Month: September 2021

Banana and cinnamon baked doughnuts

Banana and cinnamon baked doughnuts

Sometimes you just want something a little bit different for breakfast or a relaxingly laid back brunch, something that just says treat. These banana and cinnamon baked breakfast doughnuts with orange sugar do all this and more. Light and immensely satisfying, these pillowy vanilla and 

Jatinder Creates – South Asian inspired art

Jatinder Creates – South Asian inspired art

Jatinder Creates is a small business that offers a range of art prints, greetings cards and stickers often influenced by her South Asian heritage.  Learn more about her thoughts on gift giving and how lockdown and family support gave her the confidence to turn her 

Halloween cupcakes – matcha mash

Halloween cupcakes – matcha mash

Themed bakes for special occasions, much like costume parties, always get my vote. I just love the theatricality and fun you can have with baking like this and halloween cupcakes are a brilliant way to get in the ghoulish party spirit.

The Matcha Mash Halloween cupcakes are a complete joy to make and eat. Matcha powder provides the natural colouring here, to add a ghoulish green to the classic vanilla sponge. The chocolate icing adds satisfying richness and sprinkles and goggly eyes complete the spooky vibe.

The happy consequence of these simple cupcakes is that they come with their own pun based song borrowed from the Halloween classic Monster Mash – Give into the tune as you bake 🙂 

She did the matcha mash

(The matcha mash) It was a green tea smash

(The matcha mash) all you need is a dash

(The matcha mash) to do the matcha mash

Looking for more halloween food-spiration? Why not try my Monster cookie cups – a Halloween must have or my Devilishly dark chocolate liquorice truffles – perfect for Halloween

Ingredients for halloween cupcakes

170g self rising flour 

170g caster sugar

170g softened unsalted butter 

3 eggs

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

3 tbsp matcha powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g halloween sprinkles (optional)

For the chocolate icing:

400g sifted icing sugar

220g softened unsalted butter

50g sifted cocoa powder

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp instant coffee powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

Choice of halloween sprinkles and royal icing eyes for decoration

Makes 12 cupcakes

Method for halloween cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 170°C, GM3. 

Line a muffin tin with 12 cases and leave aside while you make the mixture. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients.

In a separate bowl, sift the self rising flour, baking powder, matcha powder and salt.

Using a food mixer, or free standing whisk, combine the sugar and butter together until it forms a light, creamy consistency. This will only take a few minutes with a food mixer.

Then gradually add one egg at a time, leaving plenty of time for the egg to incorporate into the mixture before adding the next and keep the mixer running at a fairly high speed while doing this; this will help the mixture from curdling. You can also add a tablespoon of flour after each egg at this stage to help prevent curdling too. 

Once the eggs have all been added, add in the dry ingredients and on a slow speed mix until they have only just combined. Then add the vanilla extract and halloween sprinkles (optional) and fold into the cake mixture. 

Using a medium ice cream scoop or two spoons, portion the mixture out amongst the cake cases. Take care not to overfill the cases as the mixture will rise more as it bakes. Half fill each case with batter. 

Bake in the middle shelf of the oven, turning the pan ¾ way through cooking time to help the cakes cook evenly. This should take between 18-20 minutes. 

To test if the cakes are cooked, use a cake skewer and insert into the middle of one of the cakes and if it comes away clean then they are cooked. The cakes should also spring back when touched. 

Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. Cupcakes cool down really quickly so this will take less than 30 minutes. 

While you wait, you can prepare the icing. 

To make the icing add the butter to a food mixer and cream it for a few minutes to make sure everything is very smooth before gradually starting to add the icing sugar and cocoa powder (and coffee) mixture.

Once the mixture is combined and everything is light and fluffy (the longer you mix, the fluffier the mixture will get) add the vanilla extract and salt and mix for a final time. Add milk to the icing if you think it needs to have a looser, more spreadable consistency.

Using a small palette knife, swirl the chocolate buttercream onto each green cupcake and then decorate as you like. Have fun with the positioning of the eyes and the sprinkles to create different spooky effects. Dust with cocoa powder. 

The cakes should keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Tips

For baking, make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature, including the eggs, it will help all of the ingredients combine together well. 

An ice cream scoop is a great tool to help ensure that your cupcakes are the same size when they are baked. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients in advance; yes this means more bowls and more washing up, but the positive is that you have everything ready before you start, so you only have to think about the process of making the cake, instead of rushing to find the next ingredient and weigh it out while the mixer is running. 

Jammie Dodger cupcakes

Jammie Dodger cupcakes

Jammie Dodger cupcakes are such playful and stylish bake. A nostalgic throwback to the childhood biscuits we loved to eat growing up.  A simple recipe for vanilla cupcakes with sweet tangy raspberry jam is a winning combination and a crowdpleaser of a dessert. I’m confident 

Cardamom and vanilla baked fruit

Cardamom and vanilla baked fruit

What are some of your favourite healthy and satisfying foods? Sometimes it feels like those words never sit happily together, so it is amazing when you find a healthy combo that you really enjoy eating.  I love baked fruit; it’s great for a healthy breakfast 

Quality Street chocolate cupcakes

Quality Street chocolate cupcakes

Quality Street chocolate cupcakes are definitely the sort of cake you could make and eat all year round but there is just something very comfortingly and joyously Christmassy about these with the addition of the Quality Street decorations. Any sweets in jewel bright wrappers have to be worth a bite. 

I love adding variations to simple recipes and this is just that; a no fuss chocolate sponge recipe tweaked with the addition of flavours of coffee and cinnamon to really intensify the cocoa with generous spoonfuls of indulgent dulce de leche in the cakes once baked. Such a treat. 

Fancy having a go with some other chocolate recipes? Why not try my Double Chocolate Baked Doughnuts – perfect party food ideas or for a gorgeous vegan treat Vegan chocolate and peanut butter scones

Ingredients for Quality Street chocolate cupcakes

170g self rising flour (remove 3 tbsp of the flour and replace with 3 tbsp of cocoa powder)

170g caster sugar

170g softened unsalted butter 

3 eggs

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp instant coffee powder

Dulce de leche (approx 1 tbsp of this per cupcake)

For the chocolate icing:

400g sifted icing sugar

220g softened unsalted butter

50g sifted cocoa powder

1 tbsp milk

1 tsp instant coffee powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

Mixture of Quality Street sweets to decorate

Edible gold balls or gold dust to decorate (optional)

Makes 12 cupcakes

Method for Quality Street chocolate cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 170°C, GM3. 

Line a muffin tin with 12 cases and leave aside while you make the mixture. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients.

In a separate bowl, sift the self rising flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee, ground cinnamon and salt.

Using a food mixer, or free standing whisk, combine the sugar and butter together until it forms a light, creamy consistency. This will only take a few minutes with a food mixer. Then gradually add one egg at a time, leaving plenty of time for the egg to incorporate into the mixture before adding the next and keep the mixer running at a fairly high speed while doing this; this will help the mixture from curdling. You can also add a tablespoon of flour after each egg at this stage to help prevent curdling too. 

Once the eggs have all been added, add in the dry ingredients and on a slow speed mix until they have only just combined. Then add the vanilla extract and fold into the cake mixture. 

Using a medium ice cream scoop or two spoons, portion the mixture out amongst the cake cases. Take care not to overfill the cases as the mixture will rise more as it bakes. Half fill each case with batter. 

Bake in the middle shelf of the oven, turning the pan ¾ way through cooking time to help the cakes cook evenly. This should take between 18-20 minutes. 

To test if the cakes are cooked, use a cake skewer and insert into the middle of one of the cakes and if it comes away clean then they are cooked. The cakes should also spring back when touched. 

Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. Cupcakes cool down really quickly so this will take less than 30 minutes. 

While you wait, you can prepare the icing. 

To make the icing add the butter to a food mixer and cream it for a few minutes to make sure everything is very smooth before gradually starting to add the icing sugar and cocoa powder (and coffee) mixture. Once the mixture is combined and everything is light and fluffy (the longer you mix, the fluffier the mixture will get) then add the vanilla extract and salt and mix for a final time. Add milk to the icing if you think it needs to have a looser, more spreadable consistency.

Before icing, take a teaspoon or apple corer to make a round hole in the centre of each cupcake and then fill each centre with up to 1 tbsp of dulce de leche for a cheeky surprise when you bite into them later.

Then, using a small palette knife, swirl the chocolate buttercream onto each cupcake and then decorate as you like with the sweets. Add edible gold sprinkles or gold dust for an extra touch of sparkle if you like.

The cakes should keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Tips

For baking, make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature, including the eggs, it will help all of the ingredients combine together well. 

An ice cream scoop is a great tool to help ensure that your cupcakes are the same size when they are baked. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients in advance; yes this means more bowls and more washing up, but the positive is that you have everything ready before you start, so you only have to think about the process of making the cake, instead of rushing to find the next ingredient and weigh it out while the mixer is running. 

Vegan chocolate peanut butter scones

Vegan chocolate peanut butter scones

These vegan chocolate peanut butter scones are so decadent, loud and over the top they’d make the classic afternoon tea scone blush and run for cover.  Richly filled and topped with chocolate and peanut butter, these scones are the perfect party food and great for sharing. 

Chai Banana Bread

Chai Banana Bread

Banana bread is such a classic and comforting recipe and something that definitely became a lockdown staple recently. My version is a Chai Banana Bread, filled with chai tea to enhance the subtle warmth of the spices in the cake and also adds in lots 

Apple pie muffins

Apple pie muffins

Apple pie muffins. A playful respect for the classics has resulted in one of the most luscious mashups I’ve made, so far. I love fruity desserts and I always find a crumble, pie or cobbler hard to resist;  really anything with custard makes the best pud.  

Simple to make, no mixer required, and gorgeous to eat, these custard flavoured vanilla muffins, rolled in cinnamon sugar and topped with stewed apples are everything you’ll want as the seasons transition into Autumn.  This is a bake I’m confident that you’ll enjoy and come back for more. 

Looking for other autumnal bakes? Why not try my Cinnamon, oat and banana pancakes with spiced plums – an amazing breakfast or brunch idea.

Apple pie muffins 

Ingredients

For the muffins:

250g self-rising flour 

30g custard powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

100g melted butter

¼ tsp salt

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

50g caster sugar

225ml milk

For the topping – granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, 80g melted butter and approx. 1 tbsp of stewed apples on each muffin. 

Stewed apples:

4 eating apples – finely chopped

1 tbsp light brown sugar

1 tbsp apple sauce (optional)

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

15g butter 

Zest and juice of 1 orange 

Makes 12 muffins  

Method for the apple pie muffins

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/180°C/Gas Mark 6.

To make the stewed apples, combine all the ingredients into a saucepan and cook over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes until soft. Add splashes of water to the apples as needed to loosen the mix as needed. Leave to cool in the fridge until needed. This can also be made a few days ahead if you like.

Either line a muffin pan with cake cases or using additional butter listed in the recipe, brush melted butter and dust with flour to ensure that your muffins come out easily. 

Weigh out all of the muffin ingredients (apart from the additional sugar, butter and cinnamon for the coating once they are cooked). 

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. 

Using a medium ice cream scoop, portion out the muffin batter and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. The muffins will be lightly browned, springy to the touch and coming away from the edges when they are done. 

Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before taking the muffins out. 

Dip each of the muffins into the melted butter and roll them in the granulated sugar and cinnamon and leave them to cool completely on a wire rack. 

Once cooled, top each muffin with approx. tablespoon of the stewed apples.

Tips

Do not over mix your muffin batter, once the ingredients are combined, you’re done. Don’t worry about lumps either, a lumpy batter often makes the lightest muffins; what a baking paradox. 

Make sure to dip your muffins into the butter and sugar when they are still warm, the sugar will stick better that way. 

An ice cream scoop ensures that the muffins are an even size but of course you can scoop out the batter with spoons.

Looking for some more inspiration? Why not try BBC’s apple recipes.

Lemon ginger carrot cake cupcakes

Lemon ginger carrot cake cupcakes

Carrot cake is such a comforting classic.  When you think how simple it is to make, no fancy mixers required, the happy delusions it inspires in us, getting our veggies and eating cake too, and the gorgeous contrast between the spiced cake and sweet cream