Ruth’s Recipes

Our café may be closed for the moment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t bring some delicious eats to you in do-it-yourself form! We’ve asked our wonderful Catering Supervisor, Ruth to choose some of her most delicious recipes for us to post on our website. Some, it has to be said, are a closely guarded secret, but her many years of experience mean that there are plenty that she’s happy to share.

Chocolate Traybake cake

Chocolate Traybake

Ruth says that this is a really indulgent chocolate traybake recipe. It’s a beautifully moist and rich cake, and perfect for a special treat. This recipe makes a large quantity of buttercream – feel free to scale it down if you would rather have a thinner layer.


For the Cake
250g Dark chocolate
250g Butter
1 tbsp Instant coffee
200g Plain flour
50g Cocoa powder
1½ tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
250g Caster sugar
250g Light brown sugar
4 Large eggs
100ml Buttermilk

For the Butter Icing
250g Butter (softened)
500 g Icing sugar
50g Cocoa powder
100ml Evaporated milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Decoration ideas
Chocolate shavings, sprinkles, chocolate buttons

To make the Cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 160°/140°C Fan, and line a 33 x 23cm baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Microwave the chocolate and the butter together in a suitable container until melted – the time this will take will vary according to your microwave, but after the first minute, check frequently!
  3. Add 125ml boiling water to the coffee granules to dissolve, then add this to the melted chocolate and butter mix. Stir until well blended.
  4. Take a separate large bowl and combine together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb, and both sugars. Mix well.
  5. Combine the eggs and the Buttermilk together, then add this and your chocolate mix to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir together gently using a spatula – don’t overmix.
  6. Pour the mixture into your lined baking tin and bake for 50-60 minutes (an inserted skewer should come out clean). Leave to cool completely in the tin, or remove and cool on a wire rack after 10-15 minutes if you prefer your cake to be softer.
To make the Butter Icing
  1. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter until it’s pale and smooth.
  2. Gradually alternate adding the icing sugar, the cocoa powder and the evaporated milk as you mix, then add the vanilla essence. Beat for another two minutes until it’s smooth and creamy.
  3. Slather the buttercream onto your cooled cake, and decorate to your taste.


ice cream cone cake

Ice Cream Cone Cakes

These cute little illusion cakes were a summer special last year and are baked inside a real wafer ice cream cone! We think they look just like the real thing.


150g baking margarine
150g sugar
150g self raising flour
3 medium eggs, beaten
12 flat based wafer ice cream cup cones

Buttercream Icing
250g unsalted butter
500g icing sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs milk

Chocolate flakes, cake sprinkles

  1. Preheat your oven to 150°c/gas mk3
  2. Cream the baking margarine and sugar together until light in colour
  3. Add a little egg at a time, and keep mixing together
  4. Gently mix in the flour
  5. Place the cones into a bun tin and divide the mixture between them. The mixture should be ½ way up the cones.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes and then leave to cool
  7. Make the buttercream by softening the butter and beating in the icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk.
  8. Put into an icing bag with a large star nozzle and swirl on top of the cones to look like ice cream.
  9. Place a chocolate flake into the buttercream swirl and decorate with sprinkles.


Lemonade scones served with jam and cream

Lemonade Scones

This is Ruth’s recipe for Lemonade Scones. Simple to make and consisting of just three ingredients, these make beautifully light scones. Why not give them a try?


525g self-raising flour (plus a little extra for dusting)
250ml whipping cream
250ml lemonade (regular rather than diet or sugar free)
A little milk for glazing

  1. Preheat your oven to 200c (180c fan) / Gas mk 6
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, cream and lemonade until the flour is mostly combined with the other ingredients. Don’t over mix it, as you’ll end up with tough, dense scones. Your dough should be soft and quite sticky.
  3. Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for 3-5 mins to bring it together and make it workable. Then pat into a circle 2.5cm thick.
  4. Flour a 7cm round cutter and cut your dough into rounds. Press straight down and lift up, do not twist. Fluted cutters give the best results.
  5. Use a knife to gently lift and place your scones onto a baking tray. Position the scones so that they are slightly touching each other as this will help them to rise evenly.
  6. Brush the tops with milk
  7. Bake for 15 mins or until golden on top. Let them cool down on a cooling rack with a clean tea towel on top.

Enjoy your Lemonade Scones served warm with jam and cream.