Warwick Bake Off Champion

I ended off my last post by saying that I'd stolen some honey from my hive for a purpose that I'd reveal shortly. Well, the purpose was for a cake. A cake that has earned me the title of the Warwick Bake Off champion.

I've used my honeycomb cake tin loads in the past to make a lemon and honey cake, the recipe which comes with the tin, but this is the first time I've used it to make a completely new recipe.

The journey began a few months back when I saw this flyer in my local bakery Bread & Co. There are loads of events going on around the town this year to celebrate Warwick's 1100th birthday celebrations. 
So, Warwick's Mayor, Moira-Ann Grainger, Bread & Co and Artisans.at, hatched a plan to get Warwick residents involved in baking a celebration cake to commemorate the town's birthday.

As part of Warwick’s 1100 Birthday Celebrations the Warwick Bake Off was launched
The brief was to recreate a traditional 1700s pound cake recipe. The idea wasn't to drastically change the recipe but rather tweak it into something 'mouth wateringly memorable'.

I thought I'd give it a bash - I enjoy baking and I liked the idea of participating in Warwick's birthday celebrations in some way. I won't go into all the ins and outs of what I did but let's just say that it took 5 goes with different tweaks along the way. Cake no. 4 I took with me to book club and the ladies gave me some great feedback, which was good as my husband, although usually a pretty enthusiastic cake eater, was struggling with the thought of more caraway flavoured cake (it has 50g of ground caraway seeds). 

Basically, I have kept the ‘pound’ aspect of the recipe the same in that there are equal measurements of the four main ingredients (butter, flour, eggs and sugar), but I have increased their quantities slightly in order make it in the honeycomb tin. The end result is an orange cake with an orange and honey glaze (the recipe is pasted out the end of this post). The clincher being that the honey is from my bees.

I submitted the cake on Friday 11th July and then on the Saturday 12th I went to Pageant Gardens, where a tea party was being held and the winner announced. And I was the winner - yay! Below are some pics that Love Warwick took with a very smiley me amongst them.

I did quite a bit of tweeting about my win over the weekend and then on Monday I received this tweet below from our local BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio station. So, Monday afternoon I was on the radio talking about cakes and bees. Unfortunately the episode is no longer available to listen to. If I'd thought about it, I should have recorded it. 

Now that I'm back down to earth from cloud cake, I can look forward to the next part of my prize (the first being a voucher at Bread & Co), which is a day in the commercial kitchens of Bread & Co to perfect my recipe so that it can go on sale to the public as the award winning 1100 Bake Off cake. 

How cool is that? Essentially I've baked Warwick's 1100th birthday cake (although not sure my bees will be able to produce all the honey for the cakes).

Tanya's orange and honey pound cake


300g self-raising flour
300g caster sugar
300g butter
7 eggs
pinch salt
50 g ground caraway seeds
3 Tbsp sherry
zest of 5 oranges


6 Tbsp honey
100g icing sugar
4 Tbsp orange juice

Marzipan bees:

Yellow marzipan
dark chocolate
flaked almonds

  • Sieve the flour, salt and caraway seeds in one bowl
  • Whisk eggs and sherry in another bowl
  • Cream the butter and eggs into a third bowl with a hand mixer until light and fluffy
  • Then continue mixing and alternate between adding the flour mixture and the eggs
  • Add the zest of the oranges
  • Then mix on medium speed to bring it all together - I did this for around three minutes
  • Pour batter into the greased tin and back for approximately 40 minutes at 170 degrees celsius 
  • Let the cake cool for ten minutes and meanwhile make the glaze by adding all the ingredients into a pan
  • Warm through until the the sugar dissolves and the glaze is warm
  • Invert cake onto the rack and brush with the glaze so that it seeps into the cake
  • Make the marzipan bees by pinching off a small piece of marzipan and rolling it into a log shape
  • Insert two flaked almond wings into the log
  • Then melt the chocolate and using a toothpick, dip it into the chocolate and draw stripes and eyes onto the marzipan log making a bee!


  1. Congratulations @tanya_weaver I took the liberty of linking: https://plus.google.com/100146646232137568790/posts/eMgxxini5xb + https://twitter.com/rupertbu/status/491313161837232128

  2. Great result Tanya, cake looks fabulous! :-)

  3. Looks absolutely mouthwatering and what a lot of effort you put in, the hard work paid off! I'm putting a link to this in the next Ealing beekeepers newsletter.


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