Sunday, 28 July 2013

Birthday Cake and a Day Out in Oxford

We spent the day with my mum on Saturday to celebrate her birthday. Dad had sent me an email requesting a birthday cake for her and I was more than happy to oblige. I made her a chocolate cake using a basic victoria sponge recipe.

175g margarine or butter
175g caster sugar
150g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
3 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream the marg and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at time, adding a tbsp of the flour and cocoa powder mixture with each egg to prevent the mixture curdling. When this is all mixed in, fold the flour in with a metal spoon (I did this all in the mixer which has a metal mixing paddle). Add enough water to make it a dropping consistency. Divide between two 20cm tins which have been greased (I also added a circle of greaseproof paper). Bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees centigrade) for 25 minutes.

When a skewer comes out clear (make sure you don't open the oven door too soon as the cakes will collapse), remove from the oven and leave to cool. To make the butter icing, mix 120g margarine or butter with 200g icing sugar and 50g cocoa powder. Sandwich the cakes together and cover with the icing. I decorated the cake with chocolate buttons.

I love the plate that it's on - it was my granny's plate and I use it all the time for cakes. Mum enjoyed her birthday cake although my ds said that it was too light and he preferred his granny's (my mum's) cakes. You can't win them all!

We spent the day in Oxford - lots of people but we managed to find some of the quieter areas, down the smaller roads and by the river. We managed to beat the weather as it didn't start raining until we were back in the car. Here are some pictures of our day.

I love the architecture in Oxford and the wildlife is pretty special too.

We tried to save this snake from the canal but it wasn't playing ball so we left it have a swim. Just outside Christ's College we came across a border of lavender which was covered in honey bees - it was an amazing sight and this photo doesn't really do it justice. It's good to see so much wildlife in an urban area. After all this visiting, today was definitely a day of rest.


  1. Thanks for linking to Let's Connect Thursday! This cake sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing the pictures too! Looks like it was a beautiful day.

  2. The cake looks yummy - I would suggest that your Dad makes the cake next year ;). Great photos, thanks for sharing.

  3. Can't go wrong with a nice choc cake I think... I have a 'cake plate' at home too, yours is very pretty.

  4. Oxford looks very picturesque, and that cake looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe - and the tip not to open the door too soon (its probably why my cakes don't rise much!)

  5. I make a similar chocolate cake every year for my birthday, though I add lots more buttons and a couple of crushed flakes (I'm a bit of a chocoholic!!!).

    Great photos of Oxford. It really is a beautiful city xx