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Recipes Lemon drizzle and blackberry crumble cakes to warm you up in the cold

Pastry chef Shane Smith shares some seasonal baking recipes to liven up the shorter days.

IT’S THAT TIME of year again when the clocks have fallen back, the Halloween sweets have been all but scoffed and no one, absolutely no one wants to hear fireworks or the phrase, ‘trick or treat’ again for another year.

There’s always a little adjustment with the changing of the clocks. You think it won’t affect you, but suddenly, you’re awake earlier than usual and cannot keep your eyes open by 8pm. Cruel, really, but the darker days do bring with them a certain cosiness and maybe instead of diving into that bowl of teeth-wearing gobstoppers, you could turn your hand to some home baking? What could possibly go wrong, you pop it into the oven and at the very least, you’ll get to enjoy a nice cuppa knowing you’ve made your own cakes.

So, to help you on your way, here are a couple of nice seasonal recipes that are simple and tasty and won’t wreak havoc with our fillings. Enjoy! 

Lemon Drizzle Loaf

IMG_3572 ChefShaneSmith ChefShaneSmith

Makes: 1 x 2lb cake

Prep: 20 mins

Bake: 65-70 mins


220g caster sugar

2 lemon zest

3 large eggs

110ml cream

150g plain flour

30g cornflour
1.5 tsp baking powder

65ml vegetable oil

Soaking liquid

25ml lemon juice

30ml water

55g caster sugar

Icing glaze

150 icing sugar

20ml water


Preheat your oven to 160C fan.

Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.

Into a bowl, add the sugar, zest, and eggs and whisk on full speed for 4-5 minutes.

To this add the cream and mix.

Sieve in the flour, baking powder, and cornflour, carefully fold through.

Finally, add the oil and mix.

Spoon this into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 65-70 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

To make the soaking syrup, simply heat all the ingredients in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved.

Spoon this syrup over the warm cake and allow it to soak in.

Once cold, whisk together the icing sugar and water to create a thick icing.

Spoon this over the cold cake and allow it to drip down the sides.


Apple blackberry crumble cake

sliceofanappleandblackberrycake Shutterstock / MShev Shutterstock / MShev / MShev

Serves: 8-10

Prep time: 30 mins

Baking time: 60 mins

Crumble topping

60g plain flour

40g cold butter

30g caster sugar

30g flaked almonds

Cake 185g butter, room temp

185g caster sugar

3 medium eggs

dash vanilla

185g self raising flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground clove

75g ground almonds

50g sour cream

200g diced apple, raw

200g fresh blackberries


For the crumble mix, add the flour, butter & sugar into a bowl, and with your fingertips, mix until you reach a sandy texture.

Add the almonds, mix and set aside until needed.

For the cake, preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan.

Line the base of an 8” round loose bottom cake tin with parchment paper. Grease and dust the tin and set aside. For the cake batter, into your mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugar. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla, mixing between each addition.

Add the sour cream, ground almonds. Finally, sieve in the flour and spices. Spoon this cake batter into the prepared tin and level out.

Sprinkle the diced apple & blackberries over top and then the crumble.

Pop this into the preheated oven and this will bake for 60/70 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Remove once baked and allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin. Best served with a side of whipped cream, Ice-cream or custard.

Shane Smith has nearly 22 years’ experience working in some of the world’s most celebrated pastry kitchens across the globe. Over these years he has received numerous award from “Best Bakery Manager in Ireland”-Shelf life magazine to “The top 10 best pastry chefs in Ireland” Food & Wine Magazine. Shane is running series of ‘Unleash your Inner Baker’ courses on Zoom, for more see here and @ChefShaneSmith on Instagram.

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