The National Baking Week website has plenty of recipes to get you started, from main dinners through to sweet treats. We’ve selected three great, easy recipes to get you started. Then, once you’re happily enjoying the fruits of an afternoon in the kitchen, have a browse of the NBW website for competitions and ideas for charity bake sales. Happy baking!
A delicious snack served warm with butter, a lunchbox favourite or as a side with a main meal, these lovely savoury muffins are perfect family fodder. Make up an extra batch and freeze them for last minute lunches.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 1.5kg pumpkin
- 2 large potatoes
- 30g butter
- 125g grated cheddar cheese
- 1ltr milk
- 200ml crème fraiche
- 1 pinch grated nutmeg
- 6 free range eggs
- A little salt and pepper
- Remove the outside skin from the pumpkin and deseed. Peel the potatoes and dice both the vegetables into cubes.
- Heat the milk in a large saucepan until almost boiling and add the potato and pumpkin.
- Leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Ladle out a glassful of milk and keep to one side for cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 205°C.
- Roughly mash the potatoes and pumpkin with a fork.
- Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl and add the cheese and cream. Season the mix with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Add a little extra milk to loosen the mix if necessary.
- Grease a muffin tray with butter.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray and add small piece of butter to the top of each one. Bake for around 20 minutes.
- Serve hot on a bed of salad.
BEST CARROT CAKE (from Leith’s Vegetarian Bible)
Despite trying many others, this remains my favourite carrot cake recipe. It’s light and moist and is a real teatime treat. Also makes a lovely birthday cake. I tend to approximately half the quantities of sugar in the icing, and it always tastes sweet enough!
- Butter, for greasing
- 200g/7oz plain flour
- 1 heaped teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 225ml/8fl oz vegetable oil
- 225g/8oz soft light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 200g/7oz carrots, grated
- 85g/3oz walnuts, roughly chopped
For the icing
- 125g/4 ½oz cream cheese
- 110g/4oz icing sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon almond essence
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas mark 3. Grease a 20cm/8in deep cake tin and line the base with greased greaseproof paper.
- Sift together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Whisk the oil and sugar together in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time until the mixture resembles mayonnaise. Fold in the flour mixture and then the carrots and walnuts.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1-1 ½ hours until the cake is well risen and feels firm when pressed with the fingertips and a skewer comes out clean. Remove the cake from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
- Beat the cream cheese with a wooden spoon and add the icing sugar and almond essence. Spread over the top of the cake.
An all-time baking favourite, this quick and easy dough is fun to roll out and get creative with. You don’t need to stick to just gingerbread men – why not try a whole farmyard of gingerbread animals?! You can usually find good shape cutters in baking shops or online.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
- 140g slightly salted butter, softened
- 75g golden granulated Sugar
- 130g wholemeal plain flour
- 20g cornflour
- 4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 egg, beaten
- Optional: cake decorations
You will also need:
- Gingerbread cutters
- Rolling pin
- Baking tray
- Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F Gas 4)
- Grease the baking tray with some butter
- Cream the butter and sugar together until mixture is light and fluffy
- Sift the flour and ginger into the mixture and fold in gently
- Stir in the beaten egg and vanilla essence and stir to form a firm dough.
- Knead lightly then wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours
- Roll out the mixture on a floured table then use a cutter to make shapes. Place these on the baking 8. Bp>
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, leave to firm then transfer to a wire rack to cool
- Decorate as you desire! Chocolate buttons, icing, raisins etc.