YES, IT’S a bit naughty. Yes, it is a bit messy.

And yes, you might get one of your five-a-day but it is most likely to be half of your daily sugar intake.

But sometimes we need something decadent to reward ourselves for life’s little triumphs.

Right, so how will you be using up your berry bounty this summertime?

British raspberries are in season now and busy swelling to their full splendour in the rain, whether you cultivate your own glut or take advantage of the supermarkets’ stacked-to-the-roof punnets as you walk through the door.

This week’s ‘’you guessed it’’ recipe is a fruity, summery, raspberry cake bursting with bright, fresh flavours, and it also uses up an annoying ingredient that often tends to hang around at the back of the cupboard for months!

An obvious starting point is to eat raspberries straight from the punnet to mouth, or sprinkle a few over a healthy breakfast cereal which is rich in vitamin C and high in antioxidants.

Raspberries are not only a tasty way to start the day, but certainly a healthy one.

While I’ve been a baker for a long time now, I’m more proficient with bread-making than I am with cakes!

I’m a little like Paul Hollywood in that regards, except I don’t have a collection of tight-fitting shirts and spiky hair, so I tend not to experiment with my cakes, shirts and hair as much as I do with the breads I make.

Simplicity always comes to mind - today we are surrounded by over-laden iced multi-layered cakes and other gargantuan bakes.

Raspberries make good jam and fantastic cheesecakes, but did you know raspberry leaves can be used in herbal teas, fresh or dried providing an astringent of lovely flavours?

Raspberries can also be used in traditional medicine for respiratory system disorders, leg cramps and swine flu - bet you’re dying to put your berries to good use now?

My raspberry cake recipe is very easy to make and suits just that sort of lazy afternoon in the garden, when we still get those occasional days when the sunshine is delicate and the breeze warm and fresh... so much that weekend work just has to stop.

This berry inspiration is highly recommended, and what combinations including a hidden layer of fresh raspberries blast covered in a pretty pink raspberry jam icing there are to enjoy!

Here is my recipe for a raspberry and coconut tea loaf.

Serves 8


150g/5oz butter, softened

150g/5oz caster sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

250g/9oz self-raising flour

110g/4oz desiccated coconut, plus extra to decorate

4 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

75g/3oz fresh raspberries

Raspberry Icing

4 tablespoons raspberry jam

75g/3oz icing sugar

2 teaspoons water

2 tablespoons desiccated coconut


1. Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4.

2. Line and grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin with parchment baking paper.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar for five minutes until light and creamy.

4. Add the eggs a little at a time, adding a little flour if the mixture curdles.

5. Sift over the flour and baking powder; add the coconut, milk and vanilla extract and combine lightly with a wooden spoon.

6. Spoon half of the cake mixture into the prepared tin.

7. Scatter the raspberries evenly over the surface, then add the remaining cake mixture on top.

8. Bake in the preheated oven for around 60 minutes until firm on top and golden in colour.

9. Make the raspberry jam icing by sieving the icing sugar over a small bowl adding the water to make a thick paste.

10. Add the raspberry jam until you get the desired shade of pink and a runny consistency.

11. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before taking it out of the tin and peeling away the parchment paper.

12 Transfer onto a cooling wire to cool before pouring over the jam icing and sprinkling over a little coconut, or maybe a handful of dried freeze raspberries, scattering over a few fresh raspberries to decorate if you’ve not eaten them all.

13. Slice the cake up and enjoying your rewards with a nice cup of tea while sitting in the garden.