• 180g caster sugar
  • 180g soft butter/margarine
  • 180g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 100g fresh blueberries
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 85g icing sugar

I had the best birthday. I got so many nice things to be glad for, I came over all Pollyanna-like. First off I ate out 5 times in 4 days. How’s that for decadence? From boiled eggs and soldiers for breakfast to a Thai Saturday night blow out, I loved it all. It was almost like in my pre baby days when money was abundant and eating out felt like a daily right. How spoilt.

And the gifts! Oh the gifts! Beautiful maternity clothes, pretty cake tins, sewing bits and bobs, a very sharp better than champagne knife, a deer stalker hat, a snood (is that a word still) for my ever cold neck, 90s dance hit CDs, biscuits, chocolates, things to add to the bath. Oh it really was amazing.

And I realised I have turned a corner, for this was my first non alcohol spiked birthday – my first pregnant birthday. (Have very cleverly planned babies around missing my birthday and the festive season – hell, yes, I’m a selfish planner.) I am growing up; I don’t need alcohol to have a good time.

This cake could certainly add to a good time though. Lemon and blueberries are a perfect match. If you don’t have blueberries simply use some dried fruit or bake it without, slice it and slather in a berry type jam. Tastes excellent washed down with piping hot tea.

One year ago: Love cupcakes and White chocolate, lemon and macadamia cake and Roasted celeriac, carrot and parsnip soupand My lightest Yorkshire puddings

Two years ago: Bake me not chocolate cake and Jelly and ice-cream meringue roulade and Good flapjack and Banana, butterscotch and fig traybake

Three years ago: Treasure hunt ice-cream and Rhubarb and ginger chutney and Carrot cake

Lemon & blueberry loaf

Ingredients:

  • 180g caster sugar
  • 180g soft butter/margarine
  • 180g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 100g fresh blueberries
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 85g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin (this is the regular sized one found in most shops – if you use a bigger one then reduce the baking time as the cake will be flatter and therefore bake more quickly, if your loaf tin is slightly smaller the cake may take a little longer as the cake will be taller and thus the heat takes longer to get to the centre – use the browning of the top and the skewer coming out clean as the best guide to a cake being done).

Beat together the caster sugar, butter, flour, baking powder, eggs and lemon zest for about 4 minutes in the Kitchen Aid using the flat beater at medium speed or 5 – 6 minutes using a hand held mixer. It may take a little longer if beating by hand with a wooden spoon – you’re looking for a light and creamy mixture that is lighter in colour than when you started and looks a little like whipped double cream. Fold the blueberries through the mixture with a metal spoon then transfer to the tin. Level the top and bake for 45 – 55 minutes until the top is golden brown and the cake is well risen. A skewer will be clean when poked into the centre.

Leave to cool on a wire rack, whilst still in the tin. Once cool make the icing using the lemon juice and icing sugar, beaten until smooth. Pour over the top of the cake – it will seep down the sides as this is a runny, transparent icing. You can make it thicker if you like by adding more icing sugar. Slice and eat!

P.S. I was a little over zealous in my folding, hence the blueberries sank to the bottom. Oh well, this is life. Still tasted delicious.

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