Cake and pic by Scarlet Scorchdroppers
Hello August! In some ways July seemed to speed past and in other ways it was a really long month. Or was that just me? It was certainly a busy month that’s for sure. But on the baking club front – we celebrated six months of the club starting, and hit our goal of 50 members (now 52 I believe) which was very exciting! Still a small number of course, but world domination doesn’t happen overnight does it?
Anyway I’m really excited to be sharing all the bakes with you from this month as we had some delightful, delicious looking creations and some lovely stories to go along with them. Our theme for July was Family Favourites so each bake was either a recipe that had been in the family for years, or a recipe that has become a favourite because of a special memory or occasion.
You’ll remember that I baked a classic batch of tiffin (a favourite all round in our family and something I used to bake with my Mum) and below you’ll find all the cakes from the rest of the group. Where possible I’ve linked back to their blogs (we have some fab baking bloggers on board), or the recipe they followed so you can try them out for yourself. If you like the idea of baking along with a group then join the club by adding your email address at the top of the page (to receive the monthly newsletter and other news) and then say hello to everyone on Facebook. I’ve also started a baking club Instagram this month (do come follow for lots of baking inspo), and ALSO a date for the first event has been set and the wheels in motion for clubs to be set up in towns and cities around the world! All exciting stuff so do join in the fun!
I had to start with Bethan’s Rice Crispie cakes with a difference, because who doesn’t remember making rice crispie cakes as a child! They’re a guaranteed winner for kids and there’s always a bowl to lick afterwards. Bethan amped hers up with salted caramel, marshmallows and popcorn making them like a lighter version of Rocky Road. YUM! (Check out Bethan’s blog for more delicious recipes)
I never really knew what blondies were until my cousin offered to make some for our dessert table at the wedding and since then I’ve been hooked. It seems Virginia (who actually got married a week after me – wedding almost twins) had the very same experience as she also had blondies at her wedding dessert table and her and her Hubbie are now hooked on them. Virginia followed this no-fail blondie recipe from Inspired taste and added white chocolate chunks (a wise addition if you ask me!).
I’ve always assumed that Battenburg is a tricky cake to attempt, and despite loving it I’ve never tried it myself. My Mum Linda put me to shame this month though by making it look easy, and not only that but switching up the flavours to make a hazelnut version, like her Mum (my Oma) used to make for special occasions. I have to admit to not ever remembering such homemade Battenburg being around when I was young, but I’ll be angling for one the next time I’m home for sure.
Viennese biscuits are such a love of mine, and turns out they are for Joyce (from the blog Happiness is Handmade) too! Full of happy memories of afternoon teas spent with her sister munching on shortbread biscuits. Joyce says that every time she bakes these, they remind her of her sister – how lovely is that? They are actually trickier to make than they look, as getting that thick shortbread batter out of a piping bag in a neat biscuit shape isn’t easy but follow Joyce’s recipe to give them a go. (I also made these a while back – find my recipe here!)
Cassie bakes her Dad’s favourite this month – a Strawberry and Cherry sponge cake – something he has for his birthday every year. There’s nothing better than a humble slice of sponge cake is there? And this cherry and strawberry recipe makes it light, summery and perfect for an afternoon treat at the weekend. Cassie picked these strawberries herself from her garden too – surely extra brownie points?
The chocolate hob nob – the ultimate dunking biscuit right? And a favourite for Nadine growing up. She tried out Dower and Hollingsworth’s 7 ingredient hob nob recipe and the great thing is that these are made using all natural ingredients (and only 7 of them at that)!
Apple crumble is such a classic I think for many households – it’s easy to make, homely, comforting and damn delicious. As a variation on this favourite, Laura made the BBC Good Food’s apple crumble loaf, which I’m definitely going to give a try as I love trying new versions of classic cakes. Top tip from Laura though – you only need 1 cooking apple not the two the recipe suggests.
Um, how unbelievably neat are Cat’s Millionaire shortbread? I am dumbfounded as to how she sliced them so perfectly as mine always crumble everywhere. Not to mention how perfectly even that distribution of toffee to chocolate to biscuit is. It’s no surprise that she won a prize at her local village show. Try this recipe to make them yourself.
Chloe got all nostalgic this month with a bakewell tart like her grandmother used to make, but never being a huge fan of the traditional English original, she set about updating this classic for her own favourites list. The result was this peanut butter and jam bakewell tart, a totally different flavour from the original! And doesn’t it look good?
Another peanut butter recipe, Caitlin is new to the group and this was her first bake (which she described as a simple Peanut butter and honey cake with a lemon and cream cheese frosting). Well if this is her simple, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next month. I have to admit to not being a massive peanut butter fan, but all these nutty recipes lately are certainly making me want to give it another go. You can find a similar recipe for the cake here.
So I am a little in love with Jennie’s chocolate and vanilla marble cake – isn’t it a thing of beauty. I almost wouldn’t want to eat it (I said almost – it looks too good). Jennie chose this recipe as it’s her Mum’s classic and something her Mum taught her to make when she was little and which she still knows by heart. For extra nostalgia she even baked it in her Mum’s kitchen and using the very tin she used to use in her childhood. I’ve never tried a marble cake but oh my I’m definitely going to give this a go!
I hadn’t ever heard of Sydney Squares before Sharon baked them this month, but you really must go and read her blog post to get a better understanding of why she baked them. It’s a lovely post all about family baking and nostalgia and brought back similar memories for me messing around in the kitchen with my Mum or rooting through a tin of ripped out recipes from books and magazines that were all old and discoloured and covered in flour. This traybake consists of a shortcrust base with gooey fruit filling and chocolate grated on top, and as soon as Sharon baked them she drove straight round to her sisters with the batch to reminisce. Turns out they were just as tasty as remembered.
Everyone has that go-to comfort food when they’re unwell right? Mine was always dippy boiled egg and soldiers for some reason, which doesn’t sound very illness friendly but is what I always remember making me feel better when I was off sick from school. Anyway poor Chloe had her wisdom teeth removed this month and with swollen gums and in pain, she had to forgo her planned cheesebake bake and opt for rice pudding instead – her favourite dessert, something her Mum used to make for her and one of the first desserts she learned to make herself. There’s a real skill in cooking rice pudding and I can imagine it being very comforting after a painful tooth extraction so get well soon Chloe. Try this recipe if you fancy making it yourself.
The baking club isn’t all sweet stuff. Occasionally we get a savoury recipe too, like this delicious Spanish tortilla from Natalie. Something her grandmother taught her to make which she whips up for BBQ’s and picnics. Wow – can I come to one of your BBQ’s Natalie? Want to make it yourself? Try this recipe.
There is nothing better than a homemade warm scone covered in jam and clotted cream is there? I get pretty annoyed if I order a cream tea out somewhere and the scone isn’t warm – anyone else? It HAS to be warm right? Anyway I was a little jealous when my friend Helen posted this picture in the Facebook group because I wanted to eat one so badly! Always a family favourite for me! Try Mary Berry’s recipe for a classic.
Angela baked up a batch of delicious looking date slices this month, and this resonated with me too as it was always one of my Dad’s favourites (and still is). For Angela, this is a recipe her and her Mum often bake together and don’t they just look lovely? I’m craving a bite so much!
Loaf cakes were a popular choice this month, and Susan baked her family favourite Banana loaf, this time with added cherries (delish!). She even got her daughter to help with the baking – definitely a family recipe in the making. Find a similar version here.
And finally… (we had so many great bakes this month right?) Sophie from a Lady Bakes Blog (fast becoming a favourite of mine) made a banana and chocolate loaf. Sophie describes a banana loaf as her Mum’s staple bake when she was growing up, and I have to agree – My Mum used to make this regularly too as a way of using up the bananas that hard started to go off – it’s a classic. Sophie added chocolate chunks which I think can only make this moist tasty loaf even better!
Wowsa! What a great month this was – definitely a record on the amount of bakes we had I reckon. These round up posts are going to start taking me days to put together if the club gets bigger! Not that I’m complaining of course – it’s lovely! Big thanks to everyone who joined in, and I hope you’re off to try some of these fab recipes out.
So onto August… Don’t forget to sign up to the newsletter for lots of extra info, and come be part of the cake community on Facebook and Instagram. Tag any of your bakes (even if you’re not in the club) with #BBbakingclub to be featured on our new Insta page. OH and stay tuned for news of the event soon!
One of the main reasons I set up the baking club was to form a little community which could share recipes with each other, and so far I think we’ve definitely done that! I’ve got so many ideas from my fellow bakers, seen recipes I never would have had the imagination to create and generally felt really inspired by how creative this little group is. But, I realised that the act of sharing recipes, and then trying someone’s else’s idea out for yourself is a step we perhaps don’t document enough within the baking club.
So this month’s theme is more of a challenge. I challenge you to make one of the recipes you’ve seen baked by someone else in the last six months of the group. Preferably it needs to a recipe that’s new to you or something you haven’t baked before. And to avoid straight up repetition of all the same recipes (because that would be a little boring) you need to make it your own somehow. Adapt the recipe to suit your tastes, add something new or switch up the flavours somehow.
I’m actually a little scared of this one myself, as all the bakes so far have been so professional looking but I think I already have a few on the list that I’m dying to try.
GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY BAKING!