Dark Cake Trends 2016

Dark Cake Trends 2016, fashions come and go but when it comes to baking 2016 is all about the dark and mysterious, the rich and decadent. Here are some of our favourites for our little corner of North Norfolk for the up and coming year, it’s darkly fascinating.BlackCherry

When you think of cake for weddings, birthdays or other celebrations a dark cake maybe isn’t neccesarily a first thought. Maybe nice old chocolate cake might hit the spot, but move over Mr Hum Drum Chocolate cake, reveal centre stage a rich dark fudgey chocolate cake made with a hint of coffee, or a delectable Guinness cake resplendent with a dreamy cream cheese topping. More often than not my special celebration orders are requests for my gingerbread cake and cinnamon frosting which has been a favourite for the past couple of years, along with new pal Salted Caramel and its glorious cascade of molten caramel with crunches of sea salt.  They’re partnering up on some occasions too – nothing says we’re having a party like calorific abandonment and pure cakery hedonism!!

sweetie cake

To whet the appetite we have firstly have a couple of cupcakes and big cakes after my own heart, we’ve added caramel popcorn, halved Maltesers, crunchie bars, fudge and other sweet treats with a good glug of caramel on a caramel cake and matching buttercream.


Smartened up these topped cakes can be simply stunning with some precise dribbling and piping, crowned with buttery crumble on a sticky toffee inspired cake.


A meeting in the middle from the naked cake fascination that still holds true and cake tables is a pudding cake.  Think of your favourite comfort puds and pile ’em up with Chantilly cream and beautifully shiny toffee sauce.  something for everyone, it’s a sure-fire winner!


If there are no allergy sufferers amongst your number (of which we could cater for undoubtedly) there’s a rather smashing peanut thing going on out there. Peanutty hot drinks have been hitting the shops and Reese’s Peanut Cups are over here and have no fear. We love ’em.  Perfect for your fellow nut lovers out there.


More dark and brooding naked cakes, there’s plenty for everyone to whet all appetites.


If cultured and swish is favoured how about this immaculate black fondant covered cake with our favourite gold leaf technique on the base cake, simply stunning.  Evergreens compliment the black and gold to perfection. Adorable.


Still comfortably in its groove is the faithful naked cake of 2014/15.  It’s a look that’s still going strong as a tall, dark silhouette adorned with seasonal fruits and blooms.

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If these or any of the other cakes on our site or blog have captured you imagination contact us on 07932 874576 or email us on

 Winner of Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas 2015 ‘Gingerbread Lighthouse’ as_seen_on

Apple & Blackberry Crumble crumble

Fruit Fall Bounty – Apple & Blackberry Crumble

One of my favourite things about the forthcoming season is the fruit fall that’s all around us. There is an abundant glut of bough heavy fruits and colourful berries about to explode with ripeness into our harvest. We’re fans of pick your own, foraging and the wee ones are dab hands at scrumping.. It’s a rite of passage I think…


Heavily scented fresh autumn apples and plump juicing blackberries are typically sweet buttery crumble territory, best served steaming with hot creamy custard.  Beautiful gentle green and blushed goosegogs, which make a stonking tart jam to have with wedges of crumbly Wensleydale. What about pears, plums, mulberries, damsons who also make great jams, perfect for filling cakes or tucking into cobblers, pies and puddings. There’s still sloes to come and quince next month – the former being a deadringer for a blueberry but so much better pricked and bathed languorously in Mothers Ruin. Who doesn’t love a warming nip of Sloe Gin when the days are short and glittering with frost? Quince is another perfect pair for savoury slices, cold cuts or cheeses.

Where shall we start? I’m going to share a couple of recipes for this season, tried and tested (and loved and finished by 3 menfolk of the house).

First up, a staple because if you don’t already make your own here’s our favourite plate scraper.

Scrumpers Tip: If you are all for free food make sure you dunk these in cold water for some time to see if any residents emerge from your bounty. Apples can be peeled, cored and quartered and popped in a freezer bag in the portion size you would cook in. I’ve never met a bunch of blackberries who didn’t need a good ‘rehoming’ – just sayin’.

Apple & Blackberry Crumble

A lot of what I cook for the family has my mothers air of ‘I just know’ about it so I’ve had to go slow and make notes as I go to get a recipe for something ‘I just do’.  I start with the crumble as it can sit and the apples don’t loiter very well, they get a brown tinge to them once they’re cut and the acid hits the air.

Apple & Blackberry Crumble topping:

12 oz plain flour (it works with Doves plain flour too)

6 oz butter (I like Willow particularly as it has a buttery taste and makes a subtle ‘chew’ to the top—not the sort you’ll lose a tooth in)

2 or 3 oz rolled oats

4oz Demerara sugar

Combine the flour and butter creating lots of lift when rubbing in. I pick up in the palm area and ‘drop’ it out through the fingertips, brushing it through my fingertips thumbs starting at small fingertips and working in. Once you have fine breadcrumbs you know you have the flour and butter combined, go a bit further with it and form a larger crumb. At this point add in the Demerara and oats and just rub a little to integrate it. This can sit to one side while you prep the fruit.


Fruit prep:

5 or 6 large Bramleys, peeled, cored and sliced

500g blackberries, if you are using these straight from a freezer stash of pre picked berries add a tablespoon of corn flour to the dish, they can be cooked from frozen and the corn flour makes a little sauce.

Allspice or sweet mixed spice – allspice is actually one large peppercorn like berry that comes from India and has a many hued flvour, cinnamon meets cloves suggled with nutmeg and pepper.  Read more here


Place your prepped fruit in a suitable baking dish, I use a family lasagne dish, our crockery is pulling double duty in our galley. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of Demerara and a teaspoon o f allspice or sweet mixed spice—it gives a lovely heady aroma as it’s cooking along with the berry juices. Tip the crumble over the fruits and level slightly.

Depending on your dish type it could be 25—45 mins cooking at 180c. I usually stick mine in the oven during the main cook mid week. On a Sunday it goes in once everyone’s plated up, then we take our time until our golden Apple & Blackberry Crumble is ready..

Serve with double cream for a rib sticking treat or custard or half fat crème fraiche for a lighter touch.

Bon appétit!

Apple & Blackberry Crumble crumble