Helsinki Food Foto and Mari’s Lemon Cake

Look at my re-creation of Helsinki’s top cake model! I have NOT fancied any citrusy cakes so far, but this beauty turned my head. I call it Mari’s Lemon Cake because she baked one gorgeous juicy cake to our picnic at Helsinki Food Foto workshop on June. It was the most photographed target at the picnic. Scroll down and read further to get the recipe and look at the pictures of #HelsinkiFoto2014.

Lemoncake with Summer Berries

Food Styling and Photography Workshop

I have this desire to take photos of food and I am always keen to learn something new on shooting edible things. When I heard that Meeta from What’s For Lunch, Honey?, Simone from Simone’s Kitchen and Mari from Something Tasty came up with food photography and styling workshop in Finland, in my hometown Helsinki, I did not think twice. I enrolled in at once. I have experience from couple of Meeta’s workshops in Dubai and wanted to see what Helsinki will offer, after all Helsinki is wonderful at summer time when we have nightless nights and nature and people shows their best.

Compared to some other photography courses Meeta’s workshops are excellent combo of learning how to style the food and take the best food photos, cooking, eating, tasting different kind of cuisines (specially in Dubai) and best of all meet and get to know like minded people from all over the world. We had so much fun with Sari, Marja-Riitta, Denisa, Alanna, Bente, Kaisa, Nancy and Marisa. I learned a lot not only from Mari, Meeta and Simone but from all of my learning buddies.

If I have to pick up one single take away from Helsinki photography workshop, it would be Artificial light hands on exercise with simple led light Ikea lamps (look for model Jansjö). I can’t believe how easy it was to create home studio with simple led light and couple of reflectors.
BerryGranola_IkeaLights_dark mood


Food and Helsinki

On first evening we had enjoyable delicious dinner at Toca restaurant. Finnish, Italian and global tastes on the plate by serving fresh and high-quality ingredients precisely cooked so you can savor their distinguished and classical flavors in a “kick back and enjoy” atmosphere as they correctly claim.

On second day we had typical summer picnic on rainy…no, sunny…actually rainy sunny day at Sinebrychoff Park at Punavuori mid of Helsinki. Passersby were so jealous of our setting and food. Carrot cake, lemon cake, zucchini noodle salad, quinoa tomato salad, salmon sandwiches, bubbly drinks to name few. Look at yourself…

HelsinkiFoto2014-Fiskars groupie

Our slogan for workshop project was “The Heat is on in Helsinki”. Coming from Dubai it was not that hot in Helsinki, but certainly heat was on for styling, shooting and eating the food. Here’s my location shots at Toca restaurant in Helsinki taken with iPhone 5 except the gazpacho soup pic in left corner.


Memories aijaijai….


Mari’s Lemon Cake Recipe

I have changed ingredients just tiny bit for my liking. Namely I halved the spelt flour and added potato flours. I used two 15 cm cake tins and had left over patter for the third tiny cake. I had also less of cream cheese compared to original recipe. You might wonder those measures, in Finland we use 100 ml (=1 dl) measuring cups hence desiliters in recipe. Link to Mari’s original Lemon Cake recipe at Something Tasty

My versions ingredients:
200 g butter
4.5 dl sugar
4 eggs (medium size)
Pinch of salt
3 dl spelt flour
3 dl potato flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
2.5 dl cream
3 tbsp lemon curd
2 tbsp lemon juice

Filling and frosting
600 g plain cream cheese (e.g. Philadelphia)
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp lemon curd
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 dl icing sugar
Optional: yellow food coloring

Baking method is well described in Mari’s recipe (hahaa there’s some trick…in case you’ll notice and wonder, add lemon juice with lemon curd)
Lemoncake with Summer Berries

Thank You for staying this long, do not exit without visiting these blogposts of Helsinki Foto 2014. They are packed with wonderful photos from the entire event. Do you spot Minna from Naked Plate?


WORKSHOP: HELSINKI 2014 – The Heat Is On by Meeta

KAMERAT KAULASSA by Mari’s Jotain Maukasta blog in Finnish. Look at the pictures, no language barriers.

The cherry on the top of each workshop is generous goodie bags from sponsors. In Helsinki we had nice sponsors from Cocovi, Sunspelt, Winestate, Fiskars, Uudenmaan Herkku Oy, Illy Coffee, Rauch, Toca Restaurant and beautiful Scandic Paasi hotel. Thank You, your contribution was recognized and appreciated!

And Finally if you like to travel, meet people, take photos, learn to shoot food, food styling, eating and experience Dubai. Enroll to Meeta’s next workshop here in Arab Emirates and we’ll meet there. Hey I am regular already…read more click Link

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  1. says

    Passing by your page from your business card and your site looks amazing – I just want to eat EVERYTHING! Was wonderful to meet you today, and hope to see you again soon.
    All my best,
    Dina (yApparel)

    • says

      Thank You Dina for taking time to visit the blog. It was nice to meet you too, I am going to keep on eye for yApparel site for stylish fitness wear. :-)

  2. says

    WAU, en arvannutkaan miten uskomattoman hieno ja herkullinen postaus täältä löytyi!
    Seurasin vain Suomi – Instagramiasi. – I didn’t know about that… tasteful and beautiful photos! I will test surely that…..maybe the best cake of this season Ü!

    • says

      Kiitos Nami-Hiiri visiitistä insta-world enemmän jokapäiväistä ruoka elämää. Thank you for the visit, yes you must bake this cake it’s really nice and goes with any fruits and berries so well.

  3. says

    Aii Minna, you made Mari’s cake! (Yes I think of it that way too … though somehow, how really? I missed that it was flavored with lemon curd so now all I can think about is making a lemon curd cake …) And it’s so fun to hear you “write” because it sounds just like you in person! Beautiful, beautiful!

    • says

      Thank You Alanna for your comment about my writing, you must know that I rather speak and take photos than write. Nice that my person shines through :-). I used lemon curd from shop, but my next mission is to make my own, we have beautiful lemons right now at market. I think it’s good idea with lemon curd, somewhat softer lemon flavor. I saw your post of Finnish Fruit tart, it’s one of my favorite. Linking it here
      Thank you Alanna, I was and am so happy to witness your love to Finland, you managed to capture us and our country the way I like to showcase my country. :-)

      • says

        Yes I do love your home country, it’s nice to know you see it too. Now I have a cake question for you, even for Mari. I don’t have experience with spelt/similar flours but presume I can find them here in the States. But I’m curious, you chose to use equal parts spelt and potato flour, why is that, what for you is better about the combination?

        • says

          Alanna I learned from my mom times ago cake recipe where we lighten it up by exchanging half of the normal all purpose flour to potato flour. The texture of cake is smoother it feels lighter and airy when baked. Your question is good, I simply have been following my moms instruction and learned by doing to see the difference.

  4. says

    O wow, you made the cake already!! I am so impressed Minna! I’m pretty sure that making that cake was on everyone’s mind when we left Helsinki… :) it was lovely seeing you again!

  5. says

    What a lovely posting, Minna! Thank you for all the kind words. It was so great to meet you and all the others. We had so much fun!! Have a great summer and let’s keep in touch!

    • says

      Kiitos Mari, Thank You. Thank You for visiting my blog. Looking forward to read your cookbook on August. Enjoy the Finnish summer and all the best foods of season. Waiting you to visit Dubai.