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Make a cake for the summer fête

by Sarah Alcock

It's the only place in the UK you can buy a slice of cake for 50p – summer fête season is upon us!
If you're fed up with fairy cakes and don't want to get into a 'best brownie' battle with the neighbouring stallholder, Annie Bell's Victoria passion cake – a cross between a carrot and a banana cake, with walnuts, spices and a cream cheese frosting could be a winner. It looks impressive and will sell well with the adult crowd, too.

Recipe taken from Annie Bell's Baking Bible (Kyle Books, £25).

What will you be making for the summer fête this year? Tell us in the comments box below.

Annie Bell's Victoria passion cake

Serves 10-12


  • butter, for greasing
  • 200ml groundnut or vegetable oil
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, separated
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 100g grated raw carrot
  • 2 mashed ripe bananas (375g unpeeled weight)
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra
  • 50g finely chopped walnuts, plus extra
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 450g low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5. Grease 2 x 5cm-deep 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins, line the bases with baking paper and grease this, too.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar with an electric hand whisk, then whisk in the egg yolks and milk. Fold in the carrot and banana.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture; stir together with the spices and walnuts.
  4. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff with an electric hand whisk. Fold into the cake mixture in two goes; divide between the tins.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cakes shrink from the sides and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Loosen the cakes with a knife; cool in the tins.
  6. For the icing, mix the butter and icing sugar with an electric hand whisk. Add the cream cheese and vanilla extract; blend until smooth.
  7. Turn the cakes out on to a board and remove the baking paper. Spread a quarter of the icing over one cake, put the other on top; use the rest of the icing to cover the top and sides. Sprinkle with walnuts and ground cinnamon.
  8. Allow to set in the fridge for 1 hour.


use a palette knife to decorate the top of the cake – just swirl it backwards and forwards.

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