These are the puddings I knocked up for our garden party recently. (The complete menu is here.) I was very short of time, with just three hours in the evening before and a couple on the morning of the lunch party, to make all the food, both main course & puddings, for fifty people, so I went for very simple puddings.

The cake above couldn’t have been simper: it’s a classic Victoria sponge, made by me with four eggs & cooked in two 8″ loose bottom pans. I made the sponge the night before, and on the day I saved time by using extra thick double (heavy) cream so I wouldn’t have to whip it. I spread it over one layer, added a punnet of blueberries and some sliced strawberries. More sliced strawberries to decorate, & icing (confectioner’s) sugar sifted over it all.


A simple paté brisée made the night before, divided into two balls, & left to rest in the fridge overnight wrapped in clingfilm. I pressed each ball into a tart tin in the morning, and baked the two shells blind. When the cooked pastry had completely cooled I poured over an 8 egg yolk creme patissiere, which I had made earlier in the morning & left it to cool. An hour or so later, we sliced over some plums. (Didn’t quite buy enough, oops.) This tart would be lovely with any berries or soft fruit.


Two packets of strawberry jelly, poured over six white peaches, which I skinned & chopped, for the infants. Made the night before and left to set in the fridge overnight.


This is my cinnamon cake with caramelised apple crumble topping. Recipe here. Lil’sis thought we needed another pud & she was right, so I knocked this up in the morning using some apples in the fridge. We could have done with several more cakes, but because of our delay in returning from Cornwall there was no time.

Photos from my Blackberry, sorry for the blur!

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These puddings all look equally as delicious! I wish I could make a simple Victorian sponge look as effortless as your’s.


As a fellow baker, I salute you! Even though these are “simple” standards, to pull them all together in 5 hours for 50 people is really impressive. Lovely work…


“simple”? “simple”? these are not simple at all- these are utterly fab-i-wanna-lick-my-plate-even-if-i-look-like-an-imbecile! xx shayma


What an achievement in just a few hours!!! They all look delicious!! I love to make cakes but unfortunately I love to eat them too so they only get made for guests, I must try your cinamon apple topped cake. e xxx


Since when is a Victoria sponge simple? No, correction, because of it’s simplicity it’s crucial to get it right. It looks light as a cloud. I love all the fresh fruit included in this baking session. Might almost convince someone that they’re eating healthy cake… All superb!


This all looks so deliciously fresh and summery. Quite often puds after a meal can be too much, but these look light and bright and sparkling.


Boy oh boy – Nigella eat your heart out! It all looks gorgeous – and in just a few hours…. Seriously impressed. The most Nigella-ish thing I’ve found recently is silver and gold edible glitter for cakes. It makes even the most lumpen, ugly fairy cakes look pretty and sparkly. There, that’s my bit of domestic goddess-ness over.
Love the blog. best wishes, Sarah


oh that sounds marvellous: I must get some. And thank you! x

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