Does this happen to you? You make a cake, or see a cake on a café menu, get very excited about what it will taste like… then drat, you find the cake flavour is underwhelming, lacking the spark and oomph you thought it would have based on its description. You, or the baker at the café, might have used the very best, finest, or dare I say it, most expensive ingredients but still it tasted flat. What’s gone wrong?

Be reassured, it happens to all of us from time to time. Sometimes recipes are a little on the mean side with flavourful ingredient quantities, or sometimes their use in the recipe or method doesn’t allow the flavour to shine. Well, we’re here to help - you will need to experiment. And anyway, cake fails taste delicious if warmed & served with ice-cream and custard. So, you can’t lose!

The secret is to use Flavour Layering.

Bit of a tongue-twister that, try saying it three times quickly. What flavour layering is all about is adding a single ingredient but in different forms so that they combine when you eat it.

For example, in a coffee-flavoured cake you might want to use all of these steps:

a. use a fresh-tasting filter coffee, like our Brazier coffee blend, in the cake mix and icing

b. make an intense coffee paste, with good quality instant coffee mixed with enough water just to dissolve, and be generous with it to support the filter coffee flavour

c. add a small amount of ground coffee to the cake mix, dry, just a tsp or so. You won’t notice the texture but it will add depth to the flavour.

d. make a coffee syrup, using strong Braziers filter coffee mixed while hot with caster sugar (50g/ml strong filter coffee liquid with 50g caster sugar), spooned over the freshly baked cake when warm.

e. make a “crumb coat” icing, spread very thinly on the cake before you add the final icing.

f. use coffee in the final icing.

This way, for example, you can make the taste of a coffee-flavoured cake really sing out. Try this and you’ll see how the flavour is hugely boosted. Do similar tricks with chocolate cakes, orange cakes (say using our BakeryBits orange oils), so many ideas.