HODs Cake Bake: a final four

'The tea and cake was the icing on my day'. What was your favourite Heritage Open Days experience? For many of you, it was the cake! If this rings true, perhaps you will enjoy this.

© Jamila Jade - Family Tiramisu

Introducing a final four recipes from this year's Anniversary Cake Bake Challenge, where memory and creativity meets baking.

Tiramisu by Jamila Jade

Category 1- Family favourite

Tiramisu has been a favourite in our family for years, we are slowly trying to make our way to Italy to taste an original! This has been revamped into a layer cake. It remains one of the few things that can put a smile on my cousin's face besides heavy metal music. This is a special photo because we caught it on camera! recipe

Handel Torte by Katja Condy

Category 2- Local treat

I’m usually rather a snob when it comes to quick-fix cake mixes. But I simply couldn’t resist trying out the Kathi Händel-Torte, which I picked up in the museum shop of Händel’s birthplace in Halle this summer. Georg Friedrich Händel, German by birth, naturalised Brit, and composer of Italian operas. So in the spirit of European Heritage Days, I baked, whipped up and stencilled a tribute to this paragon of shared European heritage. And the result tastes actually delicious. Poppy seeds give the cake’s sponge layers a crunchy twist and the rich marzipan cream filling add a hint of Tiramisu. Gustoso! Lecker! Yum. instructions

Vanilla Sponge by Leigh Waite

Category 3- Anniversary special

Two years ago I resurrected the tradition of our local Coventry God cake.  Since then, I have made 10,000 of them. I was asked to bake a special cake to launch this year’s Heritage Open Days, to symbolise the spirit of the event. It's decorated with bunting, balloons and doorways, inspired by local venues that take part. I think that there are many ways which allow people to engage with their heritage and history - opening doors into buildings and spaces from the past is one, and food is another - it's a door through which to step back in time and it's something that everyone can enjoy! We cut the cake on the day that our Heritage Open Days in Coventry opened and shared it with everyone who was representing the venues taking part- even our Lady Lord Mayor joined us. recipe

Grandma's Chocolate Tangerine Cake by Ruth Webb

Category 1- Family favourite

My Grandma was a prolific baker. My childhood memories of visiting my grandparents often involve cake. Grandma baked the most wonderful cakes and always made us delicious dinners. I'm sure my Mam told me she had been a cook for a family before she married, but sadly, I never did ask my Grandma about her life when I had the chance. Losing my grandparents when I was only 8 years old makes my memories of them all the more precious.

I would often bake with Grandma in her tiny galley kitchen. She taught me to never be afraid to get my hands messy as she would tell me, "You can always wash them"! Something I can still hear her say every-time I'm getting sticky in my own kitchen. Despite all those special times baking and all her yummy desserts, there is one cake that sticks in my mind and it was this that inspired my entry to this cake bake. 

Grandma's cake was a delicious chocolate sponge, filled with fresh whipped cream and topped with melted chocolate that was allowed to set firm and crunchy with segments of tangerine adorning each slice. If I am completely honest, I don't know the recipe. It wasn't one of those that was handed down the generations. I have attempted to re-create it in my very hot little kitchen, channelling the spirit of my Grandma throughout and saying a little prayer to her for help.

I really enjoyed the process, despite taking the cake out too soon, after a mild panic thinking I had burnt it which therefore resulted in it sinking in the middle. Smelling the cocoa instantly transported me back to that little bungalow in Hebburn and in my minds eye I saw a little brown eyed girl with sticky hands smiling and giggling with her Grandma. I hope she would be pleased with the outcome. Here is the full recipe. I've made a little video too. Enjoy!


Thank you to all who took part in this Challenge and helped to make HODs' 20th Birthday a memorable one. For more recipes, check out Cake Bake blogs 1 and 2. For more anniversary activities, see our archive.