Consuming Pimm’s on a hot day – as a drink and in a cake


The weather round these parts has been scorching recently – definitely Pimm’s o’clock. We have also had the usual glut of mint extending en masse from one corner of the garden, the presence of which has been a constant reminder to me to use it in my summer cooking as much as possible.

Of course, mint goes perfectly in Pimm’s, joined by strawberries, cucumber and orange, and I was keen to christen my new jug – which was, incidentally, free at Asda with any purchase of Pimm’s.

But I also remembered cutting out a recipe for Pimm’s cake from a magazine way back when. Luckily enough, I was able to locate said recipe, when though my recipe books have bits of paper pouring out of them – I always seem to fall behind with getting them organised and stuck into their proper sections.

The recipe itself was very simple: a basic loaf tin cake, with 50ml of Pimm’s added, in addition to a handful of chopped mint and the zest of one orange and one lemon.

After it came out of the oven, I drizzled over lemon and orange juice, with a little more Pimm’s too. Now, writing after we have eaten it, i think I might have added a little sugar to this drizzle. There’s always next time.


A rainbow birthday cake for some special friends

There are some people for whom it is worth going the extra mile – definitely the case when two of your oldest schoolfriends are celebrating their birthdays, and you’re going to see them at a reunion weekend.

So, the research began. What cake to make to feed 12 adults whilst also communicating the gratitude for the good friendship of the two leading ladies?

I cannot help the cake magpie in me which means I am drawn to colours and glitter and sprinkles – my favourite childhood cake was plain sponge tray bake, iced white with sprinkles on top, purchased from a fab cafe in Derry called The Acorn. Mum bought me one on our Saturday trips into town and they remain in my head as a ideal bun to have with a cup of tea. Simple yet special.

So I went for colour – and sprinkles. I made four plain sponge layers, dyed each a different colour and then layered them with buttercream. The sponge was so light the crumbs were pulling away and I had a mini fit, but it sat tight in the end.

Add the afore mentioned sprinkles, some glitter writing icing and a rainbow ribbon (for a hint of what lay within) and it was done.

the rainbow birthday cake pre cutting

My happiest moment of its planning, cooking, construction and devouring was when I cut into it with a knife and was able to remove a solid slice of four colours. Relief!

the rainbow birthday cake