20 sweet shop-inspired bakes | BBC Good Food

If you were a child lucky enough to witness the beautiful jars filled with an assortment of sweets in all shapes and sizes, then you’ll love our top picks of bakes and sweet desserts inspired by traditional sweet shop treats. From classics such as rhubarb and custard and lemon sherbet, to modern-day twists such as a gravity-defying sweetie cake, we’ve got something for everyone to wow and impress. You’re never too old to indulge your sweet tooth (once in a while), so why not do it in the best way possible with one of these beautiful treats.

1. Easy rocky road

Pile of rocky roads next to glasses of milk

Rocky road is a great afternoon pick-me-up, excellent with a cup of tea. They’re cram-packed with marshmallows, raisins, nuts, popcorn and honeycomb (but you can add whatever else takes your fancy), making them resemble the inside of a traditional sweet shop.

For more recipes perfect for an afternoon tea, check out our afternoon tea recipes.

2. Toasted marshmallow & ginger cake

White cake on a stand with sparklers and gold spray

This showstopping cake is a bit of a challenge, but it will have all friends and guests wowed. Decorative Italian meringue masks a spicy, moist ginger cake layered with ginger buttercream. Top with three sparklers (optional) and await the astonished and impressed gasps.

For more cakes to make your guest’s mouths drop, try our showstopping cake recipes.

And what better way to showcase your masterpiece than with our best cake stands for showcasing your bakes?

3. Gravity-defying sweetie cake

Cake filled with smarties poured from a bag

Another cake perfect for showing off your skills is our gravity-defying sweetie cake. Use a hidden straw and coat in chocolate, and build up with smarties one by one starting from the bottom. This will create the illusion of a cascade of falling sweeties. Then, place a skewer through the bend in the straw and top with a sweet shop paper bag. Voila! Adults and kids alike will be stunned.

For more imaginative, fun and simple cakes for your child’s birthday, check out our kids’ party cakes.

4. Sweet shop chocolate slab

Melted chocolate topped with sweets

This sweet shop chocolate slab is great for making with the kids as it takes only fifteen minutes to prepare and fifteen minutes to cook. Under your guidance, have the children help you melt the chocolate and pour it onto a baking sheet to cool. Then do the same with the white chocolate and let them decorate the melted chocolate with their favourite treats.

For more recipes that make use of leftover chocolate, try our melted chocolate recipes.

5. Rhubarb & custard blondies

Chopping board of cut blondies

Enhance your average blondies by combining them with the traditional popular flavour pairing, rhubarb and custard. Adding custard powder to the blondie mix creates an extra fudgy texture. To create a beautiful, marbled effect, add rhubarb compote and a few extra dollops of custard and swirl with a skewer before baking.

For more gorgeously gooey blondies, try our blondies recipes.

6. Lemon sherbet jammy dodgers

Sandwich biscuits on a plate

Our lemon sherbet jammy dodgers give everyone’s favourite jam biscuit a zesty makeover. Sandwich two biscuits with lemon curd and sprinkle with sherbet for an extra zing. The tingling on your tongue will make you nostalgic for your first-ever taste of sherbet.

For more biscuits, perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea, try our biscuit recipes.

7. Sweet grazing wreath

Selection of sweet treats

Create a beautiful dessert centrepiece without spending hours in the kitchen. Decorate with faux charcuterie by melting butter and adding crushed biscuits and pretzels to create a sweet ‘salami’. Then throw back to an old favourite and decorate melted white chocolate with hundreds and thousands to make jazzies. Serve with your sweet shop favourites, from sugared mice to chocolate coins.

Try more of our treats such as sugar mice and sweet snowballs with our confectionery recipes.

8. Chocolate rocky road cake

Chocolate cake coated with toppings

Pay homage to the tremendous rocky road with this deliciously indulgent chocolate cake. Using butter, oil, yogurt and milk makes this cake incredibly moist, and adding coffee helps to bring out that beautiful chocolate taste. Top your sponge with sweet and salty rocky road toppings, from digestives to popcorn or glacier cherries. This is a joyous cake!

For more indulgent chocolatey bakes, try our chocolate cake recipes.

9. Chocolate honeycomb

Honeycomb dipped in chocolate

Honeycomb makes an excellent gift for loved ones and is surprisingly simple to make. The whole process only takes fifteen minutes! Gently heat sugar and golden syrup until the sugar has dissolved, and turn up the heat. Once the mixture has turned caramel, take it off the heat, tip in bicarbonate of soda and beat until the mixture is foaming. Scrape into a tin and leave to cool for 30 minutes before breaking into shards and dipping in chocolate for that extra pizazz.

Try our honeycomb recipes for more cinder toffee and honeycomb.

10. Maple & pear ruffle cake

Layered iced cake

A sophisticated twist on the flavourings of a traditional sweet shop favourite: the pear drop. A lightly spiced sponge is sandwiched with pears caramelised in maple syrup and topped with a delicately piped meringue buttercream to create a lovely swirling effect. For some extra sparkle, why not finish the cake with a coating of edible gold spray.

For more desserts starring the juicy sweet pear, try our pear dessert recipes.

11. Mint chocolate bark with pretzels

Chocolate with pretzels

Another great treat to cook with the kids. Under your supervision, have children melt the chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl over a saucepan. Once both white and milk chocolate have been melted, add mint essence. Then, line a baking tray with parchment and pour one chocolate on top of the other, using a skewer to create a swirling pattern. Sprinkle with broken and whole pretzels and leave to harden. These are great for a party buffet or an attractive edible gift.

Make the most of this salty snack with our pretzel recipes.

12. Unicorn hot chocolate

Pink hot chocolate

This rich, pink-hued hot drink is any young child’s dream. Perfect for a treat on film night or a fun midnight snack at a sleepover. It’s made from white chocolate and milk, topped with rainbow-dyed whipped double cream, sweets and sprinkles.

For more variations on the traditional hot cocoa, try our hot chocolate recipes.

13. Marshmallows

White marshmallow squares on a board

These vanilla marshmallows are incredibly fluffy, perfect for sandwiching between s’mores, popping into an indulgent hot chocolate or giving as a thoughtful homemade gift.

Look no further for plenty of moreish marshmallow recipes.

14. Peppermint creams

Peppermint creams dipped in chocolate

You can make these creamy peppermint treats using only a handful of simple ingredients. They’re great to give as a homemade gift or to clean your palette after a meal. Plus, they’re fat-free!

For a variety of recipes showcasing the cool, fresh taste of mint, try our mint recipes.

15. Chocolate marshmallow wheels

Chocolate covered biscuit, marshmallow and jam wheels

These buttery vanilla biscuits are coated with fluffy marshmallows and a sweet raspberry jam before being encased in a crisp dark chocolate shell. They’re great to enjoy with tea or as a packed lunch treat.

16. Rhubarb & custard tart

Rhubarb and custard tart

This tart captures the flavour of everyone’s favourite boiled sweet. The use of forced rhubarb makes it incredibly vibrant and appealing, a terrific showstopping piece for any picnic or summer party.

Celebrate spring with this wonderfully bright seasonal fruit with our selection of rhubarb recipes.

17. Crunchy peanut & toffee bonbons

Peanut covered chocolate balls

These chocolate, peanut, and toffee balls are a great party buffet addition. They can be made in only three simple steps. Make it a fun activity, having the children roll out the balls, dip in the chocolate and coat in the peanuts. It’ll get messy, but what fun activity doesn’t?

For more recipes using peanut butter, either smooth or crunchy, try our peanut butter recipes.

18. Vanilla fudge

Box of fudge

Fudge is an excellent homemade gift as our recipe is a little extra effort and shows all the love. It’ll be worth it to bite down on a buttery piece of fudge. Why not teach the young ones a lesson in the kitchen while you do it? The importance of cooking at the right temperature. This recipe calls for precision, and what better way to demonstrate this than with a wonderfully sweet success.

Check out more creamy fudge recipes.

19. Toffee apple pops

Toffee covered apples with chocolate and toppings

These bite-sized versions of the classic toffee apple are a great party buffet addition. We suggest topping with melted chocolate, chopped nuts and hundreds of thousands, but you can add any of your favourite sweet treats such as smarties or jelly tots.

For more tempting toffee treats, try our toffee recipes.

20. Ubercorn ice cream cone cakes

Unicorn shaped ice cream cones

These adorable ice cream cone cakes are the perfect addition to any unicorn party. Hidden inside the cone is a beautiful cake surprise that you ice with delicious mascarpone icing and decorate with icing fondant. Cover in a selection of multicoloured sweets, and you’ve made a magical little treat.

For the best supplies to throw a unicorn-themed birthday party, check out our unicorn party ideas.

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