Although I love making cakes, I've never really felt able to develop many of my own recipes. For one thing, I couldn't justify the financial cost of throwing away mistakes, and up until recently I haven't had the time to do do more than a weekly bake to keep something in the cake tin for my family. However, with years of experience I am confident enough to tweak recipes that I find online, either to make them better (in my opinion), or to adapt them to ingredients I have available.
Here are links to some of the best recipes I've gathered, with any alterations I make to them explained. Whether you follow the original recipe, or use my variation, or tweak the recipe some other way, is up to you:
Banana Crunch Cake This is a very light cake, which is unusual for a banana cake. I make this in an 8" square tin, using softened butter instead of margarine (for a better flavour). I use oatmeal instead of grinding rolled oats and white flour instead of wholemeal. Although I use Demerara sugar in the topping, as specified, I prefer to use light muscovado sugar in the cake itself, as Demerara sugar is slow to dissolve and can give a gritty texture.
Chilli-Chocolate Orange Cake A good balance of flavours in this cake, with the chilli flakes adding a subtle warmth. I make this pretty much as the recipe says, using water instead of rum. I guess I probably use a little more orange zest, as what's the point in taking half the zest from an orange, and how big is 'medium', anyway? I often serve this without the glaze and frosting and it's still very good (with less calories).
Rhubarb and Orange Cake with Flaked Almonds This is a great dessert - a moist dense cake made with fresh fruit. No changes to the recipe necessary!
Lemon Drizzle Cake Classic favourite. This ASDA recipe uses more lemon zest than most. The only change I make to this is to use only half the syrup.
Dan Lepard's Lemon Drizzle Cake A more sophisticated version of the classic cake. Slightly more complicated to make. The lemon drizzle in this recipe makes a frosting on top.
Orange and Almond Cake A dense, moist dessert cake. This is made by cooking and puréeing whole oranges. There are dozens of versions of this cake around. I use this recipe only because it's the first one I tried and it works OK! This has the bonus of being a gluten-free cake.
Tunisian Citrus Almond Cake A Diana Henry recipe. This produces a dessert cake with a similar texture to the orange almond cake recipe above, without the tedious stage of boiling the fruit first. However, it's not gluten-free.
Carrot Cake A light spongy cake. Another superb cake from Good Food, made exactly as per the recipe.