Category Archives: Recipes & Baking

Simple chocolate cookies WEB

Our Top 10 Child Friendly Recipes

It’s the summer holidays and you’re at home entertaining the kids. The question is, how to keep them entertained without resorting to game consoles and TV?

Don’t worry, we have your back! We’ve tried and tested our recipes and have narrowed it down to our Top 10 Recipes you can involve the children with.Allinson Pizza dough STAMP

  1. Start with our easy Allinson Flour Pizza Dough recipe, this one takes the longest because of the proving time. What’s feels better than the squidge of dough between your hands? Make sure you apron the kids first! Flour will be guaranteed to get everywhere.

Pizza dough by Allinson

Rainbow Meringues WEB




2. Rainbow meringues. Not as difficult as you think. These colourful individual meringues will ensure your children don’t over indulge. Try mixing colours together for a fun science experiment. Perfect for the up-and-coming scientists in the family.

Rainbow meringues

Cake balls



3. Cake balls! These are easy to make. If your kids can’t agree which flavour to choose, not a problem, separate the ingredients and add whatever flavour you like before rolling into balls. We personally love the Nielson Massey Rose water extract.

Cake balls


Chocolate pancakes with banana WEB

4. One of our quickest and most popular recipe to make with children is pancakes! Try our chocolate pancakes with banana. These are delicious. Fussy eaters won’t eat bananas? Substitute with strawberries. These are sure to be a hit in the kitchen.

Chocolate pancakes with bananas



Fantastic fairy cakes WEB

5. Fairy friendly cake recipe. We promise no fairies were harmed during the recipe creation! This simple batter recipe will bake in 15 minutes. Not too long to wait, but can they wait long enough to ice them? That’s the tricky bit!

Fantastic fairy cakes



Simple chocolate cookies WEB

6. Close the back door when you’re making this one, you don’t want the cookie monster to turn up. This recipe makes 16 cookies. Perfect for sleepovers!

Simple chocolate cookies



Hot Dog Rolls WEBjpg



7. There’s nothing better than the idea of a barbecue. These Allinson bread rolls are easy to make and are the perfect accompaniment to hot dogs. With a 20 minute baking time, it would be rude not to.

Hot dog rolls by Allinson

8. Chocolate Dipped ApplesChocolate dipped apples. One of your 5 a day! No ovens involved, these are a great idea for all ages. Really simple and quick to make



Chocolate dipped apples

No bake chocolate cake


9. No bake chocolate cake. These bars are great. It’s easy to make substitutions if the fussy eaters don’t want things like glace cherries.

No bake chocolate cake



10. Lemonade WEBAfter all this hard work, you’ll all be quite thirsty. Just like the old days, you can reminisce with your children about how freshly homemade lemonade was the ultimate thirst quencher and how it still is now!

Cloudy lemonade

This will take no more than 10 minutes to make and involves no baking. Perfect for the younger ones who want to be involved.






S’more campfire cone

campfire coneWe have already shared with you earlier this week our campfire cupcakes and we couldn’t wait to show you our delicious campfire cones. Think soft and sticky marshmallows, summer fruits covered in melted chocolate and encased in a sweet crisp ice cream cone and that is exactly what our S’more campfire cones are.

They couldn’t be simpler to make either, just grab a pack of cones (Askey’s waffle cones work particularly well for this) and begin to fill the insides with as many yummy treats as you can get your hands on. Broken up chunks of chocolate bars and mini marshmallows are perfect as they will melt and coat all the other ingredients.

campfire step by step Once your cones are filled, wrap them up in tin foil and throw on to the campfire (or pop in the oven on a low heat for 5 minutes if your inside!) Carefully remove from the fire after 3-4 minutes using heatproof utensils and peel off the tin foil coating to reveal the most indulgent gooey filling and enjoy!

Camping will never be the same again once you have tried this hack!

May-be the yummiest recipes of the month

We have been reviewing what recipes you have all been viewing, pinning and commenting on this month and pulled together some of our favourites to share with you. So what are you waiting for? Turn the oven on and tie up your apron. Ready, set, BAKE!

Rhubarb crumble slices rhubarb crumble slices

Hooray! The start of the rhubarb season has arrived and it looks like bakers are already going crazy for the red stuff. Rhubarb crumb is not just for those cold winter nights, we have revamped a classic dish transforming it into yummy crumble slices. These would be a great picnic treat when the summer sun finally arrives and we can get out and about for a spot of al-fresco dining.

Egg-free passion fruit sponge cake passion fruit

Finding an egg free cake recipe can be a bit of a mean feat for allergen sufferers, but fear not we have a delicious egg-free sponge cake recipe just for you. Paired with the sweet, tropical flavourings of passion fruit cream, this cake is not to be missed. If you are a baker that prefers the addition of eggs, simply bake a gorgeous Victoria sponge and follow the instructions for the passion fruit filling for a fruity twist.

Tiger bread tiger

Roooooooar! This quirky bread recipe will certainly knock the stripes of a standard white loaf and is surprisingly simple to bake. The addition of the special paste on top of your loaf will infuse a beautiful flavour into each slice and give that distinctive tiger stripe pattern.


Millionaire shortbread

You don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy these fabulous shortbreads. What’s not to love? A buttery shortbread base, velvety caramel topped with a layer of chocolate. These treats always go down a storm at bake sales, parties or just a Sunday afternoon nibble with a cup of tea.

Festive film night


Call us sad, but we are super excited to hear that the Christmas edition of the Radio Times is on sale this week. We have our highlighters at the ready to flick through the pages and select our top pick of Christmas films and TV programmes, but we figured if we are going to have a festive film night then we need an equally seasonal snack to go with it.

Step forward our caramel and cinnamon popcorn!

This recipe is so simple to make and would also make a great homemade Christmas gift for any movie buffs in the family.


We began with a few simple ingredients: butter, salt, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and the all important Billington’s unrefined dark muscovado sugar and Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract. Using a good quality dark muscovado sugar really will make all the difference to the flavour of your popcorn, giving it a lovely rich treacle flavour, however, if you prefer a lighter caramel flavour you could swap this for a light muscovado sugar.

Be careful when making up the caramel as it is extremely hot, plus a handy tip is to wash up your saucepan immediately after unless you fancy fighting with the difficult to budge caramel stuck to your pan. If you prefer a stronger festive flavour you can increase the quantity of cinnamon or even add a touch of nutmeg if preferred.

You will want to act quickly once the caramel is ready, before it sets so make sure that you have prepared your popcorn beforehand and have placed it in a large enough bowl.

popcorn 1

If you can’t wait to tuck in or your Christmas movie is about to start you can serve your popcorn straight away. Alternatively, we like to bake our popcorn in the oven to crisp up and give that warm cinema-style effect.

Now for the all important decision – which movie to watch first?? Let the movie marathon begin …

Bye bye bake off

So the Great British Bake Off came to an end last week (sob sob) and what a fabulous series it has been. Our emotions have been up and down more often that Luis peering into his oven – we have had the fresh young face of Martha, who taught that age is just a number, right through to good old Norman, who taught us that lavender and meringue should never appear together in a dessert!!

There was drama and scandal with the infamous ‘bin gate’ which we are sure will go down in Great British Bake Off history, as well a triumph as Richard smashed the ‘star baker’ record. But above all that, how amazing was the standard of baking this year?? The final three bakers fully deserved their places after their consistent performances throughout the show. The creativity expressed by some of the bakers was purely remarkable – who could forget Luis’ 3D dragon, Richard’s polka dot Entremets and Nancy’s exquisite mini jaffa orange cakes in the very first week.

We also loved the ingenious kitchen gadgets the contestants had brought along – who would have thought of cutting small cakes evenly with a guillotine?

Prinsesstarta The show has also sparked many a debate in the HQ and I am sure across the nation, such as the pronunciation of ‘Bak-lava (or was it ‘Baklaaaaava’?) and how acceptable is the ‘oops I’ve dropped it’ 3 second rule when serving a dropped cake on the show.

You can’t deny the personalities this year were great as were the cakes and bakes. My personal favourite were the creative Swiss rolls in week one and the Prinsesstårta ‘Swedish Princess Cake’ technical challenge that Mary set. The cakes looked almost too beautiful to eat and we just simply had to have a go at our own showstopper version. Give our recipe a try here.

GBBO 2014 It was great to catch up with the Great British Bake Off contestants of new and old at the Cake and Bake show a few weeks ago and cannot wait to hear what they get up to following on from the show. We are off to start our countdown to next series …

You can try our showstopper swiss roll recipe here

An ice cream baked in the oven?

Baked alaska web

There are many great baking partnerships that go hand in hand -Paul and Mary, bread and butter, jam and sponge … I have always considered ice cream and ovens to not be one of these! Yet the Baked Alaska is a classic dish adored by masses?? So, I set myself the challenge to create a Baked Alaska showstopper dessert.

I think there must be a tiny part of every baker attempting this dessert that holds their breath and squats by the oven ‘Great British Bake Off style’ watching for any sign of ice cream leaking through when baking. It just doesn’t seem logical that an ice cream can bake in the oven without melting, but if you follow these foolproof steps I assure you it does!

You can make the Baked Alaska as simple or complex as you like – make your own ice cream, use shop bought, bake you own sponge or use premade flan bases. If you want to make a real showstopper try mix and matching different flavoured ice cream and sponges too.

Ice cream moulds

I chose to make my own vanilla ice cream, using vanilla bean paste which gave the most delicious rich vanilla flavour and had gorgeous vanilla flecks running through it. I filled this in small pudding moulds (you can also use ramekins) and left to freeze.

Once solid, I carved out a dip in the centre (sneaking a cheeky teaspoon of the leftover ice cream for myself – obviously for tasting purposes!) I filled the hole with a teaspoon of raspberry jam, covered in cling film and popped back in the freezer. The beauty of this is that it can be made days in advance saving you time.

egg whites egg whites 2I then made the meringue using a super clean bowl (this is important in order to achieve the best meringue) and added a touch of cream of tartar to stiffen it up. Using a pastry cutter I cut out circles of sponge, the same size as my ice cream moulds and began to assemble.

Work quickly to assemble your pudding as you don’t want your ice cream to begin melting before being baked, I learn this the hard way with one of mine. I was really generous with the meringue coating and made sure that it was spread right to the bottom meeting the baking tray and covering the base, sealing in the ice cream.

I then baked the meringues, sitting with my nose pushed against the oven door and my fingers crossed. They came out …. perfect!

baked alaska out of oven

I went for the more rustic approach with my meringue but you could pipe it on for a most spectacular showstopper.

So there you have it. Ice cream and ovens can work together and boy did the results taste yummy!!!

Try this Baked Alaska recipe for yourself here.

Bread glorious bread

Who doesn’t love fresh homemade bread? The smell! The taste! The happy feeling when you enjoy the first warm bite smothered in creamy butter…. mmmm!! So imagine our delight when we discovered Lets Cook’s super-sized loaf tins.

‘Lets Cook’ handcraft a selection of non-stick bread tins which range in size from the standard 2lb tins increasing up to the super large 5lb loaf tins, ideal for big farmhouse and extra large loaves, similar to the kind that you would find in a traditional bakery.

Loaf tins

I simply couldn’t resist the thought of a jumbo loaf of bread so I decided to give the 3lb and 4lb loaf tins a try.

Finding a recipe big enough to suit these tins proved to be a bit of mission so a little bit of a trial and error experimenting might be necessary for you to find what works best for you and your oven.

That didn’t stop me though as I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck into channelling my inner Paul Hollywood. In hindsight, on a warm August afternoon, I may have been smarter using a dough hook than working up a sweat kneading by hand!! (Phew!)

When the dough was ready, I lightly oiled the tins, popped the dough inside and left to prove whilst I slipped away to put my feet up for a bit!

Bread dough bread prove

As the tins were deeper than a standard 2lb tin I had to jiggle around a few of the oven shelves to accommodate them, but once in, the loaves baked beautifully – crusty on the outside and delightfully soft on the inside.

I particularly loved the easy release of these tins, the loaf simply tipped out – no coaxing with various random kitchen utensils required. I was also impressed with sharp neat corners that these tins gave my loaves, forming the perfect slice of bread.

baked bread

These tins are so versatile you could even use them for baking pies or as a mould for terrines or ice creams. If you would like to purchase them, please follow the links below. They are currently on promotion until 30th September.

For the 3LB Traditional Farmhouse Loaf Tin, Heavy Duty Non-Stick, Hand made:

For the Extra Large Loaf Tin 4lb+ capacity, Heavy Duty Ideal for Farmhouse & Large Loaves:

For the Super Large Loaf Tin 5lb+ capacity, Heavy Duty Ideal for Big Farmhouse & XL Large Loaves:

Five lucky winner can also get their hands on a set of these tins by entering this month’s competition so what are you waiting for…enter now and get you bake on!

Great British Bickies

Crunchy, chewy, jammy or dunkers you can’t deny that us Brits love a good biscuit with a brew. With the Great British Bake Off contestants tackling biscuit creations in the big white tent this week, it got us thinking at what our favourite bickies are?

Everyone has a childhood favourite and in my opinion you can’t beat a retro classic, in particular the Bourbon. Delicious chocolate biscuits sandwiching a rich and sweet chocolate filling….mmm, what more could you want?

So I whipped out my apron and set about creating my own handmade classics. The dough was really simple to make and used a blend of unrefined golden caster and light muscovado sugar to give a rich chocolate flavour and a soft chewy texture.

With the dough chilled in the fridge, I rolled and cut into rectangles and used a skewer to mark the traditional Bourbon design. A good tip is to keep the biscuits pushed together on the baking tray so that they remain uniformed when baked.

Bourbon dough

Back in the fridge they went to chill for a little longer. In my opinion the longer you chill them the better as when baked this will prevent the frustration of your biscuits spreading and mis-shaping.

These little gems only took 25 minutes to bake, which was just as well as the delicious smell coming from the oven was proving difficult to resist!

Bourbon cooling

I left them to cool whilst I made the filling. The inclusion of custard powder and unrefined golden icing sugar gave the chocolate filling an extra chocolate caramel twist. As delicious as this is, it is important not to get too carried away with the amount that you pipe on to your biscuits. Nobody wants a Bourbon with filling oozing out of the sides!

Due to the moisture from the filling, it is best to eat these biscuits within 2 days of baking, otherwise they may become too soft…not a problem with these ones though as they were soon gobbled up by the team.

Join the Great British Bake Off contestants and have your own biscuit bake off with this yummy recipe:

Happy Baking!

Finished biscuits

Great British Bake Off recipes 2014 –

The Great British Bake Off is back!

We are all giddy with excitement in the offices that The Great British Bake Off is back! Find out how to replicate the recipes from the 2014 Great British Bake Off series, from cakes to bread, from showstoppers to technical challenges – let guide you through them all. We are also here for support to stop you getting that dreaded soggy bottom, so check out our ‘How to’ video section as well as our FAQ’s and tips for extra support.

Throughout GBBO, we will be adding recipes here for you to try. We are told that tonight’s episode is all about the Great British cake, including cherry cake and a Swiss roll. So here are a few of recipes to get you started.

Louise’s indulgent vanilla ice cream

Hi everyone!

As a relatively new member of the team and being new to baking, I wanted to try my hand at making something simple but (hopefully) tasty. I chose to make our indulgent vanilla ice cream recipe, just a few steps and a few ingredients, how hard could it be? I don’t have an ice cream maker but I have noticed most ice cream recipes say that they are not necessary, you can just put the mixture in the freezer and stir it often until it freezes.

I began by splitting a vanilla pod and scraping out the seeds to add to the egg yolks. I then heated the milk, milk powder and a couple of teaspoons of sugar in a pan and added the empty vanilla pod. The next stage was to whisk the egg yolks, vanilla seeds and sugar together with an electric whisk, which I hadn’t noticed until I started making it and I didn’t have an electric whisk. It turns out this was quite a fundamental step in making the ice cream. I didn’t whisk the egg yolks and sugar for long or hard enough with my hand whisk so it didn’t mix well with the milk, meaning the custard never thickened and my ice cream remained quite sloppy, despite being left overnight in the freezer.

I was really disappointed and I ended up throwing the mixture away. I didn’t want to let it beat me though and I did still have all of the ingredients to make more so I bought an electric mixer and tried again, this time with much more successful results. The egg and sugar mixture became a lot paler this time and thicker.

Getting it right the second time made the sense of achievement that much greater and more than made up for failing at the first attempt, especially when I had lots of positive feedback about how it tasted! The main thing I have learnt as a novice baker is to always read the recipe to make sure I have everything and to follow the recipe exactly. It sounds simple but an important lesson nonetheless!