• Pumpkin Spice Latte

    Pumpkin Spice Latte

    Ah yes the essential part of autumn or…”fall”, the pumpkin spice latte! I know, I know its very “basic” and in all honesty a bit cringe but I know I am not the only person in the world who can appreciate a good spiced latte!

    I have tried all different types of recipes and methods on how to use them to make the perfect drink…Alas I still struggled to find one that I really enjoyed. The most simple and easiest option would be to go to a pre-made, shop bought “syrup” which can be added to instant coffee (if you have a fancy coffee machine this is also an option…). But to be honest…it tasted a bit grim! You can also purchase some pre-made “flavoured” instant coffee and or powder add-ins.

    However, I personally like making my own mixes, I can add more or less of certain ingredients and control the flavours a bit more!

    Ingredients –

    Pumpkin Spice:

    Ok, so I’ll be honest, you can play around with this a bit and add/change these a bit according to your personal taste. I personally don’t like cloves so I used All Spice (I know there are cloves in this but its a bit more of a muted taste due to the other spices). The below should yield at least two, maybe three mugs…

    • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves (or all spice)
    • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

    Pumpkin spice latte:

    Again when it comes to the latte itself you can try and test different options and ingredients. When I first made this recipe I did not have the purée, so it was more of a spiced latte which was still very nice! The below will yield one serving…

    • 250ml of milk (or alternative)
    • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste or extract (optional)
    • 1/2 teaspoon of your pumpkin spice that you would’ve prepared before
    • 1 espresso or 30/40ml of strong coffee
    • Sugar or sweetener of choice
    • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin purée (optional in my opinion)

    I struggled to get pumpkin purée so I ordered it on Amazon, you can get a couple of cans and make other Autumn recipes (I love a good Pumpkin pie!) It freezes really well too, split it into portions and then freeze so you can take them out and use them when you need to! –


    Methods –

    Pumpkin Spice:

    This really is quite simple…place each spice into a container (with a lid if possible), shake to mix or whisk. If you find you like more of a certain spice you can always just add this now and if you really like pumpkin spice you can double or even triple the recipe to have more to use in the future.

    Pumpkin spice latte:

    I personally like using a milk frother or wand from a coffee machine however, lots of people don’t have this available so a pan and hob will do absolutely fine.

    – Get a small or medium sized pan and measure out your milk, pumpkin purée and sugar/sweetener over a medium to low heat.
    – Do not let the mixture boil but ensure it is hot, once this happens take it off the heat and add your vanilla, pumpkin spice and coffee.
    – Ensure it is well combined before pouring it into mugs and topping with cinnamon, more pumpkin spice or even cream!

    Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com
  • Easy and Simple Carrot Cake

    Easy and Simple Carrot Cake

    A cake that is very much a family favourite; this recipe has even converted those who would refuse to accept vegetables in baked goods normally!


    Ingredients for the cake:

    • 350g grated carrots
    • 50g pecan nuts
    • 110g wholemeal plain flour
    • 110g self-raising flour
    • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ginger
    • 4 eggs
    • 170g soft brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
    • 8 UK Fluid Ounces vegetable oil

    Ingredients for the topping:

    • 200g cream cheese
    • 60g softened/room temp unsalted butter
    • 60-100g icing sugar (add a bit more of keep it at 60g depending on the desired texture)
    • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla bean paste (you can use extract but I personally prefer the paste when possible)

    Methods –

    For the cake:

    – Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
    – Line two 7inch (17-20cm) round cake tins.
    – In a large bowl sift the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and bicarbonate of soda.
    – Grate the carrots and chopped nuts into a separate bowl or leave on the chopping board.
    – Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl along with the oil, golden syrup and brown sugar.
    – Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and then stir in the carrots and nuts until just combined.
    – You can weigh the mixture so that you can evenly pour it into each tin or you can just try to do this by eye.
    – Place into the oven for 40-50 minutes.
    – Once it has baked, leave in the tins to cool for 5-10 minutes then take them out and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.

    For the topping and filling:

    – Beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
    – Add the vanilla bean paste and ensure this is well combined. Then sift the icing sugar into the mixture a little at a time until it reaches the desired texture.

    For the decoration:

    – Once the cakes have full cooled down add a good layer of the cream cheese filling between the two cakes.
    – Then add a generous amount onto the top of the cake, you can then decorate as you see fit, we tend to add a few pecans or walnuts.

  • Red Velvet Brain Cake

    Red Velvet Brain Cake

    This recipe was brilliant creation made by Rosanna Pansino, it may have been made by others but she made this recipe almost fool proof, even for someone like me!

    I love going all out for each holiday even if my religious beliefs don’t quite fit them all. I think regardless of religion the holidays can be very enjoyable and a good reason to get everyone together!

    You will need a 1½-quarts (3.8 litres) ovenproof glass bowl (Pyrex) to bake the cake – https://pyrex.co.uk/products/classic-glass-bowl-high-resistance or https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pyrex-Prepware-1-Quart-Rimmed-Mixing/dp/B0008155F6?th=1

    Ingredients –

    Ingredients for the cake:
    113g Unsalted butter – you may want extra to put on the pan/for greasing
    400g Sugar
    3 Eggs
    1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
    240g Plain Flour
    25g Cocoa powder (I like to use Bournville)
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    A pinch of salt
    240g Sour cream
    120ml whole milk
    1 teaspoon red food colouring (ensure this is bake stable)
    A least one tub of cream cheese frosting – You can make this easily as well – https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/foolproof-cream-cheese-frosting) *

    *Cream Cheese frosting:

    • 100g butter , softened
    • 1 tbsp orange juice (optional)
    • 100g icing sugar , sieved
    • 200g full fat cream cheese

    Raspberry Decoration:
    350-500g jar of Seedless raspberry jam
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    60ml Water
    1 teaspoon red food colouring (this does not need to be bake stable)

    Marshmallow Fondant:
    280g Mini marshmallows
    3 tablespoons water
    750g Icing sugar
    Vegetable shortening, for greasing your hands (butter can work too but I really advise shortening as there isn’t really any flavour)

    Methods –

    Red Velvet Cake:
    – Preheat oven to 140/150ºC (Fan oven).
    – Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in one bowl.
    – Take a different bowl and beat the butter until creamy, then add the sugar to the butter and beat until fluffy.
    – Mix the eggs and vanilla in a cup and once combined, pour into the butter and sugar mixture, beat until fully combined.
    – Mix the sour cream and milk well in a separate bowl.
    – You can use an electric whisk and alternate adding flour mixture and sour cream mixture to the butter mixture, this is where you will also add the food colouring (try and add this with the wet liquid it make it easier to mix through).
    – Grease the heatproof glass bowl and then pour the mixture.
    – Bake until the cake tester comes out clean, this should take about 1 hour or an hour and 30 minutes.
    – Allow the cake to cool fully before removing it from the bowl! Tidy up the shape of the cake with a knife, you may need to level the flat side so it sits well, place the cake onto a plate that you’d like to use for presentation.
    – If you need to make the cream cheese frosting make this now and as long as the cake is fully cooled you can cover the whole surface with a thin layer (This will allow the decoration to stick).

    Blood decoration:
    – This is very easy and quick to make, just place all the ingredients except the food colouring into a pan, whisk it all up and bring to a boil over a medium not high heat.

    – Once boiling, mix in the food colouring until well combined and then remove from heat.

    You can leave this mixture to the side as it will need to cool fully.

    Marshmallow Fondant:
    – Place the marshmallows into a microwave safe bowl and then coat them evenly with a bit of water.
    – Microwave for 30 seconds intervals and stir until the mixture is smooth.
    – Sift half of the icing sugar into a large bowl and make a well. Add the melted marshmallow mixture into the well and sift the rest of the sugar on top.
    – Coat your hands in the shortening to help stop the marshmallows from sticking to you. Knead this until it is nice and soft but also no longer sticks to you.
    – Use your hands to roll the fondant into 1-2cm thick ropes and arrange them on the cake to look like a brain
    – Use a greasing brush or spoon if you want a messier/splatter look, to add the raspberry blood over the fondant.