10 Autumn Bakes to try This Weekend

Ten banging bakes to fuel you through a soggy Sunday on the sofa…

Batter up! Because, is there anything better than a Baking Day? Don’t answer that; the truth is that most of the time there are plenty of things I’d rather be doing than holing up in the kitchen spilling flour all over the countertops. Autumn is the exception; as soon as those leaves start falling, it’s all I want to do. It’s probably down to the weather. I mean, we’ve swapped those long summer weekends spent out and about in beer gardens and on beaches, with cold and gloomy ones where staying in and dragging the duvet downstairs onto the sofa becomes the best offer on the table. And those are the weekends I’m living for right now. Marathon lie ins followed by lazy breakfasts (check out some of my favourite brunch recipes here) and a day spent pottering about the house. Slowly crossing things off the “To Do” list in between ticking things off the “To Watch” list and baking something sweet and satisfying to curl up with a cuppa and scoff later. 

I’ve done a bit of digging through the archives and picked out some of my favourite guaranteed cosy cakes, breads and bakes to make a list of 10 Autumn Baking Ideas that are perfect for one of those lazy Autumn weekends spent indoors. This one’s set to be a washout (again, ugh!), and so whether you’re planning on a full on Baking Day or just fancy passing the time with a bit of boredom baking, why not give one of these babies a try? 🙂

Orange and Nutella Babka

I’d never heard of the utter genius that is the Babka until this time last year when they seemed to be all over social media. Stuck somewhere between cake and bread, they’re basically a pillowy, sweet dough that’s rolled with any kind of filling you fancy – from chocolate to the oh so Autumnal apple and cinnamon – and then twisted and knotted before throwing it into the baking tin, giving it it’s trademark swirls.

I’m playing around with another Babka Recipe as we speak, but for now here’s last year’s Nutella and Orange-spiced offering.

Apple Pie Cake

If you want to know what I’m up to this weekend, then here’s your answer. I’ve got a mate coming to stay and my parents popping over for a Sunday roast and so one of these Apple Pie Cakes will be going in the oven tonight. If you’re bored of bog-standard apple pies and crumbles, then this is the bake you’ve been waiting for. Sweet, cinnamon-spiced apple pie mix swirled on top of a beautifully moist buttermilk sponge, it’s quite possibly my favourite cake EVER; it’s easy to make and delicious scoffed with custard, double cream or ice cream (or even by itself!). Save now, thank me later.

Biscoff Buns

I’m a total bun-head; I love iced buns, sticky buns, cinnamon buns… My anaconda don’t want none, unless you got buns hun. Especially cinnamon buns. Phwoar. I’m still working on my recipe for whipping them up at home, but until I stumble on the perfect recipe, here’s a twist with a Biscoff filling. If you’re yet to stock your cupboard with a jar of Biscoff Spread, then you’re missing out, my friend! That delicious little saucer surfer of a biscuit is now in spread form and works beautifully on toast, in porridge, and as the filling for this tear and share tray of sticky Biscoff Buns. Yum!

Feeling Blue-berry Muffins

Sometimes it’s nice to just go back to basics and bake something simple and satisfying, right? Well you can’t go wrong with a tray of Blueberry Muffins fresh out of the oven and bleeding blueberry juice all over the shop. The added crunchy topping to these blueberry muffins give them a little something extra.

Banana Crumble Cake

Bog-standard banana bread gets a glow-up with this recipe for Banana Crumble Cake. Hands down one of my favourite recipes with its moist, banana sponge (without the dense mattress texture you sometimes get with banana bread) and crunchy cinnamon crumble topping. You’ll never want waste speckled bananas on anything else!

Chocolate and Praline Dipped Madeleines

Here’s a recipe to keep in mind for party season, when you need to take a plate of something. Madeleines are so simple to make, but add the Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline topping and you’ve got something that not only tastes delicious but looks like it took you hours to make.

(These Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline Muffins are also a winner if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial…)

Leftover Pumpkin Traybake

How many times have you gutted a pumpkin to carve and thrown out all the good stuff? How many times have I said, “I’ll make it into soup or risotto!” and still ended up throwing it all out? Well, if you fancy actually using up your pumpkin guts for once, then you can’t go wrong with this very easy Pumpkin Traybake. Full of spice and topped with a cream cheese frosting, this bake makes use of every part of the pumpkin that doesn’t get turned into a lantern for Halloween – even making use of the seeds for a crunchy topping. 🙂

Bramble Bars

We’re pretty much nearing the end of blackberry picking season now, but if you’ve still got some stored up in the freezer and don’t fancy popping them in a crumble, why not try these Bramble Bars instead? Part flapjack, part bakewell tart – they’re sandwiched with a layer of sweet, blackberry jam. Yum!

Bara Brith (Welsh Mottled Bread)

It’s never going to win any beauty contests, but there’s nothing better than a slice of hot Bara Brith smothered in butter with a cup of tea. For the uninitiated, it’s a spiced tea loaf filled with dried fruit soaked overnight in tea. Very easy to make, Bara Brith is Wales itself in bread form; traditional, homely and full of tea.

Bakewell Tarts

I couldn’t resist picking up a pack of Cherry Bakewell Tarts from Home Bargains the other day and – oops – I’ve already pretty much polished it off. Hey, they’re small, alright?! These homemade Bakewell Tarts are not small, but are just as moreish – plus the recipe is a snap thanks to a few short cuts. Bake at your own peril! 😉

Happy baking! Let me know what your favourite Autumn bake is in the comments section! 🙂

Chocolate Chip Praline Muffins

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I’ve never had much luck baking muffins.  They either seem to come out too dense, or too flat without that trademark muffin crackle on top.  But!  At last, I seem to have found a recipe that works for me and seems to be pretty adaptable to whatever filling you fancy.  Me?  I’m never not fancying a bit (a lot) of chocolate, and to be extra fancy – instead of making just plain old chocolate chip muffins – I added some hazelnut praline for an extra crunch.  🙂

Chocolate Chip Praline Muffins (makes 12)

Ingredients

  • 150g Plain flour
  • 100g Self-raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 90ml vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 250ml milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Sea salt for sprinkling
  • 150g chocolate chips (as well as a little melted chocolate for drizzling)
  • 100g hazelnut praline (you can find my recipe here)
  1. Preheat the oven to 200° and line a muffin tray with paper cases.
  2. Sift together all the dry ingredients (the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, caster sugar, chocolate, and 50g of the praline).  In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients.  Pour your wet mix into your dry mix and stir.  You want a runny, lumpy mixture – so don’t over stir or worry if the mixture isn’t perfectly smooth.
  3. Separate into the muffin cases, then bake for 20 minutes until well-risen.
  4. Whilst still warm, drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with the rest of the praline and sea salt. 🙂

Have a lovely weekend everyone! 

Blood Orange and Almond Muffins

Blood Orange and Almond Muffins with Candied Blood Orange Slices

I’ve made a few howlers in the kitchen recently.  I tried my hand at making Pastel de Nata for the first time the other day, and I don’t know if it was me or whether the recipe was a stinker but I bit into one and it was basically a quiche/scrambled egg cup.  Yeesh!  You win some, you lose some, I guess.  (Try asking Sunny about the chilli and chocolate chicken I once made for him.  *shudders*)

Anyway, I wanted to bake something summery – since the weather’s cheered up over the last few days – but after the whole Pastel de Nata fail wanted to keep things a bit simple, so I came up with these Blood Orange and Almond Muffins.  I made them yesterday morning before it got really hot, then went out for a walk around the field with Bungle.  They were the perfect treat to come back to, but honestly, the best part about them is the candied blood orange segment on top.  Yum.

Blood Orange and Almond Muffins (with candied Blood Orange segments)

Ingredients

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1stp baking powder
  • 1stp ground cinnamon
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 100g demerara sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 ml milk 
  • 4 tbsp melted butter 
  • Zest of 2 Blood Oranges (save the juice for the glaze)

For the candied Blood Oranges and Glaze:

  • 2 Blood Oranges cut into slices
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200ml water
  • For the glaze gradually add some icing sugar to your blood orange juice until you reach the consistency you want.
  1. Preheat the oven to 180° and fill a muffin tray with muffin cases.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together your dry ingredients – that’s the flours, ground cinnamon, baking powder, ground almonds and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, milk and melted butter before stirring it into the dry ingredients.  Once combined, mix in your blood orange zest.
  4. Share the batter between twelve muffin cases, then bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Once the muffins are cooked, set them aside and leave them to cool.
  6. To make the candied blood oranges first bring a deep saucepan of water to the boil and soak the blood orange slices for 3 minutes until the peel is soft.  Have a bowl of cold water ready, and drop the slices in there to cool.
  7. Heat up a saucepan with the sugar and water – don’t be tempted to stir, leave it until the sugar all dissolves and then add the blood orange slices.  Let them simmer in the sugar water for 30 minutes, making sure you soak both sides, then put them on a sheet of baking paper and leave to cool.
  8. Glaze the muffins and then top with a candied blood orange segment. 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone – enjoy the sunshine! (…while it lasts!) 🙂