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You just can't mum's cake

by Sarah Alcock

As it's Mother's Day this Sunday, we've been engaging in some friendly(ish) debate about whose mum makes the best cakes. It's ongoing, but right now Katrina's mum's fruit cake, Lucy's mum's Victoria sponge and Steph's mum's cupcakes are the front runners.

If you've decided to give your mum the day off and bake something for her this weekend, try the coffee cake or almond cake recipes below. Our editor Helena and food director Sarah have shared their mums' recipes, so you already know they've got the daughter seal of approval.

What does your mum bake better than anyone else? Tell us in the comments box below.


oil, for greasing
125g butter, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 heaped tbsp instant coffee, dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water
(I use Nescafé Gold Blend)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
125g self-raising flour
2 tbsp cold whole milk
whole coffee beans, to decorate
For the icing
100g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp Camp coffee essence
250ml double cream, whipped

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Line the base of 2 x 19cm round cake tins with foil and lightly grease with oil.

2 Cream the butter and sugar with an electric hand whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the coffee dissolved in water, along with the eggs and flour. Mix well, then fold in the milk.

3 Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins before turning out and peeling off the foil.

4 Mix the icing sugar with the Camp coffee essence and just enough water (about 2 teaspoons) to form a smooth, reasonably thick icing.

5 Sandwich the cakes together with the whipped cream and spread the icing over the top. Scatter with coffee beans, to decorate.



150g butter, softened and cubed
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp almond extract
75g self-raising flour
1 rounded tsp baking powder
125g ground almonds
2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds, to decorate
For the icing
150g icing sugar
juice of 1 small lemon

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Lightly grease a 7cm-deep 18cm loose-bottomed round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

2 Put all the ingredients for the cake in an electric mixer, except for the flaked almonds (or use a large mixing bowl and an electric hand whisk) and beat until combined.

3 Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Place the tin on a baking tray and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is golden and firm to the touch in the centre. Leave to cool in the tin.

4 Turn the cake out on to a wire rack over a board and remove the baking paper.

5 For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice a little at a time. You probably won't need it all – you're aiming for a thick pouring consistency.

6 Spoon the icing over the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. Scatter the flaked almonds over the top of the cake to decorate.

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