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Banana and Cinnamon Muffins


Love banana bread? Get the same great flavor wtih sweet muffins that bake a whole lot faster!

These moorish muffins are light and fluffy, they are great for a healthy breakfast treat or as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. They are great eaten both hot right from the oven or cold.


350g plain flour

¾ teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

160g caster sugar

375ml buttermilk

1 large egg

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

75g unsalted butter (melted)

400g mashed banana


Makes 14-16 muffins

Preheat the oven to 170C. Put the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a food processor and wiz until combined.


Put the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and mix to combine.


Slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat on a slow speed until all the ingredients are incorporated.


Pour in the melted butter and beat until incorporated. Stir in the bananas with a wooden spoon until evenly dispersed.


Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minuets or until golden brown and the muffin bounces back when touched. As soon as you take the muffins out the oven dip them upside-down into a little sugar mixed with cinnamon and leave to cool.



Ultimate Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes


These chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are sure to please! I think that I am just completely unable to resist the chocolate peanut butter combination. Chocolate and peanut butter has to be the best food combination ever created  The thought of a peanut butter filling inside a chocolate cupcake just got me so excited.

First there is a super moist dark, decadent chocolate sponge cupcake witch is filled with delicious peanut butter. Then they are dipped into silky melted chocolate, have a swirl of creamy homemade peanut butter buttercream and are then garnished with half a Reece’s piece. And then last but not least drizzled with dark chocolate.

Ingredients for chocolate cupcakes:

100g self-raising flour

20g cocoa powder

140g caster sugar

a pinch of salt

40g unsalted butter, at room temperature

120ml whole milk

1 egg

¼tsp vanilla extract

60g Crunchy or smooth peanut butter


Ingredients for peanut butter buttercream:

300 g unsalted butter, softened

120 g peanut butter

540 g icing sugar

4 tablespoons whole milk

Ingredients for cupcake topping:

200g dark chocolate

12 Reece’s pieces



Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.



Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a jug, then slowly pour about half into the flour mixture, beat to combine and turn the mixer up to high speed to get rid of any lumps.



Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the remaining milk mixture (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.


Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full.


Take 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter a place in the centre of each cupcake and gently push the peanut butter into the centre. Be careful not to push it all the way to the bottom.



Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


While the cupcakes cool break the chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl. Sit the pan over barely simmering water and allow the chocolate to melt. Remove the heatproof bowl from the pan.


Once the cupcakes are completely cool take one cupcake at a time and dip the top of the cupcake into the dark chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off and the place back down to set.


Next beat the peanut butter and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment until smooth. Then add the icing sugar and milk and beat until all combined.




When the dark chocolate  has set you can begin to pipe your peanut buttercream. Using a spatular, place as much buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.

Pipe a swirl of peanut buttercream on top of the set chocolate.



Using the remaining melted dark chocolate (reheat in microwave if necessary, in 30 second blasts) drizzle over the top of each cupcake for extra decoration.



Then cut the six Reece’s pieces in half and pale a half on top of each cupcake.


And there you have it! The Ultimate Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcake!


Malteser Blondies

IMG_8197I couldn’t resist these Maltesers Blondies by Jo Wheatley when I saw them in Sainsbury’s Magazine. Children find these brownies-with-a-twist irresistible, if the grown-ups don’t get there first …


100g white chocolate, chopped, plus 50g extra for the topping

125g unsalted butter, diced

225g light soft brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

3 large eggs, beaten

100g plain flour

50g self-raising flour

4 tbsp Horlicks

135g Maltesers

60g milk chocolate, chopped



Preheat the oven to 170°C. Lightly grease a 20cm square baking tin and then line it with baking paper.
Place the 100g white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add the butter and melt gently together over a pan of simmering water.


Remove from the heat, stir until smooth and combined, and leave to cool slightly.


Add the sugar, vanilla extract and beaten eggs to the slightly cooled melted white chocolate and butter. Stir well to combine.



Sift both of the flours and Horlicks powder into the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.


Fold in 100g Maltesers and the milk chocolate and spoon into the prepared tin.



Bake on the middle shelf for 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin.


Melt the remaining white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Meanwhile, lightly crush the rest of the Maltesers. Drizzle over a little of the the melted white chocolate. Then scatter over the crushed Maltesers, and finish with the remaining melted chocolate.




Cool, then cut into squares.



Snickers Blondies


These fabulous blondie bars are simply to die for! Rich, gooey caramel, chocolate, marshmallows and peanuts fill every bite of this decadent, rich, tempting bar. If you are looking for a delicious new traybake-type recipe to try this holiday season this is sure to be on the top of your list.



125g soft unsalted butter

225g plain flour

¾ tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

175g smooth or chunky peanut butter

225g granulated sugar

225g light brown soft sugar

3 large eggs

¾ tsp vanilla extract

200g dark chocolate, chopped

50g mini marshmallows

200g salted peanuts


For the topping

100g granulated sugar

100ml double cream

25g unsalted butter

100g milk chocolate



Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 5cm-deep 20 x 30cm baking tin with butter, line the base with nonstick baking paper.
Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and ½ teaspoon salt together in a bowl; set aside.


In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the peanut butter, butter, granulated sugar and light brown soft sugar at a medium speed until smooth.



Beat in the eggs, one and a time, followed by the vanilla extract.




On a low speed, gradually add the flour mix, then the chocolate chips, marshmallows and most of the peanuts. Let the mixer start to fold these into the mixture.



Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared tin.


Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the brownie is golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.


Loosen the brownie with a knife and turn it out of the tin.

For the topping, combine the sugar, ½ tsp salt and 100ml water in a medium pan.


Whisk it a bit to help dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer.


Once the bubbling syrup starts to take on a caramel colour, watch the pan closely. It will turn from a golden colour to a dark brown very quickly. You’re aiming for a deep amber colour – this may take a while but be sure not to take your eyes off the pan. The syrup can easily burn.


Remove the pan from the heat. Slowly and gradually pour in the cream, whisking the mixture to stop it from boiling over. Whisk in the butter until the caramel is creamy and smooth.



Leave to cool slightly before pouring it evenly over the brownie, spreading it with a small spatula if necessary.


Then scatter the remaining peanuts over the caramel and leave for 1 hour to set.


I then melted some milk chocolate and drizzled over the top before cutting into square pieces.




Viennese Whirl Biscuits


Viennese Whirls are a favourite  in my home. The cream, the jam, the delicate crumbly biscuit I mean, what’s not to love?! These delicious biscuits are buttery and light and are sure to spice up your Christmas.


250g very soft butter

50g icing sugar plus extra to decorate

250g plain flour

50g cornflour

½ tsp pure vanilla extract

For the filling

100g soft butter

200g  icing sugar plus ½ tsp for dusting

½ tsp pure canilla extract

75g seedless raspberry jam


Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

Put the butter, icing sugar, plain flour, cornflour and vanilla extract in a food processor and beat until smooth.



Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe 16-18 x 6cm/2½in rosettes of the dough, spacing well apart. If your a bit of a perfectionist like me you may want to trace around some circle cutters to give you a guideline.



Bake in the centre of the oven for 13-15 minutes or until pale golden-brown and firm. Cool on the baking tray for five minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough to make 32-36 biscuits.


For the filling, put the butter in a bowl and sift the icing sugar on top. Add the vanilla extract and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk until very light and smooth. Spoon into a clean piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Put the jam in a bowl and stir until smooth.

Spoon a little jam onto the flat side of 16 of the biscuits and place jam-side up on the cooling rack.



Pipe the buttercream icing onto the remaining biscuits and sandwich with the jam.




Put on a serving plate and dust with sifted icing sugar. Serve.




Lemon and Blueberry Loaf


Lemon blueberry loaf made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest and baked to perfection! This lemon and blueberry loaf is bursting with juicy sweet blueberries and has a hot lemony glaze drizzled over it just as it comes out of the oven, which keeps it super moist.

Ingredients for the loaf

75g melted butter

200g white sugar

60ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 eggs

180g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

118ml milk

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

140g fresh or frozen blueberries

2 tablespoons plain flour


Ingredients for the lemon syrup

85g caster sugar

juice 2 lemon (about 5 tbsp)

Ingredients for buttercream

115g unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

225g icing sugar



Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.

Butter an loaf tin, line the bottom and two sides of the pan with the parchment paper.


In a stand or electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs.


In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with the milk.



IMG_7474 IMG_7475


Toss the blueberries in the 2 tablespoons of flour. This will help prevent blueberries from sinking.

IMG_7477 IMG_7478

Fold in lemon zest, and blueberries into the batter. Pour batter into prepared pan.

IMG_7480 IMG_7481

Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into centre of the loaf comes out clean.


While the cake cooks, make the lemon syrup. Tip the caster sugar into a small saucepan with the lemon juice and 75ml water. Heat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Raise the heat, boil for 4 mins until slightly reduced and syrupy, then remove from the heat.


When the loaf is ready remove from the over and while its still warm take a skewer and make a number of holes, then pour the lemon syrup over the loaf while its still in its tin.





Allow tot cool  in pan for 40 minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the lemon buttercream put the butter, 1 tbsp of lemon juice in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth and blended.

Sift over the icing sugar and, with the mixer on a low speed, continue mixing until the icing is smooth and has a spreading consistency. If it is too stiff, beat in a little extra lemon juice.


Put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a rose nozzle. Slowly and with a steady hand pip roses on top on the loaf.




Slice and enjoy.




Halloween Biscuits


To celebrate and to embrace the Halloween season I decided to test out another of Biscuteers recipes. This time I took the recipe from their lovely  ‘Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuites’ which is full of the most amazing recipes and pictures. It includes decoration ideas for nearly every celebration and special occasion. Take a look below at some of their designs.







200g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp mixed spice

50g muscovado dark brown sugar

100g salted butter, diced 50g black treacle or molasses


Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.



Add butter, Using the tips of your fingers, rub the ingredients together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs or beat using an electric mixer.



When all the butter is evenly mixed in, make a well in the centre and add the treacle and bring it all together.


You will know when it is all mixed in as it will have an even colour all over with not too many streaks of treacle.


Place the dough onto a clean worktop. Divide into two and squash the dough into two even-sized flat discs. Cover and chill until ready to use or roll out immediately.


Place the dough on a sheet of parchment and begin by gently squashing the dough down with a rolling pin or your hands. Cover with a second sheet of parchment and then use the rolling pin to roll out properly. The top sheet of paper may crinkle from time to time, just peel it off and smooth it down gently before starting to roll again.




Preheat the oven to 170c.

Gently roll the dough until it is 5mm thick all over, then transfer the whole sheet of rolled dough still sandwiched between its sheets of parchment to a baking tray and place in the fridge to chill for at least 20 – 30 minutes before cutting.


To use the dough efficiently cut the biscuits out using your halloween cutters as close together as possible. Lift each biscuit onto the parchment covered baking tray and make sure they are not too close together as the dough will spread a little on baking. Any trimmings can be re-rolled a couple of times.


Evenly space the trays in the oven and cook for 14-18 minutes, depending on your oven

When the biscuits are evenly cooked and just beginning to turn a golden colour remove the trays from the oven and transfer the whole sheet of parchment to a cooling rack. Do this carefully as the biscuits will be quite fragile and hot! Cool totally before starting to ice.


Now the fun begins…Icing!! If your not familiar with the terms of line and flood icing take a look at this link.

Black Bat


Ice around the outline of the bat with black line icing and allow to dry for 5 minutes. Flood the body with black runny icing. Allow to dry completely. Add 2 eyes with yellow line icing.

Ghoulish Ghost


Outline the body of the ghost in white line icing, then outline the eyes and mouth in orange line icing. Allow to dry for 5 minutes. Flood with white runny icing and allow to completely dry.

Perfect Pumpkins


Outline the pumpkin, eyes and mouth with orange line icing. Allow to dry for 5 minutes. Outline the stalk with green line icing and fill with green flood icing, Allow to dry again for 5 minutes. Fill the pumpkin with orange flood icing and allow to dry completely.



Biscuiteers Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes


With Halloween approaching, tempt everyone with these festive pumpkin spice cupcakes.  They are undoubtedly a crowd pleaser with their fun designs.  They not only look good though they taste delicious, full of spice and warmth.

My exciting news of the week was Biscuiteers  loved my blog so much they provided me with the recipe.  I tested immediately as I wanted to share it with you all.  If my family are anything to go by, these cupcakes are a winner, they disappeared overnight.  Why not try them now to share at your Halloween party?

If you’re too busy to make your own, get Biscuiteers Halloween Cupcakes delivered to your door, ahead of the big day!


175g light muscovado sugar

3 large eggs

175ml sunflower oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g sultanas

200g coarse grated pumpkin flesh

2 tsp ground cinnamon

200g self-raising flour

zest of 1 orange, grated

50g jelly snakes (optional)

1 tsp baking soda

Heat your oven to 180C/160C(fan)/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases.


Pour into a large boil the oil along with the sugar, eggs and vanilla.


Beat this mixture together and then add the grated pumpkin, sultanas and orange zest.



Add in the cinnamon, flour and baking soda and stir.



Spoon half of your mixture into 6 of the cases and then add the jelly worms into the remaining cases with the rest of the mixture (these will be the “tricks”, to go with the “treats”!)


Put the tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the cupcakes are springy to the touch.

Cool on a wire rack.


For the icing:

250g icing sugar

125g butter

1kg white regal ice fondant

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Paste colours: Red, Green, Black, Orange and Purple.

Mix the butter and the icing sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy then add in the vanilla bean paste and mix until the beans are evenly distributed.



Mix up some line icing (see here for help with this: and colour with black, white and red.

Use the colour paste to colour fist sized balls of the regal ice fondant, making sure there is no marbling once the fondant is rolled out.


Spoon your vanilla buttercream on top of the cupcakes and then cover with the different colours of ice fondant.



To decorate the eye ball cupcakes:

Roll the white fondant out to a thickness of 5mm (you can use cornflour on your work top to prevent the fondant sticking). Cut out circles that measure 7cm in diameter.

Roll out the lime green fondant to a thickness of 5mm, then cut out circles that measure 3cm in diameter.

Put a tablespoon sized heap of the vanilla buttercream on top of the cupcake. Then cover with the white fondant smooth down any lumps. The aim is to form a smooth dome.



Add the lime green disk in the middle of the cupcake, then either using black line icing or black fondant, add a black pupil.


Using the red line icing, pipe thin veins coming from the central circle, to  create the bloodshot eyeball effect.


To decorate the spiderweb cupcakes:

Roll the orange fondant to a thickness of 5mm and cut out circles that measure 7cm in diameter.

Put a tablespoon sized heap of the vanilla buttercream on top of the cupcake. Then cover with the white fondant smooth down any lumps. The aim is to form a smooth dome.


Using the black line icing within an piping bag, pipe the black icing onto the orange fondant into a spider’s web design.


To decorate the purple BOO! cupcakes:

Roll out the purple fondant to a thickness of 5mm, then cut out circles that measure 3cm in diameter.

Put a tablespoon sized heap of the vanilla buttercream on top of the cupcake. Then cover with the white fondant smooth down any lumps. The aim is to form a smooth dome.

Using white line icing pipe the words ‘BOO!’ or ‘Happy Halloween’. Allow to dry.


You can get really creative with eyeballs, spider webs, witches, ghosts, black cats and much more besides. For some inspiration take a look at our designs below. Or if you’ve not got the time to get baking yourself, why not get a delivery of Halloween Cupcakes from the Biscuiteers!

IMG_7972 2


Ultimate Spiderweb Halloween cake


This chocolatey red velvet cake is a real showstopper. The buttermilk makes a velvety smooth sponge and along with the silky chocolate ganache, creates a sublime cake.


200g salted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

350g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 ½ tbsp cocoa powder

¼ tsp fine sea salt

375g caster sugar

3 eggs

1½ tsp vanilla extract

284ml carton buttermilk

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 x 10g packs Dr Oetker red gel food colour


Cream Cheese Filling

120g salted butter at room temperature

120g  soft cream cheese

120g icing sugar


Chocolate Ganache

300ml carton double cream

250g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

1½ tbsp golden syrup

50g white chocolate, roughly chopped



Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Grease the base and sides of a 23cm springform cake tin and line with baking parchment. Sift together all the dry ingredients except the sugar, set aside.


Using electric beaters, cream the butter and sugar for 1 minute.


IMG_7698Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.


IMG_7700Beat in ¼ the dry ingredients, then 1/3 the buttermilk and repeat, until fully combined.


IMG_7703Mix the vinegar and food colouring together; beat into the mixture.


Scrape into the tin and spread until level; tap the tin on the work surface to knock out any air bubbles.




Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set on a wire rack and leave to cool completely in the tin.

For the filling, use electric beaters to beat together the butter, soft cheese and icing sugar.




Remove the cake from the tin and cut horizontally into 3 even layers (use a serrated knife). Take the bottom layer and place on a baking sheet, spread with ½ the filling, then repeat with the middle layer of cake and remainder of the filling; top with the final layer of cake. Leave to set in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.





For the icing, melt the cream, chocolate and golden syrup together in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Melt the white chocolate in another bowl using the same method and pour into a small piping bag.





Invert the cake onto a wire rack so there is a flat surface for the icing; set over a tray to catch the drips. Working quickly, pour the dark chocolate icing over the middle of the cake and allow the ganache to drip down the sides.



If the cake is not covered in chocolate ganache use a palette knife to push the icing over the sides to create an even coating over the whole cake.

Starting slightly off centre, pipe a white chocolate spiral from the centre of the cake out to the edges.






Take a cocktail stick and, starting from the centre, pull it through the white chocolate to the outside. Repeat, working around the cake, to create a spider’s web effect.





Let the icing set for about 20-30 minutes. To store, keep refrigerated, and bring to room temperature before eating.




With thanks to

Bakewell Tarts


Perfect little homemade Cherry Bakewells that taste even better than the shop bought ones! Cherry bakewell tarts have to be one of my favourite teatime cakes. Buttery shortcrust pastry, lined with a cherry jam, filled of frangipane and topped with sweet icing and half of a cherry. Ideal for that afternoon snack enjoyed with a cup of tea or even for a children’s party.


For the pastry

100g butter chilled and cubed

200g plain flour sifted

40g icing sugar sifted

1 free-range egg, beaten

For the frangipane

55g butter or baking spread

55g caster sugar

1 free-range egg beaten

40g ground almonds

1 tbsp plain flour

For the topping and filling

85g icing sugar


glace cherries

Jam of your choice

Preparation method

Put the flour and cubed cold butter in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.



Add the caster sugar and beaten egg and mix, until it starts to form a ball. you want it to be soft but not too sticky.


Wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 170C.

Grease a 12-hole muffin tin. Unwrap the pastry, sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface and roll out the pastry to a thickness of 3mm/⅛ in.



Use a round cutter to cut 12 circles that are slightly larger than the muffin tin so when you push the pastry in the greased muffin tray the round circles will form a cup shape.



Use a little left over dough to push the dough to the bottom on the muffin tray and to the edges. This will stop finger nails from taring the dough while pushing it into shape.





Next cut some circles of baking parchment paper and fill with baking beans or rice.


This will help the dough keep its shape while cooking it in the oven. Bake for 10minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully take the rice and baking paper off the tarts. Put the tarts back into the oven for another 5 minutes. Keep an eye on the pastry and make sure the edges don’t burn. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little.


For the frangipane, place the butter, caster sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and looks pale.


Next add the ground almonds, flour and the beaten egg. Mix together until combined.



Take your pastry cases and place half a teaspoon of the jam into the bottom of each tart.


Top with the frangipane mixture and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until the frangipane is risen and golden. Cool in the tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack.



For the topping, mix the icing sugar with a little water to form a thick paste. Spread over the cooled tarts and top each with one half of a glace cherry. Yummy!




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