Tag Archives: baking

Easy Recipe: Quick Coffee Cupcakes

There’s nothing quite as good as a cup of coffee in the garden with a little sweet treat to go with it. This week I knocked up a batch of my quick coffee cupcakes and sat in the garden in the last of the sunshine before Storm Hector swept in and spoiled all our summer fun.

Cupcakes are something I make quite a lot of at home. They’re so quick and easy to do and I often have a fresh batch of buttercream in the fridge for emergencies. I know this is potentially an unpopular opinion, but cupcakes are just buns with fancy icing. If you can master a basic swirl people think you’ve got mad baking skills. I’m not going to win any prizes for my decorating, but I can do some basic piping, enough to turn a humble bun into a cupcake. If I can do it, you can too!

Easy Recipe: Quick Coffee Cupcakes

These quick coffee cupcakes are great to make in a hurry. I piped plain vanilla buttercream on these, but if you’re baking for a real coffee fan, then you can easily make coffee buttercream. You can ramp the coffee flavours up further by adding a Roasted Coffee Cacao Truffle from Beech’s Fine Chocolates to the top, this turns a simple cupcake into a lovely grown up after dinner treat!

Win a selection of Beech's Fine Chocolates Gourmet Packs

Quick Coffee Cupcakes

Ingredients:
150g butter or margarine
150g caster sugar
3 eggs (large)
150g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaped teaspoon of instant coffee dissolved in 1/2 tablespoon of milk

For the buttercream:
250g icing sugar
250g butter (softened)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beech’s Fine Chocolates Roasted Coffee Cacao Truffles

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to 180° and put paper cases in a bun or a muffin tray.

Cream your butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and using a hand mixer combine until the batter is smooth and airy.

Dollop a large dessert spoon of the cake batter in each case and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave cool on a rack.

While your cupcakes are cooling, sift your icing sugar and beat together with the softened butter. Add your vanilla extract and beat it in thoroughly.

Once your cupcakes are cool, put your vanilla buttercream in a piping bag with a star piping nozzle – I use a Wilton 2D nozzle. I did a standard buttercream swirl, if you’re not sure how to do it, watch this short video.

I then decorated the buttercream swirl with a Roasted Coffee Cacao Truffle from Beech’s Fine Chocolates. Serve with a cup of very good coffee.

If you wanted to up the coffee content of your coffee cupcake, you could add some coffee to your vanilla buttercream. Dissolve some coffee in a splash of milk and beat it through thoroughly.

Easy Recipe: Quick Coffee Cupcakes

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like these popcorn cupcakestangy marmalade cupcakes or romantic rose cupcakes.

Easy Recipe: Quick Coffee Cupcakes

Recipe: Popcorn Cupcakes – perfect for movie night!

Popcorn is one of the most popular snacks in the UK. It’s considered to be a lighter, healthier snack option. Whether is really is or not is up for debate, but it is a movie night essential. These days you can get all kinds of different flavours of popcorn. I’m a traditionalist and I like sweet popcorn, or that toffee covered popcorn which makes my teeth tingle.

A little while ago I received a bottle of Monin Popcorn Syrup. It’s the kind of thing you might use in coffee or cocktails, but I had different ideas. I really fancied making some popcorn cupcakes.

Recipe: Popcorn Cupcakes - perfect for movie night!

My popcorn cupcakes turned out really well. They had a good popcorn flavour but were not overpowering. They were a big hit with the boys too and I know I’ll be making these again and again.

Popcorn Cupcakes

Ingredients:
4oz butter or margarine
4oz caster sugar
2 eggs (large)
4oz self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon of Monin Popcorn Syrup

For the buttercream:
250g icing sugar
250g butter (softened)
1 teaspoon of Monin Popcorn Syrup
Bag of your favourite popcorn

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to 180° and put paper cases in a bun or a muffin tray.

Cream your butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and using a hand mixer combine until the batter is smooth and airy.

Dollop a large dessert spoon of the cake batter in each case and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave cool on a rack.

While your cupcakes are cooling, sift your icing sugar and beat together with the softened butter. Add your Popcorn syrup and beat it in thoroughly. Taste your buttercream, you might want to add a bit more syrup if you want a stronger flavour. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away!

Once your cupcakes are cool, put your popcorn flavoured buttercream in a piping bag with a star piping nozzle – I used a Wilton 2D nozzle. I did a standard buttercream swirl, if you’re not sure how to do it, watch this short video.

I then covered the buttercream swirl with popcorn. If you start around the bottom of the swirl and made sure as much of the buttercream is covered in popcorn. Gently press the popcorn into place on the buttercream and your cupcake is done and ready to be enjoyed on movie night!

Recipe: Popcorn Cupcakes - perfect for movie night!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like my tangy marmalade cupcakes.

Recipe: Popcorn Cupcakes - perfect for movie night!

Easy Recipe: Sparkly Chocolate Cups

I love getting homemade cards and gifts from my son on Mother’s Day (and any other day he wants to make me something). As you can probably imagine, we’re quite big on baking at home and we bake for almost any occasion. I’m a firm believer in making life easy for myself. Whilst I’m happy to bake a fairly complex cake, there’s definitely space in my kitchen for incredibly simple recipes. I’ve made these Sparkly Chocolate Cups for Mother’s Day. They’re very, very easy to make and perfect for kids to make with a little adult supervision.

Easy Recipe: Sparkly Chocolate Cups for Mother's Day

Not only are they great for kids to make, if you lack confidence in the kitchen, these are so easy to make and look pretty impressive too.

Sparkly Chocolate Cups

Ingredients:
250g of good quality dark or milk chocolate
Cake decorating sprinkles, stars, silver balls, whatever you fancy

You will need:
A saucepan, a glass bowl which will sit in the pan, but so it doesn’t touch the bottom, a metal spoon, some cupcake cases – I used silicone but paper ones are fine.

How to make your chocolate cups:
Boil some water and pour the water into your pan so it’s about 3cm deep. Carefully place the glass bowl in the pan making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. This is called a bain marie.

Break your chocolate up into small pieces and put it in the glass bowl, the water in the pan needs to be at a gentle simmer, not bubbling and boiling. Stir the chocolate until it is melted.

Once the chocolate is melted, with a spoon scoop about two dessert spoons of melted chocolate into each cupcake case. Gently shake each one so the chocolate settles.

Once you’ve used all of your chocolate, take your chosen sprinkles and sprinkle as much or as little as you like over the top of each chocolate. Leave them to cool for at least two hours.

Easy Recipe: Sparkly Chocolate Cups for Mother's Day

Once they’re cool you can either take the chocolates out of their cases and put them in a nice gift box or cellophane bag, or you could just present them as they are in their pretty cupcake cases.

They’re so easy to make and they look impressive, whoever you give these to will be as pleased as punch!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like these super-easy love heart jam tarts.

Easy Recipe: Sparkly Chocolate Cups for Mother's Day

Recipe: Indulgent Chocolate Barleycup Tart

Last year I seriously cut down on my caffeine intake and now I just drink a couple of cups of tea or coffee a week. These days I seem to be very sensitive to caffeine and if I have a cup of coffee too late in the day, I just won’t sleep at night. I don’t want to cut it out completely, but I do have to keep an eye on just how much I drink. With this in mind, I was sent a jar of Barleycup to try.

I’ve swapped my lunchtime coffee for Barleycup and I’ve hardly noticed the difference. Barleycup is made from roasted cereal grains and chicory roots and is free-from caffeine and contains no artificial additives. Barleycup is also gluten-free and certified by Coeliac UK.

Recipe: Indulgent Chocolate Barleycup Tart

Recipe: Indulgent Chocolate Barleycup Tart

Not content with just drinking it, I wondered if it would be any good to bake with. It turns out that it was. I made a variation on a chocolate and coffee tart, I made a deliciously indulgent Chocolate and Barleycup Tart which was every bit as good as the original. Here’s my recipe…

Chocolate and Barleycup Tart

Ingredients:
For the pastry –
4oz plain flour
2oz butter, cubed
A pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons of cold water
-or- a packet of ready rolled shortcrust pastry

For the filling –
150g single cream
2 tablespoons of sugar
150g good quality dark chocolate
2 tablespoons of Barleycup powder dissolved in 4 tablespoons of boiling water

Method:

Tip the flour, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. Use a knife and stir in just enough cold water to bind the dough together. Do this gradually as you don’t want your pastry to be too wet. Once you’ve made the dough, cover the bowl and chill it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so before rolling out.

Or if you’re using shop bought, ready rolled pastry, take it out of the fridge half an hour before you want to use it.

Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5 or 190°

Take your pastry and roll it out to the thickness of a pound coin. You can either roll it out on a floured surface, or between two pieces of baking parchment. I find the baking parchment method quicker and a lot less messy.

Grease a 20cm tart tin and carefully put the pastry in the tin, pressing it against the sides. Let the pastry hang over the sides of the tin, you can trim it later. Prick the base all over with a fork. Top the pastry with a sheet of baking parchment and cover with baking beans, bake in your pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the baking beans and parchment and pop back in the oven for another 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cool, carefully with a sharp knife trim the pastry so it is flush with the top of the tin.

Recipe: Indulgent Chocolate Barleycup Tart

While your pastry is cooling, warm up your cream and sugar in a saucepan. Finely chop the chocolate and once the cream is simmering, turn off the heat and add the chocolate to the pan. Leave for a minute and stir until the mixture is smooth. Add in your Barleycup mixed with water and stir until combined.

Carefully fill the tart case with the Barleycup and chocolate mix, level it off and make an artistic swirl or ripple on the top if you want. Put your tart in the fridge for a minimum of two hours, or overnight if you wish.

To serve, garnish with raspberries or chopped nuts. It is very rich, so a little goes a long way.

I can confirm that Barleycup is a great coffee substitute in baking. It works really well, adding a slight bitter note and complexity to the tart. I’ll definitely be baking with it again, I wonder what a Barleycup and walnut cake would be like?

Recipe: Indulgent Chocolate Barleycup Tart

Note: I was set a jar of Barleycup to bake with. I have not been otherwise compensated for this post.

 

Easy Recipe: Love Heart Jam Tarts

Jam tarts are most people’s introduction to baking. I remember standing on a stool in my Grandma’s kitchen watching her roll the pastry out, I’d help her cut out pastry rounds and I’d spoon jewel coloured jam into the tarts. Waiting for the jam tarts to cool once they’d come out of the oven was torture.

I still love jam tarts today. These days I usually bake them with my son; him stood on the stool, spooning jam and waiting impatiently. They’re one of the easiest things to bake and are ideal if you’re baking with kids or if you’re a novice wanting to take your first steps into baking.

Easy Recipe: Love Heart Jam Tarts

I’ve jazzed these simple tarts up for Valentine’s Day. The addition of a heart makes these jam tarts whimsically romantic. Of course your tarts will be perfectly delicious without the pastry heart, but if you can’t push the boat out a bit for Valentine’s Day, when can you?

Love Heart Jam Tarts

Ingredients (makes 12 -15 tarts)

4oz plain flour
2oz butter, cubed
A pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons of cold water
-or- a packet of ready rolled shortcrust pastry

Half a jar of strawberry or raspberry jam
Milk or a beaten egg to brush your pastry with
Extra butter for greasing your baking tray

Method

Put the flour, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. Use a knife and stir in just enough cold water to bind the dough together. Do this gradually as you don’t want your pastry to be too wet. Once you’ve made the dough, cover the bowl and chill it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so before using.

Or if you’re using shop bought, ready rolled pastry, take it out of the fridge half an hour before you want to use it. 

Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5 or 190°

Take your pastry and roll it out to the thickness of a pound coin. You can either roll it out on a floured surface, or between two pieces of baking parchment. I find the baking parchment method quicker and a lot less messy.

Grease your bun or muffin tin with butter and cut your pastry into rounds. Gently press each round into the tin and prick the bottom of each one with a fork. With the remainder of the pastry, cut out enough heart shapes to top each of your tarts.

Carefully put a spoon of jam in each tart. Do not over fill the tarts as the jam will bubble up and ruin your hard work.

On a separate baking sheet, place a piece of baking parchment and lay your heart shapes flat, brush them with a little milk or beaten egg and put your hearts and your tarts in the oven for 12-15 minutes.

Once cooked and your hearts are golden, remove from the oven and quickly but carefully place a heart on the top of each tart. Gently press it in place taking care not to touch the hot jam with your fingers. Leave to cool for a few minutes before removing the tarts from the tray and putting them on a wire rack to cool.

Easy Recipe: Love Heart Jam Tarts

As you can see, my jam tarts didn’t come our perfectly round this time; but a rustic, imperfect looking jam tart is still a delicious jam tart.

These jam tarts with a heart are a simple way to share the love this Valentine’s Day. Who will you bake with love for this year?

Easy Recipe: Love Heart Jam Tarts

Recipe: Showstopping Turkish Delight Cake

Turkish Delight is one of those things people love or hate. I am firmly in the love camp. For me, it’s always had a hint of the exotic about it, those romantic Laurence of Arabia style adverts from the 80’s mean that this rose (or lemon) scented sweet is wonderfully evocative. What could be a more romantic tea-time treat than this showstopping Turkish Delight Cake?

I love Turkish Delight in all its forms; from the chocolate covered Fry’s version, to the sugar dusted boxes of these jellied fancies you get at Christmas. During my weekly shop I spotted a box of Turkish Delight thins from Morrison’s and I knew exactly what I’d do with them. My Turkish Delight Cake was born!

Recipe: Showstopping Turkish Delight Cake

It’s a stunning looking (and tasting) cake. It looks fancier and harder to bake than it really is. If you can bake a sponge cake and mix up some buttercream, then you’ve got all the skills needed to make this cake.

Showstopping Turkish Delight Cake

Ingredients:
8oz butter or margarine
8oz caster sugar
4 eggs (large)
8oz self raising flour
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of two lemons

For the buttercream:
250g icing sugar
250g butter (softened)
3 drops of Holy Llama Rose Extract Spice Drops
Red food colouring

To decorate:
Turkish Delight Thins (or similar)
Traditional Turkish Delight pieces

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 180° and grease three 9 inch cake tins.

Cream your butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and using a hand mixer combine until the batter is smooth and airy.

Divide your cake batter equally between the three tins (I weigh my filled tins to make sure they’re roughly equal) and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before turning on to a wire rack to cool.

While your sponge cakes are cooling, sift your icing sugar and beat together with the softened butter. Add your drops of rose extract, beating thoroughly and tasting as you go. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away!

Once you’re happy with the flavour, add a few drops of the red food colouring and mix well and add more colouring until you’re happy with the shade of pink you’ve got. Make sure your buttercream is well combined and smooth.

On a cake stand or cake board (or wherever your cake is going to sit) put a heaped teaspoon of butter cream in the middle and position your first sponge cake on top of that. This will anchor your cake in place and stop it sliding about.

Cover the top of that sponge layer with a thin spread of buttercream and put your second sponge on top of that. Repeat the process with the third sponge layer.

Now for the slightly time consuming bit; using a palette knife spread the rose buttercream around the sides of the cake. I found it easier to plaster on more buttercream than I needed and then smooth it off. It doesn’t have to be a perfect finish, but cover it as best you can, this is easier if your buttercream is soft. If if’s too hard, give it another beating.

Once the sides of the cake are covered, spread a thick-ish layer of buttercream on the top. I usually ripple the buttercream with the knife, but you can do a smooth finish if you’d prefer. Cut the Turkish Delight Thins in half into triangles and do the same with the Turkish Delight pieces, although they will look more like pyramids.

Arrange the Turkish Delight thins and pieces on top of the cake in whatever way you think looks good. I did haphazard rows of thins with the pieces dotted about.

Recipe: Showstopping Turkish Delight Cake

My Turkish Delight Cake is a real treat. It’s rich and sweet and absolutely packed with the traditional flavours of Turkish Delight; from the light lemon zested sponge, to the sweet rose scented buttercream – it’s a treat and a half for Turkish Delight fans!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like my Romantic Rose Cupcakes.

Recipe: Showstopping Turkish Delight Cake

Recipe: Romantic Rose Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day

After 17 years of marriage, flamboyant romantic gestures on Valentine’s Day are a thing of the past. It’s not that we don’t do romance, it’s just that we’ve got different things to spend our money on. For many years now Valentine’s Day for us has been about homemade cards and smaller, more meaningful gifts. I usually bake something sweet to share with the boys, this year I’ve made some romantic rose cupcakes, and they’re sure to be a hit.

A little while ago, whilst browsing the reduced yellow stickered items in a deli, I found a bottle of Holy Llama Rose Extract Spice Drops. They were a bargain, so they ended up in my shopping basket and then in my baking cupboard at home. If you don’t have Holy Llama Rose Extract Spice Drops, substitute this with whatever rose extract you have.

Recipe: Romantic Rose Cupcakes for Valentine's Day

I’ve been a bit worried about trying out my Rose Extract. Rose is one of those flavours which if you use too much of, whatever you’ve made will end up tasting like Granny’s soap. If you go easy and add a little at a time, everything should turn out rosy.

Romantic Rose Cupcakes

Ingredients:
4oz butter or margarine
4oz caster sugar
2 eggs (large)
4oz self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 drops of Holy Llama Rose Extract Spice Drops

For the buttercream:
250g icing sugar
250g butter (softened)
3 drops of Holy Llama Rose Extract Spice Drops
Red food colouring

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to 180° and put paper cases in a bun or a muffin tray.

Cream your butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and using a hand mixer combine until the batter is smooth and airy. When you add your rose extract, taste the batter to check the levels of rose flavour. Remember, a fair amount of the rose flavour will bake out of the cupcakes, so bear this in mind. I opted for a not very rose flavoured sponge because I knew the buttercream would be where most of the flavour was.

Dollop a large dessert spoon of the cake batter in each case and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave cool on a rack.

While your cupcakes are cooling, sift your icing sugar and beat together with the softened butter. Add your drops of rose extract, beating thoroughly and tasting as you go. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away!

Once you’re happy with the flavour, add a few drops of the red food colouring and mix well and add more colouring until you’re happy with the shade of pink you’ve got. Make sure your buttercream is well combined and smooth.

Once your cupcakes are cool, put your rose flavoured buttercream in a piping bag with a star piping nozzle – I used a Wilton 2D nozzle. Starting in the middle of the cupcake, swirl your buttercream around until you’ve got a buttercream rose shape. If you’re not sure how to do it, watch this short video.

Recipe: Romantic Rose Cupcakes for Valentine's Day

Tip: Once you’ve finished decorating your rose cupcakes, you could pop them in the fridge for an hour so the buttercream firms up a little before serving.

These Romantic Rose Cupcakes are really pretty and very easy to bake. The icing is much easier that you’d think and you can also scrape off and re-do any which you’re not happy with. I’m no expert cake decorator, but with a little bit of practice and patience, you’ll be piping buttercream roses like a pro!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like my tangy marmalade cupcakes.

Recipe: Romantic Rose Cupcakes for Valentine's Day

Casa Costello

Recipe: Easy, Cheaty Sausage Rolls

When it comes to throwing together a quick lunch or picnic; sandwiches and sausage rolls are always the order of the day. Being able to serve up a still warm, freshly baked batch of homemade sausage rolls will earn you the kind of domestic goddess style brownie points that a trip to Greggs simply cannot match.

I always keep the ingredients to make these sausage rolls in the freezer, so I can whip up a quick batch if I need to. If you can defrost the ingredients overnight before making your sausage rolls, then so much the better. These sausage rolls are really easy to put together. I admit that they are quite cheaty, but they are miles better than any shop bought sausage rolls.

Recipe: Easy, Cheaty Sausage Rolls

Easy, Cheaty Sausage Rolls

Ingredients:
1 packet of ready-made puff pastry
8 of your favourite sausages, or equivalent weight in sausage meat
100mls milk

Method:
Preheat your oven to 220° and grease a large baking sheet.

Unroll the puff pastry. You may need to use a rolling pin to roll it out a little thinner if that’s your preference. Cut the pastry with a knife into 8 equal parts which are long enough and wide enough to wrap around a sausage.

Squeeze the sausage meat out of the skin and place the sausage meat in the middle of each piece of pastry, discard the sausage skin.

With a brush, brush along one edge of the pastry and roll it into a sausage roll shape, using the moistened edge to seal it shut. It doesn’t really matter if the sausage meat is peeking out from the ends of the roll.

Once you have made all of your sausage rolls, score the top of each one. I used 3 or 4 slashes, and then brush them with milk.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool slightly before eating. I think they’re nicer warm, but they can be eaten cold and are perfect for a quick lunch or a picnic in the park.

If you’re catering for a party, you could cut your sausage rolls into smaller, bitesize pieces before baking. Make sure you reduce the cooking time slightly if you do this. You could also swap out the meat sausage for a good veggie sausage if you’re catering for vegetarians.

Recipe: Easy, Cheaty Sausage Rolls

Win a festive baking bundle from Sweetpea Pantry

Christmas is coming and there’s nothing nicer at this time of year than the smell of home baking wafting from the kitchen. I recently reviewed some of the lovely baking mix boxes from Sweetpea Pantry. They were a hit and I’ve put a few of their brilliant boxes aside to for quick bakes with the boy this Christmas.

Sweetpea Pantry have put together a fantastic festive baking bundle which you could win in time to do some great bakes this Christmas.

Win a festive baking bundle from Sweetpea Pantry

The festive baking bundle you could win includes a set of star cutters and these brilliant baking mixes –
  • Chocolate Giggles Biscuit Mix
  • Ginger Giggles Biscuit Mix
  • Playful Pizza Dough Mix
  • Super Oat Flapjack Mix
  • Grainy-Brainy Pancake Mix
  • Super-Duper Brownie Mix
  • Scrumptious Carrot Cupcake Mix

These Sweetpea Pantry baking mixes are available from Ocado, Sainsburys, Booths, Marks & Spencer and a range of other retailers. Each mix costs £2.75 and they’re delicious, family friendly mixes with a healthy and nutritious twist.

For more information about Sweetpea pantry, visit their website.

Win a festive baking bundle from Sweetpea Pantry

Win a festive baking bundle from Sweetpea Pantry

To be in with a chance to win a festive baking bundle from Sweetpea Pantry, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will be sent a a festive baking bundle from Sweetpea Pantry.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 10th December 2017.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Sweetpea Pantry – Do their boxed baking mixes work?

Boxed baking mixes are really handy to have in the cupboard for a baking emergency. This week we’ve been putting some of the Sweetpea Pantry range of baking mixes to the test.

In the days before I became I parent I wasn’t known for my baking. I was pretty shoddy at it and used to rely a lot on boxed baking mixes which weren’t that great. Once I became a Mum and it somehow became expected of me to morph into some kind of Nigella creature, I taught myself how to bake. But I still keep a boxed baking mix or two in my cupboard for emergencies.

The Sweetpea Pantry mixes are a little bit different to your standard range of sponge buns with Ninja Turtle decorations. They have a range of sweet and savory mixes which have a healthy twist, more of which later. Many of the mixes are gluten-free and have free-from options; for example their Super-Duper Brownie Mix contains flaxseed and teff, has no added sugar and is gluten-free! They say they are 100% natural, 100% honest and 100% fun!

Sweetpea Pantry - Do their boxed baking mixes work?

Sweetpea Pantry - Do their boxed baking mixes work?

The Sweetpea Pantry range includes mixes for cakes, pizza dough, pancakes, flapjacks and biscuits. They’re made with whole grains and nutritious ingredients for delicious, easy and healthy home baking. We were sent a selection of the mixes to try and I was impressed.

The first box we tried were the Super-Duper Brownies. I’m not usually much of a fan of brownies. I don’t really like chocolate cakes and desserts (yes I know I’m weird) but these were the right balance of not too sweet, not too stodgy but with enough brownie goo to please the crowd.

They were so easy to make and all I needed to add was some butter and honey. There is a list of suggested options so you can tailor your bake to meet your requirements, so if you’re vegan you can swap the butter for coconut oil for example. They took ten minutes to make and 12 minutes to prep and 3 minutes to eat the lot.

Sweetpea Pantry - Do their boxed baking mixes work?

In the interests of having a sweet and savory balance, we also tried the Playful Pizza Dough Mix. This contains chia and flax seeds and is vegan, vegetarian, dairy free and contains no added sugar. All I needed to add was a little olive oil and water, plus a bit of flour when I was rolling the dough out.

I followed the instructions on the box, left it to prove and then rolled the dough out to make four different pizzas to feed four fairly fussy people. Here is my pizza, cheese, tomato, chilli and egg. It actually worked really well and I loved the pizza base which was crisp and held the toppings well. We all really enjoyed the flavour of the base, which had a lovely slightly nutty flavour.

Sweetpea Pantry - Do their boxed baking mixes work?

We loved the pizza dough, it was so easy to use. I tend to use a pizza dough mix rather than a bought base these days as they tend to be lighter. I liked the crisp, slightly nutty base and I’ll be buying more to keep in stock for our family pizza and TV nights.

The Sweetpea Pantry baking mixes are available from Ocado, Sainsburys, Booths, Marks & Spencer and a range of other retailers. Each mix costs £2.75 and from what I can tell, they’re delicious, family friendly mixes with a healthy and nutritious twist.

For more information about Sweetpea pantry, visit their website.

Note: I was sent a selection of mixes for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.