Wednesday, January 1

Blog's 1st Birthday

Thank you.

A year ago today I started this blog, it was without a doubt one of the best decisions that I've ever made.
Throughout this year I've met some incredible people, a couple even face to face, and you have all made the effort that I've put into this blog 100% worth it.

Hopefully you've enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing every single post. It's been a blast!

So thank you. Thank you all. I've had a whale of a time and I can only imagine what this blog will lead me to in 2014....

Hears to a New Year!

But it wouldn't be a proper birthday celebration without a delicious cake now would it?! 
Luckily for me, New Years Day is also my darling mother's birthday and so I had the opportunity to make one heck of a cake to represent both milestones.


I whipped up this utterly delicious & moreish, 'Maple Syrup & Caramelised Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting'.
Sweet, sugary & a scrumptious moist nibble with every bite.

I was a little bit worried about the maple syrup being too overpowering, but actually its full of orange zest which cuts straight through the sugar and lightens the bake beautifully.
It's remarkably simple and ridiculously moreish!

To make your own ridiculously addictive, 'Maple Syrup & Caramelised Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting", you will need:

For the cake:
- 255g butter, softened
- 225g light muscovado sugar
- Zest of one orange
- 4 large eggs
- 100ml maple syrup
- 350g self raising flour
- 2 level tsp baking powder
- 1/2 level tsp ground ginger
- 75g pecan nuts, broken up

For the caramelised pecans:
- 75g golden caster sugar (for strong, broken praline), I ended up using dark soft sugar though as it is all we had in the house.
- 3 tbsp. of water
- 75g pecans

For the frosting:
- 500g icing sugar
- 200g cream cheese, at a very cold temperature

Preheat your oven to 160C/fan 140 and then grease/line a 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.

This recipe really is ridiculously simple...
Just tip in all of the cake ingredients (except the pecans) into a large mixing bowl.

Mix the ingredients together for a couple of minutes until smooth, fully combined and a beautiful golden brown.
Then tip in the broken up pecans and stir in with a spatula.

Spoon into the cake tin and bake in the oven for about 1-1 1/2 hours.
A skewer should come out clean, it should be coming away slightly from the edges and should spring back at your touch when ready.

Meanwhile to make the praline, heat the sugar and water on a medium heat until completely dissolved. Do not stir after it has all dissolved as the sugar with crystalize.

If you would like hard, crunchy praline, heat the golden caster sugar until it is piping hot and has turned a rich nut brown.
(I went for a softer, runnier caramel because quote, 'Your Grandmother needs to eat this and can't break her dentures on crunchy praline'. Oh family joys!)
If you would like this runny effect, heat the sugar until hot and beginning to turn colour, but bring off the heat just before it turns a rich brown.
Tip in the pecans off of the heat.

Quickly tip the hot sugar and nuts onto a piece of non stick baking parchment or 'Bake-o-Glide' (honestly google this, it is a cook's dream!), and leave to cool completely.

To make the cream cheese frosting, add half of the icing sugar and the cream cheese to a mixing bowl and beat until fully combined (beware of the sugar cloud!)

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and slowly add the remaining icing sugar, beating and scraping down in between.

Slice your cake into 3 layers (the method I used was by using a knife to score the sides to make sure that you can see each layer before cutting.)
Pop the bottom base onto your serving plate and spoon on a dollop of icing.

Spread it out far and wide before adding 1/3 of the crunchy pecans.
Complete this stage with the final two layers and drizzle any soft caramel you might have left over on top.

And there you have it!
Simple, relatively quick & highly addictive.

I did treat myself to a little special something to mark the day...
I thought the gingerbread man suited the occasion perfectly, it must have been fate!

So 'Happy Birthday' my dearest mother, and 'Happy Birthday' to my blog.
It's been one heck of a year & I can't wait to see what opportunities are waiting for me in 2014.
Nevertheless, as when 'My Ginger Bread Journey' began...

I'm still ginger.
I'm still a student.
And (most importantly), I'm still baking!

Hears to 2014! Happy New Year all!



  1. Sent my birthday wish to your mom too! Happy birthday!

  2. This cake looks absolutely amazing! Happy birthday to your blog, too - it seems so sophisticated to be only a year old! Keep it up, I love your posts and recipes. x

    1. Thanks Emma! Tell me about it.. I can't believe its been one year! Promise I will :) xx

  3. This cake looks so gorgous and yummy! I have already saved this recipe. I love the gingerbread man charm, it's on my list to buy.


  4. A very merry blog birthday to you!
    Cracking looking cake too.
    M x Life Outside London

    1. Thanks Michelle! Can't believe its been a year already! xx

  5. Cake looks delicious! Congratulations on the anniversary, loving the little gingerbread charm too!

    Debs x

    Living Vicariously Through Cake

  6. Happy Blogging Birthday! The cake looks fab - on a side note I used this syrup the other day for a Maple and Peacan Layer Cake (Hummingbird's Recipe) and was so surprised at the % of Maple Syrup. Perhaps it's just the first time I've even noticed. Anyway - congrats again :)

    Beanie xxx

    1. Thanks Beanie! You don't need much at all, think it packs quite a strong sugary taste! xx

  7. Congratulations lovely, a very happy birthday to your blog!
    There is not a better way to celebrate then we cake =)

    {Teffy's Perks} X

    1. Thanks Teffy! It would have been a little bit of an insult to the blog if I hadn't made one! xx

  8. This cake looks ridiculously delicious! Love how you made it for your blogs birthday :)

    Josie xoxo

    Fashion Mumblr

  9. Wohoooo!! Can't believe it's been only a year! Can't wait to see all you girls again in 2014!

    Happy Blog Birthday!



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