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Apricot Banana Cake

Note: No eggs, butter or cream etc. in this cake

You may need a little extra flour if the mixture looks too wet. It should stand up on a spoon, not dribble out of it.

Time taken: 1 hour

Ease of making: Moderate

Serves: About 15-20 solid slices

You'll need:

1 large extra ripe, squishy banana – don't try this with a hard banana. It won't have the correct flavour or texture

20 dried apricot halves

20 dates, minus stones

2 cups water

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 cup SR flour (may need a bit more)

Optional: 1 apple and 1 tsp nutmeg



Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Grease and flour a wide-ish cake tin, this cake needs to be shallow, not deep. You can also line the tin with baking paper. 

If you don't have a cake tin, try making it in two empty cans.

Mix in all the other ingredients except the apple.

Pour into pan. I sometimes cut the apple into slices and press the slices into the cake, narrow side down, then dust the top with nutmeg.
 Bake for 40 minutes or till the top is brown and springs back when you touch it lightly in the middle.

Don't worry – if you're quick you won't burn your fingers. (But don't let kids try this in case they bump on the oven tray – which will burn them.)

Store in a sealed container when cool. Eat within three days – it goes gluggy and also grows green whiskers. 

Chocolate Zuchinni cake

185gm butter/margarine

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/5 cups self raising flour

1/5 cups grated zucchini

2 tsp grated orange rind

1/4 cup cocoa

three quarters of a cup milk


Preheat oven to 200ºC 

Cream butter and sugar.

Add eggs fold in other ingredients. Grease and flour a cake tin.

Pour in batter bake for about 50 minutes till it feels firm and springs back when you press the top lightly. Leave 5 minutes before turning out on rack. Ice when cool


Rich chocolate icing:

125gm dark chocolate, melted

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup icing sugar, (or more if seems runny)

Mix all ingredients.

Refrigerate till mixture is thick enough to spread.

(Add more sugar if it isn't thick after an hour).

Deliciously Easy Lemon White Chocolate Cake with Lemon Ganache​

This cake is gorgeous, rich, decadent, easy to make and stays fresh for a fortnight or possibly more. 

In a saucepan mix:
1.5 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup milk
250g butter
200g white chocolate

Melt gently on low, stirring all the time.



2 eggs

4 tsps lemon essence and/or lemon zest
Beat well



1.5 cups plain flour

1/2 cup SR flour

Fold in gently.


Pour into a pan lined with baking paper.
Bake at 150ºC (SLOW) for 1.5-2 hours – this will depend on  the shape of your pan. The thicker it is the slower it will cook. It will be firm and light brown on top.

Cool before icing with:

Lemon ganache:
½ cup cream
1 cup white chocolate
3 tsp lemon essence and/or 1 tbsp lemon zest
½ cup icing mixture.


Melt chocolate in the cream on low, stirring all the time.

Do not boil.

Mix in the icing sugar and lemon zest then leave in the fridge to cool for an hour.
Ice cake.

Murderess’s Apple cake


This cake was baked by a French mass murderer in the 1850s and ‘60s in the apple growing area of Normandy. It was so stunningly delicious that no one could resist it, arsenic and all. She even took it around to the grieving families of the deceased, who ate it in their turn all unsuspecting.


You'll need:

Absolutely no arsenic whatsoever (this is important)

1 tbsp sultanas or seedless raisins

1 tbsp Calvados or rum or apple juice at a pinch

100 gm butter

100 gm caster sugar

2 eggs plus one yolk

225 gms SR flour

2 tbsp mixed peel or marmalade

2 tbsp chopped almonds (or other nuts)

pinch cinnamon and nutmeg

three apples, peeled cored and sliced at the last moment or they'll turn brown

2 tbsp brown sugar



Preheat oven to 180C

Soak the sultanas in the rum overnight or for an hour or two.

Butter and flour a cake tin, or line with baking paper.

Cream butter and caster sugar; add eggs one by one then the extra yolk, then fold in the sultanas, marmalade, nuts and flour.

Pour into a cake pan – a wide lamington pan is perfect, as the cake should be about the height of your little finger.

Now press the slices of apple into the cake, sharp end downwards. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and spices.

Bake for about an hour and a quarter. It's ready when a skewer comes out clean.

Leave in the tin for ten minutes before turning out to cool.

Pumpkin Fruit cake

1 cup mashed pumpkin

125 gms butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla essense

500gm sultanas, or mixed fruit (I prefer just sultanas)

2 cups self raising flour

Line a large tin with two layers of baking paper.


Cream butter and sugar; add eggs one by one; then pumpkin, vanilla and fruit, then the flour.

The mixture should be quite moist, but if is seems too dry (which it may be if the pumpkin is dryish) then add a little milk or water or orange juice.

Pour the mix into the tin; bake at 200 C for one hour or till it's brown on top and a skewer comes out clean.

This cake is rich, moist, a wonderful deep golden colour and very, very good.

Pumpkin Cake

This is one of my favourite cakes: not too heavy with eggs and butter but still moist, and you can pretend it's very good for you as it's mostly spice and pumpkin.

ps for any kid that hates pumpkin- I hated it too when I was a kid. I thought it looked like dog vomit and probably tasted like it too(no, I never tasted dog vomit)

But I bet I would have loved this cake.


Half cup butter or marg

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup mashed pumpkin

2 cups SR flour

half teaspooon each cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and  ginger (leave out the ones you don't have- still good if it's less spiced)

half cup buttermilk or light sour cream

half a cup chopped macadamias, or chopped pecans or chopped hazenuts or sliced almonds


Cream butter, sugar, spices; add eggs one by one; fold in flour and liquid gently. Pour into a greased pan or one lined with baking paper. Scatter on chopped nuts. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C till the room smells wonderfully of spiced pumpkin and the cake springs back when you press it gently in the centre- about 35 minutes.

Great without icing, but as Bryan thinks icing is the best part of a cake I ice ours with lemon icing, ginger icing, or chocolate icing.

Pumpkin rock cakes

Place spoonfuls of the mix on a greased baking tray. Bake for 10 -15 minutes. Half a cup of mixed peel or 2 tbsps grated lemon or orange zest are good additions.

Pumpkin Muffins

Bake in patty cases or a muffin tray. Again, a little orange or lemon zest are good additions.

Hazelnut Gluten Free Pastry Cases with  Quick Lemon Butter
You'll need:

2 cups ground hazelnuts

2 egg whites

2 tbsp caster sugar


Preheat oven to  150º C 

Beat egg white till thick; beat in sugar till dissolved.

Add as much hazelnut as possible.

Roll out between two layers of  baking paper till thin.

Peel off top later.

Cut squares from the lower layer, paper and all, and line  cupcake tins, paper side down.

Push the sharp edged down so they look rounded.

Bake till firm.

You can take them out early if you want a soft pastry, or leave them longer if you like it crisp.

Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a fortnight.

Fill just before eating.

Microwave Lemon Butter


You'll need:

2/3 - 1 cup lemon juice

2/3 - 1 cup castor sugar

250 gm butter

5 eggs



Chop butter.

Melt in microwave.

Add sugar, juice, then eggs.

Beat well.

Microwave mixture on high 30 seconds.

Beat well.

Repeat two or three times till thick and creamy.

Store in clean sealed jars in the fridge for up two weeks.

Bee Sting Cake

This is very, very good and almost worth fighting the bees off to eat it. Or just don't take it outside.

You'll need:

200gm butter/margarine

1 tbsp finely grated orange rind

1/2 cup  yoghurt

1 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

2 cups SR flour

1/2 cup (or a little more) orange juice



1/2 cup honey

1 tsp finely grated orange rind

1 cup water



Cream butter, rind and sugar.

Add eggs one by one.

Add flour, juice and yoghurt.

Mix gently.

Place in greased tray and bake 30 mins or till golden brown at 200ºC. Remove from oven.

Pour hot syrup on at once.

Slice into squares. Store in a sealed container away from bees.

If you want to be really luxurious, cut slices in half and spoon on honey sauce as well.

Syrup: Boil for 3 minutes.

GrAndma's Apple Cake

Start by:

Peeling as many apples as will fit in your pot, and remove cores.

Throw scraps to chooks
Add enough water to cover the bottom to about the depth of the length of your thumb. Add more if necessary but the apples will relate juice.
DO not add sugar- it toughens the fruit.
Stir often or it will catch on the base.
Add sugar to taste when sludgy.

Pre heat oven to 200C


For the cake you'll need:
125 butter
1/2 cup sr flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup castor sugar
1 tb vanilla paste
2 eggs



Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one by one.

Add other ingredients PLUS about 1/2 cup of the apple, the most moist bit (the juice will have floated to the sides and top.)
Place in a loaf plan or even 6 coffee mugs, lined with baking paper.
Top with splodges of stewed apple, about 1 cup.

Bake about 30 minutes or till the top looks cooked, especially the edges around the apple which may stay squiggly till the cake is properly cooked.
Cool in pan.
Place on plate. Eat with in two days or keep in the fridge, but truly, keeping it intact for two hours is difficult.
Also good served hot or cold with ice-cream.



You'll need:

200g butter
1  1/2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
3 tbsp grated lemon zest 
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup cream
1.2 cup SR flour
1 1/2  cups plain flour


2 cups pure icing sugar

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp lemon  juice or a little more or less.

(Try 2 to begin with and add the other only if needed. The icing should be stiffish.)



Preheat oven to 200ºC

Beat butter and sugar till soft. Add eggs one by one till well beaten.

Gently fold in other ingredients.
Place in a large cake tin lined with baking paper.

Scrape in batter.
Bake 40 minutes to an hour- depends on shape of tin- till firm and play brown on top.
Cool in tin.
Remove. Ice when completely cold..

Mugachino puds

You need:
6 coffee mugs

(or divide mix by three and make 2 mugs only)

1 saucepan


Melt 2 large tbsps butter/marg in the pan.


half cup milk

three quarters cup brown sugar

2 tbsps cocoa

1 cup self raising flour

Mix. Divide into mugs.

Pour over 2 HOT mugs of coffee sweetened with 6 teaspoons sugar.

Place mugs in a baking tray. Add water to about a quarter of the way up. Bake in moderate oven ie 200 C for about 30 minutes.


Run a knife around the inside of the mug to loosen the pud and tip out. There will be a thick coffee sauce at the bottom. Serve with cream and icecream.

Moist, Muddy and Marvellous White Chocolate Cake

You'll need:

395g white chocolate chips or roughly broken white chocolate (not choc melts)
200g butter
1 cup cream
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp (yes, tbsp) vanilla paste
3 eggs, lightly beaten (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
1/2 cup SR flour
1 ½ cup plain flour

White Chocolate Icing (or ganache if you want to be fancy)
200g white chocolate chips or pieces
½ cup icing sugar
1/3 cup cream


Preheat oven to 160ºC

Put oven at 160 degrees.
Line a large cake tin with two layers baking paper
Melt chocolate, butter, cream and sugar in a pan on the lowest possible heat, sitting till smooth. 
Take off heat as soon as the chocolate has melted Leave to cool for 15 minutes.
Beat in eggs well, one by one, and then the vanilla.
Add half the flour, mix in gently, then the rest of the flour.
Scrape the now thick mixture into the pan.
Bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until very very light brown on top and firm when you press it. A knife will come out clean (ie no sticky bits when you gently push it into the middle. Don’t worry- the hole closes up if the cake is hot.)
If the cake is browning too fast, cover the top of the tin with a baking tray.
Remove cake from oven. Leave in the tin covered in a CLEAN fresh tea towel till cool.
Carefully invert onto a plate.
Ice. Don’t try to ice a warm cake- the icing will melt.
Spread icing evenly over the top. If you wish, make double layer cake by halving the cake and putting a layer of icing between the two halves.
This cake is excellent the day day it is made; better the second day; and extremely good for a week kept in a sealed container in the fridge.
Decorate as lavishly as you desire. I usually find a few strawberries or raspberries are enough, but for a birthday- go all out!
Or see Linda Bunn of Braidwood if you want it turned into something truly extraordinary! 

Rhubarb with Orange Rice Pudding

This way the rhubarb doesn’t turn

stringy or mushy and keeps its structural integrity.
This is a good dessert and it’s a good luxury breakfast too, hot in winter or cold in summer. Yes, it’s sweet, but so are most cereals.
You'll need:

12 stems of rhubarb leaves and tough ends removed. Do not feed these to the chooks, take them straight to the compost.
2 cups cooked rice (different rices give different results, all good)
2 tbsps grated orange zest
1 tb Cointreau (can be omitted but flavour won’t be as rich)
6 tbsps caster sugar
 1 cup cream
4 large fresh eggs
Line a baking dish with the stems of rhubarb,
Sprinkle with caster sugar.
Bake at 200º C for 10 minutes.
Mix the remaining ingredients and spread over the cooked rhubarb.
Sprinkle with grated nutmeg.
Bake till firm on top and slightly brown – about 20-30 minutes. (The shallower the dish, the faster it will cook. A deep dish will take longer)
This is also good cooked in individual serves in small bowls or coffee mugs.

Volcanic Muffins

When your grandson asks for rainbow cupcakes and they turn volcanic...wills serve with warm raspberry sauce next time for the true magma experience

You'll need:
250g butter
1 cup cream
1 tbsp vanilla paste
4 eggs 
1 cup plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup cream
1/2 cup choc melts
edible red, blue green food colouring, 
natural freeze dried fruit, powders if possible


Preheat oven to 200C - this is important or they won't rise
Lightly grease a cupcake pan or line with cupcake papers
Cream butter and sugar; add eggs one by one, beating well before you add the next, or the mix will curdle. 
Add vanilla, cream, flours and mix lightly.
Separate batter into 4 quarters.
Microwave chocolate for 1 minute on medium or in a bowl over boiling water.  *Do not overheat or it will be grainy - it will have kept it's shape but be soft to touch.*
Mix 1/4 of the mix with the melted chocolate, 
Then spoon in this mixture to the cupcake pan.
Lay 1/4 plain mix on top of chocolate.
Mix red food colouring into 1/4 mix. 
Place a thick dab right in the middle of each cupcake. Do not spread it to the edges.
Divide remaining mix between green and blue- or use more chocolate - and surround the red, not quite covering it in the middle. Bake for about 1/2 hour or till they have well risen and are firm on top.
Serve with pureed raspberries for the true magma look.

Chocolate Flourless Apple Cake


3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp golden syrup

4 cups ground almonds

150 gm dark chocolate

1 cup brown sugar

4 eggs

1 cup chopped almonds


Sauté the apples in the butter till soft, then add the golden syrup and cook for another couple of minutes. Take off the heat to cool.

Melt the chocolate as above. Mix in the sugar, then the eggs one by one, then the almonds.

Pour into a greased or baking paper-lined cake tin. Smooth the apple mixture over the top, then scatter on the chopped almonds. Bake for about 1½ hours at 200 ºC. Cool in the tin and remove with care. If possible use a spring-form cake tin where the base can be unclipped.

Incredibly Chocolatey Chocolate Cake
 Apologies all who've been asking for this one - here it is at last!

You'll need:

100 grams extremely good dark chocolate
250 grams butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
½ cup SR flour
1 cup plain flour
½ cup Kahlua


Preheat oven to 200ºC.

Melt butter and chocolate with the sugar in the microwave on short bursts of 30 seconds.

Don’t overcook the chocolate or it will go grainy – it will keep its shape long after it has melted. You should just be able to beat it all together.

Now beat in the eggs one by one, then fold in flour and Kahlua.

Pour into a tin lined with baking paper. Bake for about an hour, until the top springs back when you press it gently.

Leave for 20 minutes in the tin before you tip it out onto a rack to cool.

Good by itself, dusted with icing sugar. Or cover it with icing or whipped cream.

For a dessert, serve it with ice cream.


Passion fruit Pudding


Oct 1 used to be the official start of 'pudding season'. Actually they were meat puddings, as autumn was the time to kill meat for winter, but it seems a very good festival to revive! So to inaugurate pudding season once again: 

Two half cups of castor sugar

2 tb butter, melted

3 eggs separated

2 teaspoons grated rind

third of a cup juice (if using passionfruit add the juice of a lemon too, and use lemon rind)

half cup self raising flour

1 cup milk


Beat egg yolks and half cup sugar till pale; add rind, butter, flour, juice, milk.

Beat whites till stiff; add hafl cup sugar. Mix slowly and carefully into the other mixture.

Pour into an oven dish, or six small dishes. Place in a baking dish, place in a preheated oven to 200C; pour hot water into the baking dish till it's about half way up the dish with the pud in it.


Bake 50 minutes for a large pud; about 30 for small ones. They should be golden brown but not burnt on top, and have separated into a light sponge on top with lots of creamy sauce underneath.

Serve with cream and icecream, though they are very good without.

Pineapple and Roses Fruit Cake

(Very rich and good)

Take 1 cup sherry, rum or whisky. Fill a jar with scented rose petals then pour in the alcohol. Soak the petals in the alcohol for an hour; replace with more petals; continue till the alcohol smells fragrant. Instead of roses you can use carnations, orange blossom or scented dianthus.

Now mix:

the scented alcohol

3 cups sultanas

1 cup currants

2 cups chopped crystalised cherries

2 cups chopped glace or dried pineapple

half a cup pineapple or apricot jam

3 tb grated fresh orange rind or lemon rind or both mixed

1 cup finely chopped fresh or canned pineapple

1 cup brown sugar

juice of 1 lemon

Cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge. Leave for at least 3 days...3 weeks is even better!

Now melt 250gm butter; take off the heat and mix in five eggs one by one; then add half a cup of ground almonds and 2 cups of plain flour and the fruit mixture. Mix gently but well...don't keep beating though once it's all amalgamated.

Place in a deep cake tin; I line the edges with baking paper. Bake at about 150C for 4 hours. if the cake seems to be browning too fast turn the h eat down.

Cool in tin before turning out. Wrap in alfoil and keep till Christmas. I make more of the rose mixture and dribble a little on the cake every week.

Peppermint Pelargonium/Geranium Cake

Line your cake tin with peppermint pelargonium leaves.

Beat 185 gm butter or margarine with 2 cups of brown sugar; add 3 eggs one by one, one and half cups self raising flour and half cup plain flour, two thirds of a cup of cocoa, 1 cup cream, 1 teaspoon peppermint essence but if you don't have the peppermint pelargonium leaves, add two do need to add some because the leaves will only flavour the outside of the cake.

Pour in the pan; bake for 45 minutes at 200C; ice it when cool if you like icing.

Peach cake


You'll need:

3 cups sliced cooked, canned or softened dried yellow peaches, sliced
250g butter
1.5 cups caster sugar
1/2 cup flour
1.5 cups plain flour
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla paste
1 tsp fresh ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup cream



Preheat oven to 150C

Line large cake tin with baking paper.
Beat sugar and butter till soft in a large bowl.

Beat in eggs one by one.

(Don't over-beat or the cake will be tough, not velvety tender, ie do the mixing by hand.  It's good exercise.) 

Add vanilla then gently add flours and cream.
Pour a third of the mix in the tin.

Add a layer of peaches.
Add the rest of the mixture.

Place peaches neatly arranged on top. (Says she who is never neat. But try.)
Dust with spices.
Place in oven for about two hours. At 1.5 hours, or if looking brown, cover top with a baking tray.

This also helps to keep it moist.
Check after two hours. If firm, remove from oven.

Leave in tin for twenty minutes.

Turn onto plate carefully. Eat warm or cold, as cake or dessert with cream.
A stunner, everything a cake should be.

NP: If using gluten-free four, add 1 cup of extra finely-diced peaches in the mix to help keep it moist.


You can substitute almond essence for vanilla for an equally delicious result. 

Sweet Potato Rock Cakes


The sweet potato makes these moist and naturally sweet – as well as good for you – as it includes sweet potato, olive oil, blueberries, dried fruit and nuts. The only villain is the sugar, which you can reduce or even leave out if you're used to a low sugar diet – it's used for sweetening in this recipe, not texture, and the fruit and sweet potato will add natural sweetness. It's also healthier made with whole wheat instead of white flour.

  • 125 ml olive oil

  • 1 cup caster sugar plus 2 tbsp extra

  • 1 cup SR flour

  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato, peeled then boiled, microwaved or baked

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries OR currants

  • 1 cup macadamia nuts or other nuts (optional but good for you)

  • 1 cup sultanas or 1 cup chopped dates

Possibly needed: 1 egg, or a little water, low-fat milk, yoghurt or cream or sour cream

Put the oven on to 200 ºC.

Mix everything except the extra sugar and the 'possibly needed' liquid.

The mixture should be moist enough to drop down from the spoon in big glops. If it's too dry to glop, add the egg or a drizzle of liquid till it glops properly. (Some blueberries, sweet potato mash and some flours are moister than others. If yours are very dry then some extra liquid may be needed. But you probably won't need it.)


Grease a baking tray or line with baking paper. Take a tablespoon and put heaped spoonfuls (about 1 glop) of the mixture a little way apart on the tray.

Sprinkle each 'cake' with a little of the extra sugar.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or till firm to touch or a skewer comes out dry.

Take out of the oven, cool, then place in a sealed container. They are best eaten the same day, but still great for the next three or flour days. If you've used blueberries the rock cakes may start to grow whiskers of mould or go bad after this time. If you have used currants they'll last longer.

Serves:  12-20

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