Happy Halloween – a cake so bad, it’s frightening!

I love making cakes, and children are an appreciative lot – just as well – this cake was a


My attempt at the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter!

Epic fail sorting hat

And just in case you think that’s not so frightening…..

Harry Potter figures made of icing Close up of Scary Harry, Scary Ron and Oh, So Scary Hermione!


And to do it properly ?
This site, Fictional Food, will show you how a Sorting Hat cake should really be done.

Making Mondays – The Great British Non Bake Pizza Cake

On the BBC  – it’s the final week of The Great British Bake Off, and there’s something about these dark, autumn evenings that makes me want to be in the kitchen.

I’m a latecomer to the Bake Off, but though I’m gripped every week by the skills these bakers demonstrate as they work through the challenges, I have to admit – I’m just not that type of cook.   This is more my style………

Pizza cake inspired by Jane Asher


Normally, I’ll  bake Victoria sponges, muffins, and bread from the trusty bread machine, but for children’s birthdays – well, then I make a real effort.

The thing with children is, it’s often the presentation that counts, since any kind of cake is a good cake. I think that’s  a nice way to look at baking, you don’t have to worry if your cake sinks in the middle (as long as it’s cooked!), you can always fix it with icing.

The pizza above was inspired by Cakes for Fun, by Jane Asher. * This book has some truly wonderful ideas, but by far the easiest and most well received was this pizza cake.

This cake requires NO COOKING! It’s a refridgerator cake – similar to a Rocky Road mixture – but using madeira cake crumbs (or similar), and white chocolate instead of plain.

A Rocky Road mixture, like this one, click, but using white chocolate, and digestives or Rich Tea biscuits should do the trick. Really bash up those biscuits, you don’t want large bits of rubble, and I would add the crumbs for a cheap store bought Madeira cake too. But I wouldn’t use the marshmallows, it would make the pizza look too lumpy.

  • Form your mixture into a pizza shape on some greaseproof paper, pressing down firmly, and cool in the fridge. (I cut mine into slices before it went in the fridge, as I didn’t want the toppings to get destroyed by cutting it up later – it does get quite hard).
  • Using seedless jam for tomato sauce, and a selection of sweets for toppings, decorate the base. I used Minstrels, Dolly Mixtures, Smarties and Jelly Tots.
  • Finish with a grating of white chocolate, which looks amazingly like cheese.
  • Serve to hungry, laser-party-exhausted-children (and hope the sugar rush doesn’t hit them ’til they’re out the door with their parents!).

And for added effect………………….a real pizza box……

Kid's birthday cake pizza Supplied cheerfully, if somewhat bemusedly, by our local Snappy Pizza.

It may not be worthy of Duff on Ace of Cakes, or the Bake Off contestants, but it’s easy, effective, and fun to do!

And for a real cheat of a pizza cake……click here



 *  Jane Asher’s book is available from third party sellers on Amazon, or perhaps your local library has a copy.

Doggy Snood

Bertie has long ears. And in summer, as most spaniel owners know, grass seeds are really common, and once they get inside the ear, they don’t want to come out.

Out little spaniel was in agony last week when he encountered one of these pointy little seeds, and it cost us a trip to the vet (where he was sedated) and £82.

I don’t want to stop taking him to his favourite places, they’re my favourite places too, and most mornings you see something magical like this….

Deer in field

… a deer spying on us from across the field.

So – I have come up with a cunning invention….the doggy snood.

Cocker spaniel snood, how to make, prevent grass seeds in ears What?    Yeah, I know it looks ridiculous, but he’s co-ordinated!

It’s an old pair of my tights, or a healthy chunk of the leg actually, and it fits on his ears just nice.

(Martha Stewart has instructions to sew a more stylish dog snood, if that interests you)

From the front, it looks a little odder.

Happy cocker spaniel, prevent grass seeds in dog ears

But he’s happy.

As always.