Phil Vickery Whips Up Support For St Dunstan’s Great Cake Bake!

Posted on: 10 June 2009 by Gareth Hargreaves

Communities nationwide are being urged to sign up to the Great Cake Bake challenge to help national charity, St Dunstan’s, provide lifelong support to blind ex-Service men and women.

Celebrity chef, Phil Vickery, well known for his appearances on Ready Steady Cook and This Morning, is lending his support to the St Dunstan’s Great Cake Bake, saying “This year, why not bake a cake and help raise funds to help blind heroes? Whether you come together with friends, family or work colleagues, cake-baking will help St Dunstan's support blind heroes to regain their independence.”

Do you have what it takes to turn your buns into funds? Then the Great Cake Bake challenge needs you. The cake baking week, which launches on Monday, 22nd June, will encourage members of the public to celebrate the work of St Dunstan’s, while baking scrumptious cakes.

Anyone is invited to get involved, whether you cook up a storm and persuade friends and family to sponsor your cake-making efforts, organise a bake-off, invite people to make a donation to sample a slice or two of your cake, or raffle off the fruits of your labour.

The money raised will help St Dunstan’s provide lifelong support and rehabilitation to blind ex-Service men and women, enabling them to regain their independence, meet new challenges and achieve a better quality of life.

To find out more please visit or call 0300 111 2233.

Phil’s Three Favourite Cake Recipes

Sticky Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake

Serves: 6


  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter
  • 175g/6oz caster sugar
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 175g/6oz self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp shredded fresh basil
  • finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 25g/1oz poppy seeds

For the sticky lemon topping:

  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, blanched - see tips
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale, light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time. Fold the flour into the mixture, then stir in the basil, lemon zest, water and poppy seeds. Pour mixture into the loaf tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sticky topping -  heat caster sugar and 3 tbsp water in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Add blanched lemon zest, increase the heat and bring to a simmer and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until zest is tender.
  4. Place lime juice and icing sugar in another small pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Drain the lemon zest, add it to the lime syrup then bring to a simmer.
  5. Prick the hot, cooked cake using a skewer (it will have sunk, but don’t worry!!), then pour over the hot lime syrup and lemon zest. Leave the cake in the tin until cool, then carefully lift out using the lining paper. Cut cake into slices to serve.


The zest or rind of the lemon is the coloured part of the skin - when you are removing it, avoid also taking off the white ‘pith’ which is very bitter. The lemon zest should be blanched for this recipe to begin to soften it and to take away any remaining bitterness. Remove the zest from the lemon using a zesting tool and blanch the zest in a small pan of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain then repeat the blanching process twice more, using fresh water each time.

Or try this...
Sticky Chocolate & Orange Cake

  1. Cream 175g/6oz unsalted butter and 175g/6oz caster sugar together until pale, light and fluffy, then gradually beat in 2 eggs.
  2. Fold 115g/4oz self raising flour and 3 tbsp cocoa powder into the mixture, then stir in 4 tbsp water and the finely grated zest of 1 orange. Pour mixture into a lined 900g/2lb loaf tin and bake as above.
  3. Meanwhile, remove the zest of 1 orange using a zester and blanch in three changes of boiling water (see tips above).
  4. Squeeze the juice of the orange into a pan, add 3 tbsp icing sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved, then add the blanched orange zest and simmer for 3 minutes.
  5. Prick the surface of the cooked sponge, pour over the hot syrup and leave to cool.
  6. If you’re really short of time, prick a bought Madeira cake with a skewer and pour over either of the flavoured hot syrups. 

Whiskey Tea Time Cake

A lot of fruit cakes are either dry or crumbly or both, not this recipe. Its best to soak the fruit in the whiskey and lemon juice overnight, it makes a real difference to the end cakes texture.

All cake recipes need Stork, butter, I think is not as good to the end texture and flavour. I have cooked this both ways, Stork does come out on top. This cake also has no eggs, its not often you see that in a recipe.

I like to serve mine sliced, with a nice layer of salted butter, perfect.
Preparation Time:- 20 mniutes.

Cooking Time:- 45-50 minutes.


  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 175g Stork margarine
  • 170mls milk
  • 85mls whiskey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 175g dark brown raw cane sugar
  • 175g currants
  • 85g sultanas
  • 1½ level tsp bicarbonate of soda


  1. Soak the fruit in the whiskey and lemon juice, leave for 2 hours or best overnight.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 180°C gas 4.
  3. Rub the Stork into flour along with the spice.
  4. Mix the sugar, currents, whiskey, sultanas, lemon juice together.
  5. Then add the dry ingredients, do not overwork or the cake will end up chewy to eat, as you will overwork the gluten.
  6. You must end up with a ‘dropping consistency’ texture.
  7. Bake in the oven in a lined tin for 40 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
  8. Turn out and cool.
  9. Slice and spread thickly with salted butter.

What's your favourite cake? Do you have a favourite recipe?

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