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Instagram-famous baking guru Jane Dunn’s photogenic cakes have won her an army of fans. Here, she shares three summery recipes from her debut cookbook that offer the perfect balance of sweet and sour flavours.
If you’ve ever salivated over a too-perfect-to-be-true layer cake on Instagram, you’re probably familiar with Jane Dunn. Otherwise known as @janespatisserie, she’s the internet’s go-to expert on standout bakes whose welcoming approach has made her a social media sensation.
Now a food writer and photographer, Dunn originally started her baking blog while at cookery school in 2014, intending to document her journey to becoming a professional chef. But she quickly realised it was baking that sparked her passion – and channelled her love of sweet things into growing an online community of more than 750,000 followers.
Now, Dunn is publishing her debut cookbook, Jane’s Patisserie: Deliciously Customisable Cakes, Bakes And Treats, full of tried-and-tested recipes from her blog with exclusive new creations inspired by follower requests. Featuring step-by-step methods and helpful nuggets of advice, Dunn is the antithesis of steely-eyed Paul Hollywood types – and she’s on a mission to prove that anyone can bake. Expect zero judgement and tips that everyone can learn from, first-time bakers and KitchenAid owners alike.
While Dunn is renowned for her chocolate-heavy masterpieces, her book is equally dedicated to tart, tangy bakes – and below, she shares three summery, fruit-spiked recipes that are ideal if you love desserts that balance sweet and sour flavours.
For a tasty pudding requiring minimal prep time, make her lemon posset tart with a creamy, citrusy filling poured over a cheesecake-inspired buttery biscuit base. Dunn leaves it to set in the fridge before slicing and serving with tart freeze-dried raspberries.
Craving cake? You’ll want to try Dunn’s blueberry and lime loaf. Fresh or frozen blueberries add moisture to the cake batter for a brilliantly juicy slice, while citrus gives the crumb a satisfying zing. Dunn tops it all off with lime-spiked buttercream and decorates with jewel-like blueberries for a crowd-pleasing finish.
Finally, for a sliceable treat to pair with your mid-morning coffee, the rhubarb and custard blondies should be your first port of call. Tangy rhubarb is slightly stewed, stirred through Dunn’s signature white chocolate and custard blondie mix, and then baked until gooey. Just hand us the star baker crown now…
Lemon posset tart
Jane says: “I have always adored lemon posset – who knew that combining sugar, cream and lemon could lead to something SO good? This favourite from my blog is a very simple dessert to make – all you do is mix cream and sugar together, heat and then add the lemon zest and juice. The tart base here is a classic cheesecake base of digestive biscuits mixed with melted butter.”
Prep: 30 minutes
Set: 4 hours
Lasts: 3 days, in the fridge
For the biscuit crust:
- 300g digestive biscuits
- 150g unsalted butter, melted
For the lemon posset filling:
- 600ml double cream
- 200g caster sugar
- zest of 3 lemons
- 85ml lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
For the decoration:
- 150ml double cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 5g freeze-dried raspberries
- biscuit crumbs
Blitz the digestive biscuits in a food processor to a fine crumb or bash them in a bowl with a rolling pin.
Add the melted butter and mix together until combined.
Spread onto the base and sides of a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin. I usually start on the sides, and then cover the bottom last to make sure it’s a secure biscuit case. Set aside while you make the filling.
Pour the double cream and caster sugar into a large pan and heat gently over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Turn the heat up to medium and heat the mixture until it starts to boil gently, stir frequently to stop the mixture from catching on the bottom. Let it simmer for 1 minute and then return to the heat.
Stir in the lemon zest and juice and then pour onto the biscuit base – refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight so it has time to set properly.
When you are ready to serve, whisk together the double cream and icing sugar until you have soft peaks.
Pipe the cream onto your tart, then sprinkle on some freeze-dried raspberries and some biscuit crumbs to decorate.
- The filling can be used to make 12 individual lemon possets – simply pour into 12 ramekins or small glasses and leave to set.
- You can use different citrus flavours such as orange or lime – use the zest of 2 large oranges or 4 limes, and the same amount of juice.
- You can add some raspberries to the mix, or some other berries if you want to add another texture to this no-bake dessert.
Blueberry lime loaf cake
Jane says: “When you bake with fruit, you often get beautiful colours dotted throughout the bakes. Combining berry and citrus flavours is always delicious too… lemon and raspberry, blackberry and lemon, or as in this cake, blueberry and lime. I adore it.
“Baking with blueberries always brings out their flavour and creates a delicious texture, and when topped with a simple buttercream frosting it’s even better.”
Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 50-55+ minutes
Cool: 2 hours
Lasts: 3+ days, at room temperature
- 200g unsalted butter
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g self-raising flour, plus 1 tbsp for dusting
- 4 eggs
- zest of 1 lime
- 200g fresh or frozen blueberries
For the buttercream:
- 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 250g icing sugar
- juice of 1 lime
For the decoration:
- 100g blueberries
- lime zest
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan and grease and line a 900g loaf tin with parchment paper.
Put the butter and caster sugar into a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
Add the self-raising flour, eggs and lime zest to the bowl, and mix again until combined.
Put the tablespoon of plain flour into a bowl and add the blueberries, mixing until they are coated (this stops the blueberries all sinking to the bottom of the cake).
Fold the blueberries through the cake mixture, then pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50–55 minutes, or until baked through.
Remove the cake from the oven, and leave to cool fully in the tin while you make the buttercream.
Add the butter to a bowl and beat on its own for a few minutes to loosen and soften.
Add the icing sugar and beat again until combined. Finally, add the lime juice and beat again.
Pipe or spread the buttercream onto the loaf cake, then sprinkle over the blueberries and lime zest.
- The blueberries can be swapped for any other berry you like, such as raspberries or blackberries.
- The lime can also be switched for another citrus fruit, such as orange or lemon.
- If you don’t want to make a buttercream topping, make a lime drizzle instead by mixing 200g icing sugar with 3–4 tbsp lime juice.
Rhubarb and custard blondies
Jane says: “Rhubarb and custard is an iconic flavour combination – whether you think of those boiled sweets (my parents used to adore these) or even just stewed rhubarb topped with fresh custard, the sweet tang you get from the rhubarb, combined with the lovely flavour of custard, it really is amazing.
“Add these delicious flavours to a blondie traybake and it wins everyone’s favourite bake!”
Prep: 45 minutes
Bake: 30–35 minutes
Cool: 2 hours
Lasts: 1+ week, at room temperature
- 175g rhubarb
- 300g white granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 200g unsalted butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- 125g plain flour
- 75g custard powder
- 200g white chocolate chips or chunks
- 100g custard
Chop the rhubarb into pieces, and add to a pan with 50g of the sugar and the water. Place over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the rhubarb softens. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan and line a 23cm square tin with parchment paper.
Put the melted unsalted butter and remaining 250g sugar into a large bowl and beat until smooth.
Add the eggs and beat until smooth, then add the plain flour and custard powder and beat until combined.
Fold through the white chocolate chips or chunks.
Pour the mixture into the tin and spread out evenly. Dollop the rhubarb mixture and custard over the top and swirl through slightly using a cake skewer or knife.
Bake the blondies for 30–35 minutes, or until there is an ever so slight wobble in the middle.
Leave the blondies to cool fully in the tin before cutting into 16 squares.
- I use fresh or tinned rhubarb depending on the season – if using tinned rhubarb, use the syrup from the tin instead of the 2 tbsp water.
- You can use readymade custard, or make up some custard using more custard powder.
- You can leave out the white chocolate chips or chunks or swap them for a different flavour chocolate.
- The rhubarb can be swapped for another fruit such as cherries, blackberries, or even apples!
Jane’s Patisserie: Deliciously Customisable Cakes, Bakes And Treats by Jane Dunn (£20, Ebury Press) is out 5 August
Photography: Ellis Parrinder