I was having a clear-out of my essences and flavouring drawer* earlier this week when I found a little bottle of cola flavoured essence that I’ve never used. It still smelled really nice so I started doodling and came up with the idea of a little cherry coke cake.
Vanilla / cola cupcake base studied with glace cherries. Filled with cherry jam. With cola buttercream. Topped with cola bottle sweets.
And you know what it’s like, once you get an idea like that in your head it really won’t go away. So I made them. However, I wasn’t entirely confident that they would work so as a fallback plan I also made some jam doughnut muffins. And what do you know? The experimental cakes actually worked quite nicely. Oops.
And that, your honour, is how I came to give an entire group of role-players Type II diabetes in the space of one evening. Sorry folks. Listen, if you talk nicely to me, I promise I’ll make the green tea macaroons again next week and we can pretend that they’re actually healthy and detoxifying?
* I’ve turned into someone who has a SPECIAL DRAWER for little bottles of flavoured essences – and I’ve had some of them so long they’re either almost used up or out of date. Ye gods. Remember, until October 2012 I didn’t consider myself to be a baker at all so this comes as a shock to me!
Cherry Coke Cakes (makes 12, original cake recipe here)
- 110g/4oz butter or margarine, softened at room temperature
- 110g/4oz caster sugar
- 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 110g/4oz self-raising flour
- 50g glacé cherries, finely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp cherry coke
- 4 tbs morello cherry jam
For the buttercream icing
- 140g/5oz butter, softened
- 280g/10oz icing sugar
- 1-2 tbsp cherry coke
- ½ tsp cola flavouring
- Vegetarian-friendly jelly cola bottles**, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon, adding a little cherry coke until the mixture is of a dropping consistency.
- Stir in the chopped glacé cherries.
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are half full.
- Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
- Carefully remove a cone of the cooked cake from the centre and fill the hollow with cherry jam.
- For the buttercream icing, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
- Add the cola flavouring.
- Then add the remaining icing sugar with one tablespoon of the coke, adding more coke if necessary, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Spoon artfully on top of the cooled cakes.
- Garnish with a cola bottle, and enjoy!
** I was so delighted to find these! 😀 They’re ‘cola breeze‘ sweets, made by a cheerful little brand called ‘Goody good stuff’ and free from just about everything you can think of – no gluten, no alcohol, no gelatine. Available from Ocado and Asda.