Tag Archives: quick

Giant Victoria Sponge Donut Cake

Here’s a great way of reinventing the classic Victoria sponge into a showstopper of a cake, this is my Giant Victoria Sponge Donut Cake.

I bought my giant donut mould from Lakeland when it was on offer for £2.50. I don’t often bake with silicon moulds but I enjoyed making this donut cake; greasing the moulds made the cakes turn out really easily and I loved how the cakes looked after they were turned out with the golden brown rings on the base.

The donut mould comes with a lid that you can put on one half so that the cake is baked with a slight hollow so you can fill it like a donut; unlike my Victoria Sponge donut, the filling is instead concealed giving it a more authentic doughnut look but I prefer having the filling exposed, it looks much more inviting to me! And even if you can’t find this exact mould, any savarin-shaped mould will do. Make sure that the inside is well greased and you may want to flour it too to extra ensure it turns out.

This cake went down a huge storm with the teachers at school who requested a cake from me. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a picture of a slice but when you get an empty cake stand brought home, you know it must have been good!


225g margarine

225g granulated sugar

4 eggs

225g self raising flour

1 tbsp whole milk

75g raspberry jam, sieved

300ml double cream

50g granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

80g icing sugar

Red food colouring

Sprinkles, to decorate


Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Grease two 21cm silicon donut moulds well and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine with the granulated sugar until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one, scraping down the bowl with a spatula after each addition. Add in the self raising flour and fold through until incorporated. Then beat in the tablespoon of milk until mixed through.

Divide the cake batter evenly between the 2 donut moulds and use the back of a spoon to level the surface. Bake the donut cakes for around 25 – 30 minutes until the cake is golden brown, coming away from the edges and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the mould for 10 minutes before peeling away the mould and leaving to cool fully on a cooling rack.

In another bowl, whisk the double cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until it holds a thick but soft peak. Then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.

Prepare the icing by mixing together the icing sugar with enough milk to form an icing that is thick enough to stay on the cake but not too thin that it runs off the cake straight away. Add a drop of red food colouring to make a baby pink colour.

Place one donut half on your serving stand and use a serrated knife to level off the top if necessary. Spread the sieved jam over this top half, making sure it doesn’t go over the edge. Carefully pipe over the whipped cream in a swirl pattern, filling in any gaps after. Sprinkle over a few pink pearl sprinkles and then place the other sponge on top the right way up.

Then spread the pink icing over the top of the sponge, covering the entire surface and allowing it to drip down the sides slightly. Before the icing sets, sprinkle over some rainbow sprinkles and leave the icing to set before slicing to serve.

Foolproof Funfetti Icebox Sugar Cookies

I’ve said before that I find making cookies where you roll out and cut out cookie shapes not enjoyable. The cookies would usually end up tough and rather bland however after a lot of experimenting and sugar cookie baking, I’ve managed to get a recipe which produces perfect sugar cookies. These are my Foolproof Funfetti Icebox Sugar Cookies!

The perfect cookie is crisp around the edges and soft and chewy in the centre but the addition of rainbow sprinkles add not only a massive pop of colour but a tiny amount of texture which adds a lot of interest to a standard sugar cookie recipe.

I eliminate the chance of overworking the dough when you roll it out by hand by following an icebox cookie method. If you’ve not heard of an icebox cookie, you might actually be familiar with the method and some cookies which use it; checkerboard cookies, pinwheel cookies and striped cookies all use the icebox method.

The cookie dough is shaped into a log and chilled to firm it up which allows it to be sliced into shapes which give consistency across a batch of cookies. Icebox cookies tend to be smaller than your average chocolate chip cookie so the yield per batch is much higher than most other recipes. I averaged around 60 cookies per batch.

Icebox cookies have a further benefit in that the cookie dough can be made ahead and frozen and after time defrosting in the fridge, it can be used as normal. Just make sure that it is wrapped tightly in clingfilm so it doesn’t suffer from freezer burn.

Check out my other cookie recipes by clicking on the names:


170g margarine

200g granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

355g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

80g rainbow vermicelli sprinkles, plus 50g for the outside of the cookies


In a large bowl, cream together the margarine with the sugar until it is lighter in colour and the sugar has dissolved and is smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Mix through the vanilla extract.

Sift in the plain flour and baking powder and using a rubber spatula, fold through the dry ingredients. Before the mixture comes together into dough, add in the rainbow sprinkles and continue to mix until a pliable dough forms.

Fill a baking tin with the extra rainbow sprinkles. Divide the dough into 4 and on a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a log. Roll the log gently in the tin of sprinkles until the outside of the log is well covered. Lay out sheets of clingfilm and roll up the logs in clingfilm well. Shape the cookie dough into a cuboid shape and repeat for the rest of the dough. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Using a sharp knife and a single downward motion, slice off pieces of the cookie dough ¼ of an inch thick and arrange on the baking tray, leaving room for spreading.

Bake the cookies for 9 – 11 minutes, or until the cookies have spread and are ever so slightly tinged golden around the edges. Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for 15 minutes before carefully lifting off the tray and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Rainbow Vegetable Puff Pastry Tart

Vegetarian tarts are some of my favourite savoury bakes to make. It’s very easy to create a delicious vegetarian meal without feeling as if you’re missing the meat using puff pastry. And this Rainbow Vegetable Tart is an easy and delicious vegetarian puff pastry tart that can be ready in just 45 minutes!

There’s no shame in using ready made puff pastry, especially when it’s so readily available, cheap and good quality from many supermarkets. The tart has flaky and delicate buttery puff pastry with a layer of smooth cream cheese and lots of good vegetables which are tasty and texturally all different; the cucumber provides a soft mellow base, the carrots add slight sweetness as well as a tiny amount of crunch, the tomato adds moisture and sweetness as it roasts on the surface and the red onions cook down and become crisp. The tart is finished off with melted brie and gorgonzola.


1 x 375g block of shop bought puff pastry

75g full fat cream cheese

Ground black pepper

20ml lemon juice

Pinch of salt

½ a cucumber, cut into long ribbons using a vegetable peeler, seeds removed

½ a carrot, cut into long ribbons using a vegetable peeler

3 tomatoes, sliced

½ a red onion, sliced thinly

50g brie, cubed

25g gorgonzola, cubed

Beaten egg, to glaze


Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Cut a piece of parchment to fit a square baking tray.

Roll out the puff pastry into a square on a lightly floured surface measuring 23cm by 23cm. Use a knife to lightly score a mark 2cm in from each side.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese with the black pepper, salt and lemon juice until it has a spreadable consistency. Spread the cream cheese on top of the puff pastry up to the marked edge.

Arrange the cucumber and carrot ribbons over the pastry so that the cream cheese is concealed, again reaching up to the border. Place 16 tomato slices on the tart in a 4×4 grid as in the picture and scatter over the thinly sliced red onions and the brie and gorgonzola. Finish with a crack of black pepper and brush the top of the puff pastry with egg wash.

Bake the tart for around 25 minutes or until the pastry is well-risen, golden and crisp and cooked all the way through to the base. Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before slicing into 4 pieces and serving hot with a lightly dressed side salad.

White Chocolate Cheesecake Easter Eggs

You might not be left with many Easter eggs by the end of this Easter weekend however I beg you to save a few of them to make my White Chocolate Cheesecake-filled Easter Eggs; you’ll finish them even quicker than the Easter egg itself!

My choice of egg are the eggs that you might use for an Easter egg hunt so maybe persuade the young ones to hand over a few to make these cheesecake eggs. The eggs I used were from Co-op which I received as part of their #GoodEgg campaign. (I have not been asked to promote the Co-op or their product, I am stating where the eggs are from so that you can see what I am working with for reference, other supermarkets may have similar products available in their stores).

Slicing the eggs in half is very tricky and getting perfectly shaped halves was rare, as you can see! Hence you will need more than 6 eggs because some of them will crack in an odd place rendering them unusable. But reserve the broken pieces as they go brilliantly inside the cheesecake mixture! The quantity of cheesecake is enough to fill 12 half eggs as well as half of a large Easter egg or 2 large halves. The cheesecake recipe is adapted from the fantastic Becky over at https://biscuitbases.wordpress.com.


12 x 17g hollow milk chocolate Easter eggs, plus one half of a large hollow Easter egg or 1 large hollow Easter egg

100g white chocolate

200g cream cheese, at room temperature

25g icing sugar, sifted

175ml double cream


Use a serrated knife to halve the Easter eggs as best as you can and place one in each cavity of a 12 hole bun tin. Keep any broken pieces that fall off in a small bowl and break them up into small pieces.

Break the white chocolate into chunks and place into a microwaveable bowl. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds and then in 20 second intervals until fully melted, stirring between each interval.

Working quickly, soften the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Add in the sifted icing sugar and beat in until smooth. Add in the melted chocolate and fold through until even. Then mix through the reserved Easter egg pieces.

Whisk the double cream until it holds a soft but thick peak; do not overwhip or it will split. Fold the whipped cream through the cheesecake mixture. It should be relatively thick and hold its shape.

Fill the hollow egg halves with the cheesecake mixture. You can do this with just a spoon or you can use a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle however the chocolate pieces can block up the nozzle. Place into the fridge for 2 hours to set the cheesecake mixture for the small eggs and 4 hours for the large eggs.

Finish with a few sprinkles and mini eggs and transfer the eggs into a paper case.

Apple and Sultana Hot Cross Scones

Scones are a brilliant starting place for any beginner baker and homemade scones fresh from the oven are far superior to supermarket scones. I’ve given the classic scone a slight twist with the addition of apple and seeing as we’re in April and Easter is around the corner, I added a cross on top of the scones, as an alternative to hot cross buns. These are my Apple and Sultana Hot Cross Scones.

Traditionally, the liquid used to bind the ingredients in scones is milk however I toyed with the idea of using apple juice as the binding liquid and I found it worked just fine, adding slight sweetness as well as flavour. The variety of apple I chose was Gala as they looked the most delicious and sweet in the shops. I like to keep the red skin on however you can peel the apples too. The size of the diced apples is about 1cm.

I usually avoid using a rolling pin to flatten the dough so that I resist the temptation of rolling it too thinly and it also prevents knocking out as much of the air created thus far. Also, when you cut out your scones, don’t twist the cutter otherwise the scones won’t rise properly. The cutter I used was a mug which was 7cm wide at the top so these scones are fairly sizeable but feel free to use a smaller cutter for daintier scones (and also reduce the baking time).


250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

3 tsp baking powder

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

60g margarine, cut into cubes

45g granulated sugar

1 Gala apple, cored and diced

30g sultanas

1 large egg

60 – 80ml apple juice, plus extra for brushing the scones

30g plain flour

Water


Preheat the oven to 190˚C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Sift the flour, baking powder and the spices into a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the margarine into the dry ingredients until it resembles fine and even breadcrumbs. Shaking the bowl will move larger pieces of the margarine to the surface. Create a well in the centre and add the sugar, diced apple and sultanas and stir to combine so the fruit is coated in the flour.

Make another well and crack in the egg and add three-quarters of the apple juice and using a palette knife and a cutting and stirring motion, bring together until it forms a loose dough.

Tip it out onto a lightly floured work surface and use your hands to knead the dough for about 10 seconds to bring it together. It should look quite rough but hold together as a dough; if it’s smooth, then you’ve overworked it. Use your hands to flatten the dough to around 2cm thickness.

Use a lightly floured cutter (I used a mug which was 7cm wide at the top), cut out as many scones as you can from the dough and place onto the baking tray, leaving space for expansion. Reroll and reshape any of the scraps of dough, doing this a maximum of 2 times to avoid overworking.

Brush the tops of the scones with apple juice. In a small bowl, mix together the flour with enough water to form a thick pipeable paste. Transfer into a piping bag and cut off a small hole at the end and then pipe a cross over the scones, starting from and finishing at the sides of the scones.

The scones took around 20 – 25 minutes to bake in my oven. I waited for the tops and sides to be evenly golden brown and lifting up the scones from the parchment, it should come cleanly off the parchment and be browned well on the base. Leave to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Ham and Cheese Sliders

When I hear the word ‘slider’, I think of mini burgers and searching images on Google, you’re bombarded with images of tiny (but delicious) burgers. The term however can also refer to generally a small sandwich served on soft rolls and it’s the latter which I want to share with you. These are my take on Ham and Cheese Sliders.

I first came across the Ham and Cheese Sliders from one of my favourite Youtube channels, Stephenvlog. Stephen Georg, along with his wife, runs various channels on Youtube covering content from video gaming to painting to daily vlogging. Stephen’s daily vlogs usually contain some food and whether it’s a recipe that Mal’s cooking, Stephen’s mother Debra’s cooking or food from a restaurant/fast food chain, there’s a lot of food there to inspire you to cook something!

And inspired I was by Day 1352 of their vlog to make the Ham and Cheese Sliders. You can watch the vlog here:

I’ve adapted the recipe slightly to the way that Mal makes it in the video. From watching the vlogs (and seeing other versions of the recipe online), the Hawaiian rolls that are used remain soft even after the baking but I much prefer a crunchy top which adds a slight contrast of texture to the soft base and the ham and cheese. So instead of melting the margarine/butter as Mal does, I mix it with lots of flavoursome ingredients before spreading over the top half of the roll. I also spread a thin layer of cream cheese on the rolls for extra richness.

I use honey roast ham and cheddar cheese, both of which are never amiss in my fridge, however you can use any type of ham and cheese you want. This recipe is also easily scalable to make a fantastic party dish and you can buy packs of 12 soft rolls from most supermarket bakeries.


4 soft bread rolls

50g cream cheese

12 slices of honey roast ham

80g cheddar cheese, grated

50g margarine

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp dried basil

¼ tsp salt

Ground black pepper, to season


Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Line a baking tin with foil.

Slice the bread rolls in half and place the bases into the baking tin. Spread over a thin layer of the cream cheese and season with pepper. Top each half with 3 slices of the ham and sprinkle with the grated cheese, seasoning with a bit more pepper.

In a small bowl, mix together the margarine with the garlic powder, dried basil and salt. Then spread a layer of the margarine on the top of each top half of the roll. Season with more pepper and then put on top of each bottom half to make a sandwich.

Bake the sliders for around 15 minutes until the tops have browned and are crisp. Serve the sliders with a side of your choice; chips, crisps or coleslaw work brilliantly with the sliders.

Recreating Wagamama’s Chicken Teriyaki Donburi

I’m going to say that around 50% of people reading this typed in “Wagamama’s Chicken Teriyaki Donburi’ into a search engine and got to this blogpost. I’d also bet that you went onto Wagamama’s website and was disappointed at their recipe/guide on how to make it yourself at home – I know I certainly was! I decided to create my own recipe for a much tastier version of Wagamama’s Chicken Teriyaki Donburi (and much cheaper too!)

The word teriyaki itself is a combination of ‘teri’ which refers to the shine that comes from the reduced soy sauce and sugar and ‘yaki’ which refers to the method of grilling. I adapt this slightly and cook the chicken in my wok until cooked and then adding the ingredients for the sauce to the wok, almost backwards marinating if you will.

For ease, I cooked my rice in a rice cooker. They are a fantastic piece of kitchen equipment because they save the hassle of cooking rice over the hob, gas or electric, and using microwave rice. Cheap long grain rice works just fine here and you can bulk out your expensive jasmine or basmati rice with the cheap long grain rice to make it go further. A 1.5L rice cooker, which is more than enough to cook 4 servings, ranges in price from £15 to £30.

The time it takes to cook the rice is also how long it takes to cook the chicken teriyaki itself, making for a perfect dinner. I slice the chicken breasts into strips so that they can cook quicker but also makes the chicken breast go a bit further. You can also use chicken thighs for this recipe, they have a bit more flavour but make sure that they are skinless and boneless. I serve the chicken teriyaki with raw carrots for crunch, rocket for pepperiness, sesame and chill broad beans to up the vegetable content and kimchi for a punchy kick. You can find kimchi in refrigerated packets in most Asian supermarkets.

This would also go really well with my Romaine Lettuce Kimchi, which has been one of my most popular posts in 2017!


300g long grain rice

2 tbsp oil

3 chicken breasts, sliced into strips

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 tbsp light soy sauce

6 tbsp dark soy sauce

150ml white wine

3 tbsp sugar – you could also use honey

2 spring onions, finely sliced

1 carrot, cut into thin strips

60g rocket leaves

150g frozen broad beans

1 tsp sesame oil

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

100g kimchi, optional


Wash the rice under cold water until the water runs clear, then place into the bowl of your rice cooker. Add enough water to the rice cooker to reach just under the first crease of your middle finger when you touch the surface of the rice with your middle finger. Switch on the rice cooker and leave the rice to cook.

Heat the oil in a wok over a medium high heat. Cook the chicken breast strips in the wok until they are cooked through, stirring to stop it from sticking. Once cooked, add in the crushed garlic, the two soy sauces, the white wine and the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Leave the teriyaki sauce to boil down and reduce by half. When reduced by half, add in a handful of the spring onions and carrots and reduce by a third.

Place the broad beans into a pan of salted boiling water and cook for around 7 – 8 minutes until they are soft and tender. Drain away the water and return to the pan, adding in the teaspoon of sesame oil and chilli flakes. Toss to coat.

Remove the chicken from the wok and place into a small bowl and set aside. Continue to reduce the sauce, letting it thicken naturally until it coats the back of a spoon. Return the chicken to the sauce and warm through.

When the rice is cooked, fluff it up using a fork and then divide equally between 4 bowls. Lay the carrots around the left side of the bowl, the rocket leaves around the right side of the bowl and then fill the centre with the chicken, drizzling the teriyaki sauce over the chicken. Serve the broad beans and kimchi in a bowl on the side.