1st Birthday, Cakes & Café Chat

We’re really excited, because today is our first birthday. We can’t believe Museum140 has been going for a whole year already. Highlights have included our Museum Memories day last May, our Museum Exposure photography project last November to mark 11/11/11, and of course Adopt-a-Museum, which started last July is still going strong. We also had great fun at Christmas, with the crowdsourced Christmas tree and Secret Santa 2.0, and then we saw the love come pouring in during the Shorty Award nominations in February. Thank you so much to everybody who has joined in, tweeted, re-tweeted, taken photographs, commented, supported, and cheered us on. It may sound like a cliché, but we really couldn’t have done it without you.

Where there’s a birthday, there’s cake, and in the last couple of weeks we’ve been inviting you to share your favourite recipes with us. We weren’t expecting a huge flood of recipes, as baking is not everyone’s thing (though you didn’t need to bake especially for us, existing recipes were perfectly fine^^), so thank you to the handful of people who participated. We were going to send goody bags to two lucky bakers, but we decided that all the recipes deserve a prize, so we’ll be in touch to get your addresses to send you a wee surprise in the post.


Of course, we also have a favourite recipe to share with you. It’s actually the same cake that #MuseumBaby, the youngest member of Museum140, had for his first birthday. The recipe came from a dm baby bonus (a German baby club) brochure and was suggested as suitable for small children as it is low in allergens, containing neither eggs nor milk nor butter, which also makes it good for vegans. Not all recipes lend themselves to substituting gluten free flour, as the cakes can become a bit too crumbly, but this dough is very dense and works well as gluten free. The non crumbly texture again makes it great for kids to eat, as the cake doesn’t fall apart in their hands.


  • 400g finely grated carrots
  • 200g cane sugar
  • 180ml vegetable oil (e.g. rape seed)
  • 1 level tablespoon cream of tartar or gluten free baking powder
  • grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 400g (gluten free) flour (e.g. maize)


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (180° C for a fan oven).
  • In a bowl, combine all the ingredients to a dough. Since the dough is so dense, we found it easiest to do it with a fork rather than a mixer.
  • Spread the dough in to a cake tin of your choice. To prevent the cake from sticking, we would recommend greasing the tin with margarine and shaking it out with some flour.
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes. If it’s not quite done but starting to go brown, cover it up with some tin foil.
  • For older children or adults you could sprinkle it with some icing sugar or mix some icing sugar and lemon juice to make a quick glaze, but it tastes just as good straight from the tin.

So, enjoy the cake, and don’t forget to join us on Twitter today for a chat about all things museum cafés. Please use the hashtag #MusCafe and we look forward to chatting with you.



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