Tag Archives: Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club

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 – Chocolate Therapy featuring Easter Bunnies

Logo created by Anita Mangan.

Last April for our Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club we went to The Conservation Volunteers shop on the Ecclesall Road. It’s a terrific charity shop spanning two floors with everything well organised and keenly priced. To top it all the manageress, Denisa, joined in and baked a cake. It was so good that we decided to go back again.

IMG_6391With Easter just a week away we went for the full chocolate experience with hint of eggs and bunnies along the way. We kicked things off with Debs and her Chocolate and Guinness cake. This was a recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery and was given the Easter touch with chocolate bunnies and mini eggs.

IMG_6377Paul and Moira went for a very decadent Sachertorte with the traditional dark chocolate ganache topping. Instead of the usual whipped cream accompaniment Paul made some chocolate marshmallows.

IMG_6386We went for another visit to the Hummingbird Bakery with Bernie’s Brooklyn Blackout Cake. All of the chocolate flavour in this cake comes from pure cocoa with no melted chocolate at all. It is three layers of chocolate cake with a chocolate custard filling and topping.

IMG_6383You don’t need to get fancy with a cake for it to be good. Claire went for in her words a ‘nice and simple’ Chocolate Cake with Cadbury’s Mini Eggs. The recipe was from Good Housekeeping.

IMG_6384Vikki had a similar idea to Claire with her Chocolate Sponge Cake but went for a rival chocolate manufacturer’s eggs and topped her cake with Smarties eggs.

IMG_6385Cake in a bag? Yes, it can be done. You don’t need to worry about transporting your cake to a Clandestine Cake Club meeting as Rosie proved. From out of her handbag she produced her Banana Bread with Chocolate and Peanut Butter.

IMG_6394Our organizer Karen Perkins went nuts with a Chocolate Nutrageous cake. Based on the chocolate bar of the same name it contained peanut butter and was filled with rose jam. On top was roasted peanuts and almonds and a couple of chocolate bunnies.

IMG_6382Chocolate on chocolate was the theme of Helen’s cake. Her cake made from a Nigella recipe had 80% dark chocolate in it plus extra cocoa. With a chocolate filling and topping plus mixed chocolate curls on top this was full on chocolate experience.

IMG_6392Mother and daughter baking duo Sophie and Charlotte also turned to Nigella for their chocolate cake inspiration. Theirs was a marble cake with a chocolate cream and sour cream frosting. A stencilled decoration of cocoa and icing sugar finished it off.

IMG_6389With so much dark and milk chocolate it was refreshing to have a taste of Victoria’s White Chocolate Victoria Sponge Cake filled with raspberries. On the side was a selection of handmade truffles with cocao, dates and tahini.

IMG_6388Denisa, the manageress of The Conservation Volunteers shop, made a cake when we held our meeting last year and decided to join in again. She made a fruity combination of White Chocolate with Mascarpone and Blueberries.

IMG_6390Professional cake maker Silvana made some chocolate bunnies and had them sitting in a Spring garden. This was on top of a Chocolate syrup cake which she has adapted from the ginger syrup cake recipe in the Clandestine Cake Club cookbook.

IMG_6378We got all of our chocolate and cake bounty in one go with Nahzi’s Chocolate and Coconut Cake. Based on a Bounty bar, it had coconut American frosting covering a Brooklyn Backout Cake.

IMG_6381There were no bunnies in sight on Jess’ Chocolate Cake but I’m sure they would come hopping along quickly once they spotted the carrot tops! There was no carrots in Jess’ cake but a layer of orange buttercream to fool those pesky rabbits.

IMG_6393My Junior Baker went for the full chocolate bunny experience with a Chocolate Sponge Bunny. The ears, whiskers, nose and eyes were all made out of white chocolate icing.

IMG_6379I went for an Easter Chocolate and Orange nest. I half filled a Nordic Ware Jubilee Bundt tin for the nest and then piped chocolate buttercream around it for the ‘twig’ effect. Nesting around the cake was little chocolate eggs.

IMG_6380Many thanks for The Conservation Volunteers for hosting us again. If you want to join in we have a couple of more meetings planned for the coming months. First we are joining up with the Sheffield Food Festival on 24th May for Cakes which remind us of home. On 28th June we’re going Tour de Yorkshire made with Oooh la la Le Grand Depart Cakes on a Cycling Theme.

Sheffield Clandestine Cake Club – Cakes disguised as pies

Logo created by Stylist and Designer Anita Mangan.

As much as we love sweet things as members of the Clandestine Cake Club we can’t bring pies to club meetings so the only way to seek them in was to disguise them as cakes! We met in the lovely Bardley’s Cafe which is situated on the first floor of the Nichols Building. Tea, cakes and vintage bargain shopping all in one place!


We kicked off with our host Karen Perkins and her Lemon meringue pie cake. This was a refreshing and zesty combination of baked meringue, lemon curd, cake and marzipan.


Debs went fruity as well for her pie/cake combination of Banoffee pike (see what she did there?!). Pastry formed the base with a banana and walnut cake inside and the toffee topping.


A favourite sweet pie of mine is mince pies and Christine decided to turn it into cake form. Mincemeat and brandy was used to form a light fruit cake with marzipan used for the lattice pastry.


Christine’s daughter Fleur went for the chocolate with her Mississippi mud pie. A baked biscuit base was topped with a homemade milk chocolate custard. No fewer than 10 eggs was used for this cake!


You think you’ve found the perfect recipe for a cake and then horror of horrors – it says to use ‘cake mix’ in the ingredients! Rosie overcame this problem by baking a Madeira cake before adding frozen forest fruits and lattice pastry and then baking again.


Lucy and Holly came with their cunningly disguised Apple pie. Underneath the caramel coloured sugar paste ‘pastry’ was an apple cake flavoured with spice.


Part of the joy of baking is passing recipes down through the generations and onto family and friends. For her German apple cake Margaret used her cousin’s recipe which was given to her cousin by her German mother-in-law. A shortbread pastry case was filled with slices of apples and dried fruit.


Paul and Moira came with their Pork pie cake. No they didn’t! Paul managed to turn fondant icing into a very realistic looking hot crust pastry. For the ‘pork’ filling there was a strawberry compote sponge cake and a crème patissiere ‘jelly’.


I also went for an Apple pie cake. It had a sponge base which was then covered with slices of Bramley apples and sultanas. This was topped with a cinnamon spiced crumble.


Mississippi mud pie was obviously the cake of choice for our young bakers as my junior cake maker also made one. Hers was made with 400g of dark chocolate and 300ml of single cream but other than that perfectly healthy!


Thanks to Bradley’s Cafe for being such nice hosts. We have several other meetings already planned if you wish to join us. On 12th April we going for Chocolate Therapy featuring Easter bunnies. In May we’re joining up with the Sheffield Food Festival. More details to be announced shortly. Finally, on 28th June we’re celebrating Le Tour de France coming to Sheffield with Oooh la la Le Grand Depart – Cakes on a Cycling Theme.