Top ten 2012 cake trends

January 10, 2012

What you will be gorging on this year, (apparently)

Cakes and the baking movement are majorly on the up, thanks to the boom in TV baking shows such as Great British Bake Off in 2011. The term ‘cake’ has surged on web searches in the UK, knocking ‘chicken’ off its number one food-search hotspot. So, with cakes looking to be huge this year, in what forms are we likely to see our beloved sponge pop up over the next 12 months?

1. The rival cupcake for 2012 is looking rather Frenchified…The James Beard Foundation in New York predict that canelés are going to be the thing to pop in your bouche. Watch out for this little Bordeaux treat, with a crispy, caramelised crust and chewy, custardy middle, made from crêpe-like batter.

2. Others predict other French fancy, the macaroon will be the big hitter this year,  a good competitor surely, considering it’s darn cute to look at and can be reinvented in all sorts of colours and flavours, just as cupcakes have been.Maccaroons

3. Layered cake will be yet another cupcake rival, according to the blog. Now this sure is not something you can whip up in half an hour though!

Layered rainbow cake


4. But the cupcake craze isn’t dead, despite certain critics who find the food garish and rather kitsch…and The Guardian’s Charlie Brooker who claims “Cupcakes are for people who can’t handle reality“. But surely Mr Brooker the off-the-wall nature of the mini sponge is precisely its appeal?….


Cupcakes are still king of the bakes, in my book anyways

5. It’s all about moneysaving DIY cakes. Tough financial times have led people to become more resourceful with their cash, which means the bake at home trend is ever-growing. In uncertain times, we are likely to want to stick to trustworthy family recipes, says UK food and drink company My Secret Kitchen.

Cupcake batter

When the pennies are being stretched, get that apron on and bake your own

6. Cakes in a jar, a new way to present edible gifts. (But just be careful if you’re planning to take your present airborne, with airport officials now classing cake as a ‘potential weapon’ in some cases…)

DIY presents

In 2012 it’s all about the cake and the jar, ‘they’ say

7. Wedding cake trends: According to various wedding blogs, cupcake towers will still be big this year, along with beautifully crafted ‘cake pops’, macaroons and cookies, decorated in coordinated colours, says cupcake tower


With a general return of the ‘old school’ cake, 2012 will also see us reunited with the wedding dessert trolly, claims

8. Gluten free cooking. More and more people have been converting to G-free, as the category moves from a medical niche, to a mainstream empire, with more brits googling the term than ever. For these reasons many foodies, analysts and companies predict an ongoing boom in cakes, breads and such that don’t contain any of the belly-bloating ingredient.

9. South American treats. My Secret Kitchen also suggests South America will have a big influence on our eating habits. The Bakery Spot blog claims Argentinian Alfajores will be a big hitter: two round sweet biscuits held together by deliciously sickly dulce de leche (or jam). Alternatively the biscuits can be simply covered in black or white chocolate.Alfajores


10. Bit of Britishness, notes the year will be all about embracing our culture and heritage with major events such as the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics. You can see these special dates just crying out for ‘Will’s and Kate’ style cupcake fests as we wave our little union jack flags (nationalist or not, you will end up with one somehow at some point, there’s no escaping).

April Bakery claims the demand for huge, extravagant American style cupcakes, bulging in bright icing will ease, making way for more dainty, English-style cupcakes with natural flavours such as Vanilla, Lavender and Elderflower. Lovely.


15 minute sponge and custard fix

November 16, 2011

It’s cold and I need comfort food. Well hel-lo there 15-minute sponge pudding! You’re looking rather tempting…

Microwave sponge cake

A blob of sponge and custard could be in your bowl in less than half an hour (P.s thanks for the photo VBG)


I was delighted to stumble across this easy as anything recipe involving no-fuss, minimal ingredients and an appealing quarter of an hour turn-around which very much suits this evenings’ rather lazy but hungry (okay greedy) self.

Even a fool could cook this 

I doubled the recipe I found, which made enough for about four to five bowls.


  • 100g  butter
  • 100g  brown sugar
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 4 tablespoons of jam or syrup ( I went for Bonne maman jam, can’t go wrong)
  • Custard if you fancy


  • Mix in the butter and the sugar
  • Add your milk and eggs at the same time
  • Add the flour
  • Now you’re ready to cook!
  • Put about two teaspoons of jam at the bottom of each bowl. Share out te  ixture between the four bowls (you’ll probably put about two tablespoons of mix per bowl)
  • Put in the microwave. Cook on high power for 2 mins
  • It’s ready already can you believe!
  • Tip: It would be useful to have another pair of hands when making this to make sure the custard and sponge are ready at the same time.