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Wedding-esque cake recipes from royal baker Mich Turner MBE

Sweet day for baking! Sugar and spice (and wedding bells) are in the air. Cue chic treats and celebrations from Mich Turner MBE, baker-by-request to royalty and to the stars.

Mich Turner MBE

 

Raspberry, rose & pistachio cupcakes

These delicate and flavourful cakes are perfect for bridal (or baby) showers. Freeze-dried raspberry powder adds intense fruitiness to the frosting without artificial colours. For fewer calories per treat, make mini-size rather than regular.

 

MAKES 18 REGULAR-SIZED OR 48 MINI CUPCAKES

 

450g fresh raspberries (or enough for 3 raspberries to be put in the base of each cupcake liner)

250g unsalted butter, softened

250g golden caster sugar

4 large eggs

250g self-raising flour

½ tsp baking powder

60ml whole milk

1-2 tsp rosewater

75g roughly chopped pistachios (plus extra roasted and chopped pistachios to decorate)

 

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

250g unsalted butter, softened

500g icing sugar

2 tbsp milk

3-4 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder

 

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Place 18 cupcake liners in cupcake tins (or 48 mini cupcake liners in mini cupcake tins) and place 3 raspberries in the base of each (use only 1 raspberry if making mini cupcakes).

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, slowly, mixing until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and baking powder into the batter and fold in carefully. Stir in the milk, rosewater and, finally, the roughly chopped pistachios.

3. Fill a large piping bag with the batter, snip the end and pipe the batter into the cupcake cases until they are two-thirds full. Bake for 15 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

4. To make the buttercream, whip the butter for 1-2 minutes until soft. Add the icing sugar in 2 batches and whisk until fully combined. Add the milk and raspberry powder and whisk. Top each cupcake with a swirl of buttercream and decorate with chopped roasted pistachios.

 

STORE for 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature. Not suitable for freezing.

 

Carrot cake with orange cream cheese frosting

This is the recipe I created for the wedding of Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith. The cake itself is wonderfully moist, with a delicious blend of carrots, fruit and spices, and naturally dairy-free without the frosting. For alternative frosting ideas, including dairy-free, check out the book.

 

MAKES A 20CM ROUND CAKE

 

4 large eggs

300ml sunflower oil

150g golden caster sugar

150g soft light brown sugar

350g plain flour

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

40g stem ginger, chopped

Grated zest of 2 oranges

Grated zest of 2 lemons

100g walnuts, chopped

100g desiccated coconut

200g sultanas soaked in 50ml rum for 1 hour

350g carrots, peeled and grated

 

FOR THE SYRUP

150g soft light brown sugar

juice of 2 lemons

juice of 2 oranges

 

TO FINISH

1 x quantity cream cheese

Frosting flavoured with orange zest or vanilla (see recipe, below)

 

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2. Line the base and sides of a deep-sided 20cm cake tin with nonstick baking parchment.

2. Blend the eggs, oil and sugars until well mixed. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda together and stir into the oil mixture to create a smooth batter.

3. Add the remaining ingredients until well mixed and spoon into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 2 hours until well risen, golden brown and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

4. As soon as the cake is in the oven, prepare the syrup. Measure the ingredients into a jug and stir until dissolved.

5. As soon as the cake is baked, place the tin on a wire rack, spike the entire cake with a skewer and pour over the syrup. Leave the cake to completely cool in the tin.

6. Make the frosting (see recipe, below). Turn the cooled cake out of the tin and use a palette knife to surround the top and sides of the cake with the cream cheese frosting. Use a side scraper to professionally smooth the sides of the cake. Refrigerate to set.

 

STORE for up to 7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature. Suitable for freezing.

 

VARIATION For added crunch, finish the cake with a generous sprinkling of caramelised walnut praline, as in the picture – see the book for full instructions.

 

MY GO-TO CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

 

MAKES 1 QUANTITY

 

75g unsalted butter, slightly softened

450g icing sugar

190g full-fat cream cheese, chilled

Grated zest of 1 orange or, alternatively, vanilla extract or paste to taste.

  • Rub the butter into the icing sugar to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add the chilled cream cheese and beat until smooth. Stir in the orange zest (or alternatively the vanilla).

 

Fruity date & tea loaves

 

These mini loaves are deliciously nutritious, not to mention gluten-free, dairy-free and without butter or oil.

 

MAKES 6 MINI TEA LOAVES

 

250g Medjool dates, stoned and ready to eat (and see tip below)

200ml boiling water

2 ripe bananas (about 140g)

80g pecans, chopped

200g raisins

200g dried cherries

100g fine polenta

2 tsp mixed spice

2 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)

60ml strong brewed tea

2 large egg whites (weighing about 70g)

 

TO DECORATE

20g pecan halves

50g banana chips

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Lay 6 mini tea loaf cases on a baking tray.

2. Put the dates in a saucepan with the boiling water and simmer until the dates have softened. Drain the liquid into a jug and transfer the dates to a food processor or blender. Add the bananas and 100ml of the date liquid. Blitz until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the chopped pecans, dried fruit, polenta, spice and baking powder. Add the date purée and the tea and stir until combined.

4. Whisk the egg whites to the soft peak stage, then fold into the cake batter in 3 batches. Divide the batter among the mini loaf cases and decorate with the pecans and banana chips.

5. Bake for 25 minutes until golden, firm to the touch and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Leave the cakes to cool in the cases for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

 

STORE for up to 3 days, uncovered, in the refrigerator, but serve at room temperature. Not suitable for freezing.

 

TIP Medjool dates offer a superior flavour and texture but are likely to be more expensive. Deglet Noor dates (more widely available) are semi-dry so will need more liquid to soften them.

 

VARIATION Bake this batter in a 450g (1lb) loaf tin for 1 hour for one larger loaf cake.

 

Natural red velvet cake

Based on the American classic, this cake is visually exciting, with a subtle chocolate flavour and luscious frosting. I have used natural beetroot powder (available online) rather than food colouring to create the desired red hue. Result: a super and special celebration cake that is well worth the effort.

 

MAKES A 20CM LAYERED ROUND CAKE

 

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

420g plain flour

75g cocoa powder

50g beetroot powder

375g golden caster sugar

3 eggs, beaten

1½ tsp vanilla extract

335ml buttermilk

1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1½ tsp white distilled vinegar

2 x quantities cream cheese frosting (see recipe, below), made with vanilla extract instead of orange zest

 

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease 4 x 20cm sandwich tins and line with nonstick baking parchment.

2. Combine the flour, cocoa and beetroot powder in a large bowl and set aside.

3. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Slowly whisk in the beaten eggs, then the vanilla extract.

4. Start adding the flour mixture to the butter mixture in batches, whisking well but slowly after each addition. The cake mixture will be thick. Add the buttermilk and stir until smooth.

5. Working quickly, combine the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar in a small bowl, then fold it into the cake mixture. Once incorporated, divide the batter between the prepared cake tins.

6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove and cool slightly in the tin before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

7. Make 2 x quantities of the cream cheese frosting, flavoured with vanilla (see recipe, below).

8. Trim the cakes so they are level. Fit a large piping bag with a plain nozzle and fill with the cream cheese frosting. Place the first cake on a cake stand or plate and pipe large pearls of frosting on the top, starting at the outside and working your way inwards. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat until all the layers are lined up and the top is fully decorated with frosting.

 

STORE for 3 days, uncovered, in the refrigerator. Not suitable for freezing.

 

VARIATION Decorate with frosted rose petals as in the picture if you wish (find an easy method for these in the book).

 

MY GO-TO CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

 

MAKES 1 QUANTITY

 

75g unsalted butter, slightly softened

450g icing sugar

190g full-fat cream cheese, chilled

Grated zest of 1 orange or, alternatively, vanilla extract or paste to taste

  • Rub the butter into the icing sugar to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add the chilled cream cheese and beat until smooth. Stir in the orange zest (or alternatively the vanilla).

Dairy-free chocolate & coconut loaf

This recipe combines dark chocolate with coconut for a tasty, dairy-free cake made with coconut milk for its delicious richness (and much lower fat content than butter or margarine).

 

MAKES 1 LARGE LOAF CAKE

 

400ml full-fat coconut milk

175g desiccated coconut

Groundnut oil, for greasing

225g golden caster sugar

2 eggs, beaten (weighing about 100g)

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

230g self-raising flour

75g dairy-free dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), grated (or 50g cocoa nibs)

15g toasted coconut flakes, to decorate

 

DAIRY-FREE CHOCOLATE ICING

 

170g dairy-free dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces

90ml water

220g golden icing sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, pour the coconut milk over the desiccated coconut and leave, covered, for 10 minutes to absorb. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Grease and line the base and sides of a 900g loaf tin.

2. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla to the soaked coconut and stir with a metal spoon. Sift in the flour and fold in the chocolate.

3. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour 20-30 minutes until golden brown and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out and leave to cool completely.

4. To make the icing, place the chocolate and water in a small heavy-based saucepan and heat gently until melted. Remove from the heat and beat in the icing sugar until the icing is smooth and all the lumps have gone. To decorate, reheat the chocolate icing if needed, then brush the icing over the top of the loaf. Scatter with the toasted coconut.

 

STORE for up to 3 days, uncovered, in the refrigerator but serve at room temperature. Not suitable for freezing.

 

VARIATION To make a raspberry and coconut loaf, replace the chocolate with 180g fresh raspberries and add the grated zest and juice of 1 lime. Top with 4 tbsp raspberry jam and scatter with desiccated coconut.

Lemon polenta cake with strawberry compote

This gluten-free cake, flavoured with citrus and elderflower, is served with a tangy combo of fresh fruit and jam.

 

MAKES A 20CM ROUND CAKE

 

250g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

250g golden caster sugar

3 large eggs

100g polenta

250g ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)

grated zest of 3 lemons

45ml lemon juice (squeezed from the zested lemons)

40ml elderflower cordial

 

FOR THE TOPPING

170g strawberry jam

350g strawberries, hulled and quartered

grated zest and juice of 1 lime

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 2½. Grease and line the base of a nonstick 20cm springform cake tin.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs slowly until fully combined.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the polenta, ground almonds and baking powder. Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the batter until mixed. Add the lemon zest and juice and elderflower cordial and stir until well mixed.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes or until the cake has risen and is golden on top. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool in the tin.

5. To prepare the topping, place the strawberry jam in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer the jam for 3 minutes, then add the quartered strawberries and lime zest and juice. Simmer for a further 2 minutes. Remove the strawberry compote from the heat, transfer to a clean jug and set aside to cool.

6. To serve, place the cake on a plate and spread the compote over it before serving.

 

STORE for up to 3 days loosely covered with clingfilm in the refrigerator. Not suitable for freezing.

 

 


SAVE 25 PER CENT ON MICH’S BOOK

 

Today’s recipes are from Have Your Cake and Eat It: Nutritious, Delicious Recipes for Healthier Everyday Baking by Mich Turner MBE, published by Jacqui Small, price £22. 

 

As well as Mich’s comprehensive introduction, ingredients guide and cake dos and don’ts, the book contains more than 100 yummy recipes made healthier and more nutritious by including fresh and dried fruits, nuts and seeds, and also alternatives to gluten, fats, sugars and dairy to accommodate different lifestyles.

 

To order a copy for £16.50 (a 25 per cent discount) until 28 May, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.

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