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Sweet Café Classics - Lemon Mess Layer

It's grey and dull in Cardiff today, both literally and metaphorically. That end-of-festivities feeling is hitting hard, with the looming anticipation of returning to work in a couple of days. The new year brings promise, but at the moment it hasn't fully seeped through. One of the promises I've made myself this year, though, is to break out of some of the bad habits I've fallen into over the last few years. That includes neglecting some of the things that truly bring me enjoyment. One of those is my love of baking, which went on a much needed, but lengthy, hiatus after we closed Sweet - our coffee shop - in 2018.  After we opened in 2015, we soon discovered that there were a number of key favourites in our cakes and bakes that people asked for time and time again. This Lemon Mess Layer was one of our regulars, along with a simple Victoria Sponge, Coffee and Pecan Layer, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownies,  and Salted Caramel Shorties. As the mood took me, I supplemented
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22 December 2011. Hit 'publish' for the first time.  There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then. But plans are afoot. Meanwhile, in these troubled times, may you have a joyous and peaceful festive season. Susie xx

Warming Beetroot and Ginger Cake

January is always a grey month. The glow of Christmas and New Year celebrations rapidly fades and gives way to the gloom of a season that at this point in the year seems endless. There are times when I get in from the school run and just want to curl up under a soft, snuggly blanket with Sam, feet entwined as we watch some of his favourite tv while gossiping about our days and what he got up to at school. There'll be a whirlwind of activity a bit later, when the others arrive home from their respective days. Early enough so that we'll catch the last fading of the sun before we hunker down for another night. A necessary part of this is our evening cuppa. Hot, sweet and steaming, and best accompanied by a little something to soak it up. This is a cake for that time. Reminiscent of carrot cake, the veg helps it feel virtuously right for the New Year. It's not overly sweet and there's a little warmth from the ginger and spice. A hit of citrus in the cream che

Little Devil's Chocolate Birthday Cake

Our little man / devil  turned six this week. Six.  EEK!! Apart from us now having an increasingly precocious six-going-on-sixteen year old, it also means this blog is very nearly six too. I just feel like I really don't know where that time has gone, y'know? It only feels like yesterday that I was on maternity leave with Sam, overwhelmed and overtired and trying to find a creative outlet to keep myself sane.  So much has happened since then. And I think there's definite truth in the saying that time speeds up the older you get. Now I'm at the point of knocking on the door of 50, birthdays seem to fly by. Anyway, enough of that. It's also a universal truth that whatever the birthday, anniversary or occasion, you can't really go far wrong with a chocolate cake. Especially when it's as rich, fudgey and, well, chocolatey as this one. This is my all time, favourite chocolate incarnation, hacked from David Liebovitz'

Coffee and Pecan Cake

  A coffee shop without some sort of coffee cake on offer seems wrong, to me at least. Since starting our own place, I've tried out a few. It's my go-to order when indulging in checking out the competition. And I have to say that good coffee cake can be hard to find. Sometimes, the coffee flavour is too overwhelming.  Sometimes, especially if walnuts are involved, I find the nuts too bitter alongside the coffee - which can be bitter as well. And I'm not a fan of overly sweet icing. As with most things, I like to be caressed. Personal quibbles, I know, but my tastebuds thank me.  I guess it's all a question of balance.  When I'm baking for Sweet, I like to vary recipes and change things up regularly. Coffee cakes on offer have included Mocha Meringue , a Chocca Mocca Layer, and sometimes, Cappucino Cupcakes. But by far a favourite in the shop, and one which usually features on a weekly basis at least, is Coffee and Pecan Cake. I

2016 - That's how the cookie crumbled ...

Hmmm. So, it's been nearly a year?  My resolutions and good intentions don't seem to count for much, do they? All I can say is that stuff happened. And look marginally shame-faced, at least.  Anyway, if there is anyone left to read this, I thought I'd pop by, wish you a Happy New 2017, and show a few highlights of our 2016.  It's been a busy - and complex - year. Our coffee shop is still there, nestled in the heart of Whitchurch in Cardiff. We still specialise in artisan cakes and sweet treats (yeah - get me - I think I've started to value my 'talent' sufficiently to call it artisan).  We do other things though, such as paninis and home made soup, and aim to use local Welsh food producers where we can. Our bread is from Brutons - one of the oldest bakeries in Cardiff - and our meat comes from a farm in the Vale of Glamorgan sold at our local butcher. I use Bacheldre Mill flour for baking. Welsh and proud.  All good, all good. Birthda