Written by Paisley Tedder

3 classic cake recipes to try this National Baking Day

Bake up a storm with one of these classic cake favourites ready for National Baking Day.

Image: Rowse honey

Everyone loves a sweet treat, and National Baking Day on the 17th May is the perfect opportunity for us to channel our inner Mary Berry. Whether you prefer whipping up a classic Victoria sponge or prefer a flavourful carrot cake, we’re sure you’ll love these recipe picks.

Strawberry cream cake

Image: TREX

Take afternoon tea to the next level with this elegant treat, perfect for pairing with a cup of tea! We love the simple yet stunning strawberry topping, making it a perfect garden gathering dessert post-barbecue.

Serves: 8

Baking time: 20 minutes


  • A little Trex, for greasing
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 75g Trex, at room temperature
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated

To decorate:

  • 3-4 tbsp strawberry jam
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150g strawberries, sliced


  1. Position the oven shelves towards the centre of the oven. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Lightly grease two 18cm (7in) sandwich tins with a little Trex, line their bases with circles of greaseproof paper, then lightly grease the paper.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, Trex, unbeaten eggs, milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Use a wooden spoon to beat the mixture together until smooth and creamy – this will only take 1-2 minutes.
  4. Share the mixture equally between the prepared tins and level the surfaces. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  5. To test that the cakes are cooked, they should be golden brown, and when touched lightly the tops should spring back into place. Put the tins on to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes.
  6. Remove the cakes from their tins and cool on a wire rack, then remove the lining paper.
  7. When completely cool, sandwich the cakes together with strawberry jam, whipped cream and sliced strawberries.
  8. Spread whipped cream over the top and arrange more sliced strawberries over the surface.

Recipe and imagery from Trex

Read more: 7 afternoon tea essentials for al-fresco dining

Lemon drizzle cake

Image: Doves farm

A classic favourite, this simple bake is packed full of citrus flavour. The extra elements of syrup and icing may seem laborious but the end result makes it well worth the effort.

Serves: 8

Prep time: 25 minutes

Baking time: 45 minutes


For the lemon syrup:

  • 75g caster sugar
  • lemon juice, from above

For the topping:

  • 1 lemon
  • 100g caster sugar


For the cake:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C, Fan 170˚C, 375˚F, Gas 5
  2. Rub some butter around the inside of a 1kg/2lb loaf tin or insert a baking liner. Sieve the flour and bakin g powder into a bowl, stir to combine and set aside.
  3. Put the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Finely grate the lemon rind, add it to the bowl and beat it in.
  4. Squeeze the lemon juice into a jug, add more lemon or water if necessary, to make 75ml liquid and set this aside for the syrup.
  5. Beat the eggs one at a time, into the mixing bowl ensuring each is well incorporated before adding the next.
  6. Sieve the prepared flour to the mixing bowl followed by the milk and stir to combine. Tip the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top.
  7. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until cooked. Leave the cake in its tin.

For the lemon syrup:

  1. Put the sugar into a saucepan, pour on the reserved jug of lemon juice and bring to the boil shaking the pan occasionally. Simmer gently for 2 minutes to make a syrup.
  2. Prick all over the surface of the warm cake with a BBQ stick or skewer, pressing right through to the base of the cake.
  3. Pour the syrup slowly all over the surface of the cake and leave to cool in the tin.

For the lemon drizzle topping:

  1. Place a chopping board over the cold cake tin and invert it onto the board.
  2. Using a zester, peel some strands of zest from the lemon and set these aside.
  3. Squeeze the lemon juice. Measure the sugar into a bowl, add the lemon juice and stir to make the drizzle.
  4. Pour the drizzle over the top of the cake and spread it around the sides of the cake with a knife.
  5. Scatter the prepared strands of lemon zest over the cake. Leave to set before serving.

Recipe and imagery courtesy of Doves Farm

Wholewheat carrot and honey cake with mascarpone and honey icing

Image: Rowse honey

Flavourful carrot cake is a traditional favourite for many, and this sweet take on it is truly delicious. If you’re vegan or avoiding dairy, try our icing alternative recipe which is just as indulgent!

Serves: 6

Prep time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 40 minutes


For the cake:

  • 85g self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 85g self-raising plain white flour
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder, sifted if lumpy
  • 3 medium free-range eggs
  • 125ml sunflower oil or light olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Rowse Clear Honey
  • 1 orange, juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g grated carrots
  • 50g chopped walnuts

For the icing:

  • 200g mascarpone or cream cheese
  • 2 ½ tbsp Rowse Clear Honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 orange, grated zest
  • Greek honey and acacia honey also work well in the icing, if desired


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Line a 20cm round cake tin, at least 5cm deep, with baking parchment.
  2. Mix together the flours, sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a jug whisk together the eggs, oil, honey, orange juice and vanilla then pour into the flour mixture along with the grated carrot and walnuts. Stir to combine, but don’t overmix.
  4. Spoon the batter into the tin, gently smooth out the surface and bake in the oven for 40–50 minutes or until firm to the touch and a sharp knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
  5. For the icing, beat together the mascarpone, honey and vanilla.
  6. Remove the cool cake from the tin and spread the icing on top. Decorate with orange zest, yoghurt and acacia honey, if using.
  7. For a dairy-free version replace the mascarpone icing with an orange honey drizzle: boil the juice and grated zest of an orange with 3 tablespoons of Rowse Clear Honey for 2-3 minutes. Prick the cake all over while still warm in the tin and pour the honey mixture on top. Leave to cool completely.

Recipe and imagery courtesy of Rowse Honey

Which of these baking recipes will you be making on the 17th May? Tweet us at @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page!

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