GBBO Recipe Challenge With Aliya Farjo (Caramel Special)

by Owen Redford

GBBO recipe challenge time! This week we have Aliya Farjo (Owner of Aliya's Cakes) who takes on the caramel challenge with her grandma's Carrot Cake & Salted Caramel Glaze recipe.

Name: Aliya Farjo

Occupation: Owner of Aliya’s Cakes

Social Media: @aliyascakes1 (on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter)


  • How did you get into baking?

My grandma used to bake with us when my brother and I were kids. I have loved baking ever since as a hobby. It wasn’t until last year when I made a cake for my mum’s birthday that my baking got lots of attention. After that I decided to take it more seriously and set up my business.

  • How long did the cake take from start to finish?

This cake took me about 5 hours.

  • What’s your favourite thing about the cake?

The salted caramel cream cheese buttercream. It is an unusual choice but works perfectly with the moist carrot cake.

  • What was the hardest thing about making the cake?

The hardest thing about this cake was making the sugar leaves. It was my first time working with caramelised sugar so it took some getting used to. The sugar sets very quickly so you have to work fast to create the shapes, but you also have to be careful you don’t touch them too soon as the sugar is extremely hot.

  • Tell us about your business.

I make cakes, cupcakes, cakepops, brownies or any sweet treat for all occasions. My most popular orders are cupcakes for birthdays.



Carrot Cake (my grandmas recipe): Serves 20


1 ½ cups Vegetable Oil

4 Eggs

2 cups Plain Flour

2 cups Light Muscovado Sugar

1 ½ tsp Baking Soda

3 tsp Baking Powder

1tsp Cinnamon

½ tsp Salt

2 cups Grated carrots

¾ cup Drained Crushed Pineapple

½ cup Chopped Nuts (I used pecans)


- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line 3 x 10 inch cake tins.

- In a bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

- Put oil in mixer and add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each one. Fold in the flour mixture. Add in the carrots, pineapple, nuts and mix together.

- Divide the mixture between the 3 tins and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Salted Caramel Sauce (taken from Sally’s Baking Addition)

200g Granulated Sugar

90g Salted Butter

120ml Double Cream

1 teaspoon Salt


Heat sugar in a pan until it has melted into an amber liquid.

Carefully add the butter and stir for 2-3 minutes.

Slowly drizzle in the cream and let the mixture boil for 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and add the salt. Allow the sauce to cool down completely before using.

Cream Cheese Buttercream

200g Unsalted Butter

400g Icing Sugar

200g Cream Cheese

½ cup Salted Caramel Sauce


- Beat the butter and icing sugar together until light and creamy (at least 5 minutes).

- Stir in the cream cheese. Do not overmix.

- Add in the salted caramel sauce and mix in.

Pecan Brittle

1 cup Granulated Sugar

1 cup Pecans


- Line a baking tray with oiled baking paper.

- Heat the sugar in a pan with a splash of water until it melts completely and turns an amber colour.

- Stir in the pecans.

- Pour the mixture onto the baking paper and allow to cool before breaking up.

To assemble the cake, stack each layer filling with the buttercream between each one. Cover the entire outside of the cake with the remaining buttercream. Allow to set in the fridge for at least an hour. Gently heat the remaining salted caramel sauce so it becomes a runny consistency. Remove the cake from the fridge and drip the caramel sauce over the cake. Decorate the cake with the pecan brittle and sugar work.

Thanks for reading and check back next week for a new GBBO recipe challenge.

For more information on Aliya's Cakes, check out their Website and follow them on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter

Happy baking!