It’s a pretty cruel world out there right now. If it isn’t earthquakes or head-on train collisions, it’s senseless acts of violence or economy-killing load shedding. But there’s one thing that makes everything ok – for as long as the mouthful lasts, at any rate. Yes, the answer to all our problems is cake. Dry your tears and run your eye down our list of 30 cake recipes to lift the spirits.
“Eating it is something like sinking into a soft white cloud,” says Annie Bell of this fat-free sponge cake recipe. Fresh from Annie Bell’s Baking Bible, it boasts a hint of lemon and a subtle vanilla flavour. Top it with fresh blueberries, strawberries or raspberries and decorate it with sugar flowers.
Sweetened with xylitol and berries, this low-carb, high-fat cheesecake offers Tim Noakes devotees a chance to indulge their sweet tooth without cheating on the diet.
Yeasty and malty with the rich texture of pound cake, this genius combination comes to us from chef Andrea Burgener’s book, Lampedusa Pie. “It’s at its best still warm from the oven, with some pouring cream,” advises Andrea.
“You/Huisgenoot readers love baking and with this one we really spoiled them,” says food editor Carmen Niehaus. Berries give this easy madeira cake a beautiful rich colour and wonderful taste. The ganache is made with white chocolate.
Thick and creamy, crammed full of tasty pecans, and topped with a glossy butterscotch glaze, this cheescake is one of the indulgent recipes featured in Cake Days by The Hummingbird Bakery in London.
It might look impressive, but Marlene van der Westhuizen swears this cake recipe couldn’t be easier. “As I’m a notoriously ungifted pastry chef, sharing a home full of sweet-toothed men has made it necessary for me to have a couple of really simple cake recipes to fall back on,” says the author. The recipe comes from Secrets of a French Cooking Class.
Cream and dark chocolate make a gloriously decadent topping for these chocolate cupcakes. Bake them for your very own Cuppa for CANSA event.
This citrusy cake is given a lift by the addition of cinnamon and chocolate. If you can’t find sweet, seasonal oranges, substitute lemons instead.
“This is the fudgiest, densest chocolatiest chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten,” says food stylist and blogger Alida Ryder. The recipe comes from her book, Cooking from the Heart.
This moreish cupcake recipe comes to us from gorgeous cookbook Make Give Sell, which contains ‘everything you could possibly make for any market, ever’.
A sophisticated tea-time treat. Serve with a glass of dessert wine to ramp things up a notch.
Condensed milk, dark chocolate and butter are the secrets to this glorious mousse cake. The recipe comes courtesy of Cleta Joannau’s genius new book, Condensed Milk: everyone’s guilty secret. (She knows us too well!)
Chocolate, butter and coffee make for a glorious, gooey cake. The recipe comes to us from design magazine Visi.
These cupcakes are topped with light, fluffy meringue icing. They come from Cooking for Crowds by Callie Maritz and Mari-Louis Guy.
Fresh from the MasterChef Australia winner’s book, A Homegrown Table, this recipe is often requested as a birthday cake by Emma Dean’s friends. “I have since added the thyme, which is stunning with honey and almonds,” says Emma.
Dreamed up by British celebrity chef Rachel Allen, these pretty little cupcakes come out of the oven flat on top, ready for edible decorations. The cakes are very light as the eggs are whisked for about 10 minutes until they are full of air, plus they only use a tiny quantity of butter.
Try this unique recipe by Simoné Rossouw and Stefan Danz of Babylonstoren. The cupcakes have an almond crust, a syrup-soaked centre and ginger-flavoured flowers.
“I don’t think I could survive without lemons,” says Sue-Ann Allen. This recipe is one of the scrumptious recipes from the MasterChef SA contestant’s book, Gourmet Sisters, written in partnership with fellow contestant Ilse Fourie.
Using Ready Egg’s free-range bottled egg and Pick n Pay’s ready-made lemon curd, this moreish cake recipe saves busy bakers plenty of time.
Making meringue and tangy lemon curd topping may take some effort, but – as just one mouthful of these cupcakes will prove – it’s so worth it.
“A gooey, delicious cup of joy,” is how Hilary Biller describes this easy microwave cake. Courtesy of the Sunday Times Food Weekly Cookbook, one of these babies could be yours in a less than three minutes.
In need of a birthday cake to beat all birthday cakes? This mind-boggling combination is the creation of Woolworths TASTE magazine’s food editor, Abigail Donnelly.
Sweet and zingy, these yoghurt syrup cakes make the perfect treat for a home-made high tea.
Juicy, jammy plums emerging from under a light, almondy cake batter: we challenge you to resist this scrumptious cake recipe. Best when plums are in season.
Red velvet cake with cream cheese icing is always a showstopper. This fabulous recipe comes to us from top cookery writer Annie Bell and her book, Annie Bell’s Baking Bible.
“Delightfully tiny, caramelly balls of cake,” is how Sarah Graham describes these cake pops composed of a mix of crumbled red velvet cake, Nestlé Caramel Treat and melted dark chocolate, and suited up in white chocolate jackets. The recipe comes from Sarah’s gorgeous cookbook, smitten.
One of our favourite biscuits, transformed into a delicious cake!
This lemony, spicy cake comes to us from Karen Dudley of Woodstock restaurant, The Kitchen, and her best-selling recipe book, A Week in The Kitchen. “This is possibly my most favourite cake ever… It is delicious served with yoghurt or mascarpone cream and fresh figs,” says Karen.
This fabulous recipe comes to us courtesy of Sarah Graham’s first book, bitten. Says Sarah, “I know this seems like cheating because a) it’s a microwave cake and therefore just not quite proper somehow and b) it traditionally comes in the style of an unsophisticated ring cake… But it can be on your plate in 20 minutes, with the majority of that time being lent to foot-tapping while you wait for it to cool just enough to ice.”
This gorgeous cupcake recipe comes to us courtesy of Ready Egg, makers of free-range, preservative-free bottled eggs.