Vanilla and Cinnamon Flecked Rhubarb Cake (and a birthday!)

Gluten Free
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 It’s my blog’s birthday! Happy birthday blog 🙂 I’m actually half a week late because I completely forgot what month it was I started, but it’s the thought that counts right? And the cake of course. 

When I started this blog I had no idea what I wanted it to be. I loved baking, and I loved taking photos of what I made. My sister suggested I put up the recipes and photos in a blog, which sounded like a better idea than just hoarding hideous photos on Microsoft. I was so completely intimidated by the beautiful blogs I was reading at the time, I thought my blog would be a clumsy failure full of silly writing and hopeless photos. And guess what, it was! (Example 1: my first post…)

But over time I think (I hope!) I’ve gotten a little better at it. The recipes I put up now reflect the food I love to make and eat, and the photos, although looking nothing like how I dream of being able to photograph one day, are in their own clunky way prettier. It makes me happy knowing that people read what I write and actually try out the recipes. Even though it’s not why I started, and it’s not why I continue to work hard on this space, it’s nice knowing there’s a little audience out there. I’m so thankful that you all exist! All the comments I get and emails bring a smile to my face 🙂

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 I thought for this momentous day I would share a few of the blogs that inspired my to start (most of them you’ve all probably heard of) and also a few of the blogs that inspire me to keep going. Undoubtably the two blogs that sparked a love of photography and baking, and continue to inspire me daily, are Poires au Chocolat and Raspberri Cupcakes. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have started blogging if not for these two. Even today when people ask me for what blogs I think stand out, with the multitude of professional photographers and chefs setting up their own sites, I first think of these two. 

As my blog has developed it’s own taste and taken a turn for the healthy, 101 Cookbooks, Sprouted Kitchen and of course Smitten Kitchen have become my staple weekly reads, that I check probably more regularly than my university emails, unfortunately. 

And as for the new blogs I’ve discovered, the lovely Josefine at Smoothie Lover, Consuelo’s Honey and Figs, and the beautiful To Her Core, constantly put up amazing recipes that I always, ALWAYS want to eat. Their posts are always so beautiful and healthy I’m so happy to have discovered them. 

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 I had a lot of ideas for what kind of cake to make for this day, but in the end I decided against a big celebratory layer cake or tart. I wanted to make something that represented exactly what my blog would taste like if it was a cake. And I’m pretty sure I got it right! 

This cake is so yummy. It’s so moist and rich. The syrup soaks down and keeps the cake moist for ever, and the topping is crunchy and tangy from the rhubarb and raw sugar. We ate this with ice cream for afternoon tea, but it could work for any special occasion really. And the recipe is inspired by a woman’s weekly recipe, just like that very first plum cake I made on my first post. 

So Happy Birthday Sugar and Cinnamon! And Happy Easter to all of you. If you’re reading this now, just know that if I could I would give you a big slice of cake with a scoop of ice cream on it xxx

One Year Ago: Healthy Date and Walnut Balls

Image Vanilla and Cinnamon Rhubarb Cake Adapted from Women’s Weekly

185g (1.45 cups) butter, softened

150g (2/3 cup) caster sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 tbsp orange zest, from about 2 oranges

1/4 cup (60ml) buttermilk or yogurt

150g  (1 cup) self-raising flour (or 1 cup almond meal for gluten free- will be slightly denser but still great)

80g (1/2 cup) ground almonds or semolina

1/5 tsp cinnamon

200g (1.8 cups) rhubarb, cut into 3cm pieces

1 tbsp raw sugar

For the Syrup:

1 cup (250ml) orange juice

110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

125ml (1/2 cup) water

11g (1 cup) rhubarb, cut into pieces

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Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line a 20cm (8 inch) cake pan with baking paper. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the orange zest, followed by each egg, beating in one at a time slowly so the mix doesn’t split. Once combined, mix in the flours and cinnamon gently, and the buttermilk until just combined. 

Smooth into the cake tin and top with the rhubarb and raw sugar. Bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, until a skewer comes out clean. 

Meanwhile make the syrup. Combine all the ingredients and cook in a small saucepan over a low heat until the rhubarb has dissolved (you can strain it if you want a smoother syrup). Cook for about ten minutes to reduce it, then pour half over the hot cake and reserve the rest for pouring over pieces when you serve it. Eat with ice cream!

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45 thoughts on “Vanilla and Cinnamon Flecked Rhubarb Cake (and a birthday!)

  1. Happy Birthday to your lovely blog!! I’m so happy to have found you…. 🙂

    This cake… You couldn’t have chosen a more perfect cake than this to celebrate … Celebrate your one year… And to celebrate your incredible talent…

    I did look at your first post, and it was lovely… It looked to me as though you’ve been blogging forever.. Your photos were beautiful… And your story went perfectly with it.. And so cute that your grandpa tried to sneak the cake home!

    Happy Anniversary… And it look forward to many more! 🙂

  2. Happy first blog birthday!! I truly think getting through that first year is the hardest part and when most people give up. So it’s a BIG accomplishment!! Your cake sounds so good! I’m really into rhubarb right now and this is lovely.

  3. Congratulations, Lilli! I so wish I could celebrate with you with a piece of this lovely cake (with ice cream of course). As I can’t, I’ll just have to have another piece of the chocolate that’s sitting temptingly beside me right now. Poires au Chocolat is great, isn’t it? I don’t know rasberri cupcakes, but I’m off to have a look now!

  4. Wow, that cake looks delicious!! Happy blog birthday – I had no idea you’ve only been doing this for a year – your recipes and photos are all so delicious and beautiful that I assumed you’d be at it much longer!

  5. Happy Birthday dear!!!! I’m so glad I discovered your blog too, because your recipes always look delicious and I love how they’re super healthy too! Keep up the awesome job!
    And happy Monday! xx

  6. Congratulations!!! And there is no doubt about it: your pictures are spectacular and I love reading your little stories. I am looking forward to another year of your yummy dishes! Big birthday hug!

  7. Hi Lillian! Just wanted to say happy blog birthday ❤ It means to much to read that my blog had anything to do with inspiring you to start your lovely blog, thank you for the super sweet mention! Haha and trust me, your first post is 100 times better than my early posts. You gotta start somewhere hey! And what a perfect cake to celebrate with, anything with rhubarb is divine. Wishing you many more blog birthdays for the future! xx

    • Oh my God I got so excited when I saw “Raspberri Cupcakes” commented on your blog haha xx thank you so much! Rhubarb is definitely the best thing ever in cakes 🙂 Your blog is so beautiful I’m so flattered!

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