Cut and Come Again – easy and flexible cake recipe

Cut and Come Again – easy and flexible cake recipe

I try, but don’t always manage it, to make a cake on a Sunday for afternoon tea but also to pad out the school lunch boxes during the week. I think this recipe may have come out of a Country Living magazine way back when. It’s so easy to remember (175g is the main amount) and is super quick to make. It’s not a gourmet cake by any means – just an everyday cake!

The basic recipe is for a plain cake using olive oil with some lemon zest & juice for flavouring. You could use a regular sunflower oil if you prefer. I have adapted the recipe many times – adding cocoa, seasonal fruit, coconut, muesli, bananas – whatever takes my fancy really or whatever needs using up. Recently I’ve taken to making it as an upside down cake. Yes, it’s more butter and sugar – but this adds an extra richness – and makes the cake a perfect pudding too.

I call this cake ‘Cut and come again’ – just because it’s easy to keep cutting another slice to have with another cup of tea, but also because it’s so quick and easy to make. Traditionally it may have been the name of a fruit cake – but I also like to think of The Magic Pudding – who really was a cut-and-come-again puddingy cake of a fellow!

Olive Oil Cut and Come Again Cake

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For the basic recipe…

Whizz together:
3 large eggs
175ml light olive oil
175g caster sugar
(1 tsp vanilla)

Mix in:
175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Juice + zest of a lemon.

Pour batter into a greased 9 inch round cake tin and bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 180 degrees C.

When warm you could  pour a mixture of dissolved sugar in lemon on top (as per a regular lemon cake) or just sprinkle with icing sugar.

Adaptations I have tried (& which actually worked out ok!):

  • Fruit: simple cut some fruit (I’ve used apples, cherres, plums, tinned peaches) and place on top of the batter before putting in oven.
  • Upside down version: cream together approx 75g butter and half a cup of brown sugar and spread this on the bottom of your already greased tin. Place cut fruit on top (I’ve used plums, apples, pineapple). And then pour the batter over the top. In the picture above left, I have also added 2 tbsp cocoa powder as part of the 175g flour. If you want a deeper toffee-type topping, just cream more butter and sugar!
  • Banana & Muesli: I usually have quite a lot of black bananas piling up in the freezer, so I add 4 squishy bananas to the wet mixture and after adding the usual dry ingredients, I add about a cup of muesli, which absorbs the extra moisture from the bananas. If this isn’t enough, I add a handful of shredded coconut or half a cup of coconut flour. (NB coconut flour is amazingly absorbent and will densify any pudding or cake, or so I’ve found anyway.)
  • Coconut: I haven’t tried this yet – using coconut oil instead of olive oil or maybe half and half.

Please let me know how your experiments go with this recipe. Comment below and post your photos too 🙂

[Health warning: many of the recipes on this site contain flour & sugar. I always recommend organic, single origin ingredients, preferably unbleached, and will endeavour to offer alternatives. As we so very painfully know, cancer cells love sugar – so please moderate your sweet treats.]

Healthy Chocolate Cake

Here are two different and super easy versions – one gluten free and the other gluten AND nut free – of my son’s favourite cake.
Pamela delighted in treating him to these, as well as ‘wibbs’ (aka barbecue spare ribs, soon to be posted).

1. FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE (based on Donna Hay’s)

200g dark chocolate
140g butter
5 separated eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar (4oz / 125g)
1 1/2 cups ground almonds (12oz)
icing sugar for dusting

Heat oven to 160 degrees. Grease a cake tin and line base with greaseproof paper. (I use a 9 inch or 23cm diameter round.)
In a large mixing bowl, melt chocolate and butter together, either in a bowl above hot water or (I do it) in the microwave bit by bit (see note below.) Cool slightly.
Stir in the egg yolks, sugar and almonds to the chocolate mix; and put aside.
Beat egg whites until stiff and glossy.
Gently fold egg whites into the mixture.
Spoon into tin and bake for approximately 45 mins or until cooked through (see note below).
Cool and turn out onto your favourite cake plate or stand and dust with icing sugar. A few berries on top would be nice too.

NOTES:

  1. If melting chocolate and butter in microwave do it a little by little, taking care not to burn; e.g. 30 secs, stir with a small whisk, 30 secs, stir, until smooth.
  2. Pierce cake with  a wooden skewer to test if cake is ready. If it comes out clean, it is; if not cook for a little longer.
  3. The cooking time is based on my fan-forced oven. Other ovens may take a bit longer or in the top oven of an Aga the cake may be cooked after 40 minutes.
  4. This tastes best the day after baking.
  5. If having difficulties understanding Australian measurements – check here: https://www.donnahay.com.au/recipes/conversion

2. HEALTHIEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER (based on Teresa Cutter’s)

200g dark chocolate, melted
60ml melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut flour (2 oz / 60g)
1 and 1/2  teaspoon gluten free baking powder
A grind or two of sea salt
4 eggs whisked
3 tablespoons organic honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 160 degrees. Grease a cake tin and line base with greaseproof paper. (I use a 9 inch or 23cm diameter round.)
In a large mixing bowl, melt chocolate, butter and honey together, either in a bowl above hot water or (I do it) in the microwave bit by bit (note above.) Cool slightly.
Stir in the dry ingredients: coconut flour, baking powder and a grind of sea salt, until well combined.
Whisk the eggs and vanilla and stir into the rest of the mixture.
Spoon into cake tin and cook for around 40 minutes.
Cool and turn out onto your favourite cake plate or stand.  Serve with natural yoghurt, shaved dark chocolate and fresh berries. (A swirl of lavender syrup is super addition too.)

NOTES:

  1. This recipe is super quick  – if you want, just fling all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together with a hand whisk.
  2. This cake will rise well but not enormously, for a lighter cake, reduce baking powder to 1/2 teaspoon and separate your eggs as per recipe no.1. (stir in the yolks, whisk the whites and fold them into the mixture.)
  3. If you can’t find coconut flour and you don’t have to be nut-free, use 1 1/2 cups of almond or hazelnut meal instead.
  4. This cake is not super sweet, if you prefer sweeter then I suggest using maple syrup instead of honey and dust with icing sugar.
  5. If baking this recipe as cup cakes, only bake for 20 minutes.

Enjoy! ..and don’t forget to tell me how it works out for you. I’ll add some photos soon.

Squidgy (gluten-free) chocolate wrap cake thing

I had forgotten how easy, and quick to make, this ruinous dessert is. It was a regular favourite in the 80s after someone brought one over for a dinner party. I’m not sure of the origin but it could be Delia Smith or Miss Bell. I made it this week for Zoe’s going away dinner – my gorgeous girl is off to university already. We were all amazed at how good it was! There is no flour included but it’s pretty high on the fats and sugars – you can’t have everything I guess when you want your cake and to eat it too! It’s not as formal as a roulade and certainly I like the casual way it is folded.

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Squidgy chocolate wrap cake thing

Cake: 6 eggs (preferably room temp & free range of course!), 5oz caster sugar, 2oz fair trade cocoa (sifted);

Filling: 8oz double cream, block of dark chocolate and/or chocolate cream.

Turn on oven to 180 C degrees (350 F). Oil and line with baking paper a rectangular cake tin or roasting tin. (I used a baking tin with a 12 x 8 inch base).

Separate the eggs and whisk the whites until soft peaks form but not stiff. Then, in a separate bowl, whisk the yolks lightly and add the sugar. When creamy add the sifted cocoa. Fold the whites into the cocoa mixture.

Fold in the whites lightly.

Fold in the whites lightly.

When mixed, pour into the tin and spread evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes. When it’s cooling, it will contract a bit so don’t be alarmed!

Stretch out a length of baking/greaseproof paper and sprinkle it with icing sugar. When the cake is still warm, tip it out onto the paper.

For the filling you can spread layers of chocolate cream or mouse (see below) and whipped cream; this time I whipped the cream and folded melted dark chocolate into the cream which, as it cooled in the cream, created crackly chocolate striations. I then added a layer of mixed berries.

After spreading on your filling, to make the loose roll, lift the end of the baking paper and roll it over (as per photo). To finish, sprinkle with sifted icing sugar. (Tip: I think it’s easier to fold over when it’s still a little warm, i.e. pliable.)

Chocolate Cream

1/2 cup of butter (100g -ish), 1 egg yolk, 6oz dark 70% chocolate (fair trade, melted and cooled), 1 tbsp cognac or sherry, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence.

Cream the butter, beat in the chocolate, egg yolk, cognac/sherry and vanilla.