Two simple but delicious cake recipes for the not-so-sweet-toothed

Lemon Drench Cake by Maria Kuehn

Lemon Drench Cake by Maria Kuehn - Credit: Archant

West Hampstead café owner Maria Kuehn isn’t one to shy away from ‘cheating’ with shop bought desserts at a dinner party, but here she shares two easy-to-follow recipes that are both quick to make and utterly delicious too.

Flourless chocolate cake by Maria Kuehn

Flourless chocolate cake by Maria Kuehn - Credit: Archant

Some clichés are simply nonsense. Who honestly thinks that ‘words will never hurt me’ and why on earth would you have your cake and NOT eat it?

Speaking of which, as a person who has no sweet tooth at all and would rather eat a plate of gooey French cheese any day, spending as little time as possible making desserts or cakes is a priority for me.

Cheating is absolutely one way forward for those who feel the same way and why the hell not? I’ve never had disapproving glances when I’ve served up ready made desserts and my top five recommendations for an easy life are the following:

- M&S Ultimate tiramisu

- Waitrose seriously sticky toffee pudding

- Sainsbury’s apple strudel (Taste the difference)

Most Read

- Aldi’s lemon and mascarpone cheesecake

- Gu-ey chocolate tart.

I do, however, make a raspberry coulis and freeze it till I need it to drizzle on desserts.

I am yet to find a commercial one which doesn’t taste ‘fake’.

A bag of frozen fruit is a lot less expensive and 300gr raspberries, in a pan with 1 heaped tbs of icing sugar is all you need. When it’s heated through (about five minutes on a low heat), you can either blend the sauce or pass it through a sieve.

Another lovely touch is to place 2 tbs of mascarpone into a bowl and mix in 300ml of double cream and the zest and juice of an unwaxed lemon.

A slice of chocolate cake, a dollop of the cream and a drizzle of the coulis is a heavenly combination.

This said, these two cakes are both utterly delicious, easy to follow, take very little time to knock up and will last for a few days so you can make them in advance.

Chefs are notoriously protective of their recipes but I was fortunate enough to be handed the ingredients and instructions for the following cakes, that fly off the shelves whenever we make them at The Lounge café in West Hampstead.

The first contains only five ingredients, is wickedly delicious, and there’s no baking involved.

Lemon Drench Cake (Serves 8)


1 pack of ginger nut biscuits (250gr)

900ml double cream

125gr butter

1 can of condensed milk (397gr)

5 lemons


Melt the butter in a microwave or saucepan.

Crush the biscuits in a processor (or place the biscuits, a few at a time into a food bag and crush with a rolling pin).

Pour in the butter, mix together.

Line a 23cm cake tin with cling film and spread the crumb mix evenly onto the base with your hands.

Place in the freezer for half an hour.

In the meantime, zest and juice the lemons into a bowl, add the condensed milk and whisk for four minutes.

Pour the cream into a separate bowl and whisk till you have stiff peaks.

Fold in the lemon mixture.

Spread over the base and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Decorate with half moon lemon slices.

Flourless chocolate cake (Serves 8 – 10)

This beauty of this cake (current record time from baking to selling at the café is half an hour) is that it’s suitable for those are who gluten intolerant as it uses ground almonds instead of flour.

Rich, dark, gooey and utterly sublime, again it’s relatively easy to make and my business partner Zina has evolved the recipe so it’s guaranteed to have the right ‘squidgy’ factor if you follow the instructions to a tee.

TIP: If you keep it covered out of the fridge it can last for up to four days – fat chance.


350gr dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa)

300gr castor

220gr butter

6 eggs

100gr ground almonds

Parchment paper


Pre-heat the oven to 180oC.

Microwave the chocolate and butter on half power for three minutes.

If it’s not completely melted put it in for another thirty seconds. Check again. Repeat if necessary.

Beat the eggs and sugar till pale and whisk in the chocolate mixture. Fold in the almonds.

Grease a 23cm tin, line the bottom with parchment paper, grease the paper and pour in the cake mixture.

Cook for 30 minutes. It should have a slight wobble when you hold the sides.

If it feels too wobbly, place it back in the oven for 5 minutes. Rest the cake for four hours. Watch it disappear.