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A Healthy(ish) Carrot and Courgette cake for BBCR1 Breakfast show!

grimmy and cakeology

I had a brilliant cakey challenge to create a cake for Grimmy’s 3rd anniversary show. Grimmy is on a health kick right now so I decided to do a little bit of experimenting and mess about with some recipes to find a delish but healthy (ish) cake recipe.

I went for the This Is Your Life cake design as its a great one for special monumental celebrations as you can add tons of different piccys on to celebrate the occasion, and if you want to learn exactly how to make one yourself (shameless plug alert!!) check out page 139 of my new book, Cakeology!! Its a vintage patchwork cake and if you can use the exact same principles/technique but switch the fabric print for your own pics, you can create this cake for that special someone in your life.

I really enjoyed making this one. I used loads of the famous ‘Instagrim’ pics from the show so we had all the celebs on the cake that have been guests, and to tailor it for the special 3rd anni theme, I added some number 3’s images, various pics of Grimmy’s R1 escapades and also chucked in some brekkie pics (healthy ones of course, like Avocado toast, poached eggs, blueberries etc, all the on trend healthy food items)!

It was brilliant to go down to the show as I met Nick finally (I’ve done a few cakes for him in the past with my mate Dan P Carter; see below…one is VERY VERY rude so I’ve had to obscure part of it so I don’t cause any offence!

Very rude but a fine example of accuracy in Marzipan sculpture

Very rude but a fine example of accuracy in Marzipan sculpture

A huge Vanilla and Chocolate version of the classic MacDonald's fave

A huge Vanilla and Chocolate version of the classic MacDonald’s fave

Nick was lovely and good fun as I thought he would be…but an added bonus was I got to meet long time hero and legend David Walliams!! He asked about the cake and of course I had to take the opportunity to do an impression of one of his little Britain characters!! The funny Scottish guy that says ‘Carrot cake, Carrot cake, have ye any nuts?’ I am a bit of a loser but it was a good fan girl mo.

David Walliams in Little Britain.......

David Walliams in Little Britain…….

Luckily he found it mildly amusing and he was a good sport…..we went in the Instagrim Booth which was fun and he gave me a copy of his new book, Grandpas Great Escape!

what a bloomin nice bloke

what a bloomin nice bloke

The recipe was actually really good, not too sweet. I did have to use a little unrefined sugar, so I used some Billington’s light muscovado as its got a lovely fudgy caramel flavour, and I also used unrefined icing sugar for the filling which I lightened with some cream cheese so it wasn’t too sugary sweet.

So here’s the recipe if you want to try it I’d love to hear what you thought, its delish and a little bit healthy! Its got 2 of your five a day and I used coconut oil in place of veg oil as its favored for its healthier benefits plus I added a little glace ginger to pack a punch of flavour. Enjoy and I’d love to see your pics of your cakes!!

NB this recipe made enough to make a 6″ and 9″ square cake which i baked in 2 halves for each one as it is dense due to so much veg. As a guide i wouldn’t bake this more than an inch and a half in depth to be sure its not too heavy, better to bake thinner layers and stack them up.

600g grated Carrot
400g grated Courgette (squeeze the excess water out of this)
600g light muscovado sugar
375g melted coconut oil
10 lg free range eggs
300g raisins (you could use sultanas)
1kg self raisin flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp Nielsen Massey vanilla bean paste
2 tsp glace ginger (optional)
zest of 3 oranges
2 tsp ground cinnamon


Place your sugar and vanilla paste in a very large bowl and add your melted oil, thoroughly mix in. Beat your eggs and add these to the sugar and oil and stir well. chuck in your grated veggies, raisins, zest and glace ginger and give it a good old mix. In a seperate bowl combine your flour, spice and baking powder and then tip this into the veggie mix and gently stir, don’t over mix.

Pop into your prepared tins and bake on fan 160 or conventional oven 180 (all ovens vary so do keep a check) and bake until cooked through. a metal skewer or sharp knife will come out clean. for the larger cakes you’ll be looking at around 40 mins per half layer…..ish!


Cake inspiration: Oasis and V&A


The fantastic thing about making cakes I think is getting a spark of inspo from something and turning it into an edible creation. I am always getting #cakeinspo from all sorts of things, fashion, nature, interiors, other food and often wake up in the night with a cake dream that I will just NEED to give birth to, I must confess I’m a bit of a cake geek like that.

This week I had great fun working on a cake that was inspired by the amazing collaboration between Oasis and the V&A museum.

vanda oasis 5425361 54328005424119

The collection is so GORGEOUS and includes beautiful 18th century hand painted historical prints. I love the William Kilburn botanical one, but it’s SO but it’s hard to choose a favourite. I just knew this would be a perfect marriage with one of my signature designs, using little tiles of edible print, the Vintage Floral Patchwork cake so I could use a good variety of the prints together on one cake.

So I set to work icing my square Vanilla bean cake sponge in panels to give me a perfectly square look and make a good base for the box design. To decorate the cake in my patchwork design, I laid out the prints on edible icing paper set onto finely rolled out sugar paste, which I stuck on with vodka (well, it was the afternoon so I had a little V&T to accompany me at the work bench!) I carefully cut out each little tile using a royal icing straight edge ruler as a guideline template and left these to dry overnight.

The next day, bringing the cake to life was pretty simple. I piped on squiggles of stiff royal icing along the side of my cake and then placed the little print tiles onto the cake and spaced them out equally. Then I repeated this all up the side on all sides and finished across the top in the same manor.

The little tiles were then ‘grouted’ with sweet royal icing to fill in the gaps between the tiles, and to finish I piped a navy snail trail around the top, bottom and corners to finish the design.

I hope you like it, I just LOVE this and was thrilled to use the V&A prints for this cake.