On the road to QuiltCon! 

Good morning from picturesque Savannah! 

I’ve been Stateside for three days and have enjoyed the very best of Southern hospitality. 

Arriving in Tampa to a glorious sunset, margaritas and Mexican food and a comfortable bed covered in quilts was the perfect start! 

It’s been a weekend that included orange juice fresh from the groves, ranch visiting with a kind and generous family, walks amongst spectacular native flora

…and my first taste of grits which were amazingly delicious! Grits really do have a reputation that precedes them so I was somewhat surprised and rather delighted when my host made them and they were soooo good! 

With a little stitching to finish a Linden sweatshirt and a road trip to Georgia full of side splitting laughter thrown in, it’s been a fabulous start to the trip! 

I’m so looking forward to seeing so many of you at QuiltCon later this week and for those of you who can’t make it, I hope to be on Instagram with daily pictures for you! 

Cake to craft by :: GF Any kind of citrus cake

When I teach a class, I try to bake for my students, I love it so much – a cup of tea and a piece of cake just seems to me to be the essential ingredients for a successful day of learning – how can you absorb all the information without proper sustenance! I’m so often asked to write up the recipes, I thought I’d do just that and share them here – like all things I do, I make no promises on regularity, mostly because I completely forget to take pictures, but I’ll aim to publish the most requested ones here semi-regularly. You’ll also find some of my other recipes that I make for The Creative Retreat, including THE {famous} Retreat Chocolate Cookies over on the blog there.


It might surprise some of you who’ve been to my classes that all my baking is Gluten Free! It’s been a full year since I got my coeliac diagnosis and apart from missing pastry, (really, really, really missing pastry), I haven’t noticed much of a problem adapting my diet. Even in baking. Yes! Baking Gluten Free can be SO simple if you let it be!

This cake always proves to be a success, it’s tangy, sweet, moist, keeps well and the toasted nuts on top with the zesty syrup just add a whole other layer of deliciousness! It’s a favourite in classes as well as with the family.


Like so many baked items I make, the recipe is an adapted version from someone or somewhere, this one comes from my most faithful cake book, the Australian Womens Weekly Classic Cakes. I have never made a recipe, sweet or savoury, from an AWW book that has gone bad, they work first time and every time after, I can’t recommend their books highly enough. The syrupy topping is my own concoction, feel free to omit if you can’t be bothered, the cake is delicious without it too.

On to the details you came for!

250gms butter
440gms caster sugar
4 tablespoons citrus zest (orange, lemon, lime, mandarin, try combining them)
125mls sour cream
6 large eggs (my chooks lay very small eggs so I add an extra but 6 regular is just fine)
150gms Almond Meal
185gms Gluten Free Flour (I use Woolworths Select Brand)
2 teaspoons Gluten Free Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 160C (fan forced, heat to 180 for no fan), grease and line a loaf tin
In an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and zest until light and fluffy
Add sour cream and then eggs, one at a time – don’t beat too much in between, just enough to lightly combine
Remove from electric mixer and fold in almond meal, flour and baking powder
Pour into prepared tin and bake approximately 35 minutes – ovens vary greatly so check at 30mins and test with a skewer, when it comes out clean, you’re done.

Zest of one orange (or whatever you’ve used in the cake)
250mls cup citrus juice (use the fruit you zested previously)
150gms caster sugar
Half cup of toasted flaked almonds (pine nuts work well too if you don’t have almonds)

Combine zest, juice and sugar in a small saucepan, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until thick and syrupy.
Spoon half the syrup over the warm cake, sprinkle with almonds then the rest of the syrup.