No-Bake Biscoff Cheesecake

Divine no-bake cookie butter cheesecake with a crisp and buttery gingernut/spiced biscuit base and a layer of mousse-like Biscoff flavoured cheesecake.  

I’ve been amazed to see how many people have been excited to get in the kitchen during lockdown and also how much you’ve all been enjoying baking/cooking during this difficult time, so seeing my family, friends and people from different parts of the world making recipes from my blog makes me super happy. Baking/being in the kitchen has always been a therapy for me, something that totally relaxes me and is some escapism on my days off to take my mind away from everything.

Lately I’ve been feeling inspired more than ever to share recipes with you because I’ve really enjoyed seeing pictures of the recipes you’ve been baking from my blog. This blog is a hobby of mine, it’s not my full-time job but is such a big passion of mine and something I get a lot of joy out of working on. 

Something I also get a tremendous amount of joy out of is making (and eating) cheesecake! 

I’ve not yet tasted a cheesecake I’ve disliked, it’s safe to say that I love them all!

I shared a cheesecake recipe back in March with these Mini Cheesecakes: an adorable individual serving of creamy New York cheesecake. In fact, my friend, Cassie, baked these only the other day and I instantly craved them all over again!

Cookie Butter Cheesecake WJBN

I’m the greatest fan of spreads like Nutella (isn’t it pretty much everybody’s favourite?) and peanut butter in particular. When I visited New York on a college trip, my friends and I made sure we popped into Trader Joe’s and we all stocked up on tasty goodies ready to bring back to the UK – I made sure to pick up mainly stuff I knew I couldn’t get back home in the supermarket. I remembered picking up a jar of cookies and creme spread, which was literally the BEST thing I’d ever tasted! It was a sad day when I scooped the last of the spread from the jar and even sadder when I couldn’t find something similar to it at my local supermarket…

But that’s totally ok, because there’s still plenty of pretty amazing spreads available on our supermarket shelves, including Biscoff aka spiced cookie butter spread. One of my good memories of food from holiday was from my last trip abroad to Ibiza last September when we found an amazing frozen yoghurt shop and you could have melted cookie butter poured over the top of your fro-yo. You guessed right, it was so yummy!

That conveniently moves me onto this recipe I have lined up for you today. A little while ago I picked up a jar of Biscoff – it’s something I rarely buy even though I absolutely love this divine spread and this is partly because I know I have zero self-control when I know I have some of it in my kitchen cupboard.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Biscoff is a spread made from crushed speculass/speculoos biscuits which are spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. The biscuit is a favourite in Belgium and The Netherlands, but it’s become increasingly popular all around the world. 

There are so many different cheesecakes you can make, but I’ve had sharing a no-bake cheesecake with Biscoff on my agenda and I’m pleased to finally tick it off my to-do list.

I’ve actually been making this cheesecake for years, but I never really thought about sharing it until I really fancied making it again recently. The cheesecake sets up perfectly without the need for any gelatine added, which is great if you’re like me, a vegetarian and unable to eat certain desserts because of some of the ingredients added.    

For the biscuit base I used crushed gingernut biscuits, but you can use actual Lotus speculoos biscuits. I used my speculoos to decorate the cheesecake, but it’s good to remember to decorate your cheesecake with biscuits right before you want to serve it, otherwise the biscuits will soften and lose their crunchiness. 

I simply decorate my cheesecake with swirls of whipped cream and some crushed speculoos biscuit crumbs – but you can be as imaginative with your decoration as you want. 

(Serves 10-12)

Biscuit Base:

300g gingernuts or speculoos biscuits (such as Lotus brand)

140g (salted or unsalted) butter, melted and cooled slightly 

Cheesecake Filling:

300ml double cream, chilled

3 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted

500g full-fat cream cheese, softened – I leave mine out at room temperature for an hour to soften 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) 

300g Biscoff cookie butter spread

Method:

  1. To make the biscuit base: Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter until moistened. Press the biscuit crumbs into a 23cm springform tin until compact. Put to one side while you make the cheesecake filling.
  2. To make the cheesecake filling: In a large mixing bowl whisk the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form. In another large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese with the vanilla and cookie butter spread until combined and mixture is smooth. Fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake mixture and mix until all the ingredients are combined. 
  3. Spread the cheesecake filling on top of the biscuit base you prepared earlier and smooth the top with either the back of a spoon, a spatula or a palette knife. Cover the cheesecake and leave it to set in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight. 
  4. When ready to serve remove the cheesecake from the springform tin and decorate as desired. I love whipping extra cream and sprinkling each slice with crumbles of Lotus speculoos biscuits. You could also melt some extra Biscoff cookie butter spread and drizzle that over your slice of cheesecake.  
  5. The cheesecake will keep stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Enjoy!

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Marble Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream

A perfect cupcake for when you can’t decide whether you fancy chocolate or vanilla cake! This simple cupcake recipe consists of chocolate and vanilla cake batter layered together and decorated with a swirl of milk chocolate buttercream. 

Sometimes I want a chocolate cake and other times I really crave a vanilla cake, but when you combine the two in a cake you’ve created a truly special cupcake treat.

My sister bakes amazing marble cakes and this cake really is a super popular birthday cake choice in our house because you get the taste of chocolate and vanilla together!

I asked on my social media platforms what cupcake recipes you wanted to see on the blog and I had some delicious responses. My friend, Alice, suggested baking marble cupcakes and I figured because I hadn’t shared a marble cake/cupcakes recipe on here yet, it was time to do something about that!

As you know already if you’ve baked/read recipes from this blog you’ll know I only share easy recipes that are totally fail-proof. The last thing I want you to do is waste your time and money on recipes that don’t work and you’re unhappy with. I love putting a big smile on you and your family and friends faces with my recipes!

This cupcake batter is super easy to prepare. It’s made the same way I make the batter for this Classic Victoria Sandwich, but this time we’re splitting the batter into two and adding cocoa powder to one part of the batter. The only bad part is there’s one more bowl to wash up once you’re done baking, but these cupcakes are worth it!

To construct the cupcakes ready for baking, once you’ve filled your cupcake/muffin tin with paper cases, dollop a spoonful of vanilla batter in one paper case, then repeat the previous step this time with a spoonful of chocolate batter on top of the vanilla batter (or do this the opposite way round if you prefer). Then continue to repeat alternating the batters until all the paper cases are 3/4 full and you’ve used up both cake batters. Seriously so easy and these cupcakes look impressive when they’re baked!

The cupcakes suit a whole host of different buttercream recipes. I picked to decorate my cupcakes with milk chocolate buttercream, but cream cheese frosting or even vanilla or white chocolate buttercream would pair well with the cupcakes.

I used my favourite ultra creamy milk chocolate buttercream recipe to top the cupcakes. I had a slight ingredient problem in my kitchen before baking these as I was running low on icing sugar and we couldn’t get any in our shopping and to make things worse I also discovered that my muffin tin was thrown out by accident < every bakers absolute nightmare! So first I had to order a new tin to bake the cupcakes and then I had to improvise by making icing sugar ready for my buttercream! Simply using my blender (which I use to make smoothies) I blended caster sugar with cornflour. I worried how it would turn out, but I’m impressed how easy it was to make my own.

If you’re looking for a new cupcake recipe to bake during lockdown, here’s my super simple and yummy marble cupcakes. These cupcakes lasted less than a day in our house, I think that tells you just how good these cupcakes taste. Enjoy everyone!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Cupcake Batter: 

175g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

175g caster or granulated sugar

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

175g self-raising flour, sifted

50ml milk

3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

Milk Chocolate Buttercream:

125g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

200g milk chocolate, melted and cooled slightly – you can use a mix of dark/milk or use all white chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3-4 tablespoons double cream or milk (sometimes I add a tablespoon extra to make it creamier)

Small pinch of salt (add a pinch extra if using unsalted butter)

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. To make the cupcakes: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until creamy and pale in colour. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well before adding the next and also add the vanilla – don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled as once you add the flour it will be fine.
  3. Now fold through the sifted flour and once the flour is nearly all mixed through add the milk and mix until combined.
  4. Split the batter into two portions – this doesn’t have to be exactly equal. Then stir the cocoa powder into one batter until incorporated.
  5. Take a spoonful of vanilla batter and add to the paper case, then place a spoonful of the chocolate batter in top. Repeat until all the cake batter has been used up.
  6. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of one of the cupcakes. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then transport them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  7. To make the buttercream: Cream the butter for a minute to soften. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat for about 5 minutes until it’s fluffy and has turned pale in colour. Add the melted chocolate along with the cream and a pinch of salt. Mix until just combined.
  8. Decorate the cupcakes as desired, I pipe buttercream on the tops of mine but you can also spread the buttercream with knife on top of the cupcakes. Add sprinkles if you like – I used white chocolate stars from Cake Angels Sweetie Pie Sprinkles which were kindly gifted to me to bake with during lockdown.

The cupcakes will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Love cupcakes? Try these recipes next!

Butterscotch Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Enjoy!

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Carrot Cake Traybake

Just in time for Easter, I’m serving you a piece of my favourite carrot cake traybake. This delightful cake is full of delicious flavour from cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and it’s covered with a rich homemade cream cheese frosting. This recipe will be a real treat for all carrot cake lovers out there! 

What’s your favourite cake? If you asked me that exact question my list would probably be endless. I really do honestly love any kind of cake and I believe there’s definitely a cake perfect for every occasion.

Since it’s Easter week and you might need a last minute Easter bake to make today or over the weekend, I decided I would share my go-to easy carrot cake recipe again with updated photographs.

Ever since I baked these Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting I’ve had my mind set on adapting the recipe into a traybake. The first time I shared this carrot cake recipe, I baked it as a layer cake, however how delicious it was I decided the original recipe needed to be made easier.

Traybake’s are perfect for times when you just don’t have the energy to put a lot of effort into decorating a cake. They’re super easy to make and the decoration can be kept as minimal as you want. I find layer cakes too much of a faff, but traybake’s are so much easier to decorate and style up, so if you’re of the same opinion as me then I hope you’ll love my take on a classic carrot cake.

To make my carrot cake extra special I like to add ground cinnamon, ginger and freshly grated nutmeg. Sometimes I also add orange zest and chopped walnuts – I’ve included these in the recipe incase you feel like adding those in too. If you don’t want to add walnuts you can swap them for a different nut like pecans or even leave them out and replace with raisins.

Carrot cake is extremely adaptable so you can pick and chose whatever add-ins you want in your cake and truly make it your own!

The cake is dairy-free, however for a dairy-free frosting/icing you could swap the cream cheese frosting for a drizzle icing. Try adding some of the juice from a lemon or orange and whisk the juice into icing sugar to create a drizzle icing that’s perfect for decorating your traybake.

To decorate my carrot cake, once the cake has completely cooled I use a serrated knife and slice the cake into 12 neat bars/squares and pipe the cream cheese frosting on the top of each piece of cake. I was kindly gifted a box of cake decorating goodies from the lovely team over at Cake Angels and I thought it would be fun to decorate my cake with the cute Carrot Wait for Cake sugar decorations and the Rainbow Sprinkles – how fun do these look?

(Serves 12-15)

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake Traybake:

150g dark or light brown sugar

150g caster or granulated sugar

300ml sunflower or vegetable oil

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

300g plain flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated is recommended)

300g carrots, peeled and grated – weigh to ensure this is correct

100g nuts (pecans or walnuts), chopped into small pieces (optional)

Zest from 1-2 oranges (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting: 

100g butter, softened

100g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

300g full-fat cream cheese, softened – I leave mine out at room temperature for an hour to soften

Method:

  1. To make the carrot cake traybake: Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33cm) tin with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the sugars, oil and eggs until smooth.
  3. In another bowl sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture a little at a time and whisk until completely incorporated.
  4. Now fold through the grated carrot, chopped walnuts and orange zest (if using). Spread the cake batter out into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is well risen and a cake tester when inserted into the centre comes out clean without any uncooked batter remaining.
  5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then carefully transport to a wire rack and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
  6. To make the cream cheese frosting: Cream the softened butter in a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes to soften. Now add the sifted icing sugar and vanilla and starting on a low speed mix to combine. Continue to cream for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  7. Once creamed add the softened cream cheese. Turn the mixer up and whisk on high speed for another 1-2 minutes or until the frosting is creamy, thick and smooth. You need to use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment to make sure the frosting reaches the correct consistency.
  8. Spread the top of the cake with the cream cheese frosting or cut the cake into squares and spread the top of each piece with the frosting or pipe the frosting on the top of each piece of cake. Further decorate with chopped nuts or sprinkles as desired. The cake will store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days, but if you’re not consuming it right away then I recommend refrigerating the cake.

Recipe Notes:

  • The weight of the carrots is based on weighing the carrots after they have been peeled and topped and tailed.
  • When adding the spices, I like to add a heaping teaspoon of each spice. This is down to personal preference as I really love the flavour the spices add to the cake.
  • This cake serves 12 generous portions or up to 15 smaller pieces.

More Easter recipe inspiration!

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Traybake

Easter Chocolate Nest Cakes

Enjoy!

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Twix Caramel Fudge

Chunks of yummy Twix chocolate bar mixed through smooth and creamy salted caramel fudge. 

I know we’re all going through difficult, uncertain times and I fully understand that you might be finding it hard to get access to ingredients at the moment, but I hope to continue spreading positivity and share recipes with you based on ingredients that are currently available to me. The last week I’ve truly been surprised at how many people have visited my blog for recipes and sharing pictures of recipes they’ve been baking – something I’m extremely grateful for and further encourages me to carry on publishing content on my little corner of the internet.

So today, I have a delicious treat for you try. Let’s crack on with a new recipe.

Say hello to this glorious Twix Caramel Fudge.

I know I say it every time, but this fudge recipe is special! One bite and you’re gonna reach for piece after piece – I know that because that’s exactly what I do every time I’ve made this fudge! This fudge is super decadent and sweet, so you can cut the pieces of fudge however big or small you want – some of my pieces were different sizes. This recipe makes roughly 40 small pieces of fudge, minus a few pieces you’re probably likely to devour as soon as you’ve sliced the fudge up!

I’ve created a few fabulous fudge recipes, including this Bourbon Biscuit Fudge and a blog favourite for many years, Custard Cream Fudge, but I’ve always been determined to share more.

I hadn’t made fudge since sharing my bourbon biscuit version last year, which is ironic because I promised to share more fudge creations of mine sooner. I think I just got carried away with all the other delicious recipes I’ve discovered along the way.

The first time I made this caramel fudge, the quantities were wrong as I made too much fudge for the tin I was using, so when I came to cut it up the fudge hadn’t properly set and was very soft and not particularly easy to cut into neat pieces. Though the taste was spot on, I knew the recipe needed altering before I was confident sharing it.

When I started considering new fudge flavours to share with you, I realised that I’ve never shared a caramel-flavoured fudge with you before. I’m caramel obsessed, which you might have already guessed with me sharing these Butterscotch Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream and this No-Bake Cheesecake, both showcasing yummy caramel/dulce de leche.

While I think this fudge is delicious left as it is, I put some add-ins into my batch of fudge. Caramel/millionaire’s shortbread is a popular bake, it’s basically a shortbread base, topped with a layer of caramel and then it has a thin layer of chocolate on top of the caramel.

To incorporate the millionaire’s theme into this fudge, I chopped up some chocolate bars and mixed those through the fudge. I chose Twix bars as these are one of my favourite chocolate bars. I don’t actually eat chocolate bars that often, so when I want to treat myself to one I tend to go for a bar or confectionery that has biscuit/cookie, caramel and chocolate.

The Twix bars work amazingly well in this caramel fudge. I love the smooth, creamy fudge that melts in the mouth and then the crunch and chewiness the Twix adds to every scrumptious bite of this fudge.

(Makes 40 pieces)

Ingredients:

240ml (1 cup) sweetened condensed milk

180g (1 cup) dark or light brown sugar

115g (1/2 cup or 1 stick) butter (salted or unsalted)

2 tablespoons golden syrup – light corn syrup can be used as a substitute

A generous pinch of salt – table salt or sea salt flakes are both great to use

200g (1 and 1/3 cup) white chocolate, chopped

10 x 23g Twix chocolate bars, chopped – I used half milk chocolate and half white chocolate Twix

Method:

  1. Line a 20cm / 8-inch square baking tin with parchment paper and set aside for later. In a large saucepan place the condensed milk, sugar, butter, golden syrup and salt. Heat gently on a low heat stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat up to medium and continue stirring the fudge until it’s simmering and has thickened and coats the back of a spatula/spoon – this will take about 5 minutes.
  2. Once the fudge has thickened, remove it from the heat and stir through the white chocolate and continue to mix until all the chocolate has melted.
  3. Gently fold through 3/4 of the chopped Twix bars – be quick with this and don’t over mix otherwise the chocolate bars will break down and melt too much. The chocolate will melt slightly, but swirled through the fudge this looks and tastes really good!
  4. Transport the fudge mixture into prepared tin and top with the remaining chopped Twix bars.
  5. Cover the fudge and leave it set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results. Once the fudge has set, cut it up in pieces and serve.

Recipe Notes:

  • Fudge will keep stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Without the chocolate bars incorporated into the fudge it will last for up to a fortnight.
  • I bought two packs of Twix that had 9 x 23g bars in each pack. If you only want to buy one pack, then you can use 9 bars (instead of 10) chopped up in the fudge.
  • Following on from the note above, you can use supermarket own brand chocolate caramel bars if preferred.

Recipe inspired by Sweetest Menu

Enjoy!

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Lemonade Scones (3 Ingredient Recipe)

Once you’ve baked these 3 ingredient lemonade scones you’ll never go back to baking ordinary scones ever again! This recipe produces super light and fluffy scones without all the fuss and hassle. Top with cream and jam to make your own classic British cream tea. 

Scones are a traditional British tea time treat, you’ll find them in bakeries, supermarkets, farm shops and tea rooms all over the country. As you might know already, I’m trained chef. I’ve worked in a lot of different catering environments since graduating and one of my first jobs out of culinary school was working as a baker/chef at a tea room in my home town.

This was my dream job because in between being in charge of the kitchen and sending out orders throughout the day I was baking lots of treats for the customers visiting the tearoom. We’re talking delicious cakes, the gooiest chocolate fudge brownies, savoury tartlets, sausage rolls and homemade gluten-free scones.

If you ever visit the UK then a trip to a British tearoom is essential during your time here. In Britain there’s several debates around scones and cream teas – if you didn’t know already, the UK has several different accents and dialects and all over the country we pronounce our words differently to one another. Do you pronounce scone to rhyme with ‘cone’ or ‘gone’? I’m from down south (Eastern England), so I pronounce mine to rhyme with ‘cone’.

Also, what goes first the cream or the jam? In Cornwall it’s the jam first and cream on top and the other way around in Devon. I don’t really mind whether the cream or the jam goes first, all I know is that I love scones and don’t want to waste any time from devouring them!

The ingredients used in this scone recipe I’m sharing today make this recipe totally different to the majority of sweet scone recipes which typically include butter, sugar, flour and buttermilk/milk or eggs to bind it into a dough. The process usually involves rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients, however with this recipe minimal effort is required as you simply mix all the ingredients together until a dough forms.

The butter is replaced with double cream and the sugar is replaced with full sugar lemonade. Just be sure to use full sugar lemonade, I say this because we’re not adding any sugar to the scone dough, so all the sweetness will come from the sugar in the lemonade. I used a supermarket own brand lemonade and that worked wonderfully.

Tasting these scones transported me back to short breaks I’ve been on in the UK and eating scones in beautiful British destinations including lovely Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds. I’ve enjoyed a lot of afternoon teas, some with family and friends and most recently I attended a baby shower afternoon tea for my cousin. We enjoyed some of the most delicious scones there – this is my favourite part of an afternoon tea selection and I could definitely eat scones with cream and jam all day long!

So there’s a few points to take into account when making scones. The most important thing to remember is to handle the dough as little as possible. Avoid over mixing the scone dough otherwise your scones will be dense and tough. Also, scones aren’t meant to look picture perfect – they’re supposed to be odd shapes and not uniform in appearance, this is all part of their charm!

From the photograph above I wanted to slice a scone open and show you just how fluffy these scones are. I found this recipe in the food section of a magazine I read every month and thought it looked interesting enough to bake. I was dubious of how well this recipe would go, but still I decided to go ahead and bake the scones just to see. We tasted one before I decided to quickly set up all my food photography props and grabbed my camera to take some snaps to share with you!

What a treat to bake your mum this upcoming Mother’s Day in less than a weeks time. Serve your freshly baked scones with pots of clotted/whipped cream and curd or jam. My sister and I are preparing a little afternoon spread for our mum to celebrate and we’ll be baking a batch of these scones and we can’t decide between baking this yummy Carrot Cake Traybake, Carrot Cupcakes or Pumpkin Cake (all three are our mum’s favourites) – which cake would you pick?

(Makes 10-12)

Ingredients:

400g self-raising flour, sifted

175ml double cream

175ml full sugar lemonade

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C / 200°C Fan / 425°F / Gas Mark 7. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, put the flour in first and then add the wet ingredients. Mix gently until a dough comes together. Tip the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and press out until it’s 2cm in thickness.
  3. Using a 6cm cutter gently cut out the scones. Dipping the cutter in flour will stop the scones from sticking and will avoid twisting the cutter,  as this will stop them from being uneven, cut  10-12 scones from the dough – you will need to carefully re-roll the  leftover dough.
  4. Evenly space the scones out on the baking trays and bake for 12-15 minutes until they’re risen and lightly golden in colour.
  5. Transport the scones to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before serving. I highly recommend topping the scones the British way with lashings of cream and strawberry/raspberry jam.

Scones will keep stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. They’re best eaten on the day of baking.

Enjoy!

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Mini Cheesecakes

Made in a muffin tin, these mini cheesecakes are a yummy bitesize dessert with whipped cream and decorated with various toppings. This easy recipe makes a dozen delicious mini vanilla cheesecakes – I dare you not to eat the whole batch!

Originally posted in January 2015, recipe and photographs updated March 2020.

We’re pressing fast forward and jumping straight from 2015 to 2020 with the recipe re-do I’m sharing today! Back in 2015, little did I know many times I would bake these divine (and super adorable) mini cheesecakes. I had so much fun going back and baking an older blog recipe and I’m really pleased with the updated photographs I’ve taken of these cheesecakes.

These mini vanilla cheesecakes are scrumptious little bites of creamy cheesecake bliss and what’s so amazing about this recipe is that you can bake a cheesecake in a muffin tin! I even adapted the recipe by adding lemon juice and zest to the cheesecake filling to make Mini Lemon Cheesecakes (one of the most viewed recipes on my blog).

It’s not really a secret, I think I’ve probably told you a million times already that cheesecake is my favourite dessert? Chocolate brownies/cake is a very close second, but cheesecake (something I used to hate when I was younger) takes the crown for my most loved dessert ever.

I usually prefer No-Bake Cheesecake, but lately I’ve been really enjoying baked cheesecakes, as when made well, they’re super light and creamy and a gourmet dessert that’s pretty hard to resist.

This recipe perfect for when you don’t have the time to make a whole cheesecake, they take less than half the time to make compared to a full-sized cheesecake baked in springform tin does! These mini cheesecakes taste remind me of my favourite New York Baked Cheesecake, but you won’t have to wait as long to devour these. I love cheesecake a lot, but sometimes I don’t want a big cheesecake hanging around in my kitchen – it’s too tempting for a massive cheesecake fan like myself to fight the urge to grab slice after slice of cheesecake straight from the fridge!

Mini Baked Cheesecakes

As the cheesecakes bake they will rise slightly and upon cooling the cheesecakes will sink a little and may even develop a dip in the centre. But don’t worry too much about this as you can pile on toppings and hide this and if your cheesecakes do happen to crack you can cover it up very easily!

Once baked the cheesecakes will need to be left to cool completely to room temperature, then cover the tray tightly and chill the cheesecakes for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results. I do recommend chilling overnight if you have the time, as this will make a lot of difference regarding the taste and texture of your cheesecakes.

I chose to top my batch of cheesecakes with various toppings like homemade raspberry sauce, whipped cream, chopped strawberries and because it’s nearly Easter, I topped a few of my cheesecakes with Cadbury mini eggs. Decorate the cheesecakes right before you’re planning to serve them otherwise the toppings will go soft from the moisture in the cheesecake.

Because these are vanilla cheesecakes they suit lots of flavours. Instead of a fruit coulis/sauce why not drizzle the tops with caramel, chocolate sauce or a spoonful of curd or jam. You could even sprinkle over some chocolate chips or curls, top with pieces of your favourite chocolate bar or scatter over chopped nuts.

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Biscuit Base:

150g digestive biscuits (1 and 1/2 cups of biscuit crumbs), crushed – alternatively you can use graham crackers

2 tablespoons caster or granulated sugar (optional)

70g (5 tablespoons) butter (salted or unsalted), melted

Cheesecake Filling:

450g (16 ounces / 1lb) full-fat cream cheese, softened – I leave mine out at room temperature for an hour to soften

130g (2/3 cup) caster or granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 170°C / 150°C Fan / 325°F / Gas Mark 3. Line a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

2. Mix together the biscuit crumbs with the melted butter until well combined. Using a tablespoon measure distribute the biscuit crumbs into the muffin cases and press down with a teaspoon until level. Bake the biscuit bases for 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

3. Whilst the biscuit bases are cooling make the cheesecake filling. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer beat the cream cheese for to soften. Gradually add the sugar and once it’s all added continue to mix for another minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix through – at this point make sure you scrap down the base and sides of your mixer to make sure the batter and ingredients are all well incorporated.

4. Evenly distribute the cheesecake batter between the paper liners – spoon roughly 3 tablespoons of the batter into each prepared mini cheesecake base making sure you fill 2/3 of the way up of each. (I start with a tablespoonful in each case and go round again until the batter mix is used up.)

5. Bake the cheesecakes for 22-24 minutes or until the centres are just set. Once set take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, gently run a butter knife around the outside of the muffin case to help release the cheesecakes from the tin, as the biscuit base can sometimes release some butter which makes the case stick slightly. The cheesecakes will keep stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes: 

  • For the biscuit base I like using a plain flavoured biscuits like digestives or rich tea. Graham crackers are a good substitute for overseas readers.
  • To save you time weighing out ingredients: 150g of digestive biscuits crumbs is exactly 10 digestive biscuits and that’s 1 and 1/2 cups of biscuit crumbs for anyone using cup measurements.
  • I like adding a couple of tablespoons of sugar to my biscuit base to sweeten it, however this is optional and you don’t have to add any sugar to the base ingredients if you prefer not to.

Enjoy!

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Chickpea Tikka Masala

Tasty and filling chickpea curry is a quick weeknight vegan dinner served with rice, chapatis, naan bread or poppadoms. Lunch/dinner will be ready and on your table in less than 30 minutes from start to finish.  

Curry is one my many favourite meals and it’s become a staple dinner of mine. It’s delicious, full of vibrant flavours, but I’m sure you’d probably never have guessed how easy and quick it is to make yourself?

One of my work colleagues is extremely kind and often brings me in authentic vegetarian Indian curries and chapatis to take home and have when I finish work for the day. It’s something I really appreciate as once I get in from work, having been on my feet all day long I don’t usually feel like cooking anything for myself.

Her chickpea and potato curry is especially amazing and it tastes so good. I love making vegetable curries myself, but the recipe I usually make takes a long time (a couple of hours) for the sauce to simmer before it’s ready to serve. I wanted to make a curry that wouldn’t take as long to prepare, but didn’t lack any flavour.

I’ve made a lot of chickpea curries myself, but this one is my favourite yet. I found the recipe on Loving It Vegan and made just a couple of small changes to the original recipe by adding curry powder as well as garam masala and some mango chutney for sweetness – I love adding mango chutney to my homemade curries and if you’ve never tried it then you must!

Once all the curry ingredients are in your saucepan just cover the pan with a lid and leave your curry to simmer away for 10-15 minutes. Then, when it’s ready, garnish your bowl of curry with lime wedges, chopped green or red chillies and fresh coriander/cilantro.

The curry has a nice light spiced flavour and the coconut milk adds incredible creaminess making this curry a fusion between a korma and tikka masala.

I know this recipe is one I will make often from now on and I’m considering changing it up and adding different vegetables like bell peppers, green beans, mushrooms and potato the next time I make it, which I’m sure will be just as yummy.

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil – adds amazing flavour but you can substitute with vegetable oil

1 red or white onion, finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon curry powder – I use medium tikka curry powder

1/4 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon cumin – ground or seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 x 400g (14 ounce) cans of chickpeas, drained

400ml (14 ounce) can chopped tomatoes

400ml (14 ounce) can coconut milk – I use full-fat

1 tablespoon mango chutney or sugar

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. On medium heat, melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until softened. Now add the spices (curry powder, garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne) and toast the spices off for a further 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add the drained chickpeas, tomatoes and coconut milk along with the mango chutney or sugar and season with salt and black pepper. Cover the curry and leave it to simmer for 10-15 minutes until it’s thickened slightly and the flavours have all blended together.
  3. Serve the curry over rice with chapati, naan bread or poppadoms. We like squeezing fresh lime over the top before eating. The curry will keep stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

More vegan recipes to try next! 

Roasted Vegetable Couscous – a great Mediterranean inspired meal served with falafel

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Patatas Bravas

Enjoy!

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Vegan Banana Bread

This easy and simple banana bread is a delightfully good vegan treat that uses everyday ingredients and tastes like it’s been made in a bakery! Vegans and non-vegans alike will rave about this recipe. 

 

I’m finally back after a bit of time off over the festive season with my first recipe of 2020 and I guarantee that you’ll go bananas for it!

This year I’m partaking in Veganuary, for the 31 days of this month (at least) I’m going entirely vegan and I’m eating a completely plant-based diet. So far I’ve been really enjoying veganism. Before going vegan I’d been vegetarian for a while and wanted a new challenge to take on.

My sister has gone vegan too and as a family we’ve all been thoroughly enjoying sitting down at the end of the day to devour a vegan feast each night for dinner. This is actually the first time in ages I’ve felt super excited about baking/cooking, for a while I’d felt uninspired but going vegan has encouraged me to really think about what exactly I’m eating and where it’s sourced from.

I also wanted to set myself the goal of sharing more vegan recipes on my blog as I only have a few on here and want to expand the collection. I’ve worked hard in my kitchen at home to bake some vegan treats. Whether you’re following a vegan lifestyle, cannot eat dairy/eggs or simply just want to try some vegan food, then I hope you’ll like the recipes I will be sharing.

I’ve trialled this banana bread recipe out a couple of times as I wanted it to be perfect before posting on here. Every time I’ve baked it, it’s disappeared within a couple of days and as soon as the last slice has been eaten, I’ve been craving it all over again!

This vegan banana bread uses no out of the ordinary ingredients that are sometimes found in vegan bakes. You’ll just need overripe bananas, sugar (either caster/granulated or brown sugar), oil, vanilla extract, non-dairy milk (I use soya), apple cider vinegar, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. The soya milk was literally the only ingredient I had to go out and buy to make this recipe, but since going vegan my fridge is now full of plant milk!

My taste testers all agreed that this vegan banana bread is identical in taste and texture to my classic banana bread recipe – dare I say it that I think this version is even better! I’ve adapted this recipe slightly from Betty Crocker’s Vegan Banana Bread recipe and highly recommend you give it a try if you’re as crazy for banana bread as I am.

Mix the recipe up as much as you want by adding extra ingredients such as chopped nuts (hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts) or even some good quality dark chocolate.

Also, if you like spices in your bakes, try stirring a touch of ground cinnamon or mixed spice into the batter.

I have one successful vegan sweet recipe ticked off my list, now on to the next!

Ingredients:

60ml (1/4 cup) unsweetened plant milk – I like using soya milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3 overripe bananas – you’ll want the skin to be spotty and turning black

200g (1 cup) sugar – you can use a mix of caster/granulated or dark/light brown sugar

120ml (1/2 cup) oil – you can use coconut, canola/vegetable or even melted vegan butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

240g (2 cups) all-purpose/plain flour

3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Line a 900g / 2lb loaf tin with parchment paper, leaving some paper overhanging the edges of the tin so you can lift the banana bread out easily once it’s baked. Set the tin aside for later. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
  2. In a small bowl or jug, add the soya milk and apple cider vinegar, stir and leave it for 5 minutes – this helps the cake to rise.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas until they’re smooth. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract and the milk/vinegar mixture and beat until smooth and completely combined. Now sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt over the top of the other ingredients and gently fold until no lumps of flour remain – be careful not to over mix the batter.
  4. Transfer the batter into the tin and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a cake tester when inserted into the centre comes out clean without any uncooked batter attached to the cake tester. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove the banana bread from the tin and leave it to cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Once the banana bread has cooled to room temperature, slice it up and enjoy. The banana bread will keep stored in an airtight container for up to one week. The banana bread is delicious served as it is or spread with vegan butter, chocolate hazelnut spread or peanut butter.

Enjoy!

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White Chocolate Coconut Snowball Cheesecake

Get into the Christmas spirit with a slice of this white chocolate cheesecake with a coconut biscuit base and topped with desiccated coconut, white chocolate and Raffaello truffles! 

Today, I have another Christmas recipe to share. I eat cheesecake a lot throughout the year, but even more so around Christmastime! I couldn’t let 2019 come to an end and not share one last cheesecake recipe this year in time for Christmas Day and the New Year.

I’ve taken this No-Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake I made for my blog in April 2016, having made that cheesecake on a whim for a dessert to serve for family friends we had coming over and because it proved so popular with our guests, I quickly changed my mind and declared it a blog-worthy recipe!

That certainly was a good decision as the cheesecake soon became (and still is) one of the most popular recipes on this website, it’s a recipe I always get brilliant feedback on from people who’ve made it and hearing people say that this white chocolate cheesecake is one of the best cheesecakes they’ve ever made puts a big smile on my face. So since this recipe receives many positive reviews, I’ve come up with the idea of putting a festive spin on it.

This coconut and white chocolate cheesecake will be the star the show on your Christmas table without a doubt, it’s a cinch to prepare and tastes amazing.

So to make this cheesecake different to my other recipe I made just a couple of changes. The biscuit base is made with Nice biscuits instead of digestives. If you’re not familiar with Nice biscuits, they’re coconut flavoured and have crunchy sugar crystals baked on the top and they’re very delicious! I believe they’re available in most supermarkets.

I think you’ll agree that coconut and white chocolate work well and really compliment each other.

To finish, decorate your cheesecake creation however you wish to. I didn’t want my decoration to be too elaborate so I stuck to a few simple finishing touches as sometimes less is more.

For the photographs I decorate the cheesecake with the Raffaello truffles which were the snowballs. For the slice of cheesecake pictured, I placed some white chocolate chips around the edge, then sprinkled the slice with desiccated coconut and popped a white chocolate coconut truffle on top just before serving.

(Serves 10-12)

Ingredients:

Coconut Biscuit Base:

300g Nice biscuits or other coconut flavoured biscuits

140g butter (salted or unsalted)

White Chocolate Cheesecake: 

600g full-fat cream cheese, softened – I leave mine out at room temperature for about an hour to soften

45g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

300ml double cream, chilled

300g white chocolate, broken/cut into small pieces

Decoration: 

Desiccated coconut

White chocolate chips or curls

Method:

  1. To make the biscuit base: Break the biscuits up into smaller pieces. Place in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin or place the biscuits in a food processor and process until they’re fine crumbs. Mix together with the melted butter. Press the biscuit crumbs into a 23cm springform cheesecake tin until compact and firm. Leave in the fridge whilst you make the cheesecake filling.
  2. To make the cheesecake filling: Melt the white chocolate over a bain-marie or in a heatproof bowl in the microwave in 20-second intervals. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Beat together the softened cream cheese with the icing sugar and vanilla. Now add the melted white chocolate and continue to mix until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream in two batches into the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Spread the cheesecake filling on the prepared biscuit base and smooth over with a palette knife or spatula. Cover and leave to set in the fridge for at least 6-8 hours or preferably overnight.
  6. To serve, decorate the top of the cheesecake with desiccated coconut, white chocolate chips/curls and Raffaello truffles.

The cheesecake will keep stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!

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Gingerbread Caramel Dodgers

Christmassy gingerbread biscuits with a decadent caramel filling. A seasonal twist on the British biscuits, jammy dodgers! 

Christmas is now less than a month away and December only a few days away. Christmas is a wonderful time of year for many, I really love the festivities and getting together with family and friends. Being a foodie, I also have a great time baking and eating lots of my favourite foods.

This year I’m really looking forward to having Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off work, last year was my first experience working on Christmas Day but this year I’m really happy to be spending the day catching up and relaxing with my family at home.

Since I was a kid, our family tradition on Christmas Eve is spending the entire day in the kitchen baking and getting all the preparation done for Christmas Day. My sister and I have tonnes of fun decorating a gingerbread house and then the evening we spend lounging around watching Christmas films and TV.

By the end of this blogging year I have plans to share a couple more Christmas recipes, the recipe I shared before this one is for Cinnamon Rolls and those are perfect your Christmas Eve/Day breakfast.

Today I have a scrumptious Christmas biscuit recipe for you, pop a plate of these on the table and they’ll be gone in moments.

I’ve baked different ginger biscuits for my blog, sharing these Gingerbread Men and Gingernuts previously. I’m a massive fan of anything gingerbread related and even more so over the festive season. I’m not a lover of a few typical Christmas foods like Christmas cake/pudding, mince pies or chocolate-mint/peppermint flavoured bakes/confectionery, so that’s why I always celebrate gingerbread over Christmas!

I love the idea of putting a delicious, Christmassy spin on the British classic, jammy dodgers! I’ve shared a recipe for classic Jammy Dodgers on my blog, but this Christmas version has the traditional gingerbread flavour from a combination of ground ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice and instead of jam it has a sweet caramel filling – are you swooning yet?

These homemade biscuits look cute and they’re such a special treat served with ice cream or dunked into a mug of hot chocolate or a glass of milk.

gingerbread caramel dodger recipe

(Makes 18-24)

Ingredients:

Gingerbread Dough:

100g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

75g dark or light brown sugar

3 tablespoons golden syrup

1 large free-range egg yolk

225g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

Caramel Filling:

Approx. 18-24 teaspoons caramel/dulce de leche

Method:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and mix until combined. Now sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice. Mix until a dough comes together. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and flatten into a flat disc, leave to chill in the fridge for one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper and set aside. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s approx. 1/4-inch in thickness. Using a 8cm cutter (mine has fluted edges) stamp out 36-48 rounds (how many you get depends on the size of the biscuit/cookie cutter you use) and arrange on the baking trays leaving some space between each biscuit.
  3. Using a smaller biscuit/cookie cutter (heart or star shapes are my favourite) and stamp out the centre of half the rounds. Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Leave to cool on the baking trays for a few minutes, then transport to a wire rack and leave the biscuits to cool completely. Bake off the mini biscuit/cookies for a little less time than the other biscuits as they’re smaller and won’t take as long to bake – I’d recommend 5-8 minutes depending on how crisp you like them.
  4. Assemble the biscuits by placing a heaped teaspoon of caramel on the whole biscuits and sandwich with the cut-out biscuits. Dust each biscuit with icing sugar and serve.
  5. The biscuits will keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes:

  • The biscuit dough needs chilling for at least one hour. The gingerbread dough can be made and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking or frozen for up to a month. If the dough is frozen when you’re ready to bake the gingerbread, leave the dough to defrost for 3-4 hours until it’s soft enough to roll out.
  • Bake the biscuits for a few minutes less if you prefer a softer textured biscuit.
  • If caramel isn’t your thing, alternatively fill the biscuits with apricot jam or lemon curd.

The original Jammy Dodgers recipe I’m sure you will like just as much

Love gingerbread just as much as I do? Try these cute and festive Gingerbread Men next

Gingernuts are another traditional British biscuit perfect for Christmastime

Enjoy!

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