Tag: Baking

Mini apple pies

Mini apple pies

Apple pie; oh so comforting and brings up oh so many nostalgic memories of Sunday lunches and lazy evenings. Apple and cinnamon is such a classic, cosy combo and so evocative of chilly autumn and winter days. Mini apple pies have all the same comfort 

Raspberry shortbread crumble bars

Raspberry shortbread crumble bars

A delicious, no fuss recipe that does quite literally what it says on the tin. Raspberry jam and shortbread; a combo of sweet perfection (if you ask me). Raspberry shortbread crumble bars; sweet and tart jam (with extra fresh raspberries for added zing) with comforting 

Apple pie muffins

Apple pie muffins

Apple pie muffins. I don’t know about you but baking (and eating) really come into their own in the Autumn! The days get darker and heavier, everywhere changes colour and you just know instinctively that the best thing to do is to snuggle down and eat something cosy and warming. These apple pie muffins do exactly that; filled with sweet apples and spices these are a simple bake that is just amazing for breakfast or a teatime treat. 

Recipe 

250g self rising flour 

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp bicarb

1 tsp baking powder

150g stewed apples (or apple sauce)

1 apple (I like granny smiths for this)

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 orange

50g caster sugar

60g light brown sugar

75g melted unsalted butter

2 large eggs

125ml milk 

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

2 tsp vanilla extract

Makes 10 muffins 

Demerara sugar to drizzle on the top before baking (optional)

Method

First make the buttermilk. Measure out the milk and then add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to it and leave for 10-15 mins. 

Cut the apple into thin slices and then into quarters, so you have pretty diamond shapes. I left out 2-3 pieces to add to the tops of the muffins before baking. Then finely chop the rest. Put the apples in a bowl and coat in the remaining lemon juice to stop them from going brown.

Zest the lemon and orange and leave to one side.

Sift the dry ingredients together. (The flour, salt, bicarb, baking powder and spices) 

In a separate bowl, add the melted butter, sugars, vanilla, eggs, buttermilk and mix to combine. Add in the lemon and orange zest and the stewed apples and apple pieces. 

Gently fold in the flour and spice mixture until just combined. 

As soon as the mix comes together, don’t worry about lumps, then you can leave in the fridge for about 30 mins, or cook straight away. 

Preheat the oven to 190 C. 

Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, divide the muffin batter into muffin cases, about ¾ full. 

Add the apple slices to the tops of each muffin along with a sprinkle of demerara sugar. 

Cook for 18-20 mins until lightly golden. The tops of the muffins should spring back when cooked and if you insert a cake tester, it should come out clean. 

Once cooked, leave to cool on a baking rack. 

Muffins are best eaten on the day they’re made, but as these are packed with apples, it helps keep them nice and moist, so they will keep in an airtight tin for 3-4 days. 

Looking for other cosy recipes? Try our Pumpkin spiced pancakes with orange maple syrup and toasted pecans. or our Jam doughnut muffins – both absolutely gorgeous and super simple to put together.

Double chocolate oreo cookies

Double chocolate oreo cookies

Hands up if cookies are your all time favourite treat! They’re absolutely one of mine. Oh my goodness, I just love how simple they are to make, fast to prepare, even faster to eat but nothing comes close to how deliciously comforting they are.  These 

Blackberry scones

Blackberry scones

Blackberry scones a go go! Friends if you’re anything like me and literally spy out bramble bushes ready to strike the minute the brambles ripen in the summer then this recipe is for you. I mean free food, need I say more, but we need 

Iced party biscuits

Iced party biscuits

I am just in love with these iced party biscuits. If you’re anything like me, a burst of colour always puts me in a good mood, and these fellas are bright, bold and unapologetically beautiful. Everything you need to pop a smile on your face and party. 

These biscuits are so versatile and easy to make. A simple shortbread cookie recipe, topped with bright buttercream and topped with sprinkles. Great for Birthday parties and the best thing is that they keep really well in the fridge so you can make them ahead of time and you can swap out the colours as you like. If you fancy chocolate, add some cocoa and away you go. We won’t be hemmed in by rules and these obliging little fellas can be adapted however we fancy. Love it!

The great thing about this recipe is that if you need more, it’s so simple to scale up to feed a crowd. So pleasing when things work out like that.

Iced party biscuits 

Recipe 

For the shortbread biscuits:

150g plain flour

100g unsalted putter

Pinch of salt

50g caster sugar

For the buttercream icing:

125g unsalted butter

250g icing sugar (sifted)

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

1-2tsp milk (depending on the consistency of the icing)

Few drops of pink food colouring (or your choice of colours)

Sprinkles 

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 celsius. You want a coolish oven so the shortbread bakes well but doesn’t get too brown. 

Mix the softened butter with the sugar until it goes light and fluffy.

Add in the flour and the salt and slowly mix together until the dough comes together in a ball. 

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board and make a rough circle about a few cm tall. You don’t want these to be too thick, as we’ll be adding a thick layer of buttercream later. 

Use a circle cutter to cut the dough and then transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. You can use whatever size cutters you want, but if you make mini ones, adjust the cooking time a bit, as they will cook quicker. I used a circle cutter, 8cm in diameter. This makes about 10 biscuits.

Bake for 15 mins so the cookies are set and are just started to brown on the edges. 

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool while you make the buttercream. 

To make the icing, start to mix the soft butter in a bowl, using a food mixer or a hand held beater is best, to get it all nice and smooth and lighter in colour. Then gradually start adding in the sifted icing sugar. Mix until smooth and creamy. 

Then add the salt, vanilla and food colouring and quickly mix again to combine. 

Add in a few tsp milk if the buttercream looks too thick. You want the icing to be easily spreadable and soft, but not wet so that it will slide off the shortbread.

Take the cooled biscuits and using an offset spatula or a knife, spread and swirl the icing onto the biscuits and add the sprinkles. 

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. These will keep well for a few days. 

On the hunt for other party food ideas? Check out my Chocolate truffle no churn ice cream, seriously tasty. Or how about Pimp your party treats – no fuss ideas to elevate your party table – for simple party no bake party food ideas. My Double Chocolate Baked Doughnuts are fab for parties too.

If you’re on the hunt for Birthday decorations to go alongside some beautiful food why not try Party Pieces, they’ve got some great stuff. Etsy is always a good shout for bespoke and personal ideas for gifts that are often so much more unique than what you find on the high street.

Chocolate Banana bread muffins

Chocolate Banana bread muffins

I don’t know about you but bowl and spoon bakes are honestly the most liberating and delicious things you can make.  No fancy gadgets required. Let’s face it, with everything else going on in life, if we can cancel out a bit of stress, let’s 

Easter Egg millionaires shortbread

Easter Egg millionaires shortbread

Easter Egg millionaires shortbread Growing up, millionaires shortbread was my FAVOURITE party food and my Mum would make it for special occasions. What is not to like about this; crumbly and rich shortbread, unctuously thick dulce de leche and chocolate. AMAZING. I was mooching around 

Valentines doughnuts

Valentines doughnuts

I like to make the most of special occasions and hand made gifts really say you care,  but I don’t always have the time or headspace for anything that seems fiddly or complicated. These Valentines doughnuts are gorgeously tasty, simple to make, quick to bake and easy to decorate and look so much more special than the effort that went into making them.  They are baked as well, so no need for all that oil and messiness.

These vanilla and cardamom scented baked doughnuts can be decorated exactly how you want, there are so many options. I’ve gone for two simple designs which are easily replicated. Have fun and send a little love out into the world. 

Ingredients for Valentines doughnuts

250g self rising flour

120g caster sugar

2 large eggs

¼ tsp salt

2tsp baking powder

2 tbsp vegetable oil 

2 tsp vanilla extract

5 cardamom pods, crushed

180ml milk

Approx 350g icing sugar (sieved)

Approx 2 tsp recently boiled water

pink food colouring and heart shaped sprinkles

Makes 12 baked doughnuts or 24 mini flower shaped doughnuts

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C in fan oven) Gas Mark 7.

Line the doughnut tins or doughnut flower tins with baking spray and leave to one side. 

Weigh out the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) and sift into a large mixing bowl. Then add the caster sugar. Stir to combine then leave to one side. 

Crush the cardamom pods and discard the husk and add to the dry ingredients.

Measure the milk into a jug. Crack in the eggs and add the vanilla extract and oil into the liquids. Stir to combine. 

Add the wet ingredients into the dry, gradually to avoid lumps. (Don’t worry too much if there are a few lumps, it’s a bit like making muffins, better not to overmix and have a light batter than to have a super smooth consistency and have heavy doughnuts.)

With a teaspoon, fill each mould ½ full (the mixture rises quite a bit). 

Bake in the middle shelf of the oven for 7-8 minutes. (It honestly doesn’t take long at all – you just want the mixture to be springy to the touch and just coming away from the sides).  The smaller doughnuts will only take about 6 minutes to cook.

Leave to cool for 5/10 minutes and then using a knife gently go around the outside of each doughnut to loosen and take out of the tin. They should come out easily. Leave on a wire rack to cool. 

While they are cooling, make the water icing. 

Measure and sieve out the icing sugar (this can sometimes feel quite time consuming but you really need to, nobody wants lumpy icing). Then gradually add water from a recently boiled kettle. The lovely thing about this type of icing is that if it’s a little thick, just add more water if its too runny add another tablespoon of water, its very forgiving that way. No stress here. The consistency you’re after a pretty thick; just pouring off a spoon. Too runny and it will just run off the sides. 

Valentines doughnuts; decorated with white water icing and decorated with heart shaped sprinkles

If you want to make different coloured icings; then just divide the mixture into small bowls, add a small amount of food colouring and give it a stir. Go easy with food colouring; you can always add more but it’s difficult to take it away if it’s too bright. 

Using a spoon, coat each baked doughnut in the icing and place back on the cooling rack. I went for two different styles; on the round doughnuts I used white water icing and topped with red heart shaped sprinkles. Easy and effective. On the smaller, flower shaped doughnuts I used a mixture of white and pink water icing and topped with coloured sprinkles. Let your creativity go wild and do whatever your heart tells you. It is Valentine’s after all.

The doughnuts are best eaten on the day they are made and will keep in an airtight container for 2 days. 

Valentines doughnuts, decorated with pink and white icing and topped with valentines sprinkles or freeze dried raspberries

Looking for more valentine inspiration? Why not try my Chocolate nutella muffins – with a crunchie topping very indulgent.

On the look out for gift ideas for valentines? Nothing quite goes with this holiday like chocolate so why not check out my Emma Bakes, White chocolate selection box – perfect for milky bar lovers everywhere or Chocolate gift ideas – EmmaBakes selection box a gorgeous selection of handmade artisan truffles. Perfect to spoil the one you love.

Hunting for the perfect Valentines card? Thortful have some great choices

Blueberry and lime scones

Blueberry and lime scones

Everyone has their favourites, even if they don’t always admit it, and scones are definitely some of mine. Comforting carby hugs, truly versatile little things, great for breakfast, dress them up for company for a fancy afternoon tea or make them savoury and have for