Tag: Baking

Citrus upside down cake

Citrus upside down cake

Who doesn’t love an upside down cake? So many happy memories coming in from school to a pineapple cake my Mum made, such a treat. This is a playful twist on this classic. A citrus upside down cake bursting with oranges to celebrate beautiful winter 

Chocolate orange nutella pop tarts

Chocolate orange nutella pop tarts

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day but it can often feel the most rushed and least satisfying when you’re preparing for a busy day. Chocolate orange nutella pop tarts add a much needed burst of excitement for my morning routine. They’re such a 

Cranberry pop tarts

Cranberry pop tarts

Cranberry pop tarts. These are such a fun and completely delicious treat, particularly in the winter when cranberries are in season. It’s a great recipe for when you’ve got leftover cranberry sauce that you don’t know what to do with. The tart and zingy cranberry sauce is so yummy with the sweet icing. 

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, so if I can find fun ways to shake up the routine I will. These are definitely a perfect, breakfast in bed, lazy morning treat. 

The best thing is, you can make them in advance the night before and then bake fresh in the morning. No stress, just a beautiful way to treat yourself to start the day off right. 

Ingredients

340g plain flour

2 large eggs

170g unsalted butter  (fridge cold) 

60g icing sugar

Zest 2 oranges

Pinch of salt

Approx 9 tbsp cranberry sauce (I used my sloe gin cranberry sauce recipe but you can use store bought too if you’re short on time)

For the icing:

200g icing sugar

Zest 1 orange

5-6 tbsp water from recently boiled kettle (keep adding gradually and add extra if needed)

Chopped dried cranberries (optional) sprinkled on top

Makes 8 pop tarts 

(You can easily ½ the quantities if you don’t want such a big batch)

Method for cranberry pop tarts

First, let’s make the pastry. 

This is really simple. Pop the flour, salt, cold butter, icing sugar and orange zest in a food processor. Blitz for a few seconds until you have a mixture that looks like fine breadcrumbs. The butter should be in very small pieces, distributed amongst the flour mix. 

Then crack in 2 eggs and blitz until the pastry begins to come together in one large ball. 

Remove the dough, divide into 2 and then wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30 mins. 

Preheat the oven to 190°C alongside a baking tray the same size that you’ll use to bake the pop tarts. This will help them cook evenly and give you a lovely crispy base.

Now, let’s assemble the cranberry pop tarts

Take each piece of dough then on a floured work surface, thinly roll out the pastry into a large rectangle. Trim the pastry so that you have pretty straight edges and then divide the dough into even rectangles. Do the same for the other piece of dough. If you have any offcuts, save them and repeat this process until you’ve got everything ready. 

Make sure that you have an even number of rectangles – enough for tops and bottoms of the pop tarts. 

Take about a tbsp of cranberry sauce and spread it onto the middle of your pastry. Get a mug of water and, using your finger, wet the sides of the pastry. Then take another rectangle and place on top, pressing down the sides to make sure no sauce escapes when you bake them. 

Take a fork, and seal the edges of the pastry. Take a sharp knife and add three score marks in the centre of the pastry, to help any steam escape in the oven. 

Put the pastry onto a lined baking tray. Repeat for the rest of the tarts. 

Brush the tops of the tarts with milk or egg wash then bake. The lovely thing about this recipe is you can do all this the night before then bake them fresh in the morning if you like. They’ll sit very happily in the fridge. 

Bake for about 15-17 minutes until the pop tarts are cooked well underneath and are a lovely lightly golden brown. 

Once cooked, leave to cool on a wire rack while you make the icing.

Make the icing

Put the icing sugar into a bowl then gradually add the hot water until you get a pouring but not too runny consistency. Add the orange zest and stir together. 

When the pop tarts are cool enough spread a little of the icing on top of each, letting it fall down the sides a bit as it sets. Roughly chop a handful of dried cranberries and sprinkle over the tops of the pastry. 

Leave for about 30 minutes for the icing to set a little. Enjoy.

These are best eaten on the day that they’re baked, but will last a few days stored in an airtight container.

You could also freeze un-iced pastries by tightly wrapping in cling film, which will keep for about 3 months. Then you could defrost in the fridge overnight and decorate when needed.  Alternatively you can flash freeze unbaked pastries, store in a bag and then bake for an extra 10 minutes whenever you want one. 

Want more inspiration to use up cranberry sauce after Christmas? Try our White chocolate and cranberry cupcakes

If you have extra cranberries to use, give our Cranberry and apple curd a try, it’s delicious for breakfast.

On the look out for other breakfast treats? Try our Get up and go granola – homemade breakfast ideas or Chocolate pancakes, delicious

White chocolate and cranberry cupcakes

White chocolate and cranberry cupcakes

White chocolate and cranberry cupcakes. This is such a beautiful festive bake. Great for anyone that wants an easy, stunning little showstopper. They’re even better for anyone that don’t like mincemeat.  White chocolate and cranberries are such a gorgeous combo. The tart brightness of the 

Gingerbread Nutella sandwich cookies

Gingerbread Nutella sandwich cookies

What’s better than a gingerbread cookie at Christmas? That would be two gingerbread cookies. What could be even better than that? Well, that would be smothering them with nutella and making a cookie sandwich. You’re welcome. These gingerbread nutella sandwich cookies are delicious and a 

Nutella mince pies

Nutella mince pies

Nutella mince pies, now this is a delightful way to shake up your festive routine. In our house, we always make a batch or two of mince pies, often on Christmas Eve, and they’re such a comforting nostalgic bake that I can’t see this changing any time soon. That being said, it’s fun to mix things up now and then and these are particularly great for those that maybe aren’t the biggest fans of mince pies…the nutella and hazelnut and orange pastry do a great job at mellowing the intenseness of the mincemeat. They are just delicious. Served hot is my favourite with these, maybe with cream or ice cream, why not, but they freeze brilliantly too. 

Happy baking. 

Ingredients

170g plain flour

85g unsalted butter (fridge cold)

pinch of salt

30g icing sugar

55g finely chopped hazelnuts

1 orange (zest)

1 large egg

3 tbsp Nutella

9 tbsp mincemeat 

Makes 18-24 star topped mince pies 

Method for nutella mince pies

First, let’s make the pastry. In a food processor pour your flour, salt, fridge cold butter and icing sugar and pulse until the butter is combined and it resembles fine bread crumbs. 

Finely chop the hazelnuts.

Add in the orange zest, hazelnuts and the egg and pulse to combine until you have a ball of dough. 

Flatten slightly, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes or longer if you have it, to allow the pastry to rest. 

Spoon in the mincemeat and nutella into a bowl and stir to combine. 

Preheat your oven to 200°C and place a baking tray in the oven to heat up too. (This will help the bottoms of the pies cook evenly)

Cut your pastry in half and wrap up one portion to use later.  Begin to roll out the pastry in a circle until it’s roughly ¼ inch thick. Cut out circles to match the size of your shallow pie tins. Then add a tsp of filling and top with stars. (Dabble the edges of the pastry cases to help the stars stick to the sides.)

Let’s get baking

Then brush the tops with egg or milk and bake in a hot oven for about 12 minutes. 

Continue rolling and filling the cases until you have used all the pastry. 

Once the mince pies come out of the oven, place them on a wire rack to cool and then dust with icing sugar to serve. 

These freeze really well, so you can batch them up and defrost and eat whenever you fancy and will last a few months.  If you’re eating them straight away, they’ll keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container. 

Tip

To flash freeze, put the pies on a baking tray (that’ll fit in your freezer) on a single layer and freeze for about an hour, to flash freeze. Then you can pop them all in a bag after that. 

Looking for more festive baking ideas? Try our Mince pie Christmas cupcakes, Mince pie cookies; Chocolate nutella muffins – with a crunchie topping, or our Fruit and nut fudge; all delicious and Christmassy. Perfect for the holidays.

Mozzarella dough bites

Mozzarella dough bites

Oh my, these are just the most deliciously indulgent easy peasy cheesy snacks out there. Think no fuss savoury doughnuts filled with mozzarella and you get the idea. Mozzarella dough bites are made with a handful of ingredients and don’t require yeast, so don’t need 

Mince pie Christmas cupcakes

Mince pie Christmas cupcakes

Mince pie Christmas cupcakes. Oh festive baking; in my mind there really isn’t anything better and complete to make me feel all cosy and Christmassy. Mince pies are such a classic staple in the UK, but I have to admit I’ve never been the biggest 

Vegan gingerbread

Vegan gingerbread

Gingerbread may just be my favourite cake of all time. Not to get this sticky, sumptuous delight confused with equally delicious gingerbread figures, this is a cake that is so richly spiced with 3 types of ginger and other gorgeous flavours that it really packs a seasonal festive punch. Absolutely love it. The nicest part of this recipe is that it is also happily vegan friendly, switching oil for butter and using vinegar and bicarb to help it rise beautifully. Amazing.

There are so many parts of this gingerbread I love so much. Let’s count them.

1 – any cake that you gently stir together in a saucepan without even thinking of getting out fancier mixers, is always a winner for me. Really helps create a stress-free vibe, which is perfect for baking in the Autumn and winter.

2 – the cake just gets better and better as it sits. Most cakes are amazing, but you do have to eat them up pretty quick, but the beauty of this is, that it’s actually better if you make the cake in advance, then leave it for a day or two and then even after that you can happily take pieces for a week and it’ll still be beautifully soft – thank you to all the sugary goodness there!

Lastly, the taste is incredible. The taste of Christmas and cosy nights in. Rich with the smoky taste of the treacle, matched with the golden syrup and topped with aromatic spices that all compliment the ginger hit – fresh, dried and preserved. This is one serious hit of seasonal indulgence and I absolutely love it. I love the dates here too, it’s got a definite sticky toffee pudding vibe going here and the orange zest really lifts everything. Lovely.

Give it a go and let me know what you think. 

Vegan gingerbread 

Recipe 

150ml vegetable oil

250g golden syrup

150g black treacle 

125g light brown sugar

8 pitted dates (approx 95g)

65g stem ginger

25g fresh ginger (about a thumb sized piece)

Zest and juice of 1 orange

Spices

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp salt 

230 ml vegan friendly milk ( I used oat milk here)

300g plain flour

2 tbsp warm water

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

4 tsp apple cider vinegar 

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C. 

Line a 23 cm square tin with baking paper and leave to one side while you get the batter ready. 

Chop the dates and the stem ginger into small chunks.

Measure the oil and pour into a large, heavy bottom sauce pan. Now measure out the golden syrup and treacle using the same jug. The syrup will come away from the jug much easier if you pour the oil first. 

Then tip the light brown sugar into the pan, followed by the dates, stem ginger and the orange zest. Use a fine grater to add the fresh ginger to the mix. Add the spices and salt. 

Let’s get mixing

Now, on a low heat, stir the sugars and spice mixtures until they melt together and warm up a little. This won’t take long. You don’t want the mixture to be hot, just warm. 

Juice the orange into a jug and then top up with oat milk so that you get a total of 250 ml. Stir to combine and add to the sugary mixture.

Add the flour gradually, I usually do 4-5 batches so that you can whisk out all the lumps. 

When all the flour is added, in a separate bowl or mug, add the warm water and the bicarbonate of soda. Once this has combined, add the vinegar 1 tbsp at a time and let it fizz. I’m not a science expert, but it’s this reaction between the bicarb and vinegar that will make the gingerbread rise, so once you’ve added it all, speedily add this to the main cake mixture and stir to combine. 

Quickly add the cake batter to the prepared tin and bake in the pre heated oven for about 45 minutes. 

This is a very sticky cake, but you can tell when it’s cooked as it will have risen in the middle and be coming away from the sides. 

Leave to cool completely in the tin. Once cooled I would leave the cake wrapped in baking paper and foil for a day or so to let it get even more sticky and rich, then cut into 9-12 generous chunks and enjoy with a nice cuppa on the sofa. 

Looking for other vegan friendly bakes? Try our Vegan chocolate peanut butter scones or our Get up and go granola – homemade breakfast ideas

Halloween sandwich cookies

Halloween sandwich cookies

Halloween sandwich cookies. These cheeky monsters are more cute than creepy but with their bright colours and googly eyes are perfect for a spooky treat. Rich dark chocolate biscuits sandwiched with buttercream. A simple biscuit to make but a gorgeous little show stopper for a