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English garden cake

Got a glut of garden veggies? Try Mike Smith's English garden cake recipe
English Garden Cake - Weekend bakes

Featured in the delicious new Indy Cafe Cookbook, Mike Smith, chief cake inventor at Bakesmiths in Bristol, shares his English garden cake recipe

Serves    12-15
Oven temp    150°c / gas 2

For the garden cake

  • Caster sugar 260g
  • Lemon 1, zest, finely grated
  • Eggs 3, large
  • Virgin rapeseed oil 225ml
  • Vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • Cucumber 60g, seeds removed and grated
  • Courgette 160g, grated
  • Mint leaves 12g, finely chopped
  • Plain flour 280g, sifted
  • Baking powder 12g
  • Salt 3g

For the frosting

  • Salted butter 35g, softened
  • Cream cheese 70g
  • Elderflower cordial 25g
  • Icing sugar 310g, sifted
  • Mixed edible dried petals to garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°c / gas 2.
  2. For the garden cake: mix the sugar and lemon zest together using a wooden spoon. Continue until the sugar has the consistency of damp sand and smells super lemony. Add the eggs, oil and vanilla extract, then beat until smooth. Mix in the cucumber, courgette and mint.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, then fold until fully combined. The mixture should be quite runny so don’t worry if it seems wet. Pour the batter into a lined square baking tin and level out. Bake in the oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to fully cool.
  4. For the frosting: mix the butter with the cream cheese and beat until smooth with no lumps. Add the elderflower cordial and beat until combined, then gently mix in the icing sugar. Once combined, beat until thick and pale.
  5. Spread the frosting over the surface of the cake with a small palette knife. Sprinkle with whatever petals take your fancy – rose, marigold, cornflower, elderflower and hibiscus all work well. Set in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.

Recipe featured in the new Indy Cafe Cookbook. Buy your copy here.

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You will need

For the garden cake

  • Caster sugar 260g
  • Lemon 1, zest, finely grated
  • Eggs 3, large
  • Virgin rapeseed oil 225ml
  • Vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • Cucumber 60g, seeds removed and grated
  • Courgette 160g, grated
  • Mint leaves 12g, finely chopped
  • Plain flour 280g, sifted
  • Baking powder 12g
  • Salt 3g

For the frosting

  • Salted butter 35g, softened
  • Cream cheese 70g
  • Elderflower cordial 25g
  • Icing sugar 310g, sifted
  • Mixed edible dried petals to garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°c / gas 2.
  2. For the garden cake: mix the sugar and lemon zest together using a wooden spoon. Continue until the sugar has the consistency of damp sand and smells super lemony. Add the eggs, oil and vanilla extract, then beat until smooth. Mix in the cucumber, courgette and mint.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, then fold until fully combined. The mixture should be quite runny so don’t worry if it seems wet. Pour the batter into a lined square baking tin and level out. Bake in the oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to fully cool.
  4. For the frosting: mix the butter with the cream cheese and beat until smooth with no lumps. Add the elderflower cordial and beat until combined, then gently mix in the icing sugar. Once combined, beat until thick and pale.
  5. Spread the frosting over the surface of the cake with a small palette knife. Sprinkle with whatever petals take your fancy – rose, marigold, cornflower, elderflower and hibiscus all work well. Set in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.

Recipe featured in the new Indy Cafe Cookbook. Buy your copy here.

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For the garden cake

  • Caster sugar 260g
  • Lemon 1, zest, finely grated
  • Eggs 3, large
  • Virgin rapeseed oil 225ml
  • Vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • Cucumber 60g, seeds removed and grated
  • Courgette 160g, grated
  • Mint leaves 12g, finely chopped
  • Plain flour 280g, sifted
  • Baking powder 12g
  • Salt 3g

For the frosting

  • Salted butter 35g, softened
  • Cream cheese 70g
  • Elderflower cordial 25g
  • Icing sugar 310g, sifted
  • Mixed edible dried petals to garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°c / gas 2.
  2. For the garden cake: mix the sugar and lemon zest together using a wooden spoon. Continue until the sugar has the consistency of damp sand and smells super lemony. Add the eggs, oil and vanilla extract, then beat until smooth. Mix in the cucumber, courgette and mint.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, then fold until fully combined. The mixture should be quite runny so don’t worry if it seems wet. Pour the batter into a lined square baking tin and level out. Bake in the oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to fully cool.
  4. For the frosting: mix the butter with the cream cheese and beat until smooth with no lumps. Add the elderflower cordial and beat until combined, then gently mix in the icing sugar. Once combined, beat until thick and pale.
  5. Spread the frosting over the surface of the cake with a small palette knife. Sprinkle with whatever petals take your fancy – rose, marigold, cornflower, elderflower and hibiscus all work well. Set in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.

Recipe featured in the new Indy Cafe Cookbook. Buy your copy here.

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