1st Blogiversary + Vanilla Bean Cake w/ Boozy Raspberry Jam

birthday candleI can’t believe it’s been a year since I’ve started this blog. And boy it’s been a journey. At first it was very hard for me to write posts often as I found it hard to put want I wanted to say in pixels sound interesting and often wondered would anyone actually want to read it.
I’m still nowhere near what I want to achieve with this blog in regards to recipe creativity and development, the overall look and styling of the blog and my main thing I want to improve is the photography and photo styling.

TBH I don’t even take pictures with a digital camera, much less a DSLR like most bloggers.

I use my phone.

Please don’t judge me 🙂

whole candleOver the past few weeks I have started buying material and props in hopes to make a small and gradual step in improving my photos. I will get there eventually. Hopefully.

During the course of this blog adventure, I’ve had to try and reduce the amount of cakes (I like baking cakes) I bake to vary it up a bit and to try flavours and foods that I’m not usually accustomed to as part of this experience. I’ve still got to add some more pie and tarts to my recipe archive, possibly some ice creamy goodness too and to cross off some more items on my Baker’s To Do List.

giant slicedI just want to thank a few people who have been there for me. My family for having to endure my endless stream of baked goods, a messy kitchen and having to help with the washing and tidying up. To the people at the supermarket checkout that have to tolerate with my indecisiveness (wow that is a long word) who probably aren’t even reading this but hey ho. And of course  all of my lovely readers. For dropping me little emails about my blog, subscribing to my blog and liking my pictures on Instagram. Thank you all, it’s much appreciated.

full slicedIn the meantime I’m going to eat this cake….

Because a birthday without cake is just a meeting right?

double slicedFor the vanilla cake…
300g butter, softned
220g caster sugar
seeds of 1 vanilla bean
5 eggs, room temperature
300g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp hot milk

For the boozy jam…
75g raspberry jam
50ml vodka
2 tbsp chambord
100g raspberries

For the buttercream…
250g butter, softned
400g icing sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
2 colours of your choice

  • For the cake: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line and grease 3 x 8″ round tins with greaseproof paper
  • Cream butter, sugar and vanilla beans till light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour till just combined then gradually add the eggs and the hot milk
  • Divide the batter between the three tins and bake for 20-25 mins or until a skewer comes out clean rotating the cake tins halfway.
  • Leave to cool in the tins for 15 mins then remove and place on a cooling rack until cakes have completely cooled.
  • For the jam: Combine the alcohol together in a bowl. Add the raspberries and leave to soak in the alcohol for 15 mins.
  • Crush the raspberries slightly before mixing with the jam.
  • For the buttercream: Cream butter, icing sugar and salt till very pale and fluffy.
  • Gradually add the milk and vanilla and continue to beat it on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Leave in the fridge to firm up a bit
  • For the assembly: Trim any domes off the top of the cake. Place a dot of buttercream onto the cake plate or cake board and stick down one layer of the cake.
  • Spread a generous amount of jam and top with another layer of cake. Repeat
  • Using un-tinted buttercream apply a thin layer over the cake to seal the cake crumbs. Place in the fridge till the butter firms up.
  • Divide and tint the remainder buttercream with your two colours..
  • Place one of the colours on the bottom half of the cake, saving some for a border.
  • Spread it out evenly before placing the other colour on the top of the cake, spreading it out till it pushes over the edge. Spread out the buttercream on the sides.
  • Using the palette knife smooth out the buttercream trying to slightly blend in the colours.
  • Using a star tip pipe a shell border around the cake and finish with a swirl in the the middle
  • Finish with some sprinkles and a candle if you wish.

Oh So Sweet Baker’s Notes…

  • If you want to make this kid friendly replace the boozy jam with ordinary one or if you want to try and make the jam remove the alcohol and replace with blackcurrant or mixed berry cordial and add 30g more raspberries
  • When you are ready to assemble the cake take the buttercream out of the microwave 10mins for then beat to soften it up making it easier to spread.
  • For a visual explanation of how to decorate the cake check out this video here.
  • Try and pick colours that go well together and wont create grey or an ugly colour when slightly blended.
  • If your feeling brave go for 3 or 4 colours together

Oh So Sweet Baker x


  1. your photos are lovely, i can only imagine how good they would be if you had an dslr! also, i dont think you should stop baking cakes, youre clearly a talented cake maker & it would be great to see more of these on your blog.
    it was about a year into my blog that i started searching for props, now im on the lookout whenever i go shopping, its so addictive!

    • Thank you that means a lot x. I will try, I find it hard to write out the instructions for the decorated cakes in a way people will understand. That’s one of the next stages. I’ve just started buying. I wanted to make sure that it is what I wanted to do before I spend even more money on the fancier bits. I usually go to charity shops because they’re stupidly cheap. Going to start doing some d.i.y stuff as well so look out

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