Wednesday, April 4

Autumn Birthday Cake

I’ve noticed the leaves turning yellow this week and driving home late at night from work there are patches of fog over the North Wagga Wetlands - those bits of flood that still havn’t dried up. Perhaps this is why Nigella’s 'Autumnal Birthday Cake' (from How To Be A Domestic Goddess) sounded just perfect to me for my muma’s birthday last week. Of course, I can’t help but tweak just a little and I’m glad I did as I can’t imagine how over sweet this cake would be with its original 350mls of maple syrup, but it’s delightfully moist and hearty, and who would resist adding free (from that secret tree of ours!) figs to make the maple syrup have the tiniest crunch and a more complex flavour. I’ve eaten a lot of icing - like just icing - on it’s own - in my time and this is the best I’ve ever had, and in terms of fancy icing it’s not that hard to make. Oh yes and the optional extra is, no not the pecans - you have to put them on - a golden horse to go on top - if your mum is into that kind of thing.

Recipe after the jump...

You need:
175gs of butter
100g caster sugar
3 large free range eggs
250ml Maple syrup
100ml fig jam
500g Self raising flour
175ml hot water

For the icing:
2 large egg whites
125ml maple syrup
125g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125gs pecans

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease 2 x 21cm round tins.
Beat the butter and sugar together until all fluffy and whatnot. Add the eggs one at a time and then pour in the maple syrup and fig jam beating it all together really well. If the jam has any mega lumps in it try and chop them a bit smaller. Alternate beating in the flour and water until the batter is smooth.
Pour the batter evenly into the two tins and cook for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Let them cool in their tins for 10 minutes and then pop them out onto a rack to cool completely before icing.
For the icing put everything except the vanilla and pecans in a metal bowl that fits over a saucepan of boiling water without touching the water. Put the water on a gentle flame and with an electric whisk, vigorously whisk the mixture for 5- 7 minutes, until it peaks up like meringue. Take the bowl off the heat and add the vanilla and whisk for a further minute (yeah you really want an electric whisk for this one!).
Once the cake is totally cooled, spread fig jam between the layers and smear the icing on in big dollops. Crush up the pecans and sprinkle them all over, throwing them at the sides of the cake (this is heaps of fun - and they do stick).
Turn out the lights, pop a sparkler on top et voila - happy muma!


  1. love the golden pony! hope your momma had a happy birthday!

    1. My mumma loved the golden pony too! Thanks Sami xsx

  2. That cake sure looks good, I could go a slice right about now :)

  3. I have seen this cake in that book, but never dared to make it. Wow. It looks amazeballs. And I really love the golden horse.

    1. It is an amazeballs cake - but yeah seriously has overkill on the maple syrup (typical Nigella!) golden horse = $2 shop and can of spray paint :)

  4. Just what my recipe list needs, another recipe. Haha. It looks delicious.


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