Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club – Cakes on a recycling theme


With upcycled art on the walls and shelves made from old wooden boxes it was time for a spot of recycling at Somewhere Else Coffee House and Bakery. For our latest Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club meeting we decided to get inventive with our ingredients and see what different cakes we could make with them.

SCC - Doll

We started off with Helen and her Doll cake. The doll on show was one from Helen’s childhood. Her beautiful dress was made from a chocolate cake Helen had made and then put in the freezer. It was finished with some fresh buttercream filling and fondant icing skirt.

SCC - Gill roll

Gill went for an Eco Roll in the form of her recycling themed Swiss Roll. In order to get the green ‘recycle, reuse, reduce’ symbols on the outside of the cake Gill piped them onto a baking tray.

SCC - Ruth bread

Things didn’t quite to plan for Ruth and her Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding. Instead of relying on her tried and tested recipe she thought she would try a different recipe. In order to get a more orangey taste Cointreau was required but with none in the cupboard an alternative was needed – Blue Curacao!

SCC - Paul carrot

What to do with overripe bananas can always be a problem but Paul and Moria knew they would work well in a Carrot and Banana cake. The frosting was mixed with homemade lemon curd. Paul’s top tip for making lemon curd is to push the eggs through a sieve in order to get a super smooth texture.

SCC - Biscuit

Like your biscuits whole for tea dunking purposes? What do you do with the rest of the broken biscuits? Bernie turned them into a Recycled Chocolate Biscuit Fridge cake. Along with the biscuits and chocolate there was also some cherries, almonds and a splash of Amaretto.

SCC - Karen almond

Our organiser Karen had a clearout of the cupboards for her Christmas leftovers cake. In went mincemeat and polenta to a sponge cake mix. On the top was a decoration of almonds.

SCC - Liz yoghurt

Ever found a lonely carton of yoghurt in the fridge? Liz does quite often so she makes a Yoghurt cake. This yoghurt was blueberry flavoured so to complement it Liz added lemon and some fresh blueberries on top of the cream cheese frosting.

SCC - Anne ginger

One of Anne’s favourite cakes is Sticky Ginger and Sultana cake which she usually bakes in a loaf tin. This time she recycled her recipe and turned it into a bundt cake. It was topped off with icing sugar running down the sides.

SCC - Ness cereal

I rescued the remains of breakfast for my Cereal Crumb and Tea cake. I used the bottom of a packet of bran flakes and the leftover tea from the pot to turn it into a Bara Brith or Brack type fruit tea loaf.

We have our next two meetings planned so make a date in your diary for 21st March and 18th April to come and bake with us!

Sheffield Clandestine Cake – Crafty Cakes


For our first meeting of 2015 the Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club combined cake, craft and coffee for a trip to Cafe Creation on Abbeydale Road. Owners Lisa and Jen serve a range of scrummy cakes, scones and savoury delights while organising crafting sessions and bistro nights.


Jen and Lisa joined in with the cake making fun with their own beautifully decorated quilt cake. Hiding underneath was an apricot and chocolate chip loaf cake. The flavours were inspired by the most popular flavour of scone served in the cafe.


Mary had her finger on the button with her iced plum and almond Victoria sponge cake. The plum jam was handmade by Mary along with all the colourful buttons. They were made using a mould from Lakeland.


We didn’t have time for a game of chess but Suzanne did provide us with a suitable cake. Her chequerboard cake was lemon flavoured. It was made by baking two cake mixes and then cutting them with round cutters and fitting them into each other to achieve the pattern.


Bake me a cake and paint me a picture was the theme for Bernie. Her vanilla, coconut and almond sponge was covered with buttercream before being topped with icing. She then created the artist’s palate using fondant icing.


Since it’s January and some people are on a health kick Jayne came up with a crafty way to get your five a day. Her cake had a topping of blueberries and raspberries with more blueberries inside plus some lemon curd. Just don’t mention the cream!


There was a touch of magic about Debs’ cake. Her magic chocolate layer cake is made by mixing together one set of ingredients and putting in a baking tin. While it cooks it separates into a base, a mousse-like middle and then a topping. It was all finished off with a touch of glitter.


It was stitches and buttons with a natural twist for Helen. The colours in her cake and for her buttons were all created by using natural colourings. Helen cut off pieces of sweet laces and then embedded them in the icing to create the stitched effect. The buttons were made by using a bottle top to cut out the correct size and then using a slightly smaller bottle top for the inner ring.


Karen came up with a cake that can be craftily adapted for any occasion! Her chocolate peppermint cake had KitKats around the side of it and a topping of Aero peppermint Bubbles. You can change the flavourings and sweet topping to want you like.


It was time to shake things up with Dani’s strawberry milkshake cake. The ombre pink effect on the outside was mirrored inside as well with four different layers. It was finished off with white chocolate buttons which Dani pierced holes to create buttons.


Myself and the junior baker went for a knitted loom cake. We adapted the recipe for Neapolitan cake in the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook and made it into stripes so it resembled a scarf. For the loom part we used mini marshmallows and cola flavour laces.

Many thanks to Cafe Creation for hosting us and to Karen for organising it. We’ll be meeting again on the 21st February. Get ready for some recycling!

Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club – Christmas Cakeathon World Cakes


Christmas may come but once a year however that gives us an extra excuse to try out some fabulously festive cakes! We went along to the winter wonderland that is group member Christine’s house for an afternoon of eating, drinking and talking all things cake!


We kicked off with Christine’s South American Butterscotch Date Loaf with Caramel Icing. It contained candied dates and was topped with the South American favourite of dulce de leche plus cubes of butterscotch.


It was a trip to Hungary for Ruth’s Dobos Torte. The Dobos Torte was created by Austrian pastry chef Jozef C Dobos for the National General Exhibition of Bupapest in 1885. This cake, made famous by the Great British Bake Off, has a mind-boggling seven layers of batter all covered with chocolate buttercream. It was finished off with pieces of caramel.


Jayne went for a very seasonal Mincemeat and Marmalade Cake. This fruity, tangy delight was given a tipsy touch with the addition of some sherry.


Our organiser Karen went for the festive berry of cranberries in her Lemon and Cranberry Drizzle Cake. This recipe used glucose powder instead of standard sugar to make the cake.


Kate made her version of the Finnish Christmas Cake from the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook. The original recipe calls for ligonberries but Kate substituted cranberries for them. It includes white chocolate but also some traditional Christmas flavours in the form of cinnamon, orange zest and the almond liqueur of Amaretto.


It was over to the Philippines for Victoria’s Bibingka cake. This is traditionally eaten during the Christmas period and is a gluten free cake. It contains rice flour and coconut milk with a topping of dessicated coconut.


Debs took her inspiration from Kirstie Allsopp for her Norwegian Spiced Ginger Cake. For her version Debs used golden syrup instead of black treacle to go with an assortment of Christmas spices. It was covered with buttercream and sparkling snowflakes.


The junior baker took a trip to Germany with her version of a Black Forest Gateauhoho. The two chocolate sponges were filled and topped with whipped cream and morello cherry conserve. A grating of dark chocolate finished it off.


I went for a Chocolate, Cranberry and Ginger Bundt Cake. It contained dried blueberries, cherries and small chunks of dark chocolate. It was topped with drizzled white chocolate and dried cranberries.

We’ll be meeting again in the New Year with some Crafty Cakes on 24th January 2015. Do join us for lots of cakey fun!

Sheffield Clandestine Cake – Remembrance Cakes


With our meeting being just a few days after Armistice Day it was only fitting that our latest meeting of the Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club was held at Poppies Bakehouse at Banner Cross. Owner Natalie Hall has recently realised her dream of opening a bakery and cafe in her hometown.


So with thoughts of remembrance and poppies it was not surprising we had plenty of poppy seeds in our cakes. We started off with our organizer Karen and her Lemon and Poppy Seed cake. Karen boils the poppy seeds in milk first and then lets them cool so they are softer in the cake mix. It was filled with lemon curd and topped with lemon buttercream icing.


Bernie went for a lemon and poppy seed wreath. The recipe was adapted from one from the Hummingbird Bakery. The cake was finished with lemon icing and some fondant glittered poppies.


It was hoped that the Great War was the war to end all wars and Liz was looking for future peace with her lemon and poppy seed cake. White icing on top set off the yellow fondant peace sign.


The First World War involved many Commonwealth countries and armies including the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Whilst serving in Gallipoli the troops were sent biscuits made of desiccated coconut, oats and golden syrup. These travelled well and became known as ANZAC biscuits. Dani made a cake version of this iconic biscuit and topped it with a honey icing.


I bought a British Legion Recipes for Remembrance cookbook so the Junior baker and I decided to make the two cakes in there. The Junior baker’s cake was a Field of Poppies Chocolate Cake. This was made from drinking chocolate rather than cocoa. We used some homemade blackberry jelly to help keep the green grass fondant in place.


I went for the 11 o’clock Remembrance Day Victoria Sponge Cake. For the filling I used some homemade quince jelly.

Thank you to Natalie and her team at Poppies Bakehouse for hosting us. You can join us for our Christmas Cakeathon World Cakes meeting on 13th December and on 24th January for Crafty Cakes.

Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club – International Cakes from around the World


We were treated to a very homely Sheffield setting for our global theme this month. For our Clandestine Cake Club meeting we decided to support the Sheffield Autistic Society.


Whilst we had a vast choice of countries to choose from Italy was definitely our favourite for some baking inspiration. I kicked off with a Lemon, Polenta and Almond cake. For an extra Italian touch this contained ricotta and sultanas as well as being gluten-free.


Our organizer Karen also opted for Lemon, Polenta and Almond Cake from Sicily. She opted for a recipe from Nigella but baked it for slightly less time than stated. For an extra lemon zing and moistness it had a lemon syrup drizzled over it after cooking.


It was a trip back to her childhood for Silvana and her Italian Orange Rice Cake. She remembered this cake from being in Italy as a child. To make this cake you need to make a rice pudding first before adding egg yolks and whisked egg whites.


Keeping with the Italian theme Bernie made an Amaretto Cream Cake. This is a recipe from the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook. As well as having mini amaretti biscuits on top it also contains crushed amaretti biscuits in the sponge.


Another cake from the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook but this came via the Cayman Islands and our hostess Liz. This is a mango cake containing a whole fresh mango and brown sugar for a dark but fruity cake.


While we were over that side of the world it was time to visit the USA and time for some chocolate! Amy made a Chocolate Coca Cola Cake. It was topped with an American flag made out of a coloured icing, marshmallows and sugar stars.


My junior baker went for the full on chocolate experience with a Devil’s Food Cake. With dark muscovado sugar in the cake it has a rich fudgy taste which is then combined with chocolate frosting between the layers and covering it.


We went south for Victoria’s Mexican Pan del Muerto. This is a yeasted cake made to celebrate the Day of the Dead which actually goes over three days from Halloween (All Hallows Eve), All Saints Day and All Souls Day between 31st October and 2nd November. The cake has two provings but uses ordinary plain flour. It is flavoured with Cointreau, orange juice and zest.


It was back to Europe for Helen’s Battenberg Cake. This was made in 1884 as a cake to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Victoria, to Prince Louis of Battenberg in Germany. After battle with a Croquembouche Helen made a dash to the freezer for a Battenberg Cake she had previously made. I have to say it makes an excellent standby cake to have in your freezer!


Our last cake of the afternoon came from first-timer Dani. It was a hop across the Irish Sea for her Chocolate Guinness Cake complete with cream cheese and icing frothy head. Dani originally made an Albanian Walnut Cake but gave it a thumbs down after deciding the cinnamon, mixed spice and cloves combination wasn’t one for sharing.

After a lovely afternoon it’s time to look forward to our next meetings. Date for your diaries are 15th November for Remembrance Cakes Poppies and Peace, 13th December for our Christmas meeting plus some Crafty Cakes on 24th January.

Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club – Oooh La La Cycling Cakes from Sheffield

Logo created by Anita Mangan.

Sheffield has been turning a certain colour over the past year. The city is in the grip of yellow fever as the Le Tour Yorkshire finishes the second stage in Sheffield next weekend. To celebrate this we got on our bikes and went to Amici & Bici on Abbeydale Road. It may have been dull outside but the cafe is bright and welcoming and not a soul in lycra!

IMG_7260We started off with our organizer Karen Perkins and her lemon and almond cake with lemon curd and clotted cream filling. The white fondant on the cake set off the yellow jersey complete with bike chains with an oil stain effect.

IMG_7250Two of the famous Tour de France jerseys were depicted on Paul and Moira’s cake. The top section was of course the race leader’s yellow jersey. The bottom half was the red polka dot jersey for the King of the Mountains leader. Inside the cake was a lemon and lime Madeira with pomegranate curd. A grating of orange zest completed it.

IMG_7254Bernie went for our French theme with an Almost Instant Chocolate Fondant cake from the French pastry chef Fanny Zanotti. The whisked eggs gave the cake a crust to contrast with the dark chocolate base. Bernie accessorized the cake with a homemade ribbon and banner.

IMG_7255The Almost Instant Chocolate Fondant cake was so good it had to be made twice! Margaret went for the same recipe for her cake. A marzipan bicycle with candied ginger wheels gave extra flavour and contrast to the chocolate. Both Bernie and Margaret found the recipe gave too much mixture for the 20cm sized tin that the instructions stated.

IMG_7253Lemon was a particular favourite flavour for our cakes. Lucy made a a lemon sponge with lemon buttercream icing. The subtle yellow cake was hiding underneath a perfectly shaped yellow jersey complete with handpiped black logo icing.

IMG_7256We welcomed two new members to our group. First up was Amy and her lemon Victoria sponge cake covered with Yorkshire Tea infused cream cheese frosting. Amy made the bicycle and wheels decoration by making her own candied lemons.

IMG_7258Our second new member was Eleanor who went for the full Yorkshire ingredients for her Rhubarb and Custard cake. The rhubarb was naturally from Yorkshire as well as the eggs. The custard gave the cake the necessary splash of yellow.

IMG_7259We made ‘The Road to Cake and Glory’. A chocolate tray bake formed the base of the cake. The ends were trimmed off and then mixed with chocolate spread to form the hill. The lush grass and road were rolled from fondant and the road markings was white chocolate icing. The Junior baker made the flags and signs.

IMG_7252Many thanks for Amici & Bici for hosting us. Make a date in your diary for our annual 3 Counties Cakenic on 9th August – your choice of sweet and savoury cakes.

Newark and Sherwood Clandestine Cake Club – Spring Bakes

Logo created by Anita Mangan.

When Debs the organizer of the Newark and Sherwood Clandestine Cake Club said that this month’s venue was, “very me” I wondered where we would be meeting. I was not disappointed as it was a cycling cafe! I’d never been to Retford before so I hadn’t heard of the BroomWagon Velo Cafe. It’s a lovely bright cafe with lots of cycling pictures and bikes on the wall. There’s a big screen TV for showing live cycling plus free WiFi. When we arrived some rather delicious looking burgers were being served to some other customers.

IMG_6509Our theme for this month was ‘Spring Bakes’. We had a small but select band of bakers but it did mean we could have a couple of slices of each cake! Debs made a Lemon curd & blueberry loaf cake. The citrus zing of the lemon combined well with the juicy blueberries. On top there was icing and homemade edible flowers.

IMG_6507Carol and Amy made the ‘Dark ‘n’ Stormy Cake’ from the Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook. This isn’t in the slightly bit ‘dark and stormy’ but is named after the cocktail which contains the same ingredients of rum, ginger and lime. For the special spring touch they shaped it into a butterfly complete with liquorice Catherine Wheel antennae and a chocolate honeycomb finger body.

IMG_6506I went for the citrus flavour as well with a Lemon and Elderflower Drizzle Crunch Cake. It was a lemon cake base flavoured with the lemon zest and then the topping was Elderflower cordial mixed with granulated sugar.


Thanks to Heidi at the BroomWagon Velo Cafe for hosting us. We’re always on the lookout for future venues so make yourself known if you would be happy to have us!