21 December, 2015


We've been spending a good bit of time over here discussing what Jesus' birthday cake should look like this year, and though the vote for something chocolate is unanimous, I personally could do with another round of this velvet cake.

I made this pink velvet cake for Philippa's third birthday and I dare say it was the most perfectly textured and deliciously flavoured cake I have ever ever made.

If you're looking for a cake recipe, look no further.

We made this pink because, Philippa. But there's no reason it can't stay fresh and white or be tinted another colour. Also, I had never baked with almond extract before this, but don't even consider omitting it.

Pink Velvet Cake 
makes two 9-inch round cakes or two taller 6-inch cakes
recipe via

2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch sea salt
4 large egg whites (120g)
2/3 cup milk (161g)
6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cubed, and at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
colouring to suit

Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Prepare two 6-inch round pans* with butter.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Add in egg whites, milk, butter, and extracts. Whisk on low until ingredients are incorporated.

Beat thoroughly for 1 minute. Divide batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a stick inserted comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before frosting.

*I used 9-inch pans and reduced the baking time by about 10 minutes and the cakes were lovely.

I frosted this using this buttercream recipe, which can indeed be made without a mixer if you happened to cause your hand blender to overheat and haven't yet invested in a KitchenAid with a UK plug (ahem), though it will definitely not be as fluffy as in the photos.

Merry Christmas, you guys! Happy Birthday, Jesus! xo

14 December, 2015

Hello, hello!

As a small explanation for my lengthy silence: incredibly, I started working with this amazing company to help organise their massive London ShopUp. What an inspiring company to be involved in! I'm excited to share more later, but now that this year's event has passed, maybe I'll blog more. Who knows- ha.

All five of us were hit with a mean virus the week of Thanksgiving, so we had to cancel our guests' trip down from Edinburgh, Peter took two sick days, we watched a whole season of Little House on the Prairie, and averaged 20 hours of sleep a day for six days. It took two full weeks to feel totally back to normal, but we have recovered, and are so thankful for health & healing.

Peter's finished his biggest painting, and one he has been working on for years, because of a lack of free time. One of the happiest things for me, since moving here, is seeing him paint far more than he ever has since we've been together. I say its because of all his free time (ha!), he says its because his passion has been rekindled. You can decide which you think is the true reason.

Last year we boarded a plane for America on Christmas Eve, and this year we're staying put to have our own quiet Christmas in our new London home. Quiet and Christmas seem to be mutually exclusive, and holidays across the pond always feel bittersweet, but this year we are excited to be together. For gifts we've decided to do experience things in lieu of bags and boxes of presents and I am so excited. Peter has ten days off for the holidays so we are hoping to pack in a lot of exploring, baking, Christmas movie watching, and maybe a bit of travelling too.

And here we are the week before Christmas. . .how in the world does time travel so quickly? Christmas is by far my favourite time of year and despite celebrating earlier than usual this year, it's still passing far too quickly.

Highlights for the littles include but are not limited to TWO Christmas parties at Peter's office in the coming weeks, my promise to make a batch of Christmas cookies at least once a week until Christmas, completing their first coming downstairs every morning to a sparkling tree, moving the candle in our advent calendar every morning, and counting Christmas trees in shop windows each time we go into the City.

This really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Happy Christmas, all!