Sweet Sixteen

It’s my sixteenth birthday today - yay! One of the best things about birthdays is undoubtedly the cake, so I thought it’d be pretty appropriate on my 16th birthday to share 16 of the best cakes I’ve ever baked!

1 June 2013 - chocolate chilli cake

Chocolate Chilli Cake

This cake certainly has a fair bit of a spicy kick but the rich ganache helps to make it more bearable! I made this for the first time for a competition at the summer fair at the end of my final year at primary school. I won (yay!) but I didn't actually get to taste it that day as the remainder of the cake was sold before I was able to try any! It did give me a good excuse to bake it again though!

recipe from BBC GoodFood

8 January 2014 - chocolate sponge decorated to look like Yin and Yang

Chocolate Sponge

Baked for an RE project at school, I decorated this simple chocolate cake with dark chocolate and white chocolate ganache to look like the Yin and Yang symbol. It was a bit messy to bake but I was pleased with the final look and taste - the contrasting flavours of white and dark chocolate really did have a Yin and Yang effect!

recipe by Nigella

6 May 2014 - plain sponge decorated to look like a baby's bedroom

Plain Sponge

At the end of S1 I did a cake decorating course at school and made this cake, decorated to look like a bedroom! The course was loads of fun and I learnt loads of simple fondant tricks. The flavours were pretty simple, but this one was all about the appearance really!

24 May 2014 - sticky toffee pudding cupcake

Sticky Toffee Cupcakes

My Grandad's all-time favourite dessert was sticky toffee pudding so I made it my mission to find a recipe which put those flavours into cupcake form! He absolutely loved them - though be warned, they can be a little messy as they're so sticky.

recipe from Good Food Channel

20 September 2014 - vanilla sponge filled with fresh berries and fresh berries

Vanilla Sponge

Baked for my Granny's 70th birthday, this cake had a simple flavour but was a bit more complex when it came to decoration! I filled the four layers with fresh berries and cream, topped the cake with pink roses and made 7 marble birds from fondant too (my Granny loves birds!). It certainly was quite a showstopper!

recipe by Nigella

4 October 2014 - lemon curd and blueberry loaf cake

Lemon Curd and Blueberry Loaf Cake

Baking and eating this loaf cake when my Grandad died offered us lots of comfort.

recipe from BBC GoodFood 

24 December 2014 - chocolate orange and cranberry red velvet bombe

Chocolate Orange & Cranberry Red Velvet Bombe

This cake is a bit more complicated (I had to buy special hemispherical cake tins!) but it's totally worth it - it's such a Christmassy showstopper! Hidden inside is a light and creamy filling which works perfectly with the rich chocolate ganache. It was probably one of the most rewarding cakes to make and decorate!

recipe from BBC GoodFood 

15 March 2015 - banoffee cake

Banoffee Cake

I absolutely love banoffee and this cake certainly captured those flavours! Sandwiched between the two sponges are banana slices, creamy icing and caramel which help to intensify the banoffee flavour! 

recipe from ITV 

5 August 2015 - collapsed four-tier snickers cake
6 March 2016 - an uncollapsed three-tier snickers cake

Snickers Cake

I first baked this for my brother James' return from Scout camp as a belated 12th birthday cake and it collapsed within minutes of being assembled! I was so upset at the time (it looked amazing but my mum was the only one who got any photos before it fell) but I think I just hadn't whipped the caramel cream enough to support the weight of four layers plus chocolate ganache plus all of the toppings! Although very messy, it did taste phenomenal the first time and I have successfully made it since (and have it not fall over too!)! Oh, and if you have a peanut allergy it's still possible to make this cake as peanuts are only in the topping. 

recipe from Taste 

27 September 2015 - giant Oreo cupcake

Oreo Cake

Who doesn't love Oreo cookies?! This cake as a whole is delicious, but the best bit is definitely the icing - it's full of crushed up Oreo cookies!

recipe from  Good Food Channel

27 October 2015 - Coca-Cola cake decorated as the element magnesium

Coca-Cola Cake

Nigella's Coca Cola cake has always been one of my mum's signature recipes - I can't count how many times we've baked it! This cake was for a Chemistry project, which hopefully explains why it's decorated on top as the element magnesium. The recipe is really easy and the cake is super super super gooey - it's a lovely flavour of chocolatey Coca Cola! 

recipe by Nigella 

5 November 2015 - chocolate chiffon cake with salted caramel buttercream

Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Yet another cake from BBC GoodFood  (you can tell I quite like their recipes!) the sponge of this cake is light, fluffy and flavoursome. The chocolate and caramel work beautifully together too! Main advice: I'd make a bit more ganache to cover the top a little more (although this depends on your icing and decoration preferences). This cake is also a little more tricky as you need to make sure you keep the fluffiness from the egg whites as you mix all of the ingredients. 

 recipe from BBC GoodFood

26 March 2016 - Malteser cake
30 July 2016 - giant Malteser cupcake with chocolate fingers

Malteser Cake

Of all of the cakes I've baked, this one is definitely my favourite! My mum absolutely loves Maltesers so I found this recipe for Mother's Day one year. Safe to say it was a major success - I've made it loads since and everyone who has tried it loves it! The decoration is stunning but one of the best things is that the taste of Maltesers comes through in all elements - the sponge, the icing and the Maltesers themselves! Best. Cake. Ever!!!

recipe from All Recipes 

27 July 2016 - anti-gravity M&Ms cake

Anti-Gravity M&Ms Cake

This was a complete surprise for James' birthday last year and it really did look amazing! It's very sweet (younger children would love it!) and you can decorate with any sweet of choice - I just chose M&Ms because James loves them! The cake itself is easy enough to make, but constructing the anti-gravity element is quite a bit more fiddly! minor warning: the empty bag did actually begin to melt when we lit candles underneath it!

recipe from BBC GoodFood  

17 September 2016 - raspberry bakewell ombré cake

Raspberry Bakewell Ombré Cake

I love the colours and appearance of this cake but I'm not a huge fan of bakewell tarts so the sponge didn't really appeal to me for that reason. Everyone else in my family really liked it though (particularly the raspberry icing) and if you love almond flavoured sponges then this is definitely a cake for you!

recipe from BBC GoodFood 

10 June 2017 - chocolate avocado cupcakes

Chocolate Avocado Cake

And last but not least, my chocolate avocado cupcakes! I have made this both in cake and cupcake form (they both work well!) and it tastes so good you can hardly tell it's vegan! Read more about this recipe in this blog post

recipe from BBC GoodFood  

 

In case you’re wondering, only one of the cakes mentioned is vegan as I made the rest of these cakes before I converted to veganism. A lot of them would be pretty tricky to veganise (particularly the Malteser and Snickers ones!), but I’m sure it’d be possible for some by using various substitutes for eggs and butter. I’ve not tried veganising any of these cakes yet, but I’ll let you know if I manage at some point!

 

I’m not baking a cake for the day of my birthday this year as James is away, but I’m planning on making cake for a belated celebration for both of our birthdays at the weekend!

 

Which cake do you think is best?