As I write this post I’m bundled up in a million layers (including a Uniqlo heat-tech top) with a blanket over me too. Yup, that bitterly cold weather that makes autumn less – trampling around the leaves without a care in the world – and more – unbearable – has well and truly hit. Of course it doesn’t help that the moment the weather decided to drop in temperature considerably was also the moment the heating in our house decided to cease working (I’m actually considering adding a coat and a bobble hat to my sofa outfit right now).
Despite my moaning though, I really do love this time of year. And there’s plenty to love about autumn – a big part of it being the delicious comfort food we can indulge in. The October theme for the BB Baking Club (intrigued? Please do sign up, join the Facebook group and follow on Instagram) was simply autumn favourites, which gave us all a chance to create those tasty treats we’ve come to love when the weather gets colder.
For me, that’s a good shortcrust pastry pie and you can see my recipes for three different flavours of autumn pies in my previous post.
But, there’s plenty more inspiration in the autumn bakes department so let’s see what the group came up with shall we?
Halloween themed layer cake – baked by Anne Marie
With Halloween just past, I couldn’t resist starting with this one from Anne Marie, which it’s fair to say wouldn’t have been out of place in the September showstopper category either. A chocolate layer cake, this epic creation is topped with a spiders web made from melted marshmallow – amazing!
Chocolate Hazelnut Chai Loaf – Nine Grand Student
Chloe, who blogs at Nine Grand Student, opted for a GBBO themed bread this month and tried her hand at this delicious looking chocolate hazelnut chai loaf. Her first time attempting a sweet loaf, I think you’ll agree it’s been a true success. A slice of this with a cup of tea on a cold Sunday afternoon – just the ticket.
Apple and Bramble pie – Emma’s Picture Postcards
It seems I’m not the only one who loves a good pie come autumn, and we had a few variations from the group. Emma baked up one of my personal favourites – apple and bramble – and oh what I’d give to cut a big slice of this straight from the oven and dive right in. It looks so crunchy and warming.
Caramel Apple Betty – Baked by Linda
Also on the pastry front, Linda baked a true Scottish classic – the caramel apple betty. This is one of my Dad’s absolute favourites so I know it well. A sweet pastry base filled with apples and topped with a sticky caramel sauce. Linda went one better and even made the pastry gluten free too. You can find a recipe here if you fancy giving it a go.
Vegan Vegetable Pot Pies – Baked by Chloe
Another pie recipe, but this time a savoury one. Chloe baked some miniature vegan vegetable pot pies this month and aren’t they adorable? Autumn doesn’t just give us the sweet food cravings, something like a vegetable pie, warm and hearty, certainly appeals at this time of year. Chloe followed a recipe from The Thug Kitchen for these, and they’re definitely a website/book to check out for lots of vegan ideas.
Triple Chocolate Brownies – Baked by Chantal
I happen to think a good sticky chocolate brownie is food for the soul all year round. No need to confine this one to a set season. So a chocolate brownie always has a place in one of these baking club round ups. This sticky triple chocolate one was baked by Chantal and with those melted chocolate chunks oozing out, it looks pretty delectable. Find a recipe to make your own right here.
Spiced Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Frosting – Baked by Virginia
I personally love bringing out the spices in baking when autumn hits – a bit of nutmeg or cinnamon makes the whole house smell amazing. Virginia pimped up her carrot cake recipe this month by adding spices for an alternative taste and then topped it with a cinnamon frosting for extra yums. As per usual it got high praise when brought in to her office and I don’t doubt it at all – it looks fantastic! She followed a James Martin recipe which you can find on the BBC Good Food website (although I have to sau Virginia’s looks miles better!).
Chai Spiced Rolls – Tolley Bakes
I’m always a little jealous of those who can bake bread, and bake it well, because I never seem to have the patience for it. All that proving sends me a little loopy, but I think I could almost be convinced to give it a try for Hannah’s, who blogs at Tolley Bakes, spiced chai rolls. Another GBBO recipe, I’m obsessed with how tasty these look, and how much fun it would be to break them up to serve. A bit like a cinnamon bun in shape but made with chai spices and topped with a vanilla glaze while still warm. YUM.
Blackberry and Almond Galette – Scarlet Scorchdroppers
I almost baked a galette myself for this theme, but when I saw Jennie’s – from Scarlet Scorchdroppers – I knew there was no competing with this. This is definitely my type of dessert – hot, filling, fruity, pastry laden – it’s got everything. Plus blackberries are my favourite. And as Jennie points out – this is the ideal pud for after a Sunday roast on a cold day. I couldn’t agree more – Can I have some now?
Pumpkin Traybake and Pumpkin Pie – Baked by Hannah
Finally, I had to end with Hannah’s pumpkin creations. Pumpkin seems to be the quintessential baking ingredient for autumn nowadays and having baked a pumpkin pie myself and seeing how tasty it is, I can’t help but jump on board with this American tradition. Hannah utilised her Halloween pumpkins with two different bakes – a pumpkin traybake with cream cheese frosting, and a crustless pumpkin pie. Both are gluten free, low fat and still look pretty darn delicious. Success! Find a recipe for a similar traybake here and pie here.
Lot’s of inspiring autumn bakes to try out I think you’ll agree. If you do happen to try any of the bakes from the club, be sure to tag #BBBakingClub in your social media images so we can see!
Coming up with the November theme was an easy one for me – it’s both my first wedding anniversary and my husband’s birthday this month, so making a celebration cake of some sort was a no brainer! I always love making birthday cakes for people, and the great thing is that anything goes – no matter the flavour, the shape or how crazy the decoration – whatever works for the person you’re celebrating.
So, whether you love a layer cake, a batch of cupcakes or a traybake when it comes to a celebration, let’s see your birthday/anniversary/engagement/new baby/new job/whatever you fancy baking a cake in honour of celebratory bakes!