Sunday 15 April 2012

Dolly vs. Silicone... Garden Party Cake!

Years ago when I was in my 'muffin' phase, I bought a pink silicone muffin pan. They were everywhere, and I felt like I was missing out. However... I was horrified to find that whilst the outside of the cake was cooked, the inside was a gooey mess. Raw. In a fit of rage I binned the wretched thing and vowed to avoid silicone at all costs.

Now then. You might have noticed that recently I am very much in my 'bundt' phase. Proper bundt tins are expensive because they are very heavy gauge, and are often intricate in design. A couple of weeks ago a colleague mentioned she had seen carbon copies of these in Aldi, but they were made of silicone. After I had recovered from the baking disaster of 2009 flashbacks, and rubbished the moulds as imitations... I couldn't help but be curious. Could something that cost £3.49 really be as good as a tin that costs £30? I had to find out.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, (although I am glad to say no cats were harmed in the making of this cake) but I was confident I would live to tell the tale. This is the tale. If you logged onto Twitter this afternoon, you will have seen me ranting about said bakeware. And plotting the bonfire I was planning to burn it on.

I'm not in the business of bad reviews. Don't get me wrong, I don't think everything is perfect but I do believe in the mantra 'if you've got nothing nice to say, say nothing at all'. Silence speaks volumes. I can however be constructive in order to allow others to avoid disappointment (and fury).

What I will say is that silicone will never (ever) replace my bundt tins. This cake was seriously flawed by the fact the bakeware did not conduct the heat sufficiently to create even baking. The edges and top baked quickly, leaving a liquid centre. I actually had to bake it for two hours. I know he recipe is robust, as I have used it before. Even after I removed it from the mould, it had to go back in to brown the top, as the centre was actually white. The texture of the inside was fine, but the outside was quite firm. The cake tasted great, but I'm not attributing that to the tin in any way!

If you make this recipe, I recommend that you do not use silicone bakeware. Any heavy gauge tin will do. I would use a 10 inch ring or bundt pan. 

Garden Party Cake

  • 225g of unsalted butter
  • 100g of vegetable fat (I used Stork)
  • 650g golden caster sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 450g plain flour
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 250ml cloudy lemonade

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3/160 c.
  2. Grease and flour your desired tin.
  3. Cream the butter, vegetable fat and caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on a slow speed until well incorporated.
  5. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl.
  6. Mix the lemonade and the extracts in a jug.
  7. Sift in 1/3 of the flour then add 1/3 of the liquid. 
  8. Repeat this until everything is combined. Again, don't overmix, just combine the ingredients.
  9. Pour the mixture into the tin. It will fill to the brim, but don't worry, it doesn't rise much because no raising agent was added. Just air!
  10. Bake in the middle of the oven for an hour and 30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
  11. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a plate.
  12. Either dredge with icing sugar (and in my case, glitter) or decorate using coloured icing. 
This cake is perfect with a glass of cold cloudy lemonade whilst sat in the garden listening to birds and being mithered by the cat...

BloggersPlease respect the fact I am sharing my own ideas and recipe. Blood, sweat and many tears have gone into getting this right, so you may enjoy a perfect bundt. If you wish to re-blog a recipe from these variations, please credit my blog and link to this original post rather than pasting the recipe on your own page. 
Please see my Creative Commons Copyright information for more details. Thank you.


  1. I have to say, it looks amazing, but although I have some little heart shaped silicon muffin cups, I haven't used them yet. They may be small enough to work okay, but thanks for the warning re silicon bakeware, I'll steer clear.

  2. Janice, the air was blue in our house! Might use it as a jelly mould...

  3. I'm with you all the way on this matter, I used a silicone giant cupcake mould last month for the first time and it was one of my biggest baking disasters ever. It took forever to bake and did so very unevenly and though well greased went it went in the oven it was a nightmare to turn out.

  4. I've used a cheapo muffin tray before, and been surprisingly happy with the results! :)

  5. I have some very pretty silicon rose moulds and the little bastards were very nearly chucked on that bonfire too. I have found a couple of recipes that do turn out ok (red velvet cake, with oil in it, works well) and they were good lined with tempered chocolate, but I will never buy one for a full-sized cake!

  6. While your cake does look lovely! I am not a silicone fan, I too had a silicone bundt that I recently threw away, I used it twice and both times the cake completely stuck to the pan, on one occasion the top came clean off!

  7. The weird thing was, the cake didn't stick at all! Just didn't bloody cook! I worked round it, but let's say it was less than ideal!

  8. Claire Williams16 April 2012 at 21:17

    I have some cupcake silicone moulds and they are ok, the bottom is always brown though way before the top. I have a large square silicone tray which, I guess, is only good for making brownies in, when you want a squidgy middle and firm crust.

  9. I use silicone for cupcakes and muffins but they don't work for larger bakes.. I do have a loaf tin which I use for banana loaf (as it gives slack sides)

  10. Fail - silicone loaf tin. No idea what I was thinking- just a mess. That went in the bin a few years back.
    OK- silicone mats - great for rolling out on. I also have some fairy cake moulds- they always seems ok.
    On the whole though I avoid for proper cakes!
    Yours was so pretty- what a shame!

  11. I find that silicon moulds make cakes sweat and you have to put them back in the oven out of the tin to dry the grease of the sides of the cake.

    I had been avoiding buying a bundt tin as I did not want to pay £30 but I got a good quality but simply shaped one from lakeland plastics for £11.

  12. Oh dear. I seem to be in a minority of one here. I love my silicone moulds. I've been using them for all my cakes for the last ten years and they have made my baking life so much easier - I hate faffing around preparing tins. The only one that doesn't work for me is a loaf, as the sides don't stand up and you end up with something that doesn't look like a loaf at all. Haven't experienced any of the problems everyone else has. I wonder if it's the quality of the silicone. I suspect the cheaper moulds aren't as good as the more expensive ones, but I haven't done any research ;-)

  13. My curiosity is getting the better of me now. I'm tempted to try a more expensive/heavy duty mould...


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