If in doubt, bake a cake – Dandelion and Burdock Cake!

So it was a bit of a busy end of the week last week. There was a birthday (mine), an anniversary (my parents) and of course father’s day. I will be writing a separate post about my antics of the weekend, which I will post a link to here.
Prior to this I decided to re-test my baking skills, by baking a cake (and buns) to take into work to celebrate my birthday (I am sure I have got this the wrong way round – shouldn’t others be baking for me?) Anyway what can I say, I guess I am a bit of a feeder!
I quite like the different and quirky food you can get, and therefore decided to bake Dandelion and Burdock cake!


Yes, you read right dandelion and burdock cake!


I had previously made this cake several months ago, which people seemed to enjoy and complimented. I was inspired by this when I visited a vintage tea room in Leeds called Just Grand! who make their own cakes and scones on site, with dandelion and burdock cake being one of the options to choose from when I visited.
Now I like baking, but do find it difficult to make my own creations without some form of a base recipe, so off I searched on Google / Pinterest to see if anyone else had a recipe for dandelion and burdock cake. I found this recipe: Dandelion Burdock Cake Recipe by Archie and The rug.
I kept most of the ingredients and method the same, changing the topping of the cake. I chose to add 75% melted chocolate and cherries to the topping of the cake. I also baked the cake in a loaf tin rather than a traditional round tin, as well as splitting the cake batter into individual bun cases.

Fresh Cherries                                                                             Dark chocolate

To my recollection, the first time I attempted this recipe, everything appeared to go swimmingly well with each stage. The cake rose well, maybe a little too well, to the extent that it came over the loaf tin. Now this time around, I made sure not to over-fill the tin with the batter, filling it to about half way full. I excitedly waited for the cake to rise, keeping my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t overflow from the tin, only to discover that the cake only rose slightly, resulting in a rather ‘flat’ cake. The same can be said for the buns made also, which looked dwarfed in the bun cases.
I am not sure if the pressure of baking a cake for a specific purpose and people, or the fact that I knew I was going to write this blog and take pictures throughout the process had an impact on how the cake baked. I am also a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to things like this, and wasn’t 100% happy with the outcome.
The cake and buns, however, did turn out well, with the right consistency -not too dry or too moist, and people appeared to enjoy it. Someone commented that it reminded them of a brownie.


I also had a bit of trouble getting my hands on glacier cherries, searching my local supermarkets for them. I am wondering if they are more likely to sell them nearer Christmas when people would probably use them more in Christmas type cakes, or if it was just my stroke of luck on the day. Anyway, fresh cherries appear to work just as well and give the cake a lovely finishing touch. I would suggest cutting the cherries in half and removing the stone from the middle. I think glacier cherries would be able to be kept whole, although I am positive that I still cut these in half when I first made the cake.

It was my mum who initially suggested melted dark chocolate to top the cake, and I must say, mums, do know best. The dark chocolate (the higher percentage available the better) works really well with the dandelion and burdock and complements the taste brilliantly. There is a nice mix of bitter with the sweet.

Here are the end products:



If you give this recipe a go, I can assure you, you won’t regret it!
Leave a comment below, and let me know if you have any tips on making this cake.
Please see below for recipe:

Dandelion & Burdock Cake

• 250g Self raising flour
• 250g Butter
• 300g Golden caster sugar
• 250ml Dandelion and Burdock
• 50ml Milk
• 2 eggs
• 4 tbsp Cocoa powder
• Pinch of Bicarbonate of Soda
• Roughly 2 large bars of dark chocolate (higher the percentage the better)
• Fresh or glacier cherries, halved.
1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 or 180c. Prepare your cake/ loaf tin if necessary.
2. Select the butter and sugar, creaming this together. This should become very light and fluffy.
3. Sift together the flour and bicarbonate into the butter mixture, ensuring that it is well incorporated.
4. Whisk the eggs separately before adding them gently to the flour mixture.
4. Mix the cocoa powder with the milk, adding the dandelion and burdock drink once combined.
6. Stir this into the flour mixture gently. You will notice that the mixture become ‘bubbly’ and may appear mousse like.
7. Select your prepared tin or bun cases and pour the mixture in. This should fill approximately ¾ of the tin.
(Tip: Tap the tin gently to remove any air bubbles and for the mixture to settle)
8. Bake the mixture at the centre of the oven for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
9. Allow to cool, on a cooling tray/ rack. Wait until cool before adding the topping.
10. If not done so already, halve the cherries, removing the stone (if fresh).
11. Melt the chocolate in a microwavable bowl, gently pouring this over the top of the cake. Try to spread this evenly, and allow the chocolate to come over the sides of the cake.
12. Arrange the cherries as you wish.
Other toppings could be added if you desire.
Hope you enjoy the cake, and have fun making it!