Sea and Cakes Tea Parties – A recipe for success

Diets have been tossed to the wind. Ovens have been on overdrive. Our first RNLI tea party has been held and it went down a treat!

On February 3rd 2011, Tracey Mallaby held the first Sea and Cakes party on our behalf to help us reach our £10,000 target for the RNLI. By all accounts it was a roaring success and a fine time was had by all. When Tracey contacted us to tell us what she had planned, we were overwhelmed with her efforts.


Tracey Mallaby – our new Queen of cake making!

We would have been more than happy with a slice of battenberg and a cuppa but we should have known that they don’t do things by halves in the North East! Her list of cakes left us drooling and wanting to catch the next available train to Darlington. Tracey very kindly sent us some recipes so we wouldn’t be left starving in the South. It included her very own secret pumpkin cake recipe never before shared!

We couldn’t keep these delicious recipes to ourselves so we’ve posted a couple of them up here in case you are planning your own party or just fancy a treat.

Strawberry Chocolate Sponge


Tracey called this ‘OCD forks’ which made us laugh. There’s a hint of the strawberry cake there too

makes a 20cm/8” round cake
115g/4oz milk chocolate
175g/6oz/ 3/4 cup butter
450g/1lb/2 1/4 cups caster sugar
3 eggs
5ml/1tsp vanilla essence
175g/6oz/1 1/2 cups plain flour
5ml/1tsp baking powder
350ml/12fl oz/1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 good handfuls fresh strawberries, hulled and pureed

  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line 2 20cm/8” round tins.
  • Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. sift over flour and baking powder and fold in.
  • Pour mixture into tins. Bake about 30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Stand for 10 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  •  Whip cream until firm, stir in strawberry puree until blended. Use to sandwich sponges together. Dredge top with icing sugar if required.

The Fabulous, Secret Pumpkin Cake!


A fabulous spread including the, now not so secret, pumpkin cake


Makes 2 deep or 3 shallower 20cm/8” cakes
300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated/ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
125g butter, softened
275g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs
300g pumpkin puree
75g currants
75g chopped walnut pieces
100g soft butter
200g icing sugar
grated zest and 2 tbsp of 1 small orange
  • Preheat oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas 4. Grease and line 2 or 3 20cm/8” round tins.
  • First make the pumpkin puree. Peel, deseed and chop a pumpkin or butternut squash, place in a pan of water and cook until tender. Puree.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices.
  • Beat butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, adding 1 tbsp of flour mixture with the 2nd egg.
  • Fold in remaining flour mix, pumpkin puree, currants and walnuts. Pour into cake tins and bake for 40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Cool in tins for 10 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  • To make icing, beat butter, icing sugar, orange juice and most of zest together until fluffy. Use to sandwich cakes together and spread on top. Sprinkle with the remainder of the zest.

Sailing on the high teas

Tracey told us how her gourmet delights went down and what a fine time they all had. A word of caution: We recommend you don’t read this when you’re hungry or, alternatively, read on armed with a big slice of cake!

A contented guest

My first guests arrived at 10.10am, with a steady stream of friends and neighbours following over the next hour or so. My friends Jane and Allie brought butterfly cakes and orange mocha whoopie pies to help out. We drank many cups of tea, coffee and juice and got stuck into pumpkin cake, strawberry chocolate cake, fudge muffins, pumpkin muffins, lemon curd muffins, cranberry choc chip muffins, banana bread, the butterfly cakes and whoopie pies! The RNLI SOS pins sold well too. As I didn’t really know what to charge people I placed a money box (in the shape of wellies) on the side and told people to eat and drink as much as they pleased and to place what they deemed an appropriate amount in the ‘honesty wellies’, it worked really well. Almost everyone had left by 12noon, apart from Allie and her partner Matthew who had travelled about 40 minutes to attend, they were also coming to visit the boy ratties we had rehomed for them last September. So once everyone had gone, we had fun with the rats and fed them a little banana cake too. In all, there were 16 of us, it was very noisy, warm and a heap of fun. Between us we have raised £70, I’m so proud of and grateful for my lovely friends.

Tracey managed to raise £70 which was a stunning result. We are extremely grateful to her for all her hard work and we love the idea of the ‘honesty welly’.

Prize recipes

Now we know there must be some of you out there with delicious recipes up your sleeves. We would love you to post them here on Bead Barmy. Please post your delicious ideas in the comments box. Alternatively, especially if you have , please send an email entitled cake recipes with your recipe to I know it’ll be a chore and feel free to weep for us but we will be testing them out and there will be prizes for our favourites!

Sea and Cakes party hosts


Eating cake is a serious business – it takes concentration

If you fancy hosting a tea party you can email us at for a starter pack. Please entitle your email ‘Sea and Cakes’. It doesn’t have to be anything as lavish as Tracey’s do. Even if you can’t cook, why not pick up a cake from the supermarket and sell it by the slice in your workplace? Every penny you make will go straight to the RNLI. There will be prizes for our favourite cake and event and for the tea party that raises the most money.

For details of our other fundraising events please visit our Virgin fundraising page

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  1. Tracey Mallaby says:

    I just wanted to say what a pleasure it was to host this cake bash, it’s certainly something I will do again and again. I’m looking forward to seeing other people’s Sea and Cakes events.

  2. daisychain says:

    It’s not a cake recipe, but my date and muesli cookies are suprisingly delicious and popular with any one who has tried them!

    You’ll find the recipe here

    (didn’t want to spam your comment box with masses of text!)

  3. Ooh, Daisy Chain, they look delicious! And they still count as cakes in my book! Thank you for that. We’ll let you know our verdict when we’ve given them a go!

  4. I shall be trying both these recipes – granddaughter will love them!
    Kindest regards, Shirley I.


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