Monday, 9 September 2013

Monday Cake

I woke this morning not to the crisp, bright Indian Summer I’d been dreaming about, but to a dull grey sky and streaming rain. The heat kicked on.

We stayed up much later than usual watching a film, so of course Little Flower was up in the middle of the night (and she *never* wakes in the night), so we were all rather grizzly this morning.

Bunny couldn’t choose between grey trousers or grey pinafore and tights for school, her hair wasn’t going right, and her rucksack was too heavy. And Little Flower decided today was the day she absolutely had to learn how to undress and dress herself completely on her own.

*sigh* Going to be one of those days. Time to bake.

But why a photo of a garish, glittery, partially devoured cake? Read on...

I have an old recipe for a marmalade cake, but I don’t have any marmalade in the house. I do, however, have the very last spoonfuls of the very last jar of blackcurrant jam from Autumn 2012, which must be finished immediately to make room for this season’s jams, chutneys and preserves. So I did a few substitutions, and here is my Monday Cake, so named because it lifts one’s spirits on the dreary Mondays of life.

Monday Cake

Preheat the oven to 180◦C. Grease and flour an 18cm cake tin (round or square.)

100g butter, room temperature
75g caster sugar

Mix together butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy.

2 large eggs
3 Tablespoons jam (I’ve made this with orange marmalade in the past, and today with blackcurrant jam, but try whatever you have! We’ll be doing blackberry next, then raspberry...)
2 teaspoons orange zest (optional)

Add the eggs one at a time and mix well. Stir in the jam and zest.

150g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2-3 Tablespoons milk

Mix the flour and baking powder together in a bowl, then stir gently into the cake mix. Add enough milk to make a thick batter – start with two tablespoons, then add the third if necessary.

This isn’t the prettiest of batters, as the blackcurrant jam makes it turn an ill-looking greyish shade, but stick with it. The colour suited my Monday morning.

Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Leave to cool a few minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a cooling rack.

But when I reached into the large lower cupboard to get the cooling rack, I bumped a precariously positioned tub of Nestle hot chocolate mix, and of course, being Monday, the top popped off and fine chocolate powder flew everywhere.

Inside, outside, all over everything else stored inside that large lower cupboard. It took me an hour to clean the mess. An hour. Clearing out, wiping, scrubbing, dusting, vacuuming, mopping. Putting everything away.

This cake is perfect to serve with a cup of tea, just as it is. But today is a very *Monday* Monday, so we decided to embellish a little to cheer me up.

Icing sugar, milk, food colouring. Mix in small quantities until there is enough to smother your cares away the cake. Sprinkle with fairy dust.

Then, instead of reaching for the camera to take photos of this pretty creation for my blog, I reached for the cake knife, and my little three-year-old and I enjoyed the blackcurrant-flavoured treat, complete with fairy dust, well before the hour that any sensible person should be eating cake.

And remember: Store your hot chocolate mix in zip-lock bags.

Chrissie x


  1. Great post today C! Will have to try this out, thank you x

  2. I must give this a go! looks delicious. Love the name "Monday cake" I think we could all do with a slice or two on a Monday :) xx

  3. Monday cake looks great - so horrid about the chocolate powder! It is amazing how that sort of stuff goes so far and is so hard to clean up. Great in it's packet, not so great when it flies around. Hope that the cake made it all better!

  4. I have those days too! Do we have children the same age? I am empathising heavily and I always turn to cake making to keep Little M from tipping over the edge. I love those measuring spoons. Jo x

  5. I've never thought of substituting marmalade but what a great way of using up last years stock! A perfect way to cheer up Mondays x Jane

  6. I think this is a great idea. It looks delicious to me.

  7. I know how you feel my little darling woke up 3 times last night. Needless to say I am a little grrrrr today.
    Love the idea with the cake I too will be trying that one.
    Lets hope we get more sleep tonight. xxx

  8. Looks great. Makes a Monday marvellous.
    S xx

  9. Cake is always the answer it looks yummy, it has been so cold and rainy today, I found I had to put a cardi on but I'm rufusing to put socks on, that's just a slippery slope, to next thing which is perhaps I need a blanket, not good when trying to keep hold of Summer a while long. ;o)
    Clare x

  10. Oh Chrissie, what a Monday, and what a mess, but what a cake to console and lift ones spirits! I thought about baking a cake of some description yesterday but then decided I would just eat it so better not!!!!! Did the house cleaning and clipped Pika (the dog!) instead!
    I noticed your beautiful measuring spoons and wondered if they might have a history - maybe your Grandma's or something like that? Do tell!
    Do enjoy the rest of your week and when 'Monday' comes around again find a different name for it - maybe 'happy day' will bring good things! Well we can always hope!
    Joy xo

    1. I'm afraid the spoons are new, from Lakeland - - but I adore them and will keep them forever, so my granddaughter will be able to tell stories about them one day! ;-)

  11. Sorry you had a typical "Monday" kinda day. That cake sounds easy enough for me to try my hand at. I might give it a go with some of the Hot Pepper Jam I picked up at the Apple Castle last month.

    1. I dare you to try it, little brother! :)

  12. Will definitely give it a go!

  13. Chrissy this is a fabulous recipe, my mouth is watering and I can't wait to try it out. A great post, thanks so much
    Lots of love

  14. Dear Chrissie
    Great recipe - I bet it improved your day! Mondays are a bit like that sometimes, aren't they? I am going to make that cake as my husband, Chris, is a major jam maker, so there are bound to be various jars of jam that need finishing off and what a great way to do it. Hope the rest of the week is better for you.
    Best wishes

  15. It sounds like you deserved that cake, what a day!!!! Great recipe, I'll be bookmarking this page. I hope today is better for you. Deb x

  16. Sounds like the perfect way to perk up a Monday. I am going to give it a whirl and try and dairy and gluten free, so will let you know dearest. Thanks for sharing xoxo

  17. This looks a great cake and sounds like you completely deserved a nice big piece of it after the day you had. Hope today is a better day!
    Marianne x

  18. I made this cake today and used plum jam... it is delicious! Very easy recipe and the whole family agreed that it tasted good. Thanks :)

    1. That's great Alicia! Thanks for trying it, and I'll make a note in my cookbook that plum jam works too! Chrissie x

  19. What a Monday, and thank you for the deicious receipe.

  20. Your Monday cake sounds yummy - poor you spilling chocolate powder I baked today and when I opened the cupboard out fell a large bag of long grain rice it covered the floor- upside the floor got swept and mopped. I am loving your stitch along x