Honey and Whisky Cake Recipe-My New Favorite

Hi, friends. As I begin to write this cake recipe post, I have Eileen Barton’s cute 1950 hit song stuck in my head – “If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake.” Go ahead. YouTube it. I dare you. ūüėÄ

Today I want to share a recipe for Honey and Whisky Cake. I got the recipe from a little book I purchased a few weeks ago in Scotland. This cake is quick and easy to make and delicious. It’s moist, not overly sweet, and the grated orange rind is a wonderful addition. My new favorite!


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Scottish Teatime Cupcake Recipe

Hi everyone. Welcome back! I was poking around on the internet recently in search of recipe ideas for this blog, and I happened to come across one that really grabbed my attention. It is a recipe for Scottish Teatime Cupcakes, published by a food blogger named Katie on her web site Butterlust. It looks like a great site. Check it out. This particular cupcake recipe combines two of my favorite Scottish foods – tea and shortbread – into one delectable treat. What’s better than that?! These were a big hit with Mr. C, who said they taste like expensive boutique cupcakes. I’d say that’s a win! So without further ado, here’s the recipe.

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Afternoon Tea at the O’Henry Hotel in Greensboro, NC

I had the most delightful experience last week. My dad and his lovely wife were in town for a visit, so I took them to afternoon tea at the O’Henry Hotel in Greensboro, NC.

Exterior of the O'Henry Hotel.

I first fell in love with the ritual of afternoon tea in Scotland. To clarify, when I say ‘tea’ I’m not just talking about the beverage and a cookie. Oh, no no no. A proper full/afternoon tea should include a bottomless pot of hot tea, finger sandwiches, and other small savory bites, a variety of little sweet treats, and of course, savory and/or plain scones with clotted cream and jam or curd. In the U.K., afternoon tea is enjoyed post-lunch but pre-dinner. Personally, I prefer just to make it my lunch.

Ever since that first Scottish tea, I have been on the lookout for a similar experience here at home. To be honest, I haven’t really found it. Until the O’Henry. Wow! Everything about it hit the mark, from the beautiful and sophisticated setting to the gorgeous mix-and-match china, to the delicious and thoughtfully prepared tiered tray of food. I felt as if I were at Greywalls Hotel or Prestonfield House or any other fine establishment in Scotland.

See for yourself!

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Scottish Shortbread With Ginger Recipe

Hi, everyone. ¬†Glad you stopped by! Anyone have a sweet tooth today? ¬†Because if you do and are looking for something tasty to satisfy it, then you’re in the right place.

From Lorna Doone’s to the Girl Scout’s Trefoils to the distinctive red, plaid boxes of Walker’s, there are many pre-packaged shortbread options from which to choose. ¬†My personal favorite happens to be made by Shortbread House of Edinburgh – particularly the biscuits (cookies) with warming stem ginger. ¬†Mmm mmm good. ¬†Today I’m going to attempt to make my own version of their yummy treats.

Box of shortbread with warming stem ginger from Shortbread House of Edinburgh.
If you live in the U.S., these biscuits (cookies) can be purchased from Amazon and sometimes can be found in local shops.  Recently, I was thrilled to find a display of them for sale at World Market.

Once a luxury to the “common” people of Scotland, shortbread began with medieval “biscuit bread” – that is, bread made with leftover biscuit dough. ¬†Over time, the yeast was replaced with butter and eventually evolved into shortbread as we know it today.

Traditionally, shortbread is made in three shapes: ¬†a large circle divided into segments called¬†shortbread petticoat tails, a rectangle cut into strips or bars called shortbread fingers, and round biscuits (cookies) called¬†shortbread rounds. ¬†I’m going to be making the rounds today.

Let’s begin!

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Redhouse Castle-Longniddry, Scotland

Hey, friends. Today I would like to take you to another ‘off-the-beaten-path’ place. You probably know by now that those spots are my favorite. There is something fun about seeing things that the typical tourist doesn’t. Mr. C and I discovered this one entirely by accident. Today I’m going to take you to see Redhouse Castle.

Redhouse Castle
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Prestonfield House-Edinburgh, Scotland

Hello, readers. I hope everyone is well. Today we are going to hang out in my favorite city – Edinburgh. I booked us a champagne afternoon tea at the luxurious Prestonfield House. So touch up your lips, ladies. Men, grab your wallets. A warm welcome, fine dining, and hospitality awaits!

Prestonfield House as viewed from Holyrood Park.
Prestonfield as viewed from Holyrood Park.
Front of Prestonfield House in Edinburgh, Scotland.

When Mr. C and I travel to Scotland (or anywhere for more than three nights), we prefer to rent a private residence rather than stay in a hotel. It not only gives us the experience of living like locals, but it’s so much more pleasant and economical. A rental provides all the amenities of home – a laundry facility, plenty of room to spread out, and perhaps best of all – a fully equipped kitchen.

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Scones Recipe

Who feels like cooking today? After a hearty Thanksgiving dinner followed by a hearty post-Thanksgiving dinner of leftovers, I’m surprised that I do. But all you have to do is say the word scone, and I’ll start digging for my sieve!

The recipe that I’m using today is from a terrific site I discovered a couple of years ago,¬†Eating For England.

Even though I technically eat for Scotland, you will find that scones are an essential component of tea time on either side of the border.

Rhyming with either ‘tone’ or ‘gone’ – depending on the country and region – British scones are a completely different affair than what we commonly find here in the United States. Whereas our scones are triangular and tend to be very sweet and somewhat cake-like, British scones more closely resemble what Americans call biscuits. Even those two things are quite different, however. Our biscuits are rich and buttery and often eaten with breakfast. British scones are lighter, flaky, and have a touch of sweetness. Sometimes they include fruit such as raisins or currants. And sometimes they are savory, like those made with cheese. Scones are a staple of afternoon tea in England and Scotland. They are truly delicious, and I promise that if you give this recipe a try, you will not be disappointed.

Let’s get started, shall we?

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Victoria Sponge Recipe

I have wanted to try my hand at a Victoria Sponge for a long time.  First, because I brake for cake!  Second, it is just so quintessentially English (although you will find this cake on the menu at most Scottish eateries as well).

I researched several different recipes, and they all seem to be pretty consistent, with just some minor variations between them. Equal parts butter, sugar, and flour appears to be the common thread. For my cake today, I decided to try a recipe by BBC Good Food. I modified it little, as I chose a different mixing method. Also, instead of the buttercream filling, I made a lighter, less sweet whipped cream filling instead.

Here is what you do:

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