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Cakes I baked with mum

Mother’s day is approaching and we’re getting all soft and gooey remembering our favourite family baking moments.

One of the first things I remember baking with my mum is the humble flapjack. I don’t think my mum’s recipe is actually even technically flapjack because they contain flour but I still believe they are the best flapjack in the world. They’re super gooey and Mum used to let my brother and I put whatever we wanted in them – chocolate drops, nuts, chocolate drops, raisins, chocolate drops… It stands out as one of my greatest childhood pleasures to lick the bowl after the mixture had gone in the oven and I truly hope it’s a tradition I can share with my family in the future. – Abbie


I have a terrible confession for someone with such a sweet tooth: my Mum doesn’t like cake. I get my sweet tooth from Dad, with whom I share a great fondness for the world’s best chelsea bun (from Fitzbillies in Cambridge. You can’t imagine how good it is until you eat it), but Mum just isn’t interested in sweet things. But if there’s one recipe conjures childhood memories of summer and my dear Mum, it’s her signature strawberry shortbread – her one concession to sweet baked goods. Crisp, buttery, and just-so sweet shortbread discs, baked to perfection using Granny’s recipe and layered with whipped cream and fresh summer strawberries. Bliss. Thank you, Mum. – Vicky 

Strawberry shortcake

When my brother and I were little, one of our favourite things to do was park ourselves at the table in the kitchen for an afternoon and make a mountain of multi-coloured fairy cakes with our Mum. She’d set us up with bowls, whisks, and wooden spoons and we’d happily get cracking, all the while discussing what elaborate toppings we were going to add to them, what colour schemes we were going to try this week, and whether we should dare to risk attempting the slightly trickier butterfly cupcakes?! Obviously the wait for them to cook was always excruciating, made only slightly more bearable by the delicious smell wafting through the house, but when they were finally out, perfectly formed and untouched just waiting to be smothered in pink icing and eatable glitter, it was the best feeling ever! – Jeska 

fairy cakes

My mum used to always make Barbie a skirt made of cake for my birthday: I recall having to give her up for a couple of days to be clad in a foil petticoat then placed into a sponge skirt, bedecked with sparklers. When I think of how close that plastic hair was to flame… Anyway, that was way better use of Barbie than when my brothers used to use her as a target when they practiced shooting their air rifle. – Ella

barbie cake

The recipe I would like to pass onto my daughter is a classic Victoria Sandwich (fun / geeky fact: It’s actually a Victoria ‘sandwich’ not a ‘cake’ because that doesn’t have fat in it). It’s not a fancy, big clever cake but it’s a recipe that will save you and carry you through so many occasions; you can whip it up quickly if someone pops by unannounced, you usually have all the ingredients and it’s a really simply recipe. I had a sponge tier on my wedding cake as it conjured up memories of visits from friends and family growing up.
You can’t go wrong with Mary Berry’s sponge recipe… – Elizabeth 

Victoria Sandwich

Although my mum is not much of a baker we do have a family baking mystery: the recipe to the famed “gâteau Bobonne”. It was allegedly passed down from my great-grandmother (Bobonne) to her daughter and so on. My grandmother makes it every year for her birthday in July. As far as I can tell it is made up solely of butter and chocolate (although there must be a pinch of flour in there somewhere) and covered in a thin layer of marzipan. It is the most chocolaty thing I have ever tasted and goes amazingly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. My numerous attempts to recreate it have sometimes come close to the mark but it simply never IT, I am still not giving up hope. – Marie

chocolate cake

This Article was inspired by Alysa Levene’s book Cake 

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