Four ingredient vegan-friendly flapjack recipe! These chewy oat bars are a popular treat in the UK and are a sweet and squidgy bite of utter heaven!
I first shared my go-to flapjack recipe nearly 6 years ago (wow time has flown by!) and as I’ve very recently turned vegan, I’ve been baking and experimenting in my kitchen with lots of vegan bakes since the start of the year.
These British Flapjacks have overtaken my many other recipes and are now the most viewed recipe on this blog near enough every single day. If you’ve ever tasted a British-style flapjack, then you’ll understand why they’re so well liked. I mean what’s not to enjoy about a gooey oat bar made with butter, sugar and lots of golden syrup?
Flapjacks are a fantastic recipe to easily veganise because it’s only the butter that needs swapping for a plant-based alternative.
As I mentioned above these are British-style flapjacks, when I posted my flapjack recipe on the blog many years ago, readers from the US were confused and thought I’d gone completely bonkers as flapjacks in North America are actually pancakes. This side of the pond, when we talk about flapjacks we are in fact referring to these chewy oat bars!
On a recent weekend off work, it snowed heavily where I live, we cosied in at home and spent the weekend watching films, our Gilmore Girls box set and I did some baking to keep myself busy. I wanted to prepare something comforting but that was also easy to make, homemade flapjacks are the first recipe I turn to when I want to bake but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.
Flapjacks are pure comfort food to me, no-frills, just simple and incredibly delicious.
Get creative and add different ingredients to your batch of flapjacks, before baking why not stir though some chocolate chips or nuts! Or once the flapjacks are baked and sliced up, top them with a drizzle of cookie butter, peanut butter or dark chocolate.
Flapjacks make a great energising breakfast, mid-morning snack to power you through your working day or for an afternoon pick me up!
175g vegan butter – a vegan block plant butter or spread will both work
175g golden syrup
175g dark or light brown sugar
350g rolled oats (I like using jumbo rolled oats)
1. Preheat oven to 150°C / 130°C Fan / 300°F / Gas Mark 2. Line a 20cm / 8-inch square cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease well. Set aside.
2. Start by melting the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the golden syrup and sugar and continue to cook and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Stir through the oats. Once the oats are completely covered, spread the mixture out into the lined tin. Press down well with the back of a spoon or a spatula until firm.
3. Bake for 40 minutes, the flapjack should be slightly golden around the edges. Once cooked allow to cool in the tin completely – as they cool the flapjacks will crisp on top slightly. I recommend leaving the flapjacks in the fridge to set before slicing – I leave mine overnight and slice up the next day. Once cooled slice into 12-16 squares or 24-32 mini flapjack bites. The flapjacks will keep stored at room temperature or in the fridge for up to a week, but they’re not likely to last that long!
A classic bake made vegan. Soft and chewy vanilla cookie dough packed with gooey dark chocolate. These are the BEST vegan chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever make!
I have a treat for you today if you love chocolate chip cookies as much as I do. In my opinion, there’s really nothing better than a plate of homemade cookies fresh from the oven, sitting on the countertop ready to be eaten.
If you’ve been looking for a great vegan cookie recipe, then your search is over, as today I’m sharing the BEST Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies you’ll ever taste!
As I mentioned in this blog post, as of the start of 2021 I’m now following a vegan diet. I’d been vegetarian for a couple of years and decided the next step for me is embracing a totally plant-based diet. There are so many amazing vegan foods available, so we’re absolutely spoilt with the selection of choice we have and recipes we can veganise!
I get asked why I’ve decided to go vegan, there are many reasons but here I hope to inspire you too to delve into vegan baking and cookery with the new style of recipes I’m going to be sharing.
I’ve been on the quest to find lots more vegan recipes I can share on my blog. As I’m still very new to vegan baking, I want to showcase basic vegan baking recipes to start with. In the future I’d like to diversify and share vegan cakes, cupcakes, more cookies and some savoury recipes too. My sister has also made us some yummy vegan bakes, including Millionaire’s Shortbread and Banoffee Pie which we’ve all thoroughly enjoyed!
With my vegan baking, I’ve already mastered Vegan Brownies and Vegan Banana Bread, next after those I wanted to discover a great vegan cookie recipe. I was skeptical when testing out vegan cookie recipes, the first time I baked vegan cookies they didn’t look too promising, but after letting them cool on the baking trays and tasting them we couldn’t stop eating them. The only problem with the first batch of cookies is they spread a lot in the oven and joined up on the baking trays. They were thinner and crispy, but I prefer a slightly thicker and chewier cookie with crispy edges.
You wouldn’t even know these cookies are vegan. They taste just like a classic chocolate chip cookie without dairy or eggs.
My taste testers couldn’t even tell these were vegan and they happily demolished the cookies within a couple of days!
This cookie dough is so simple to make and you can make it all by hand. However, you can use an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer if you have either of those in your kitchen.
So let’s have a quick rundown of how to bake these cookies!
Start by taking softened plant butter (I recommend block plant butter instead of using a vegan baking spread as that has too high water content for baking) and mix that with (dark or light) brown sugar until creamy and super fluffy. Using all brown sugar adds a delicious caramel flavour and keeps the cookies super chewy. Now add the soya milk (or another plant milk of your choice) and the vanilla extract. After you’ve mixed the wet ingredients together, now add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until a cookie dough forms. The last step in preparing the cookie dough is folding through the dark chocolate chips/chunks until distributed.
You don’t have to chill the cookie dough, but I always chill my cookie dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so it’s less sticky and easier to roll when I’m ready to bake the cookies.
The cookies are best enjoyed fresh from the oven, once they’ve cooled for about 10-15 minutes they’re still slightly warm and the chocolate is ultra gooey. As they cool and time goes on, the chocolate in the cookies will harden a little but the cookies will remain chewy and soft textured.
You see that bowl of dark chocolate in the photos? It was the perfect snack to munch on while taking photos of these cookies. I just couldn’t stop my hand reaching for them and the cookies…
Next time I bake these cookies I might try adding some different flavourings, inspired by these Chunky Milk Chocolate Pecan Cookies I’ll add some toasted pecans to my next batch. The choices of add-ins are absolutely endless, you can add orange zest, desiccated coconut, spices like cinnamon or ginger or chopped up salted pretzels.
Whether you follow the recipe below exactly or add your own flavour spin, I really do hope you enjoy baking these incredible vegan cookies!
112g (1/2 cup) vegan butter – use block plant butter not a spread
200g (1 cup) dark or light brown sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) plant milk – I like using soya milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
250g (2 cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
1/2 teaspoon salt
175g (1 cup) vegan dark chocolate chips/chunks, plus extra to press into the tops of each cookie
In a large mixing bowl cream the softened plant butter with the sugar until creamy and fluffy.
Now add the plant milk and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
Place a sieve over the top of the mixing bowl and sift all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cornflour and salt) and mix until a dough starts to come together.
Stir through the chocolate chips/chunks until evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover the bowl and leave the dough in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes – this an optional step but I find it makes rolling the cookie dough easier, you can skip this step and roll the cookie dough straight away.
Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line two large baking trays with baking parchment or silicone baking mats. Divide the dough into 18-20 equally sized pieces – I weigh mine to be exact (aim for 45g portions). Place the balls of cookie dough out on the baking trays and leave room between each piece of cookie dough to allow the cookies to spread.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until they’ve turned a light golden colour. Once the cookies are out of the oven press a few extra chocolate chips/chunks into the tops of each cookie if desired.
Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking trays – as they cool they’ll firm up.
Once the cookies are cooled store them in an airtight container. The cookies will keep for up to 3 days, but like most baked goods they’re best enjoyed on the day of baking. Try the cookies with a glass of plant milk or scoops of vegan chocolate or vanilla ice cream for a delicious vegan dessert!
These 4 ingredient tropical inspired cream pots are flavoured with passionfruit and zesty lime – they’ll make a lovely addition to your Christmas menu.
Happy first day of December! It’s the last month of the year and what a rollercoaster 2020 has been. It’s crazy to think Christmas Day is less than a month away!
Have you started planning your Christmas festivities yet? I’m feeling quite organised this year, I’ve nearly got all my presents sorted out and we have our menu planned. We put our Christmas tree and all the decorations up this past weekend and I’m loving how bright and festive the house is looking with the twinkly lights and ornaments hanging on the tree.
This year we’re going partly vegan ready for starting Veganuary in January. We’ve discovered so many vegan recipes and are excited to find more. My sister and I made some delicious mushroom wellingtons for dinner one evening and they went down so well we decided they’d make a fabulous Christmas dinner, we have those planned to enjoy on Christmas Day along with all the trimmings – aka the best part of a roast dinner!
Last month I shared this divine Terry’s Chocolate Orange Traybake. That cake is super delicious and chocolatey, admittedly I can’t believe anyone could dislike chocolate, I do understand that not everybody likes chocolate as much I do and might be looking for an alternative idea. After a heavy main meal that’s rich in different flavours, it’s nice to end your meal with something light and refreshing.
For this recipe I took inspiration from these Lemon Posset. I’ve changed the flavours by adding a tropical twist and made it into a mousse textured dessert. It’s not like a manufactured mousse, these cream pots have more body and substance.
What gives these cream pots a tropical vibe is the delicious combination of passionfruit and lime. I know passionfruit can be a little pricy but it is Christmas after all and 2020 has been a year with plenty of ups and downs, so we deserve to treat ourselves as much as possible. Passionfruit is one of my favourite fruits, but when paired with a citrus fruit such as lime, it comes to life!
So let me do a run through of how to prepare these cream pots. Don’t worry if you don’t have much experience in the kitchen, this recipe isn’t overly complicated!
Start by straining the passionfruit pulp into a sieve set over a bowl or jug. Discard the seeds and squeeze and stir the lime juice into the passionfruit juice. Heat half the cream with sugar, stir until the sugar has dissolved then bring the cream mixture up the boil and simmer gently for 3 minutes exactly. Once the cream has cooked pour it into the fruit juices and stir – it will thicken up quickly and you’ll now need to leave this mixture to cool for 20 minutes. After it’s cooled, whisk the remaining cream until soft peaks have formed and then fold the passionfruit lime cream into the whipped cream. Fold until there’s no lumps of cream left and then transfer the mixture into your serving dishes.
I use a few recycled ramekins that you get those popular gooey chocolate puddings in (UK readers will know what I’m talking about) and some small glasses that had chocolate hazelnut spread in them. You can use whatever serving dishes you have, even small espresso cups would be great if you’re planning to serve more or want a petit fours sized treat.
A delicious Scottish-style shortbread biscuit is the perfect accompaniment to these tropical cream pots
Serve these cream pots with homemade Shortbread Biscuits. I wasn’t sure whether to add some desiccated coconut to the shortbread dough but in the end I stuck with my shortbread recipe as it’s always popular with my taste testers and this classic biscuit allowed the flavours in the cream pots to take centre stage. But who knows, next time if I’m feeling slightly more adventurous, then I might be tempted to give that idea a try!
Once the cream pots have had at least 6 hours to set (overnight is best as this allows the flavours to develop) they’ll be ready to serve. I recommend taking the cream pots out of the fridge and letting them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.
I hope you enjoy these cream pots as much as we did. They’re a refreshing end to a meal, aren’t too heavy and leave you wanting more!
1 lime, zested
100g caster or granulated sugar
600ml double cream
1 passionfruit – spread this out on the top of the cream pots when serving
Fresh berries – blueberries are my favourite to serve with these but raspberries or chopped strawberries taste great
Firstly start by zesting your lime and set the zest aside for later on. Scoop the flesh from the passionfruit into a sieve that’s set over a bowl or jug. Push the passionfruit pulp through the sieve using the back of a spoon to extract all the juice. Discard the seeds. Squeeze the lime juice into the passionfruit juice and mix together.
Put the sugar and 300ml of cream in a pan. Heat this mixture gently over a medium heat until the sugar has all dissolved, bring the mixture up to the boil and allow it to gently bubble away/simmer for 3 minutes. Take it off the heat and pour into the passionfruit and lime juice stirring to combine. Set this mixture aside to cool for 20 minutes.
Now in a large mixing bowl whisk the remaining 300ml of cream until soft peaks form. Take the passionfruit and lime cream mixture into the whipped cream and fold until combined then finish by folding through the lime zest.
Transfer the mixture into glasses, ramekins or small pots. Loosely cover the tops (make sure the cling film doesn’t directly touch the tops of cream pots) and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight ideally if you have the time.
Serve the chilled cream pots with shortbread biscuits. The cream pots will keep stored and covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Moist chocolate sponge cake topped with my favourite silky smooth and shiny dark chocolate ganache and decorated with chocolate orange confectionery. This recipe is one to bookmark for the festive season!
So after sharing these Vegan Brownies last month, I’m carrying on the chocolate theme today with this scrumptious traybake recipe!
I’m sitting here typing away while eating a piece of this cake and writing this blog post and I’m in complete and utter cake heaven. This yummy cake is soft, spongey and has a lovely chocolate flavour and a hint of orange that comes through in the background.
Dare I say the C-word?! Christmas is getting nearer and this year I’m getting ready ahead of time and trying to get as organised as I can in time. In typical Jessica fashion, I tend to end up running out of time to share my Christmas bakes before the big day arrives, but not this year as I’m determined to get through my list of recipes to make!
As it’s now November, from today onwards until Christmas I’ll be sharing recipes for the festive season and hopefully there’ll be recipes on here for when you fancy doing a spot of home baking!
Christmas this year will be little different to anything we’ve experienced before, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate (while keeping our loved ones and ourselves safe) and have a good time with lots of yummy food on our table. I’m working this year, so we’ll be having our Christmas dinner in the evening when I’m home from work. Boxing Day will be for relaxing and eating all the leftovers – something I’m very excited about regardless of the difficult situation we’re all facing at the moment.
A big part of Christmas for me and like many others is the food, comforting recipes that put a smile on your face, something I think we could all do with now. There’s certain ingredients that remind me of Christmas, it wouldn’t be Christmastime without Terry’s chocolate orange. As my family and I aren’t fans of your typical Christmas foods like mince pies or Christmas cake/pudding we have to be a bit more creative. You can tell how much of big fan of TCO I really am because I have a number of recipes which incorporate my favourite chocolate including this cheesecake, these cupcakes and these cookies!
This year TCO has given us an extra special Christmas gift by bringing back their famous white chocolate Terry’s chocolate orange. Everyone in my house has their favourite TCO flavour, mine is definitely the classic milk chocolate, but my sister loves dark chocolate oranges.
I’ve mentioned before that I like baking traybake cakes instead of layer cakes. I find layer cakes difficult to put together and baking is all about having fun and not worrying too much – I don’t want to stress about whether the layers are all even or if my cake is going to fall apart – this is a true story from a recent baking fail I had, I can laugh about it now but at the time I was beyond annoyed!
This is my go-to chocolate traybake. I chose to decorate mine with chocolate ganache, but you can swap the ganache for a chocolate buttercream or any favourite buttercream for that matter. I love this ganache recipe and if you feel like upping the chocolate orange flavour even more then you can use orange flavoured dark chocolate.
I used my Chocolate Traybake recipe and adapted it slightly to put a Xmas spin on the original version. I think there’s a traybake recipe for every season, in spring for Easter I love this Carrot Cake Traybake, in autumn I’m excited for my Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and now I have my Terry’s Chocolate Orange Traybake for the festive season! The final piece in the jigsaw puzzle is a summer traybake creation, but that’s something to work on next year…
So let’s run through how to prepare this scrumptious chocolate traybake. The first step is preheating your oven, once you’ve done that you’ll need to boil a kettle and mix cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda with boiling water, mix those ingredients together until combined and then leave the mixture to cool for 20 minutes. Now in a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and orange zest to release the natural oil in the orange, then add the eggs and vegetable oil and whisk until smooth. Add the chocolatey mixture you prepared earlier along with the flour. Give it one more quick whisk and then pour the cake batter in a traybake tin.
Bake the cake until it’s risen and a cake tester comes out without any uncooked batter attached to the tester. Now allow the cake to cool completely in the tin, as the cake is cooling it’s the ideal time to get the ganache prepared ready for decorating the cake later as the ganache will need leaving for a couple of hours to firm up.
Ganache is basically a really fancy spreadable chocolate icing. It’s not too sweet and is super simple to make: just take some dark chocolate (you can use orange flavoured dark chocolate here too) and chop the chocolate up. Place the chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Take a small pan and heat double cream and a tablespoon of golden syrup until just simmering and bubbles are appearing on the surface. Pour the hot cream on top of the chocolate and stir gently until mostly melted, then stir in a tablespoon of butter. Cover the very top of the ganache with clingfilm and leave it at room temperature for two hours until spreadable.
Once it’s ready, spread the ganache evenly across the top of the cake and decorate with the chocolate orange confectionery. I went for a mix of milk chocolate and mini white chocolate orange segments and chocolate orange sweets.
75g cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200ml boiling water
370g light brown sugar
Zest from one large orange
4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
180ml vegetable oil
200g self-raising flour, sifted
200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces – if you want even more chocolate orange flavour then use orange dark chocolate
200ml double cream
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted)
Milk Terry’s Chocolate Orange
White Terry’s Chocolate Orange – I used mini segments
Orange Chocolate M&M’s/Smarties
Sprinkles of your choice
To make the cake: In a small bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water. Mix until combined and then set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 23cm x 30cm baking tin that’s at least 4cm deep with baking parchment.
In a large mixing bowl rub the orange zest into the sugar to release the natural oil, then whisk the together with the eggs and oil until thoroughly combined. Add the chocolate mixture to this and whisk again until incorporated. Finally, add the flour and whisk until fully mixed.
Pour the cake batter into the cake tin. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester when inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once the cake is baked, leave it to cool in the cake tin completely.
To make the ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Heat the cream and golden syrup in a small saucepan until bubbles just begin to appear on the surface and just before it starts to come up to the boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until mostly melted. Now add the butter and continue to stir until smooth. Directly place a piece of clingfilm on the top of the ganache and leave it at room temperature for about two hours until spreadable. Decorate the cake with the chocolate orange segments and your choice of additional sprinkles. Leave the cake to set at room temperature for a couple of hours before slicing into squares.
The traybake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you feel your cake is drying out, revive it by popping a piece into a microwave and heating gently until the chocolate is melted and the cake is warm – this is really yummy with the molten chocolate so I recommend you give it a try!
Supremely fudgy chocolate brownies made completely vegan. You wouldn’t guess these chocolatey brownies are dairy free and made without any butter or eggs!
Hey readers! Today I’m changing it up and sharing a vegan bake I’m hoping you’ll fall in love with these brownies just as we have! Sometimes I like to delve in and do something different, come out of my comfort zone and share some vegan bakes.
My sister and I are both really into vegan food and we’re on the quest to find lots of vegan recipes to make. We’ve recently started switching our usual milk based products for plant-based alternatives and you really can’t tell the difference – such as this Creamy Porcini Mushroom Pasta we now make this yummy Italian pasta dish with oat cream and it tastes amazing and in our porridge for brekkie we use oat milk. It’s great to see how many vegan products are hitting our supermarket shelves, there’s a lot more choice available.
Back in January when partaking in Veganuary we baked some vegan recipes for the blog – I discovered a great Vegan Banana Bread and during January I started my journey to find a vegan brownie recipe. Unfortunately my baking that day didn’t go entirely to plan and I wasn’t successful finding the perfect vegan brownie recipe. The brownies I made were not pleasant at all, they were stodgy and didn’t have the texture I was aiming for, however we reluctantly tasted them, but they were thrown straight in the bin and the search for a blog worthy vegan brownie continued!
These brownies I photographed for my blog are only the second time I’ve baked vegan brownies so I was elated to finally land on a brilliant vegan brownie recipe and one I was happy enough to share.
Making a delicious vegan brownie isn’t an easy task. But these brownies are truly incredible, they’re rich even without butter, fudgy without eggs added and taste so chocolatey thanks to addition of both dark chocolate and cocoa powder. I wanted to bake a brownie that didn’t use any unusual ingredients a lot of vegan bakes call for. Many vegan brownie recipes ask for flax eggs, but I figured like myself most people don’t have flaxseeds/linseeds and other ingredients in their pantry or readily available where they live around the world.
Whilst we’re on the subject of vegan recipes, I’ve also got a number of vegan friendly savoury and sweet recipes of which I’m always looking to expand and add more to. Check them out below – most of them are savoury, so I’m endeavouring to share more vegan bakes in the future, so watch this space…
Here are some of my vegan recipes listed below for you to try:
Which is your favourite: the centre or edge piece of brownie?
The brownies in the centre are definitely my go-to, I love brownies super fudgy so I love a centre piece of brownie because they’re always extra gooey. If you like those warm, molten chocolate lava cakes then take one of these brownies and give it a quick blast in the microwave and it goes all soft and gooey – your kitchen also gets filled with a divine chocolate aroma when they’re heated up!
If you feel like switching the recipe up a bit, I’ve seen lots of recipes where bakers have swirled melted peanut butter or cookie butter spread into the brownie batter before baking, so next time I’ll be trying that.
These brownies are addictive and I had ZERO control around them, I found it hard work resisting going back for piece after piece of brownie, but luckily for me I had some willing taste testers who didn’t mind having a helping of these fabulous brownies too!
200g dark chocolate – I use 74% cocoa solids but ensure the chocolate contains no milk
140g plain flour
200g caster or granulated sugar
20g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
80ml vegetable oil
240ml plant milk – I like using soya milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Half a packet (approx. 7) Oreo cookies, Biscoff, Bourbon Cream Biscuits (all three of these are suitable for vegans) – these are optional
Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 20cm square cake tin with parchment paper and set aside.
Break the dark chocolate up and add to a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (bain-marie) – make sure the base of the bowl is not directly touching the water. Gently melt the dark chocolate until it’s smooth.
In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder. Give these ingredients a quick whisk together to combine then whisk in the oil, plant milk and vanilla extract until you have a smooth batter. Finally whisk in the melted chocolate until incorporated.
Transport the brownie batter to the lined tin. At this point you can top the brownies with vegan biscuits/cookies or extra vegan chocolate chips/chunks. We topped ours before baking with half a packet (7 biscuits/cookies) Oreos broken into smaller pieces.
Bake the brownies for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting to 12-16 squares. We left ours overnight before cutting. The brownies will keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Autumn isn’t complete without a serving of my mum’s apple and blackberry crumble recipe! This classic British pud is perfect served with lashings of warm custard, a scoop or two of ice cream or pouring/whipped cream. This simple 5 ingredient pudding is a crowd pleaser and incredibly easy to make.
I’m really excited to be collaborating with a fellow baking blogger today! Together Becky Anne Bakes and myself have been working on a collaboration to both share an autumn recipe that features blackberries! I have my mum’s classic Blackberry and Apple Crumble recipe to share with you today and make sure to head over to Becky’s blog and check out her yummy Blackberry Bakewell Tart recipe – this is certainly on my autumn baking list now. She has so many other delicious recipes you’ll be tempted to bake like these autumn inspired Apple Crumble Millionaires Shortbread and these Spiced Plum Flapjacks.
It feels as though autumn has arrived here in England and I couldn’t be more excited for all the autumnal desserts and recipes I’ll enjoy over the next couple of months, a few weeks ago we were in the middle of a heatwave and now it’s turned much cooler. So now it’s finally cool enough to be in the kitchen with the oven switched on, I’m ready to let my autumn baking/recipes commence!
Spoon/sprinkle the crumble topping on top of the fruit that’s in your baking dish. Using the back of the spoon, press the crumble mixture down slightly. The photo below shows you how your crumble should look before baking.
We eat apple crumble most Sunday’s during the autumn and winter after a roast (vegetarian in our household). This is one of my mum’s recipes, in fact it was the first recipe I had to make during my food technology lessons at secondary school. I remember being a nervous 11-year-old starting my first year of secondary school and being so worried I would mess up a simple crumble recipe.
Now fast forward 13 years later and now I’m a professionally trained chef, I’ve worked in different catering establishments and have also a food blog (I still enjoy working on so much!) that’s read by people all across the world. It’s crazy to think how much has changed since I attended my first food technology lesson all those years ago and was a frightened student who didn’t realise everything would be alright in the end!
We picked all the fruit for this recipe whilst out for walks in the local countryside. Every year I love picking blackberries and because we’ve had great weather near the end of our summer the blackberries are beautifully sweet and delicious – it’s been a wonderful year for British blackberries!
I hope you’ll love my mum’s crumble recipe as much as our family does! This really is a winning autumn/winter recipe – the fruit is naturally sweet and tastes wonderful and the crumble topping reminds me of shortbread with its luxuriously buttery and comforting taste.
4 medium apples – I recommend Braeburn, Bramley, Cox, Granny Smith or Golden Delicious
125g blackberries, fresh or frozen
250g plain flour
150g butter (salted or unsalted), at room temperature, softened slightly and cut into 1cm chunks – I get my butter out about an hour before baking
75g caster or granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
Prepare the fruit by peeling, coring and cutting the apples into 1-1.5cm chunks (you don’t have to be too accurate with the sizing). Place the apple chunks in a large baking dish. Top with the blackberries.
To make the crumble topping: Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and rub the butter into the flour until you have a fine breadcrumb texture – you can do this step in a food processor but it’s really so easy you don’t need to use any specialist equipment! Now stir through the sugar.
Evenly spread the crumble mixture over the top of the fruit covering it completely. Using the back of a spoon, gently press the crumble mixture slightly down on top of the fruit.
Bake the crumble for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden in colour on top and the fruit is cooked – this might take longer depending on your oven. Leave the crumble to cool for a few minutes before serving with warm custard, pouring/whipped cream or ice cream.
Taste your fruit before placing in the baking dish and if you feel it’s very tart and needs a bit more sweetening then add about a tablespoon of extra sugar on top of your fruit layer before topping with the crumble mixture.
Add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or mixed spice on top of the apples if you fancy.
If you don’t have blackberries, then you can leave them out of the recipe entirely or substitute with raspberries or any kind of frozen fruit you have in.
You can use brown sugar instead of caster/granulated for a slightly more golden looking crumble.
Also, if you want to you can add a handful of rolled oats to your crumble mixture – we do this sometimes and it tastes great!
The baked crumble is best eaten straight away fresh from the oven. I recommend reheating it in the oven until warmed through opposed to microwaving it.
Thick and chunky chocolate and pecan cookies are chunkier and even yummier than your average cookie. These decadent cookies are packed with gooey milk chocolate chips/chunks and toasted pecans – a flavour match made in heaven!
Thick and chunky (copycat London’s Crème dessert shop / New York City’s Levain Bakery) cookies have been popular on the internet recently and I couldn’t resist any longer so I’ve decided to share my new favourite chunky cookie recipe with you today!
Cookies make me so happy, I’m 100% sure eating cookies will put a smile on your face even during these tough, uncertain times. It’s something about that chewy texture with the incredible and totally irresistible gooey chocolate that’s delicious when melted as you take a bite in to a cookie that’s fresh from the oven!
I like sprinkling a pinch of Maldon sea salt on top of some of the cookies before baking. Once your cookies are ready you’re in for a treat enjoying them with a glass of milk or with scoops of ice cream!
I’ve never shared a super thick and chunky cookie before and having seen these on Cupcake Jemma’s website and YouTube channel, I’ve been desperate to have a go at this recipe. Every time I watch Jemma’s team over at Crumbs & Doilies making these amazing cookies, I’ve wanted to reach right through the screen and grab the tray of freshly baked cookies instantly!
Milk chocolate pecan cookie dough tastes so good there might not even be any left to bake! I’m a sucker for tasting cookie dough, I can’t get enough of it!
I’ve tested out different chocolate and pecan cookies and found a couple of recipes that are wonderful. My whole family absolutely loves Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s chocolate chip and pecan cookies that feature in their SWEET cookbook – I’ve baked those cookies countless times and they never fail to impress. They’re a slighter smaller serving compared to this cookie recipe created by Crumbs & Doilies. However, lately I’ve been in the mood for a generous sized cookie to treat myself, bigger is definitely better in this case!
Personally I don’t think you can go far wrong with the classic flavour combo of milk chocolate and toasted pecan, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with variations. My sister has plans to bake birthday cake/funfetti cookies with white chocolate and sprinkles – I’m excited for those when she makes them!
If pecans aren’t your thing, then you can substitute with hazelnuts or walnuts (without the skins). Also, add different chopped up chocolate bars or if you don’t want to add nuts then you can leave them out and add even more chocolate.
Honestly, who would say no to more chocolate?
Definitely not me! Enjoy the cookies!
100g pecans – see recipe for instructions on toasting
300g plain flour
200g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
230g butter (salted or unsalted), cold and cut into 1cm cubes
160g dark or light brown sugar
160g caster or granulated sugar
200g milk chocolate chips
200g milk chocolate, broken into big chunks
2 large free-range eggs
Start by toasting the pecans, preheat oven to 170°C / 150°C Fan / 325°F / Gas Mark 3. Place the pecans in a small baking tray and toast for 10 minutes. Leave the pecans to cool and then chop or break into small pieces roughly 1.5cm in size. In a mixing bowl mix together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until combined. Set this aside for the moment.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the cold butter for about 30 seconds until softened slightly. Add the sugars and mix again until just combined – you don’t want to make this mixture creamy and fluffy.
Now add the flour mixture and mix until you have fine breadcrumb texture. Now stir through the chocolate and nuts.
Add the beaten egg and just mix until a dough comes together – be careful not to over mix. Weigh roughly 125g portions of the cookie dough and roll into a ball. Place on a lined baking tray or container and freeze for at least 90 minutes or overnight for a thicker cookie.
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper and place the trays in the oven for 5 minutes to heat before spacing the rolled cookie dough balls out leaving at least 2 inches between each to allow room for spreading.
Bake the cookies for 17-22 minutes. If you like a slightly underdone cookie then bake for just 17 minutes, but if you prefer your cookies more done then bake for nearer to 22 minutes.
Leave the cookies to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes then transport to a wire rack and allow the cookies to cool slightly before serving. Cookies will keep stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days – we think they taste best on the day of baking.
I used a mix of half chocolate chips and 2 x 100g bars (200g in total) milk chocolate bars. Feel free to use 400g of chocolate chips or all chocolate bar in the cookie dough. Also, you can swap the milk chocolate for a mix of dark chocolate or even add some white chocolate < I’m trying this next time!
The recipe I followed made 12 cookies, however from my batch of cookie dough I managed to get a baker’s dozen (13 cookies) out of mine.
When rolling the cookie dough into balls, make sure to not form them too much. So when you’ve weighed each piece of cookie dough out just gently press into a ball.
I recommend freezing the rolled cookie dough balls overnight as this produces a thicker textured (and more flavourful) cookie when baked, but if you’re rushed for time or just want cookies ASAP then 90 minutes in the freezer is fine.
The recipe recommends baking the cookies for 17 minutes, I don’t like my cookies too underdone so I baked mine for another 5 minutes but again this all depends on how you like to serve cookies, if you prefer them softer and underdone then just bake for 17 minutes as the recipe instructs.
Beautifully buttery and crisp shortbread biscuits filled and sandwiched together with softly whipped cream and sliced strawberries.
I’ve taken my favourite Scottish-style Shortbread Biscuits and turned these scrummy biscuits into a dessert which could be served part of an afternoon tea spread or even on a restaurant menu.
Strawberries and Cream Shortbread Sandwiches showcase my favourite summer fruit, strawberries in an elegant dessert no one could resist trying. Each year, I long for the start of the strawberry season.
Come rain or shine, strawberry picking is something we all enjoy doing every year!
Ever since we were little, my parents would take my sister and I fruit picking during the summer holidays when we had a long 6 week break from school. In recent years, I’ve made sure to put aside some time during my leave from work to go strawberry picking, in fact very recently I headed out on a socially distanced strawberry picking trip to my local PYO McLauchlans of Boxted in the beautiful Essex countryside.
For me it’s important to support local businesses and also eat locally sourced food – even more so at the moment we should be eating locally sourced food and supporting our small businesses too. These Essex strawberries taste divine and for me there’s nothing quite comparable to locally grown fruit. I’ve been excited all summer long for strawberries and soon I’ll be out and about picking blackberries to use in more recipes.
Above is a photo of the strawberries I picked last summer from McLauchlans. They taste divine and are super juicy – a true taste of summer for me!
This recipe I’m sharing today is actually one I made for my blog in 2013 at the very start of my blogging journey, thankfully since then my food photography skills have come on leaps and bounds! I’m not perfect, even as a professionally trained chef I haven’t mastered every skill in the kitchen and I’m constantly learning throughout my career – this is why I love going back and improving my recipes for you to have the best experience making them!
The shortbread is pretty straight forward to make: cream the softened butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Then fold through the flour and vanilla extract until a crumbly dough forms. The shortbread bakes up well every time I make it and makes a sophisticated dessert paired with whipped cream and sliced strawberries.
These shortbread sandwiches take no time at all to quickly rustle up and taste fantastic for a bake that’s so incredibly simple to prepare. The shortbread dough is very forgiving, the shortbread biscuits still remain crisp even after being rerolled.
Buttery and crisp shortbread biscuits, filled with softly whipped double cream and sliced strawberries. You can play around and fill your shortbread sandwiches with different fresh berries or even a spoonful of curd or jam too!
This recipe makes roughly 10-15 shortbread sandwiches, but the total number you make will all depend on how big or small your biscuit/cookie cutter is.
Devouring one or two of these shortbread sandwiches while sitting in the garden in the sun with a glass of lemonade – that’s summer bliss right there!
This recipe recently proudly featured on McLauchlans of Boxted website, you can also check it out here.
200g butter (salted or unsalted), softened
75g caster or granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
150g plain flour
150g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
300ml double cream, chilled
Strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced (you’ll need roughly just under 400g)
Line two large baking trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. Preheat the oven to 160°C / 140°C Fan / Gas Mark 3. Cream the softened butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat together until light and pale in colour (about 1-2 minutes).
Now sift the flours and add to the creamed butter and sugar mixture along with the vanilla extract. Continue to mix until a crumbly and soft ball of dough comes together. Don’t overwork the dough, try to touch it as little as possible. At this point you can wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill it for 15 minutes, however this is an optional step.
On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to about 5mm / 1/4 inch thickness. Using your favourite biscuit/cookie cutters (mine was about 6cm), cut out shapes from the dough and transfer to the lined baking trays. Sprinkle the top of each biscuit with a little extra sugar or you can dust each baked biscuit with icing sugar after baking if you prefer.
Bake the biscuits for 20-25 minutes until they’re crisp and slightly golden around the edges.
Once baked, leave to cool on the baking trays for 5-10 minutes, then carefully transport to a wire rack and allow the biscuits to cool completely to room temperature.
Now whisk the chilled cream until soft peaks form – you don’t want the cream over-whipped, just lightly whipped so it has an airy texture. Take approx. a teaspoonful of the whipped cream and place on the base of one of the shortbread biscuits, then layer the sliced strawberries on top of the cream, finish by placing another shortbread biscuit on top and sandwich together gently – don’t press too hard otherwise the cream will spill out from the sides. Repeat with the remaining shortbread until they’re all filled.
Eat the shortbread straight away or keep these in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also fill the shortbread as and when you want to serve them.
For my shortbread, I like to use salted butter as I love the flavour it adds contrasting with the sweet sugary topping.
If you don’t have caster sugar, granulated sugar can be substituted.
The recipe uses a mix of plain and self-raising flour, however you can use just plain flour if preferred.
Arancini di riso is a traditional Sicilian street food. A white risotto base flavoured with Parmesan or Pecorino is prepared, cooled until firm, rolled into balls then stuffed with a cube of mozzarella, coated in breadcrumbs and fried until golden. Served crisp and warm with tomato dipping sauce and you’ll be transported to the streets of the Italian island of Sicily.
Originally posted in January 2014, recipe and photographs updated July 2020.
I first made these arancini for my blog in 2014, back then I was dreaming of my impending holiday to Tuscany that summer and I was cooking lots of Italian food in my kitchen counting down the days until my trip. This is a recipe I’ve been meaning to update and improve for a long time. Recently I made arancini again for dinner because I’ve been off on annual leave from work and as I’ve had lots of spare time to bake different recipes, I thought I’d share the updated recipe and photos for you to enjoy one more time!
These are perfect to make if you have some leftover risotto bianco (white risotto) on hand from a previous lunch or dinner. Arancini are a popular starter on many restaurant menus and they really transform leftover risotto. Traditionally deep-fried, you can also bake these rice balls until golden if you’re not a fan of fried food. I don’t particularly enjoy fried food, but I will say I highly recommend frying these stuffed rice balls opposed to baking them for authenticity.
I’m not going to lie, making arancini is a lengthy process and this recipe is one that requires time to focus on. Even before eating the arancini, the day before you’ll need to prepare the delicious risotto base.
So you’re probably wondering why we’re starting by making your risotto bianco (white risotto) a day ahead? We’re doing this to make sure the risotto is dried out and easy to shape and roll into the arancini the next day and won’t stick to your hands. Also, chilling your risotto allows the flavours to develop too – an added bonus! Just try not to eat too much of it beforehand though, this will probably make you laugh but I even had to chase my taste testers out from the kitchen once the risotto was cooling otherwise I knew we’d have nothing left for the arancini!
In the photo above you’ll see my risotto base before stirring all that glorious, melty and salty cheese in. These are in fact DOUBLE cheese arancini, because we have grated cheese mixed into the risotto AND a piece of mozzarella stuffed into the centre of each rice ball.
This recipe is definitely 100% one to try if you’re a cheese lover that’s for sure!
The above photo shows my batch of arancini ready for frying. This recipe makes a generous helping of these tasty Sicilian rice balls making 18 in total, so more than enough to serve 6. We had our serving and shared a couple extra the next day and even a day later they weren’t as crisp on the outside but when heated still had that amazing gooey mozzarella surprise!
I wanted to show you the process in step-by-step photos of how to shape and form the arancini, but working alone in the kitchen I was unable to take photos whilst having my hands covered in the ingredients – I didn’t really fancy covering my camera with food if I could avoid it!
I’ll just describe to you the method: it’s as simple as taking approx. a 60g portion of the risotto, flattening that in your hand slightly, then taking a piece of mozzarella and incasing the cheese fully inside of the risotto mix. Then roll your rice ball in seasoned flour, followed by beaten egg and finally cover the outside completely in breadcrumbs.
Just look at that amazing gooey centre, the mozzarella goes all stringy and is ultra creamy!
Eat your arancini with tomato sauce (I recommend arrabbiata or a tomato and basil sauce). You could even garnish your plate with a side salad too if you like. It’s so easy to prepare a restaurant-style starter in your own kitchen, so get your ingredients ready and make yourself these tasty arancini as soon as possible!
Risotto Bianco (White Risotto):
15g / 1 tablespoon (salted or unsalted) butter
1 tablespoon oil – use either a light olive or vegetable oil
1 brown or white onion, finely diced
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
300g arborio rice
150ml white wine – I recommend Pinot Grigio
900ml vegetable stock
50g Parmesan or vegetarian hard cheese alternative (such as Pecorino)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
125g dried/pizza mozzarella, cut into 18 x 1 cm cubes – you can also use an 125g ball of buffalo mozzarella
100g plain flour
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
To make the risotto bianco: In a large frying pan heat the butter and oil until foamy. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until transparent and softened. Add the rice and cook for a further 2 minutes to toast slightly. Now turn the heat up to a medium and add the wine – it will bubble rapidly, stir together and cook until all the wine has been absorbed. Now add a ladleful of stock at a time, stirring well until all the stock has been absorbed by the rice and repeat with the remaining stock – this should take approx. 25-30 minutes (test your rice to see if it’s soft without any harder uncooked grains of rice left – you want it cooked al dente.) Now remove the risotto from the heat and mix through the grated Parmesan or vegetarian hard cheese, season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Spread the risotto mix out over a large baking tray and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, cover and leave it in the fridge overnight.
To fill and shape the arancini: Take roughly 60g portions and divide the risotto mix into 18. Dampen your hands with a bit of water, flatten each piece of rice and place a cube of mozzarella in the centre. Shape into a ball by bringing the sides up and sealing at the top, then roll the mix slightly between your palms. You’ll want to keep dampening your hands and repeat this step with the remaining risotto mixture.
To coat the arancini: Set up a section in your kitchen with your ingredients for coating the arancini. Take the flour and season with salt and black pepper. Place the beaten eggs in a small bowl and tip the breadcrumbs into another bowl.
Take each arancini you prepare earlier and start by rolling in the seasoned flour, then roll in the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Spread the arancini out onto a large baking tray that’s been lined with parchment paper or a piece of clingfilm to stop them from sticking to the tray.
Half fill a large deep saucepan with vegetable oil and heat over medium-low until it reads 170°C on a cooking thermometer or until a piece of bread turns golden brown in the oil within 45 seconds. Fry the arancini in batches until crisp and golden – this should take roughly 4-5 minutes. Once ready, drain the arancini on kitchen paper and leave to cool slightly before serving.
Serve the arancini warm (allow them to cool for a few minutes after frying) with a sprinkle of extra grated Parmesan/vegetarian alternative and some chopped parsley – if you don’t fancy this you can just sprinkle the arancini with sea salt. Place the arancini on a serving platter or individual dishes with a pot of tomato sauce – we love arrabbiata sauce with ours.
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!
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
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)
Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin with paper cases.
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.
Now fold through the sifted flour and once the flour is nearly all mixed through add the milk and mix until combined.
Split the batter into two portions – this doesn’t have to be exactly equal. Then stir the cocoa powder into one batter until incorporated.
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.
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.
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.
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 AngelsSweetie 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.