Cream Cakes

Cream Cakes and strawberries

Wotchers!

I spent a lot of our holiday in France prowling around patisseries and artisan boulangeries with eyes like saucers, admiring the delicate and stylish combinations of cream and fruit and chocolate and truffle and glaze and, and, and…. More of which will, no doubt, surface later on the blog as I shamelessly appropriate their ideas and flavour combinations for my own.

However, in order to get there, it is rather a mammoth road trip, so I generally make sure I’ve got a handful of recipe books with me in the car to while away the hours – eyes on the road at all times is SO overrated….

Yes, I’m kidding. I’m actually in charge of sitting up front and paying the tolls at the end of various motorway stretches, because all the machines are on the left-hand side.

ANYHOO…..

With no other reading matter to hand, I find it’s a good way to make sure I actually READ some of the hundreds of books on my shelves and I invariably discover something I’ve overlooked before. Sure enough, this year, yet again, I have re-discovered a recipe in a dusty housewives’ pamphlet from umpty-plonk years ago that reveals itself to be a real gem and, despite my hopeless and complete admiration for the exotic and awe-inspiring patisserie creations of France, I am enchanted all over again by British simplicity.

The recipe for these cakes was so brief I almost passed it by, yet curiosity caused me to pause and read it over, wondering what ‘trick’ there was; surely the small paragraph didn’t contain making, baking AND decorating instructions?

Sure enough, it didn’t, because the recipe was for cakes MADE with cream. Specifically, substituting cream into the mix instead of butter.

So simple – flour, sugar, eggs, cream, baking powder. I just had to try them.

And they were delicious, and a complete breeze to make; no fretting over whether the butter is soft enough, or whether the sugar is dissolved sufficiently. They rose magnificently domed in the oven and are as light and tender of crumb as….. well, a very light and tender thing. Hey, I haven’t had any coffee yet today, gimme a break!

If I had just one niggle, it was that they were sweet. Tooth-achingly so. I couldn’t resist tweaking them a little. Even the sugar-pop posing as my daughter prefers this version. Of course she ate the sweet batch too, but she prefers these.

There’s no added flavouring – you could add some if you like, but I urge you to try the recipe just once, with farm-fresh eggs and rich double – or even clotted – cream.

The simplicity, lightness and flavour will be a delight.

Promise.

Cream Cakes

The cakes in the photo are made in mini layer tins I bought in my local The Range, 4 x 10cm diameter pans for £2.50 (also fab for Yorkshire Puddings) and I put 100g of batter into each one, and made six. If you’re using large cupcake/muffin tins, I suggest just 50g of batter per ‘hole’, and thus twelve cakes. Cooking time is the same for both sizes.

150g caster sugar
2 large eggs
125ml cream – double or clotted
150g plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder

  •  Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan.
  • Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar. Beat with a balloon whisk (or by hand or stand mixer) until the eggs are frothy and the sugar dissolved – about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cream and whisk in.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together and stir into the rest of the ingredients – the balloon whisk/attachment is best for this, less washing up too!
  • Grease and line your tins, or use cupcake cases.
  • Spoon your mixture into your tins. Spread the batter to the sides, leaving a hollow in the middle. They will still dome up during cooking, but this way it should be a little more controlled.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • I think these are delicious served warm, lightly dusted with icing sugar and with a drizzle of cold cream poured over and a few fresh berries on the side. You can also split them and fill with whipped cream and berries or jam, or indeed any way that takes your fancy!

8 Comments on “Cream Cakes”

  1. vannillarock says:

    mmm these look delicious, and as you say so simple.
    that made me laugh about the french payage;, we bought the thingy for the windscreen this year- this is supposed you let you whizz through a particular lane and bills your credit card at the end of the month, only it didn’t work on our windscreen -oops!

  2. Jean says:

    They look gorgeous and sound delicious.
    Must give them a try – thanks for the recipe.

  3. These cakes look wonderful! And how unusual to use cream instead of butter! I’m going to have to try these soon 🙂

  4. Angela says:

    Hello,
    I have been a follower of your blog since seeing you on GBBO. I love your recipes, wit and …well …everything. I am quite besotted by all things to do with baking.
    Just in regards to the sugar content of the recipe, the amount listed above is the reduced amount? Out of interest what was the original recipe’s sugar quantity?
    Thank you.
    Regards from Australia,
    Angela

    • MAB says:

      Wotchers Angela!

      So glad you’re enjoying both your time in the kitchen and the blog!

      The original recipe was written in cups, strangely enough – 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup cream, which equates to 200g sugar, 125g flour, 125ml cream.

      It’s not a BAD combination – it still makes a sponge – just a very sweet one!

      Happy Baking! M-A 😀

      • Angela says:

        Thank you so much for answering my questions. I appreciate it. Would you describe the texture as more a dense butter cake or fluffy and light? Regards, Angela

    • MAB says:

      Can’t find the ‘Reply’ button on your follow-up question below, Angela, so I hope this gets through!

      The cake is beautifully light and fluffy and moist.

      Happy Baking! M-A 😀

  5. Janine says:

    I just watched Martha Stewart make these, yesterday! I’d never heard of them before.


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