Easter Nest Cake


Here is the perfect recipe to try this weekend… 

It’s our family’s Easter tradition – we have it every year since we were little! 

Have a go and don’t forget to tag me on your bakes on instagram – @mariablackstone


6 oz stork margarine (could use proper butter) 

6 oz caster sugar

6 oz self raising flour

3 eggs

1 Tsp vanilla 

2-3 tbsp cocoa

1/2 bar Belgian milk choc

1/4 pint double cream 

4 flakes

Bag mini eggs 


1. Preheat oven to 180*c / 160* fan. Grease and line your tin, I used a ring mould but a deep round 8 inch tin would work well. 
2. Cream the margarine and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

3. Add your eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly in between each one. If it curdles, add a spoonful of your flour.

4. Add your vanilla, then fold in your flour until just combined.

4. Spoon half your mixture into the tin in blobs around the base of your tin.

5. Add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa to the rest of the vanilla mix along with a drop of water (about a tablespoon) and mix together until smooth. It should be a nice chocolatey colour.

6. Add this mixture in blobs in between your vanilla mixture in the tin.

7. Using a skewer or knife, swirl the two mixtures together to create a marbled effect.

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes (dependent on which tin you use, it is cooked when springy to touch and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre. 

9. Leave to cool, meanwhile make your glaze.

10. Melt the milk chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl, either in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (ensure the bowl does not touch the water) or in short bursts in the microwave. 

11. Once fully melted, leave to cool slightly so the mixture thickens up to a nice pouring consistency – it should be thick enough to coat the cake.

12. Place the cooled cake on a cooling rack with a tray underneath and pour over your glaze. 

13. Once covered, chop up your flakes and top the cake to create a nest effect. 

14. Top with mini eggs, and enjoy!

A girl with an appetite for all things creative, 

Maria x

Coffee & Pecan Cake

Baking, Recipes

This week I have been mourning the loss of some fantastic TV. My Wednesday’s from now on will not be the same. Not only have we lost Bake Off, but also what I think could possibly be one of the best TV dramas to date – Doctor Foster. I pretty much spent the hour on the edge of my seat, holding my breath after getting pretty emotional after Nadia’s speech and Mary Berry’s tears on Bake Off.

I spent the finale of Bake Off eating cake, (obviously) so in remembrance of the nations beloved show, this weeks recipe is for a coffee and pecan cake. Pecan because I don’t like walnuts. Sorry walnut lovers. This is the cake which I stuffed my face with, after spending an hour at a gym class – seems logical right?! (Wrong).

Perfect with a cup of coffee mid morning catching up with pals, or for a sweet afternoon treat. Try this lovely cake, which ditches the traditional buttercream icing, as one I’m not a huge fan and two, when making cakes for what my mum calls ‘home use’ we try cutting down on fattening icings and indulgence. Yes, cakes covered in thick smooth icing, look beautiful and taste delicious but if you’re like us and need your regular dose of cake, it can be helpful to cut back sometimes. Now I’m not trying to claim this cake is healthy in anyway, that would be like saying Nutella is good for you because it contains nuts – it’s not. Although I think we all secretly wish it was! This cake is simply drizzled with some runny fondant water icing, and topped with chopped toasted pecans. If you prefer though, feel more than free to top with coffee buttercream … Just don’t come running to me when your jeans don’t fit haha!


6oz / 170g golden/normal caster sugar

6oz / 170g margarine or butter

3 eggs

6 oz / 170g self raising flour

3tsps instant coffee mixed its 3tsps boiling water

5oz /140g approx pecans


1stp instant coffee

1tsp water

Fondant icing sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 180c or 160c fan. Line your tin with silicone paper. I used a silicone square 9 inch tin, so something similar in size, but I like to add a strip of paper in the bottom so help get the cake out the tin.

2. Begin by creaming together the sugar and margarine. I used a kitchen aid for this, but you could use an electronic whisk or do it by hand and burn the extra calories, just make sure it’s really creamy, pale and fluffy.

3. Mix in your eggs one by one, combing well between each addition, if it curdles add a spoonful of the flour.

4. Toast your pecans in a dry pan on the hob, or in the oven, until the aromas are released and they are nicely toasted. Chop into small pieces.

5. Set aside a handful of your pecans, and add the rest to the flour and mix. This ensures an even distribution in your cake. Add in the coffee mixture into the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Then add in your flour and nuts and mix lightly until combined.

6. Pour the mix into your tin and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes, dependent on your tin size, until baked. To test, pierce the sponge with a skewer in the middle. If it come out clean and the sponge is springy to touch it’s done. Remove fro, the oven and leave it to cool in the tin, when cool remove from the tin and place on a serving plate/cake stand.

7. To make the icing, mix together the coffee and water until dissolved. Then add enough icing sugar to make a run in consistency, but thick enough to hold. The amount will vary and whenever I make icing, I tend to just add more icing sugar, or more water until I get my desired consistency and I usually end up with too much. So apologies on behalf of the lack of measurements here. Using a fork or a whisk drizzle the icing over the cake. Then sprinkle with the left over toasted pecans.

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A handy tip when making sponges – a general rule I use is double the amount of flour, sugar and butter in ounces to eggs. Eg. 6oz to 3 eggs, 8oz to 4 eggs. I find it easier to remember than using grams.

I am stating my new internship on Monday and am super excited, as well as being a little nervous. Wish me luck and I will post some spooktacular recipes at the weekend ready for Halloween!

Lots of love,

A girl with an appetite for all things creative,

Maria x