But what sort of cake to bake? The allotment plot is starting to offer bushes laden with currants and raspberries, strawberries in raised beds and big fat gooseberries. Summer cakes should surely feature fruits and maybe fresh cream too. Here are my 5 cakes for the ultimate summer bake off.
1. Victoria sponge
The classic cake for tea parties and summer fayres. I make this cake by simply weighing 3 or 4 eggs and then using the exact same weight of self-raising flour, butter and caster sugar with a dash of vanilla essence. Fill with whipped cream and add some fresh home-grown strawberries or raspberries and a dusting of icing sugar. Named after Queen Victoria, a true British cake that's part of our history.
|Picture credit Victoria Sponge Shutterstock|
2. Upside down cake
You might automatically think of the American pineapple upside down cake but really try any summer fruits you can get hold of for an easy treat. Add the fruit to the base of a cake tin and then spoon over the cake mixture. Once baked, flipping the cake over to reveal a gorgeous, gleaming fruity topping.
3. Wedding cake
Summer and weddings go hand in hand so probably most of you will be sampling some whilst the sun shines and happy bride and grooms start their married life together. Not just fruit cakes with rolled white icing, contemporary wedding cakes are a variety of flavours and quirky styles. red velvet, tempered chocolate and modern fashionable trends using macarons or ombre style designs.
I am going to a friend's wedding in July and can't wait to see the cake, I have a feeling it will have a rustic feel......I'll report back in August.....
|Picture credit: Pink wedding cake Shutterstock|
4. Lemon and lavender cake
Summer afternoons and the aroma of lavender in pots by the kitchen door. Pretty and purple and a fragrant addition to a cake when deliciously combined with lemon zest. Use the dried lavender flowers in the cake batter or even in the buttercream. Just a little so it is not overbearing and soapy. Other additions from the garden that work well in cakes are the petals of edible flowers - violas, borage, rose or pansies. An intoxicating cake of rosé wine with carnation petals is an interesting combination.
5. Chocolate courgette cake
With the usual glut of courgettes from the allotment over the summer months, what else to do but grate them into the cake. Surely that will count as one of the veggie quotas of the day? Courgette adds to the moisture of a cake and combined with chocolate makes a truly scrummy sponge. I like this chocolate courgette cake recipe that drizzles a rich ganache over the top.
**Blog feature, words are my own**