SINGING baker Beca Lyne-Pirkis, who is currently appearing as a contestant on BBC2’s The Great British Bake Off, has created an autumn-themed cake recipe especially to support one of SSAFA’s most loved and successful fundraising events; the Big Brew Up.

Beca, who is originally from Wales, is also a member of the Aldershot Military Wives Choir. She is hoping the recipe will inspire people to take part in Big Brew Up Week, which takes place from 7-13 October.

The talented baker’s husband Matt is an Army medic and Beca regularly bakes for his regiment as well as her family. She says: “Any excuse to get your apron on and whip up a bake to enjoy with a cup of tea sounds like a great idea to me, but as the wife of a serving soldier I am really aware of the important work that SSAFA does to help the whole military family across a lifetime whatever their need.

“So I’m encouraging everyone to get baking and organise your own Big Brew Up to raise much needed funds in the name of SSAFA.”

The cake she has created for military welfare charity SSAFA is named “Beca’s Autumn Bake” and is a Blackberry and Almond Cake with Apple Compote and Vanilla Mascarpone. She says: “I’ve created a cake especially for the Big Brew Up campaign, and it was successfully tested by my friends. I wanted to make something that was easy yet tasty and used seasonal fruit to reflect the fact that we’re definitely in autumn.”

Catherine Bernet-Wilson, Fundraising and Events Assistant at SSAFA, says: “Every year we need to raise enough funds to deliver a breadth of projects that improve thousands of lives. These projects include our Support Groups for families affected by bereavement or injury, Short Breaks for Children with Additional Needs and Disabilities and our Norton Homes for the loved ones of injured, wounded or ill serving personnel. By holding a Big Brew Up you will be helping us keep these vital projects running.”

Beca’s Autumn Bake

Beca's Cake
Blackberry & Almond Cake with Apple Compote and Vanilla Mascarpone


Blackberry & Almond Cake

200g Baking Margarine

200g Light Brown Sugar

150g Self Raising Flour

75g Ground Almonds

4 Eggs

1 tsp. Mixed Spice

100g Blackberries

Handful Flaked Almonds

1 ½ tbsp. Demerara Sugar

Vanilla Mascarpone

150g Mascarpone Cheese

130ml Double Cream

2 tsp. Caster Sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste

Apple Compote

3 Eating Apples (Royal Gala)

1 tbsp. Caster Sugar

100ml Water

Juice ½ Lemon

Preheat oven to Gas 3 ½ (170 Degrees Celsius) and grease and line two 8 inch (20cm) cake tins. Combine all the cake ingredients except the blackberries, flaked almonds and Demerara sugar. Divide the cake batter equally between the two cake tins and smooth the tops with a spatula. Lightly push into the cake batter an equal number of whole blackberries and then bake on the same shelf for 25 minutes. After 20 minutes, scatter one of the cakes with the Demerara sugar and flaked almonds and bake the cakes for the remaining 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool whilst you prepare the fillings.

For the apple compote, peel and core the apples and place in a saucepan over a low heat with the water and sugar.  Heat until the apples are soft enough to be ‘mashed’ with a potato masher. You want the texture to still have the odd chunk of apple but also be able to spread onto the cake. Add the lemon juice to taste. For the vanilla mascarpone, put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk with a balloon whisk until the mixture reaches the consistency of thick clotted cream.

To assemble, place the cake with no almonds on top onto a plate or cake stand. Spread all the mascarpone mixture onto the cake and top it with the apple compote. Place the top cake onto the filling and stand back to gaze lovingly at your masterpiece, before cutting a large wedge of it to have with your brew.

Getting baking in aid of the SSAFA Big Brew Up this October
For more information or to register for your Big Brew Up Fundraising Pack visit

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