Monday, 9 April 2012

Oxford Rocks cake for The Oxford Bake Off

A long, long time ago, March 24th to be precise, there was in Oxford Town, a Bake off. I attended along with this time-eating cake, some mad chocolate brownies, and a loaf of Sun-dried tomato and basil bread.
The cake and brownies took hours and hours of planning, practice runs, frustration, sorting logistics and setting up. The bread took a few minutes, got un-ceremonially placed on a plate at the bake off, and then won it's category! Yay! lol To be fair to it though it did bake really well, looked ok, and tasted good.

So, to start with, the cake. As it was the Oxford Bake Off, I wanted to do something Oxford based, and after a few other ideas, came up with a music from Oxford theme, and the original design is pretty much what the final cake ended up being. It is a Chocolate and Orange sponge made in a rock n roll leopard skin stylee, with a truffly chocolate filling, then I tried to make an Oxford blue buttercream, but didn't quite get there, then I decorated with regalice records featuring bands from Oxford (Radiohead got the 3 centre spots), some icing musical decoration, a base ring of Crunchie rocks, and finished off with a bit of airy height from the 'Oxford Rocks!' Maltesers. The last time I used maltesers on the Valentines cake, they were randomly placed, so when I went to line these up I didn't foresee the frustration of getting the little sods lined up properly lol


  • 225g Self Raising Flour
  • 25g Cornflour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 250g Caster sugar
  • 250g Unsalted butter at room temp
  • 4 Free range medium eggs
  • 5 TBSP milk (Or just enough to make the batter easily spreadable in the tins)
  • 1 Heaped TBSP Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Orange extract
  • Yellow, red and black concentrated colour gels.
  • 100ml Double cream
  • 170g Dark Chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp Orange Extract
  • 200g Unsalted Butter at room temp
  • 400g Icing Sugar
  • Blue and Black concentrated colour gels
  • Black and White Sugarpaste/Regalice for the records
  • Icing Sugar and few tsp of Lemon juice for the icing. 
  • Maltesers 


  • Make 3 records and allow to dry for a few days.
  • Preheat the oven to 180c
  • Prep 2 9" round tins as you like. Greased and lined or cakey release spray.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
  • Sift the Flour, Cornflour and baking powder into another bowl.
  • Add one egg and some flour at a time to the butter mixture and mix well until all 4 eggs and all flour added.
  • Add a tablespoon of milk at a time until the batter is of a consistancy that will push out to the tin edges easily.
  • Take out 300g of the batter into a seperate bowl.
  • To the remaining batter add the tsp of Orange extract and a few drops of yellow colour gel and mix.
  • Split the batter evenly between the two tins and smooth level.
  • Put the 300g of batter back into the mixing bowl, add the cocoa powder, a drop of red and drop of black colour and mix well. This will be piped, so add a small amount of milk now if necessary.
  • Spoon the batter into a piping bag with about a size 5 nozzle or cut a similar sized hole in the end of the bag.
  • Poking the nozzle down into the yellow batter, squeeze out lots of little blobs without breaking through to the surface. Then squeeze lots of little blobs out onto the surface of the batter, so it looks something like this on one of my practice run cakes.....

  • Give the tins a bit of a wobble then bake for about 30 mins or until a cocktail stick comes out of the centres clean.
  • Leave in the tins for 15 mins then tip out gently onto a cooling rack
  • When the sponges are cool pour the cream into a saucepan and heat until bubbles appear at the edges.
  • Add the chocolate and stir together.
  • Allow to cool a bit until not runny but spreadable, and over the surface of one sponge.
  • Sandwich the sponges together.
  • Mix together the butter and icing sugar and add colour if you want to.
  • Cover the cake with the buttercream using a palette knife.
  • Use a black food pen and write on the 3 old records and place them in the centre.
  • Roll out black and white Regalice and using whatever you can find to make the right sized circle cuts, in my case an old baking powder tub, a bottle cap, and a straw, make 6 records and place on the cake Let them dry a while before writing on them. (Slightly quicker to write that than make them lol)
  • Mix together some sifted icing sugar and drops of lemon juice to make enough icing for the musical bits and pieces, and go as mad as you like piping the icing on. Save some for the maltesers.
  • Pipe the letters onto the Maltesers, attach to wires, stick in cake.
  • Take to Oxford Town Hall and eventually, eat :)

The Oxford Bake off was conceived by Kate and was a charity event for the benefit of:

As I write this, there is currently a wonderful Oxford Bake Off recipe book available to buy for just £5 from here with contributions from the likes of Holly Bell, Kate Shirazi, Oxford Cupcakes, and Jane Asher!

Piccies from the bake off:

And a few tunes from the Oxford boys and girls:

Another excuse to slip in this baby from Death By Crimpers - Obsessive

Radiohead - Creep (Uncensored, so don't click 'play' kids! Oi, no, stop that, oh now you've done it, that's the end of the world, you're all going to end up foul mouthed criminals, oh wait, that's from playing COD.) Oh, ignore all that, it's the radio friendly 'Very' version lol

Some tunage from Swervedriver - Dual

Some Supergrass - Richard III 

Classic from The Auteurs - Lenny Valentino

The Candyskins - Submarine Song.

Finishing with the awesome Ride - Time of her Time


  1. Brilliant cakes and songs! Love that sponge


    1. Thank you x

      I love the spots on the base of the sponge more than the cut view :)

  2. Love it! It is so totally you!

    1. Thank you x :) It is! Full of ideas not carried out to a high standard! lol Most of it was fun to make, and I learnt a lot along the way :)