My Kransekake Show Stopper

In honour of the Great British Bake Off final tonight I thought I’d share with you my favourite bake.


This is a Kransekake. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a Scandinavian celebration celebration cake made, basically from marzipan. Yummy!

Last Christmas, they featured a recipe for this on the GBBO Christmas special. You can find the original here. I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe, hopefully to make it nicer and a better size for a normal celebration. It’s probably worth noting here that you make it over two days but each stage is actually fairly quick and easy to do.

What you’ll need:

For the Kransekake:

250g Ground Almonds

250g Icing Sugar

2 Egg Whites

2 teaspoons Almond Extract


Kransekake Tins (this is ideal but you can try and do it free hand)

For Icing:

300g Icing Sugar mixed into a thick paste with a little Almond Extract and Water

What to do:

First, make the dough by mixing the almonds, icing sugar, egg whites and almond extract together in a bowl.


(Sugar and Almonds)


(Add eggs and extract)


Work together until they make a kind of firm paste. Wrap in clingfilm and leave in fridge over night.

When you get it out the next day you will find that it’s firmed up. Prepare your tins by lightly greasing them; pre-heat the oven to 200oC and lightly dust an area to roll the dough out, with icing sugar.


Divide the dough into 3 pieces then divide those into 3 more rough pieces. Start rolling one piece into a sausage roughly the same width as your finger.


You want it to be the right length to go round the smallest ring in your tin. Put the remainder dough aside to use later (as the rings grow bigger, you need less dough at the beginning and more dough later).


Starting from the smallest rings in each tin, repeat until you have used up all the dough. I always have a little left over which I roll out and use as a tester piece (in other words, an excuse to sample the yummy cake without ruining it!). You won’t fill up all the rings on the tins but I’ve found this is more than enough for a party. Bake for 8-10min or until golden brown.

Leave to cool in tin until hard, then transfer to cooling rack.

Once completely cooled you can ice it. Make the icing and put it in a piping bag. I’ve done it before by dripping it from a teaspoon and it does work but you get a much nicer effect if you pipe it!


Apologises for the terrible picture, my camera gave up! Start with the largest ring and zigzag all the way round. Put the next largest ring on top (the icing below holds it in place, which is why it can’t be too runny). Repeat, working your way down (or rather building your cake up). At the end, if you want to, you can add extra decorations. Use the icing to stick it on.


Well there you have it. Your very own Kransekake. It really does taste as good as it looks!

Cakes, Cakes and more Cakes

Here in the UK this time of year isn’t just the beginning of Autumn, it’s the culmination of weeks of blood, sweat and tears that is otherwise known as ‘The Great British Bake Off’. If you are unfamiliar with GBBO, it’s basically a TV programme where the best home bakers in the country compete, all trying to be crowned the Great British Bake Off Champion. Each week they attempt to tackle 3 baking challenges or ever increasing difficulty………sometimes to the point of the ridiculous (I mean what was the point of setting an obscure technical challenge that no one has heard of and doesn’t stand a chance of completing properly?!). They then get judged; their bakes ruthlessly pulled apart; and finally one lucky baker gets that weeks ‘Star Baker’ (although sadly they don’t get given an actual star) while another is sadly sent home. Despite the gentle jokes, I do love watching the programme. I enjoy baking although, I’m not nearly as gifted as all the bakers in the tent. I like being inspired by the amazing ideas they come up with.

Well in celebration of the semi final tonight I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourite bakes that I’ve been making this year.


This was the cake Little Miss wanted for her birthday. It’s actually really easy to make (although it takes a while to do the icing). It’s made of 3 round madira cakes that (two go on top of each other to make the main bear head, and one that is cut up to make the nose and the ears). The rest of the bear effect is made by piping icing to look a little like fur (I started on the outside and worked round and in, so the over lapping looked more ‘fur’ like).


These were my favourites. I made them for World Book Day (because we do that now Little Man is at school). I adapted our favourite chocolate biscuit recipe and added sliced almonds to look like Gruffalo claws. Next year in the run up to world book day, I’ll blog the recipe :)


Finally, my ‘Show Stopper’. We’ve had a few big birthday’s this year and I wanted to make something special for them. This is a Kransekake. It’s a Scandinavian celebration cake made of marzipan. I love it! Next week, if you’re lucky, and to celebrate the GBBO Final (ahhh excited and sad at the same time!!!!); I’ll post my recipe with a photo walk through.

Folksy Autumn Inspiration

It’s been a while since I’ve done a ‘Folksy Friday’ post so, seeing as Autumn is just around the corner, I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourites.

acron bracelet folksy

This lovely bracelet set is made by the very talented Bobby’s Boutique. Isn’t it beautiful? One of our favourite places to walk the dog have lots of oak trees and we love walking through them watching the squirrels collecting acorns, ready for Winter.

Linen cat purse

This purse has been made my one of my all time favourite designers The Linen Cat. I’ll be honest, it wouldn’t be a Folksy Friday post from me, without featuring the Linen Cat. I really wish I was as talented as her!

peacock cushion folksy

I guess by now, you are getting the idea that I’m really into tweed this season. This fabulous cushion is by Seaforth Designs. I think what I know about this cushion (apart from the peacock…….who doesn’t like peacocks?), is the beautiful combination of colours. So talented!

tartan wrapfolksy

Ok, ok, I’ll admit it. Last year when blanket wraps were all the rage, I proudly wore mine. I loved it. It was amazing. So imagine my delight when I found this little gem. I love tartan and I love the colour combination. It’s been lovingly made by Diane Frances Designs.



I had to include this in my Folksy friday, Autumn Inspiration. In my opinion, you don’t get much more Autumnal than this. Do check out Original Artworks by Suzie Nichols, they are simply stunning works of arts.

tweed hat folksy

And we’re back with the tweed! This hat is made by Moaning Minnie. I’ll be honest, she has so many lovely hats, it was hard to choose just one but in the end I settled on this one. Doesn’t it just remind you of those slightly chilly mornings and beautiful autumnal walks through the fallen leaves?

Autumn rose folksyWhat I like most about this are the colours. Autumn for me is all about the colours. There are so many beautiful colours that you only get at this time of year. This beautiful Rose by Style Textile I think captures some of that. Wouldn’t it look perfect on a hat or a cord coat?

shawl folksy

Finally I had to include this stunning shawl by The Feminine Touch Designs. As someone who spins my own yarn and sells it, I know how hard it is to get the quality across in a picture but this shawl looks beautiful. You can see the love and care as well as the thought that has gone into it. It looks supper snuggly too!

That’s it for now. If you fancy seeing more, I have a Pinterest Board completely given over to my favourite Autumn finds this year. Do pop over and have a look. I also love to see what’s inspiring you. Feel free to share your boards or posts :)

Super Mario Blanket

In my last post, I shared with you the two blankets I made for the little people. Well in this post I thought I’d share with you how I made the Super Mario Blanket. It’s an easy pattern (you only need to be able to make one square and then join them together) but it does take time.


I used Stylecraft Special DK from the wonderful lemonade yarns. I chose to make it this size as firstly my little man isn’t that big and secondly, I wanted him to be able to use it without it feeling too heavy. The squares are quite dense. I’ll let you know the number of balls you’ll need for each colour as well as how many squares you’ll need to make. You should get 28 squares from each ball. If you are finding you’re getting less, then you’ll need more wool (obviously). You’ll also need a 4mm hook and I’m using UK terminology.

1 ball of Green (make 22 squares)

1 ball of Yellow (make 2 squares)

2 balls of Black (make 30 squares)

2 balls of Royal Blue (make 32 squares)

2 balls of Red (make 38 squares)

2 balls of Peach (make 41 squares)

3 balls of Sky Blue (make 59 squares)


Ch = chain

ss = slip stitch

tr = treble stitch

sp = space

dc = double crochet

How to make the square:


Ch 4 and ss into first ch.

Round 1: ch5 (counts as 1tr and 2ch sp), work 4 tr into the foundation ring, ch2, work 4 tr into the foundation ring, ch2, work 4 tr into foundation ring, ch2, work 3 tr into the foundation ring and ss into the 3rd ch from the beginning of the round.

Round 2: ss into the 2ch sp from previous round and ch5 (counts as 1tr and 2ch space), work 2tr into 2ch sp, *tr in each tr from previous round, 2tr in 2ch space, ch 2, 2tr in 2ch sp* Repeat *to* 2 more times, tr in each tr from previous round, 1tr in 2ch sp and ss into 3rd ch from the beginning of the round.

Round 3: Repeat round 2 then fasten off.

Well that’s it. Now all you need to do is make many of these and join them together :) I joined them by dc them together along every edge but you can sew them if you prefer. Here’s a larger picture of the blanket so you can see clearly what order they go in (sorry about the quality of the picture, I have to use my phone camera and it’s not the best!).


To finish off the blanket I dc around the edge in black. I personally like it as a way to bring everything together but you don’t have to.

If you do make this blanket, I’d love to see how you get on. Please post a picture on my facebook page or tweet me.

A tale of two blankets

This time last year I was working on two blankets. One of them was my 2014 ‘Granny Square a Week’ blanket and the other was a blanket for little man, inspired by his love of a certain hama bead Super Mario character we’d recently made.

Well I did manage to complete my 2014 blanket and on time! Here it is:


It was a real labour of love. 2014 was not an easy year for me and I’m glad I didn’t attempt to do a square a day, otherwise I’d still be hooking it! Despite that, I’m really pleased with it. I decided half way through that I’d make it for little miss and thankfully she loves it. I know the colours don’t all work perfectly but for me it does sum up the year and each square has a special memory and meaning.

Blanket number two was completely different. While I was making this blanket for little miss, little man expressed a wish for a blanket of his very own. I was racking my brains to see how I could achieve this when I saw him playing with the hama bead Super Mario Character we’d recently made. I don’t know it was because I had squares on the brain thanks for my granny square blanket, or what but I realised that if it worked in hama beads, I could probably make it work in crochet squares (I subsequently found out later that I am, unsurprisingly, not the first person to think this). Here’s how it turned out:


Little man loves it and it lovely to see them both cuddled up in their respective blankets.

(If you fancy having a go at the Mario Blanket, I’ll publish a pattern in my next blog post :) )

Summer Holiday fun

Here in the UK we’re most of the way through our Summer holidays. Any of you out there who are parents will appreciate the hard work it takes to entertain little ones who are used to being challenged and stretched every day at school. There are huge parts of the holidays that are fun and other parts that are rather mundane (real life doesn’t stop just because the children are off). Getting the right balance can be rather tricky! We’ve had indoor picnics; made sofa dens; played outside; gone to the park (many times); walked the dog; had a afternoon home cinema (watch a film with popcorn, floor cushions, their favorite blankets etc); as well as done a couple of days out type things. However, by far the best thing we’ve discovered to do (something that we’ve come back to again and again) is playing with Hama beads (I think they are called Peerler beads in the US). If you don’d know what they are, they are little plastic beads that you put together to make a picture and then iron to hold the beads in place. Not sure what I mean? Well here’s a couple that we’ve made:


These are coasters. They make great coasters as they are heat proof and can be washed. Here’s another one (we like floral designs, can you tell?)


Little Miss is a little young to make them but she does love to sort the beads out. It’s been a great way for her to practice her colours. Little Man is old enough to get enjoyment out of them. He’s been working hard to build up his collection of various characters.


He likes Mario. They both like certain yellow beings that appear to have taken over……


They are seriously Minion crazy! We haven’t made any into keyrings yet but the next ones that will inevitably be made are earmarked for keyrings. Despite all of these, the thing I’ve discovered, that I personally think is the best thing about hama beads is that they pack flat but are great little toys. They have seriously saved many a long car and take up almost no room! They are definitely a hit in this household! If you fancy having a go yourself, there’s loads of inspiration on pintrest. My Hama Bead board is here.

It’s been a long time!

Looking back at my last blog post, I can’t believe it’s been so long! A lot has been happening offline (which, if you follow me on twitter or facebook you are probably aware of). It’s rather an exciting time for me. I’ve decided to spin and sell my own yarn. I think I mentioned about this time last year that I had discovered spinning and was absolutely loving it! Well a few other people have loved what I’ve been spinning too, so now I’m testing the water and selling what I’m making. It’s very early days but I’m enjoying doing the craft fairs and a local shop has even agreed to stock my yarn!


And a close up (The two brown ones on the left are 100% Alpaca and are soooo soft!).


I’ve also been playing with dying merino:


This rainbow colour way has been particularly popular. This is how it looks spun up:


It’s also amazing how just changing one colour can effect the over all colour of the finished yarn. This colour way is pink, purple and yellow:


In this colour way, I’ve kept the pink and purple but swapped the yellow for grey:


Here they are spun up.


Ahhhhh I love them so much! I’m not yet stocking them in my online shop as I’m still revamping it but you can keep up to date with what I’m doing via Facebook and order through there if you want too :)

That’s all for now. It’s good to be back!

A weekend in Brighton

I was lucky enough to spend last weekend in Brighton for my sisters Hen weekend. I won’t share the many fun and exciting things we got up to (what happens in Brighton stays in Brighton etc etc), but I will give you a sneaky peak at where we stayed.


It was so trendy that it had random bits of black rope hanging from the ceiling…..I’m not sure why……Seriously though, it was a great place to stay.

I said I wouldn’t share any details of the Hen Do, and I won’t, however I did slip out on Sunday morning (you know what it’s like when you have kids… wake up whether they are there or not *sigh*). It was a beautiful fresh morning so, as I love the sea I went in search of it. It was such a treat being able to have a relaxed walk all on my own (and by that I mean without little people pulling at my leg all the time demanding attention) that I had to take some pictures. Enjoy.


Apart from the stunning building, notice the clear blue sky. You would never guess that we are now half way through October would you?


The Pier.



Well me trying to show little man that I visited a pebble beach but in an arty way…….I’m not sure I can really pull off ‘arty’ lol.


The Sea.


The Pier again.


Selfie on the beach (Hubby, Little Man and Little Miss had just sent me a pic of what they were doing, so I thought I’d send one back).

Long lazy days and a new hobby.

Wow, it’s been a long time since I last blogged! Have you all had a good Summer? Here it feels like the summer has gone on forever. The weather has been amazing and is in fact still amazing (25oC in the middle of September?!). The Summer Holidays have been going on for 8 weeks (Little man is going into reception and they do a staggered start) and I’d love to say that they have been filled with long lazy days, but I’m not sure that’s possible with two little people! We have had fun though and the weather has definitely helped by providing lots of opportunities for out door activities. I won’t bore you with everything we’ve done, as I’m sure you don’t really want to know; but I will share with you my new hobby.


Isn’t she beautiful? Hubby very kindly gave her to me as I’ve been spinning on a drop spindle for a while now, which is great but takes a long time. He is of course the best husband ever (he even has an official badge). If you’re interested, I bought it from here. It’s so clever, it folds away (perfect for keeping it safe of little people). I am totally addicted. If you haven’t tried spinning but love crochet or knitting, I’d recommend it. It’s very cheap to start (you can get drop spindles from as little as £6) and there is something very relaxing and satisfying about making your own yarn. I found it really helpful starting on a drop spindle as you get a good feel for the wool; how it moves together and, as it’s slower, it’s a lot easier to correct mistakes.


Here’s some fleece ready to spin. Isn’t it lovely? It came from here. Doesn’t it look like a big ball of candy floss? It’s so soft!


I would have taken pictures of me spinning it but spinning selfies don’t really work ;) Here is the wool you’ve just seen spun onto two bobbins, ready to ply it together and make the final skein of wool. And what am I going to make with this lovely piece of handspun yarn? Well I’m glad you asked:


Toft’s Alpaca has just released a book of all their lovely crochet softies and ‘Bunny Hop’ needs at least one new friend (probably the elephant, but I also really want to make at least one sheep and a monkey). ps. the cushions in the background are the first things I spun….I made little man and little miss floor cushions and I couldn’t help sneaking them in!

If you want to see more spinning loveliness, I have been happily pinning (told you I was addicted!)