area, so we are quite excited about that!

I love feeding all of the Missionaries, but its always more exciting to me to feed the Sisters.  You can cook for them things that you wouldn't cook for the guys.   

You can do things for them like have picnics, or tea parties.  I suppose you could also do that for the guys, but they wouldn't appreciate it in quite the same way as the girls do, if you know what I mean! 

You can cook daintier, more feminine things for the girls.  Things like cupcakes.  Yummy scrummy cupcakes.

This recipe I am sharing today is one from the Martha Stewart Cupcake Cookbook.  I have had the book for a very long time now, but believe it or not this is the first recipe I am using from it! 

Lemon Yogurt Cupcakes With Raspberry Jam.  I am not really good with fiddly stuff.  I don't think I have the patience.  These are not fiddly.  That is the one thing that drew me to this recipe. 

Simple and not fiddly, plus the flavours of lemon and raspberry of course!  I love both those things.  I also love cake with jam.

For some reason hers were not domed like mine, so she was able to get three layers, with two layers being jam.  Mine domed and three layers were not practical.  Perhaps it was the size of my muffin cups.

In any case these are beautiful and light! 

Rich and flavourful  . . .

Everything a good cupcake should be.  Tender and moist  . . .

With just enough lemon flavour  . . . its there, but its subtle . . . it doesn't slap you in the face.

She used seedless raspberry jam.  I used regular raspberry jam  . . .  Bonne Maman of course.  Its the best, seeded or not! 

Oh how I wish I could give you one of these so you could see how very delicious and perfect they are for yourself!

I just know the girls are going to love them.  I am serving them old style . . .  with vanilla ice cream on the side.  Cake and ice cream. You can't get much better than that!

Yield: Makes 24

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Jam

prep time: 15 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 35 mins
These cupcakes are anything but ordinary.  Delicious.


  • 345g butter (1 1/2 cups)
  • 385g of plain flour (2 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large free range eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 240g of granulated sugar (1 1/4 cup)
  • 1 TBS finely grated lemon zest, plus 4 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 185g full fat plain yogurt (3/4 cup)
  • jam for filling
  • icing sugar to dust


  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas
    mark 4.  Brush two medium muffin tins with softened butter and dust with
     flour, shaking out any excess.
  2. Beat together the butter and 3/4 of the sugar until light and creamy. 
    Beat in the extract, lemon juice, lemon zest and then the egg yolks, one
     at a time.
  3. Whisk together the flour, soda, baking powder and salt.

  4. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue to beat, adding the remaining sugar, until stiff and glossy but not dry.

  5. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture in
    three batches, beginning and ending with dry, alternating with the
    yogurt (in two additions).  Fold in the beaten egg whites.

  6. Spoon into the prepared muffin tins.  Bake in the
    preheated oven for 20 minutes, rotating the tins half way through the
    bake time.  When done a toothpick inserted in the centre should come out
     clean.  Let cool completely in the tins.

  7. Once cold, cut in half horizontally,  Spread the cut side with jam, replacing the top.  Dust with icing sugar.  Serve.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I am not sure why I am not a lover of fiddly things.  I love to look at them.  I just don't like making fiddly things.  Perhaps working at the Manor cured me of ever wanting to do fiddly, I don't know.  I am more than capable of doing it . . .  I just don't want to.  Anyways, bake these cupcakes.  You are sure to love them!  I guarantee!  Bon Appetit!   Or as Martha would say . . .  "Its a good thing."

Note - I noticed that they did absorb some of the jam as they sat so I would recommend filling and dusting just before serving.  The flavour was not altered, but the appearance was a bit when you cut them open.  They were still delicious!

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Marie Rayner

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