Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


2 Comments

Pieday Friday ~ My red velvet birthday cake

This week is Cassiefairy’s birthday and to celebrate I’ve baked a cake for a little birthday celebration I’m having in my little vintage caravan. I wanted to break from tradition and avoid my usual victoria sponge cake this year (even though it is my favourite) so I thought about making a red velvet  cake. This would mean that I still got to enjoy the jam and cream that I love about victoria sponge cakes, but I could also have a larger, even more naughty cake with tons of buttercream! See my sponge cake recipe and my red velvet cake recipe is below:

250 grams plain flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, 100 grams butter, 200 grams caster sugar, 1 heaped tablespoon of red paste food colouring, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 large eggs, 175 ml milk.

red velvet cake recipe

Cream the butter and sugar together before adding the food colouring and vanilla extract – I was a bit careful with the food colouring so my cake was more dark pink velvet than red. The colour of the batter is going to be the colour of the cake and it doesn’t get much darker from baking so make sure you’ve got your desired colour and add more colouring if needed. Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of sofa and eggs, mixing together before adding the milk to loosen the batter. Divide the batter into two lined loose-base cake tins, like my ones from Kleeneze and bake at 170 degrees for around 20 minutes. Test with a cocktail stick to see if they are done – if the centres are still gooey and the cocktail stick comes out red, pop the cakes back in the oven and check after 5 minutes.

While I was making this mixture, I thought I would bake a few mini cupcakes, so spooned the red velvet into a pretty pink spotty cardboard case from Wholeport. Once these were cooked, I used a cupcake corer that my brother had given me as a gift to make a hollow in the centre of the cakes, which I filled with more jam! I iced the cakes using icing sugar whipped into cream and used buttercream to decorate the sides of the cake, adding little pink sprinkles that my husband had given me as a birthday treat.

Red velvet birthday cake recipe

Related articles


9 Comments

Pieday Friday ~ Chocolate orange cupcakes

It’s Pieday Friday and here’s another yummy cupcake recipe that you can prepare in advance, ready for your Halloween parties or just for a tasty treat at any time. I love the combination of chocolate and orange – I don’t know why, but I’m really not a fan of chocolate sponge cake – I’d always choose a vanilla sponge any day! But with the orange flavour, I love it and can’t get enough of it, so hence the reason why I’m making chocolate orange cupcakes for Halloween. Well, I want to enjoy them too! I used these cute solid-side cupcake cakes that I found on Wholeport to make the cakes look even more Halloweeny and the cases are currently on special offer until 15th Oct along with all the other spooky goodies on the Wholeport craft site. The recipe for the lovely icing is below and I actually followed a Mary Berry recipe for the sponge, so you can see her recipe and method by clicking here.

 cassiefairys pieday friday recipe for chocolate orange cupcakes muffins with choccie icing and orange aero balls

Ingredients for the cake recipe: 100g softened butter, 50g cocoa powder, 90ml boiling water, 3 large eggs, 4 tbsp milk, 175g self-raising flour, 1 rounded tsp baking powder, 300g golden caster sugar, finely grated zest of 1 orange.

To make the Icing: Melt 100g of yummy milk chocolate before mixing in 150g icing sugar. Add a teaspoon or two of freshly squeezed orange juice to loosen up the mixture then add more icing sugar to make a thick paste – the thickness depends on the finish you want, so if you’re going to pipe the icing onto the cakes you will need a looser icing paste than I have used. I simply blobbed the icing on top of the cake then used a fork to make it spiky (and more scary!) for Halloween. Add a couple of Chocolate Orange Aero balls on top of the cake and enjoy!

More Pieday Friday articles


1 Comment

Pieday Friday ~ Celebration cupcake bouquet

cassiefairy anniversary party cake decorating roses cupcakes

This week I wanted to share with you the photos of our fantastic anniversary party cakes so that you can get inspiration for your own celebration cakes in the future. I am very lucky to have a fantastic sister-in-law who is an amazing baker and can make any cake you can imagine! I was planning a basic traditional white wedding cake for our anniversary party but she suggested this gorgeous cupcake bouquet and I was thrilled when she offered to make it for us. I bought rainbow cupcake cases straight away so that they tied in the with party theme and the roses were piped onto the cupcakes using white cream-cheese icing and little green royal-icing leaves. I bought some terracotta pots and added polystyrene balls covered in green tissue-paper and the cakes were inserted into the balls using skewers and cocktail sticks to create the bouquet shape.

cassiefairy anniversary party rainbow wedding cake decorating roses cupcakes in terracotta pots

We also jazzed up the white wedding cake with rainbow dots – Smarties “glued” on with a small dot of piped-icing – such a simple but effective decoration. It made a really stunning display with the cake bouquets either size and it would have cost a fortune if  we had gone directly to a wedding cake shop (and I shudder to think how much each cupcake would have cost us!). I could never have created something so beautiful myself so I’m very grateful to Katie for taking on the enormous task of making enough cakes to feed all of our guests. Thanks Katie, you’re the best!

By the way… have you got your FREE copy of my Pieday Friday E-Book yet?? No longer will you have to search through my archives to find your favourite recipe – it’s all there in the book, and it not only contains pie recipes, but all of my favourites including soups and snacks, sweet treats and main meals! I want to give something back to my lovely readers so I’ve published it as a free PDF e-book as a ‘thank you’ for sticking with me all this time soooo…  Preview the entire E-Book here and email me cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk and I will send you the PDF e-book directly to your inbox, completely free for you to download!


14 Comments

Pieday Friday ~ Cupcake heaven

It was hubby’s birthday a few of weekends ago (you may have read my blog post about this awesome Lego present I got for him!) and instead of baking him a birthday cake, I decided to make a whole load of cupcakes. This was for a couple of reasons: Firstly, he likes chocolate cake and I don’t, so I wanted to make some vanilla sponge for me ;) and secondly, he was launching an art exhibition on his birthday and there would be loads of our friend, family and guests attending his exhibition. So instead of cutting up a cake, I made lots of little ones so that he could share his ‘birthday cake’ with everyone.

birthday cupcakes vanilla and chocolate

I made chocolate sponge cupcakes and then mixed up a whole pot of chocolate spread (you could use Chocolate Philadelphia or Nutella) with icing sugar and a little water to make a thick chocolate topping. I tried piping the mixture but the topping was too smooth to hold a shape, so I popped a blob on the top of each cake and used a fork to swirl it around into a traditional “cupcake shape”. A little grating of white chocolate and some chocolate sprinkles (from my favourite shop for cake decorating supplies MakeBake) was all I needed to make them look professional ;) I’m told they were very tasty, but my dislike of chocolate sponge (I know, weird) meant that I didn’t even taste one!

On the other hand, I happily scoffed away at my lovely sponge cakes, which I topped with a buttercream mixture – I mixed softened butter with lots of icing sugar to make it light and pale, then I added a couple of drops of vanilla extract for a gorgeous delicate fragrance and taste. Again, I used a fork to decorate the topping – this time I “spiked” the buttercream and sprinkled on pink sugar cupcake decorations. They looked super-girly for my manly husband’s exhibition, but I loved the taste and they went down very well with all our visitors!


5 Comments

Recipe – Butterfly buns with a fruity surprise!

I made these cute butterfly buns last weekend as a birthday treat for my friend’s birthday and I personally can’t get enough of them, which is pretty dangerous – I can barely keep my hands off while I’m baking and decorating them! But I held back from scoffing the lot long enough to share them with my friends and to take a few photos to share with you.

I prepared 12 vanilla cupcakes with a standard sponge recipe and baked them in frilly paper cases. After they cooled I cut off the tops as normal for butterfly buns, but I also scoop down as I remove the tops in order to create a little dip in the cake for a nice blob of strawberry jam to hide in! I used vanilla butter icing to cover the jam and pushed the butterfly sponge into the icing and sprinkled a little edible glitter on top. You can use any kind of fruit preserve in the centre, and its a delicious surprise when someone bites into it! I think lemon curd and a lemon butter icing might be lovely – I’ll let you know when I try that one out, so watch this space!