Friday, 25 February 2011

Cake + Sugar Sensations Book Review and Ginger Cake Recipe

With just a few weeks until Mothers’s day and Easter looming, chances are you are probably wondering what to buy that special someone in your life; but what? With finances taking a beating after Christmas, and a steep rise in bills due to the hike in VAT, how can you create a perfect present for your loved one without spending a fortune?

Enter HotHive authors James McIntosh and Cassie Brown to save the day.

‘Next time you’re shopping, have a look at the price of a cake in the store. Flour costs pence so why not make your own?’ says James McIntosh, 2008 International Gormand Winner and author of ‘Cake’. ‘You will also gain loads of brownie points because taking the time to make a cake yourself really is the ultimate expression of how much you care’.

I loved ' Cake' its a little pocket book and as I flicked through the recipes just seem so easy , i was not sure if the compact book made it appear that way so I decided to try one.
I make a sticky Gingerbread quit a lot but its messy, treacle and syrup and me don't mix!
I spotted a Ginger cake recipe, James says "This is a rather famous recipe in my family. My Auntie Annie made the most wonderful ginger cake.
Reading further it has three instructions!!

150g softened butter or marg
150g soft light brown sugar
300g plain flour
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ginger
1tsp baking powder
75ml buttermilk
2 eggs beaten

Heat oven to Gas 4 180c, mix all ingredients with a mixer until light and creamy then bake for 45 minutes.

Its just so easy mix all the ingredients and pour into a tin.
Its a good sized cake I did mine in a 30cm loaf tin and it rose beautifully, mine actually took an hour to cook.

 The buttermilk  gives it a rich creamy taste and it is so light.
Other recipes I have to try is a Marmalade cake, malt loaf and a self saucing cake which if it turns out right I will show you too.

In his book, James offers 46 cakes that don’t cost the Earth to produce, and with a great section on troubleshooting you have a personal expert with you at all times to support you in your efforts.

And, after you have made the perfect cake, why not think about decorating it? In her book, ‘Sugar Sensations’, Cassie Brown provides step by step instruction to create a spectacular Handbag guaranteed to really impress.

‘This cake is a stunner, designed to impress and it’s well worth the effort to see the reactions on people’s faces when you say it’s all your own work’, says Cassie who has been sugarcrafting since the age of thirteen.

Making a cake and decorating it doesn’t have to be scary and absolutely anyone can do it. Whilst of course you will use the most mouth-watering of ingredients, the most important ingredients are the love, care and attention you mix into your creation.

Cassie & James’ Perfect Recipe For An Unforgettable Mothers day or Easter

Think outside of the box – showing your love doesn’t have to cost a fortune

Make it personal – bake a cake yourself and fill it with love

Get creative with the design – ‘you are only limited by your imagination!’ says Cassie

Show someone how much you care


To recreate James’ cake recipes and Cassie’s Handbag Cake, pick up your copy of ‘Cake’ (£4.99) and ‘Sugar Sensations’(£9.99) from, Amazon or all good bookstores.


  1. this would be great for my sister!

  2. thanks for sharing, good for me. :)

  3. I made this cake yesterday with my kids help! It turned out much better than I thought and we enjoyed a slice with a nice warm cup of tea after watching the Rememberance parade through our town centre. It was really cold out so we looked forward to our cake when we got home!