Happy Sunday all! My last few blog posts have been a bit on the heavier side, so I thought today I’d switch things up a bit and talk about cake.
Anyone who knows me well will know how much I love to bake. Aside from the obvious benefit of maintaining a good supply of snacks at all times, I find baking really relaxing. I think it’s the combination of having really clear instructions to follow, and the fact that you can’t really rush. By the time I’ve finished weighing ingredients, mixing and washing up, I’ve probably spent at the very least an hour in the kitchen just pottering about on my own listening to a podcast.
Like many people, I’ve done an awful lot more baking these past few months than I usually do. I’ve loved taking time out every weekend to make something, and it’s a habit I want to keep up as best as I can as life starts to become busier. I’m currently flat hunting with my boyfriend and I know that once we move in, spending an hour or two baking on a weekend morning will be one of the ways I make sure I take time for myself.
Baking also gives me a nice little sense of achievement, and seeing other people enjoy a cake I’ve made makes me very happy indeed. Obviously in more recent times it hasn’t been quite so easy to share my cakes with other people, so I thought instead I’d share some of my favourite go-to recipes, along with a few handy tips for some of them, so you can try them too!
Side note: I was asked countless times during lockdown whether I was eating all the cakes I baked myself, and the answer was mostly “yes”. It’s another topic for another blog post, but I find it strange how often we question each others eating habits?! For me, restricting how often I eat certain things does not lead to a good relationship with food, so unlike most areas of my life, it’s not something I overthink. If I want cake, I have cake.
Anyway…on to the recipes:
This choc chip cookie recipe from Pixie Nutrition works every time, and can easily be adapted to use whatever ingredients you have in. For example, replace 50g of the flour with porridge oats and cinnamon, and replace the choc chips with nuts & raisins. I’d recommend putting the cookie dough in the fridge for an hour before baking, and trying not to overmix as this can make them go a bit “cakey”. But honestly, they’ll still taste great if they do, so it’s no big disaster.
This double chocolate loaf cake from the best of all recipe websites – BBC Good Food – is the easiest and tastiest chocolate cake I’ve ever made, and happens to be my boyfriend’s favourite. It takes a while to bake (be patient and don’t be tempted to turn up the oven), but preparation wise you basically just chuck it all in a food mixer and can’t go wrong!
My favourite lemon drizzle cake is from an old Great British Bake Off book that’s now out of print, but I also found it here. I’d recommend reducing the amount of sugar in the cake mix – 175g is plenty. I actually reduce the sugar in pretty much all cake recipes by at least 50g as I prefer them less sickly-sweet, but I guess maybe that’s personal preference!
Lastly, this Pip & Nut recipe for blueberry trail mix muffins is another adaptable favourite, and is vegan-friendly – although admittedly I usually use butter in mine! Don’t be put off by the ingredients list – normal plain flour & caster sugar is fine. Their trail mix is tasty, but just throwing 60g-or-so of nuts/seeds/raisins/choc chips into the cake mix and not bothering with the bit on top works well too. I make mine using frozen berries and whatever nut butter I have open (I often do have their blueberry almond butter in my cupboard though, because it’s insanely good). This recipe also freezes well, so is perfect if you can’t eat a whole batch quickly enough and don’t want to waste precious cake!
I hope sharing some of my favourite recipes will inspire a few people to get baking this week, as I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend an hour or two. If you try any of these recipes, or have any good ones to share with me, please leave a comment xx