> The Beesley Buzz: GBBO Week 6 - Botanical week - Sunflower Seed and Courgette cake reblogged

GBBO Week 6 - Botanical week - Sunflower Seed and Courgette cake reblogged

'Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It's what the sunflowers do.'*

For this weeks Mummy Mishaps GBBO Bloggers bake off, I'm reblogging an Autumnal recipe from last year which fits the botanical theme...Inspired by the things growing in my garden....

Autumn. I love this time of year. For me nature in the autumn months is more full of life than any other time of year. Springtime demands lots of gentle nurturing to get little seedlings to successfully grow. The brightness of everything else in summer overshadows the brightness of nature. Winter is barren. But autumn is different. Autumn displays colour and change and fruitfulness in abundance.

The trees turn a myriad of colours unseen at other times of the year. The hedgerows sparkle with ruby red autumn berries. And my own garden displays the fruits of my labour with green tomatoes desperately soaking up every last ray of sunshine to ripen up before winter sets in. Green beans keep coming day by day appearing as if out of nowhere. Courgettes are pushing on to grow a few more centimetres before being picked. And the bright yellow heads of sunflowers proudly shine their faces towards the sun knowing it won't be long before they will be sadly drooping their heads allowing their seeds to fall like tears to the ground ready for next year.

And it was these autumn treasures from my garden that gave me the inspiration for these sunflower seed and courgette cakes.

I made a larger cake to slice along with mini ones on a tiered cake stand to enjoy.

The little edible 'accessories' of strawberry ladybirds and marzipan bees add to the variety.

We added some sandwiches to make it into an afternoon tea!

I have made these dairy-free so that they can be enjoyed with friends who are dairy intolerant but simply substitute butter in place of the dairy-free spread if you wish to.

Sunflower Seed & Courgette Cake (Dairy-Free)
5 eggs
320g self-raising flour
300g caster sugar
300g dairy-free spread (I used 'Pure' sunflower spread)
400g courgette (so 1 large courgette or 2-3 small ones)
60g sunflower seeds
juice of a lemon
1tsp rice flour

for the buttercream:
200g Pure dairy-free sunflower spread
650g icing sugar
half tsp vanilla paste
a few drops of yellow food colouring

for the centre of the sunflowers:
dark chocolate chips (use dairy-free if you need it to be dairy-free)
chocolate vermicelli (again check it is dairy-free - some brands are and some aren't)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Grease an 8 inch silicone 'tin' with sunflower oil spray. Grease a 12 hole non-stick muffin tray with sunflower oil spray.
2. Cream together the Pure dairy-free spread with the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and a little flour at a time after each egg is added.
3. Add the remaining flour and mix.
4. Grate the courgette and squeeze out some of the liquid using your hands. Add the grated courgette and mix.
5. Add the sunflower seeds and the lemon juice and mix. As my mixture looked quite wet, I added a teaspoon of rice flour to stop it being such a wet mixture.
6. Pour the mixture into the silicone cake 'tin' and into the muffin tray.
7. Bake in the oven until cooked through. This is around 30-35 minutes for the larger cake and around 20 minutes for the smaller ones in the muffin tray.

To make the buttercream, cream together the icing sugar with 200g of Pure and a drop of vanilla paste. I added a very light yellow food colouring to mine as the buttercream looked very pale without it so you can add as much colour as you wish to make your sunflowers very yellow or a more mellow yellow as I have done.

Pipe using a 'wide ribbon' icing nozzle attachment to make your sunflower petals and then sprinkle some chocolate vermicelli in the centre.

For the large cake I also used some dark chocolate chips in the centre.

For the smaller cakes, I wanted to leave them 'naked' around their sides to show off some of those flecks of green from the courgette and the goodness of the sunflower seeds. So the buttercream is sandwiched between two cakes and then the flower piped on top.

Now for those simple little extras to make this autumn afternoon tea extra special and pretty.

Maple, Lemon & Rose Marzipan Bees
I had seen some gorgeous little marzipan bees on Frances Quinn's website with a video of how to make them. Frances uses honey & orange blossom to flavour the bees. I wanted to create our own flavoured bees so these are the ingredients I used to make 8 bees:

10g maple syrup
15g icing sugar
25g ground almonds
flaked almonds - 16 pieces
edible gold paint
melted dark chocolate - to pipe on stripes and eyes
a few drops of lemon juice
a few drops of rose water

I think they look rather cute!

Strawberry and chocolate Ladybirds
What else would look pretty alongside bees? Why ladybirds of course! So these are just strawberries cut in half with dark chocolate piped on as spots and a head to look like a little ladybird.

So simple and yet they look so lovely alongside the bees and the cake.

And then we were ready. It was time to enjoy afternoon tea. Not just any afternoon tea but one that really utilised nature's bounty and the treasures of autumn found in my garden.

So I'm hoping the floral icing pattern and the fact it has sunflower seeds and courgettes in it, makes it fit the botanical theme sufficiently!

'Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It's what the sunflowers do.'  * Helen Keller quote
Mummy Mishaps


  1. They look so cute, I love the idea of making them like a sunflower.

  2. What a gorgeous post, I really love Autumn and you've captured it so well, and yes, I'd say botanical. Your cakes look and sound delicious but the the little bees and ladybirds just make it all come together, how perfect. (oh and I'm such a big fan of marzipan.)

  3. These are such pretty cakes. I can't decide if I prefer the cute little ones or the big sunflower

  4. Wow Rebecca, that's so pretty and effective. I absolutely love your strawberry lasybirds and marzipand bees - very clever :-)

    Angeal x

  5. These are so pretty especially like the little ones. I haven't made a courgette cake yet perhaps I should.

  6. So pretty. I really want to come for tea at your house ��

  7. So pretty. I really want to come for tea at your house ��

  8. These are so cute , both the mini cake and the large one. You are very creative :) thank you for linking up x x

  9. Never thought of using courgette in cake, although carrot is common and I have used butternut squash. Must try. And these look amazing


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