Great British Bake Off star Lizzie Acker's Easter cake recipe

Lizzie Acker's Easetr bundty cake

Lizzie Acker's Easetr bundty cake - Credit: Lizzie Acker

Liverpool's Great British Bake Off quarter finalist Lizzie Acker reveals some secrets from her kitchen, and shares a super Easter recipe. 
The first dish you learned to cook? 
Drop scones and cream horns. I bought the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall family cookbook and became fixated on making drop scones, which I did for six months solid. My nan then upped the game and got me some cream horn moulds as they were one of her favourites, so I became a cream horn supplier to her and her friends!

Most vivid childhood food memory?
I remember going to see family in Canada, and we went clam fishing. We then cooked them on the barbecue and realised clams don't just come from the supermarket.

Most memorable meal out?
It wasn’t a meal out, but while we’re filming GBBO, we had a pizza night where Paul Hollywood made pizza for everyone. I am pretty sure it doesn’t get better than that. They were delicious.

Your favourite ingredient?
Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. When I first started baking, I didn’t pay much attention to the quality of ingredients I was using, as I assumed there wasn't much difference between brands. However, I remember the very first time I invested in top quality ingredients and my recipes changed. Nielsen-Massey Gourmet Vanilla Extract really makes a difference to my baking; their vanilla completely elevates my recipes.

Lizzie Acker in her kitchen

Lizzie Acker in her kitchen - Credit: Lizzie Acker

What's your guilty food pleasure?
I love strawberry jam and cheddar cheese on crackers. It’s a flavour sensation.

What did you learn from your Bake Off experience?
I learned just to enjoy baking, as it’s the experience you remember. The outcome of the bakes really didn't matter. 
A place you love to eat in Lancashire?
Belzan on Smithdown Road in Liverpool is my favourite restaurant. Every dish is tasty, and they change the menu every month, so you have to keep going back to try new dishes. It's really small with a lovely atmosphere and a great wine selection. 
Describe your cooking style in three words?
Colourful, tasty, chaotic (and proud) 
Favourite chef and biggest inspiration?
My favourite chef is Anthony Bourdain, he’s my comfort chef, and I love watching his series. 
My biggest inspiration is my nan. She is 86 and still shopping in Top Shop! She taught me that it doesn't matter your age or what other people think, it is what makes you happy that is important.

Favourite Lancashire/Lake District foodie?
Chef Dave Critchley, he’s a great cook and just a nice fella!

Easter Bundty Cake

This eye-catching and delicious Easter Bundty cake has been specially created by Lizzie Acker, featuring the Easter Bunny jumping into a rabbit hole. It has the perfect blends of vanilla, almonds and lemon flavours that is guaranteed to impress your guests, and it’s also gluten-free.

Lizzie Acker's Easter bundty cake

Lizzie Acker's Easter bundty cake - Credit: Lizzie Acker

Serves 16
Cooking time 2hr 30mins
Cake ingredients
225g unsalted butter
350g caster sugar
9g Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract
2 un-waxed lemons
5 medium eggs
210g almond milk 
300g buckwheat flour (or substitute flour of choice)
100g ground almonds
10g baking powder
Glaze ingredients 
Green food dye
Juice of 1 lemon
4g Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract
200g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
Meringue ingredients
150g egg white
230g caster sugar
2g Cream of tartar
Pink food dye
Equipment 
28cm Bundt tin 
2 x bowls 
1 heatproof bowl
Pan
2 piping bags
Palette knife (or butter knife)
Mixing spoon
Thermometer
Fork 
Cake method
⦁    Pre-heat the oven to 170°c (350°F)
⦁    Butter and flour dust the Bundt tin  
⦁    In a bowl, add the butter, caster sugar, vanilla extract, and the rind of two lemons. Mix until light in colour and soft in texture
⦁    In a separate bowl, mix the  almond milk and 5 eggs together
⦁    Slowly add the milk and egg mixture to the butter mixture, mixing as you add
⦁    Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl
⦁    Fold the flour mixture into the wet mixture in three parts until flour pockets are no longer visible
⦁    Transfer to the baking tin and bake for 45 minutes
⦁    After removing from oven, allow to cool for 1 hour before removing from tin and decorating
⦁    To remove from the cake from the tin, cover the bottom with a plate and flip upside down
Glaze method
⦁    Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until there are no lumps
Meringue method
⦁    Heat half a pan of water until simmering
⦁    Place the egg whites in a heatproof bowl on top of the simmering water
⦁    Heat the egg whites until the temperature reaches 60°c (140°F)
⦁    Take off the heat and start mixing. When frothy, add Cream of Tartar
⦁    Every 30 seconds, add the sugar in tablespoons until it is all used
Assembly
⦁    Once the cake has cooled, smooth on the glaze. 
At this point, it should look like a rabbit hole. 
Now you are going to make your rabbit. If you’re worried that the Bundt hole is too big, you can use a ramekin so the meringue doesn’t disappear.
⦁    Heap half of the meringue into the centre to create the bunny’s body. Smooth it out with your palette knife/butterknife. 
⦁    Now add a big ball for the tail. Using a fork, dip it in the tail and pull it out to create spikes to make the tail look fluffy
⦁    Pipe on two long feet
⦁    Then colour the last of your meringue with the pink food dye
⦁    Add three toes to the feet