… it may be the Spring equinox this weekend but for me, the arrival of Spring is not officially here until two things happen. The first is when the daffodils at Belleau Cottage come fully out. This always happens later than those in gardens in London which can be as early as February some years but up here in the middle of the country it’s always a little later than down south and I presume it’s a little earlier than in my friends gardens further north. When we moved into the cottage 11 years ago it was September so we had no idea what lay beneath the bank of dried and yellowing grass at the front of the cottage so in that first Spring we were truly delighted. It can be such a pretty sight, even on a dull day… all that sunshine on the roadside…
.. the second is that moment when we arrive at the cottage late at night on a Thursday or Friday… it’s pitch black outside and the cottage stands like a black hole silhouetted against the vast starry sky. The car engine switches off and all is silent until we open the car door to be greeted by the beautiful bleating of the Spring lambs. It’s too dark to make them out in the field opposite the cottage but we know they are there and it sends joy into my heart… Spring has arrived.
mystery freezer cake with honey lemon buttercream icing
my mum always has cake in her freezer… if there was an apocalypse and for some strange reason you needed cake, head for north London for you shall always find cake. Her reasoning, as always, is sound. Why make one cake when you can make two at the same time making the same mess and using the same power. It’s ideal for when random friends pop in unexpectedly, a frozen cake makes an excellent gift to someone who’s just eaten and admired your cake – ‘take one home, I have one in the freezer!’ and it’s also the perfect piece of frozen love to travel 2 hours up the motorway with and arrive with a fully thawed-out delicious home-made cake. Unlike my mum, I don’t label my cakes when they go into the freezer so on the occasion when i’m too tired to bake but need a cake to give to a friend as a birthday gift it usually ends up as a mystery cake.
I’ve tried looking back over my blog to see what kind of cake it can be and at first I thought it was this honey cake but on cutting it open I think it’s probably this brown sugar cake with apples and figs… either way it’s gorgeous!
the icing was of course made fresh to give the cake a boost… this honey lemon butter cream is phenomenal, it’s the perfect combination of sweet and bitter with the added zing of the lemon zest. I cannot recommend it enough!
115g unsalted butter at room temperature
260g icing sugar
85g runny honey
juice and zest of one lemon
extra honey for drizzling
100ml whipping cream
in a large bowl beat the butter with an electric whisk for at least 3 minutes until light and fluffy, then add the icing sugar a little at a time and beat in gently to avoid clouds of sugar
add the honey and the cream and beat in followed by the zest and a little of the juice according to taste – I like it nice and sharp
whip the cream to a firm consistency and fold in gently into the buttercream icing
smother the cake in the icing in any way you fancy and drizzle with a little more honey to serve
eat and of course, enjoy!
I've never thought to freeze a whole cake, but this make two eat one is fabulous!!
Choclette Blogger says
Ooh, that icing sounds divine – honey and lemon is just what I need now as I am heavy with cold and the cake beneath the icing would be very welcome to – whatever it is. Virtually everything in my freezer is a mystery. I'm hopeless at labelling and always think I will remember – of course I never do.
Sally Akins says
I've had the same problem with frozen chilli/ragu/curry/not-sure-what-it-is before, but it usually goes well with rice or pasta when it's been defrosted.
I don't think I'd ever turn down a slice of cake, mystery or otherwise 😉
I'm glad you unravelled this mystery. Honey and lemon is on this week. From power bars to delicious icing. Your's though is a score for the kitchen this evening as Donnie's birthday is just around the evening Rosewood. Thanks for the mystery again.
The cake looks delicious. What fun, cake roulette! My mother is guilty of this, shes always saving bits of cake and hiding them in the freezer without labels. We find them months later with no idea what they are.
Tricia Buice says
Goodness Dom – we've never met but I already love your mum! You like my cake – take one home! Brilliant! You did a beautiful job on this one and the honey buttercream icing is also brilliant. It is calling my name! The flowers, the dark quiet nights – sounds like heaven.
Oh Dom these deffodils are so beautiful, it's spring time!!!
The cake looks delicious!
I have a few cakes like that in the freezer, dating back to an attempt to cut down on cake – bake two smaller cakes from one batch of batter, and freeze one. It doesn't work – a small cake gets eaten faster and I bake more often!
Your buttercream for this cake sounds delicious, and looks very suitable for Spring.
Baking Addict says
I love the honey and lemon icing! I also like the idea of a surprise cake.
Angela Field says
I love this idea and I love that you have the same John Lewis plate as me! I always have a stash of something for guests, this is such a great idea though. I'm definitely going to be freezing more cakes!
Karen S Booth says
Your mum is a genius and is the same as my mum, as she also freezes whole cakes for exactly the same me reason!! Love this post Dom xxxxx
Lucy Corry - The Kitchenmaid says
Cake roulette! I love it. And I love the image of you stepping out into the dark of the countryside night, with the sounds of little lambs all around. Very bucolic x
What a lovely idea!
Our UFO's in the freezer can often result in a nasty surprise – that box we thought to contain chilli could just as easily be dog food! Every year I vow to label them all before they go in but somehow there are always a few that I think I'm bound to remember what they are…….I just never learn!
Your buttercream sounds delicious, as does the cake – which ever it is!
SavoringTime in the Kitchen says
Your mother is a smart woman indeed 🙂 Oh my that lemon buttercream sounds delightful. For some reason, lemon and spring just go together. Your daffodils must be a sight to behold!
Stuart Vettese says
Lemon buttercream is so spring. Aw, bet those bleating lambs are too cute!!
Kate Glutenfreealchemist says
Your daffs are beautiful. Ours have yet to come out (even though we are South)!
I too have endless cakes in the freezer. The problem is that I love baking and so I just keep adding to the stash rather than eating them (or giving them away)! They mostly end up in trifle, although I am trying to make a sustained effort to cut back as I will soon need the space for early fruit and veg.
Whatever your cake turned out to be, it sounds delicious. Honey and lemon is a good combo……. If I eat a whole bowl, will it cure a cold?