09. March 2013 · 18 comments · Categories: Life


I recently bought Jane Brocket’s Vintage Cakes and the very first cake featured is marmalade cake. To me, it seemed like an easy recipe and a perfect cake to trial as a possible treat for my book club. Last Sunday night, still feeling sad about my cousin leaving, I whipped it up and noticed right away that it didn’t seem…right. The batter was really thick and didn’t look as dark as the cake in Ms. Brocket’s book. Well, I thought, it will darken in the oven. As you can tell from the photo below it didn’t darken at all and, in fact, when I took it to work one of my co-workers thought it was corn bread! The glaze also looked nothing like Ms. Brocket’s as I couldn’t get the confectioner’s sugar to dissolve in the orange juice no matter how much I stirred it so there are lumpy bits of sugar resting on top of the cake. It was also just a tad too dry.

marmalade cake

The taste was, however, a success because it was really delicious. Not too sweet, like most American cakes, and the glaze might have looked ugly but it smelled and tasted like orangey goodness.

I did find this blogger who is doing a ‘Brocket Bakes’ series, which I think is an outstanding idea, and her cake looked very similar to mine (minus my gloopy glaze) so I am not too disappointed!

Have you had any baking fails lately?


  1. I’m a big believer in theraputic baking! I find it a great comfort & distraction. and since I usually take most of it in to work, it’s very popular there as well 🙂 I’ve got a whole file of cake recipes to try, and it was one of my new year’s resolutions to be braver in trying new ones, but I haven’t managed that yet.

    • I am too, Lisa! Baking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love trying new things. I’ve never really made very many cakes from scratch so that is my goal this year. I think next up will be a lemon drizzle cake like Sam mentions below.

  2. vicki (bibliolathas / skiourophile)

    It sounds like a delicious cake, regardless! I haven’t had an orange cake for ages – might have to go find myself a simple recipe (my baking fails are caused by getting bored and/or forgetful with too many instructions!).

    • It was super easy to make so I feel like I really couldn’t have done too much harm to it – I’ll just have to make it again to test the recipe!

  3. jessicabookworm

    Sadly no baking for me recently, really should get back into it though because I always find it such a relaxing and comforting thing to do. Shame you had a few problems with this recipe but as long as you got a delicious cake at the end that’s all that matters.

  4. Looks fine to me! Love orange cake.

  5. As a first effort it looks pretty good! Love the photograph of the jar 🙂

  6. As long as it tastes good there’s no problem. ‘It’ll be good with custard’ as we say in my family, when things don’t turn out quite as you want them too. I baked coffee and walnut cake today, the buttercream topping is far too sweet. The cake is good though so some tweaking required next time – completely different topping. I couldn’t get the sugar to dissolve in the lemon juice for the last cake I baked, some did but the rest made it crunchy, I think there was just too much sugar in the recipe.

    • Hmmmm….dissolving the sugar seems to be an issue for some of us. I wonder what the pros do differently? Coffee and walnut cake sounds absolutely delicious – I think there is a recipe for that in the Brocket book. And I love the family saying!

  7. marmlade cake sounds yummy to me ,all the best stu

  8. I love the sound of a marmalade cake, right out of a Barbara Pym novel. I have never made one but I am intrigued. Will have to find a good recipe now!

  9. Sam (Tiny Library)

    I think it looks great! I have the same problem when I make lemon drizzle cake, my ‘drizzle’ is always too sugary/crystal-like.

%d bloggers like this: