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Alright Amblers? It seems as though everyone I know has a birthday in October, which means this month has been cakes galore for me. My personal favourite has been the After Eight Brownie cake I made for a friend’s birthday; layers of brownie and peppermint fondant with a chocolate fudge icing and dark chocolate peppermint ganache. Yum! I’ve also been working on a few Halloween recipes (including this Bloody Red Velvet Cake) and collaborating with the lovely Gin on some delicious vegan numbers for his pop-up events (you can read more about those here).

I’ve been out sampling the wares at The Barista’s on Watergate Street (because I just don’t get enough cake at home). The building itself is interesting and I love that they’ve left all the original features. It makes it feel like a cozy, old travellers tavern. We ordered two cakes and two coffees.

The lemon and raspberry cake was a very pleasant surprise, as initially my eyes had skimmed over it to the more glamed-up cakes. It was very moist and really lemony, with a good hit of raspberry flavour; fluffy, sticky and just right. The pecan pie looked very pleasing with a pattern of pecans all over the top. The flavour was beautiful and the homemade crust was perfectly crisp. I was a little disappointed, however, that there were no pecans in the filling itself. Their mocha was well balanced between sweet and rich and the Americano was strong, hot and not at all bitter. I’ll definitely be back!

Another cake order this month has lead me on a discovery of diabetic friendly cakes and, as we’re approaching diabetes awareness month in November, I wanted to share my finds with you. After much searching, I found a great blog, which not only gives great low carb, sugar free recipes, but also lists the calorie and carbohydrate count for each slice. This is so important for people managing their diabetes through diet and makes life a bit easier. When I told my friend about this website she was thrilled that she could eat cake again! I made her the cappuccino cake, exchanging the xylitol for stevia, as she’s a dog owner and xylitol is highly poisonous to dogs (not humans though!). I also added extra soya milk, as it was a little dry when I trialled it. However, this could be down to me substituting milk and butter for dairy free alternatives, as it was required to be dairy free too.

I’ve also managed to make it back to The Flower Cup café this month to sample their delicious cakes! I ordered a cortado and a slice of their spiced pumpkin chai cake for £5.10. I love an adventurous cake and this one didn’t disappoint. It was well spiced and beautifully moist, but without being dense; not an easy feat with a heavy ingredient like pumpkin. The delicate pumpkin flavour was nicely balanced with a cream cheese frosting and decorated with toasted pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

As always, the coffee was just right; strong and hot with the perfect amount of milk and was beautifully presented (in a way I can’t ever achieve when I attempt latte art at home). I love the introduction of the neon lighting. It gives the feeling of having a late night coffee in a bustling city, but in the heart of their little floral temple. Their unique bouquets and unusual flower pairings are almost too tempting to resist filling my house with! Also, their extensive brunch menu is enviable, with a wide variety for all dietary requirements, including a vegan full English. It may well be my new favourite brunch spot.

I’ve recently come across The Little Yellow Pig in Hoole and am very much looking forward to trying out some of their cakes. Next month I will also be attempting to create my own pumpkin spice for coffees and a few other Autumnal treats. Until next time, happy caking!