Coffee Bundt Cake.

A couple of weeks ago it was my last event as joint organiser for the Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon Clandestine Cake Club.  I have a lot on my plate at the moment but I felt that I had to step down as organiser to create more time to deal with everything else going on in life!  I have had a great time organising the events and have met some fantastic people, not to mention sampling some incredible cakes along the way.  I am still going to be a Clandestine Cake Club member and will attend as many events as I can fit in as I have made some lovely friends who I think the world of.

Ironically, the cake club event that was my last as joint organiser was exactly a year to the day after my first event. It was held in exactly the same place, the gorgeous Wellington Inn, in Darley a village in the heart of beautiful Nidderdale. The theme was “Happy First Birthday” so my cake had to be worthy of something you would bake for a birthday cake, yet not something that would be too sickly sweet to eat.

I chose to bake a Coffee Bundt cake based on a recipe I had in the very first Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.  I had not made a coffee Bundt before but I know whenever I’ve made coffee and walnut cakes they always go down well.

Pure Dairy Free Baking spread, caster sugar and coffee essence were whisked together.
Pure Dairy Free Baking spread, caster sugar and coffee essence were whisked together.
I used my handheld whisk to cream the ingredients together as I couldn't be bothered to get my KItchen Aid out of the cupboard.
I used my handheld whisk to cream the ingredients together as I couldn’t be bothered to get my KItchen Aid out of the cupboard.
I then added eggs one at a time, followed by flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into the mixture.
I then added eggs one at a time, followed by flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into the mixture.
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The mixture was spooned into my prepared tin. I greased it using Dr Oetker Cake release spray and a soft sprinkling of flour.

The cake was left to bake for about 40 minutes.  Only my cake decided that it didn’t fancy staying inside the pan and it spilled out over the top and onto the bottom of my oven!   I was not a happy bunny and the cake looked a right mess on the top of it.  I wasn’t sure how it had happened, maybe it was just too full.  I had to get the cake scrapings out straightaway before my hubby noticed though.  Once the cake was out, I let it cool in the tin and then it slid out perfectly onto the rack. At least it looked fairly presentable for Cake Club!

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The finished Coffee Bundt Cake.

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The top of the cake ended up looking like a large sunflower!

To decorate the cake the recipe calls for a vanilla frosting flavoured with coffee essence.  I had made up some strong expresso coffee essence according to the recipe instructions.  Instead of spreading it on the cake I chose to pipe it on using my large star nozzle.  It only just had enough icing to decorate the top.  I then added some chocolate cocoa beans which I had bought in Waitrose.  It only used half the jar so I hope no one in my family nicks the rest or they won’t get used for cupcakes!  Poor lighting in my kitchen made the icing look a lot more yellow than it really was, well it was about 7 o’clock on a dreary November night I suppose!

I enjoyed my slice of coffee cake as it was not too sweet and sickly.  It had a great coffee hit and went down well at cake club and at home too!
I enjoyed my slice of coffee cake as it was not too sweet and sickly. It had a great coffee hit and went down well at cake club and at home too!

This Coffee Bundt was a definite winner and one I would love to bake again and again.  My hubby loves Coffee Cake so maybe he might want one for his birthday?

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Pumpkin Bars from The Hummingbird Bakery

Several months ago I was given a copy of the latest Hummingbird Bakery recipe book_ Home Sweet Home from The Hummingbird Bakery. When I first had it I baked several of the recipes but then got sidetracked by other recipe books.

The other week I was shopping in Northallerton on my day off.  I always head to Lewis and Cooper for cake decorating supplies and for other foodie treats.  These usually end up being Shepherd’s Purse cheese which my hubby and I adore.  This last time though as well as the cheese stash I spotted some cans of Libby’s unsweetened pumpkin pie puree.  I have bought this in the past to make Pumpkin Muffins with and have also used it at school when baking Pumpkin Pie towards a Thanksgiving celebration.  You can’t often find it in the shops, though Waitrose sometimes has it if I’m lucky.  So, I grabbed a tin thinking it would be useful for pumpkin muffins.  But, looking through my recipe books I spotted a delicious sounding recipe for Pumpkin Bars in the Hummingbird Bakery book.  The bars were baked like a massive rectangular traybake and topped with a cream cheese icing and sprinkled with desiccated coconut.  It sounded too delicious for words.

So, finally last Sunday I decided to have a go at making the Pumpkin Bars and would take them into school to share with my work colleagues.  Here’s how I made them:

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For this recipe you need a 400g can of LIbby’s unsweetened pumpkin puree.
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This is what the contents of the pumpkin tin look like! No, it is NOT cat sick as my 13 year old son said.
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The puree was whisked up with 4 large eggs, some sugar and some sunflower oil in a large mixing bowl.
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In another bowl all the dry ingredients were weighed out- plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ground mixed spice. It smelled heavenly and autumnal.
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All the wet and dry ingredients were folded in together.
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The mixture was poured into my large traybake tin which had already been greased and lined.
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After about 1/2 hour baking time the traybake came out of the oven and sat cooling on the rack until it was completely cold. It had risen well.
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The frosting was made by whisking together softened butter and full fat icing sugar.
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I then added some icing sugar to the mixture so it was sweetened slightly.
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This made a lovely, creamy frosting with an easy spreadable texture.
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The frosting was spread onto the traybake and dessicated coconut was sprinkled onto the top of it. I then cut the traybake into 16 large bars!
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One of the bars close up!

I was pleased with the way the pumpkin bars had turned out but I have yet to try one as I am trying (but not doing very well) to lose weight.  I kept four of the bars and put them in a container for the freezer to try out next weekend.  The rest went into work to share with my colleagues.  They seemed to go down well because I looked in the box on the Tuesday morning and only 2 out of the 12 were left!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx