Try your hand at baking!

If you are tempted to try your hand at baking give some of our favourite recipes a go, from previous Bake Off contestants, well-known chefs, celebrities and local healthy living expert…

ABOVE: Nadiya’s Parsnip & Orange Spiced Cake | PA Photo/Holly Pickering

Parsnip & Orange Spiced Cake

230g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground nutmeg
2tsp ground mixed spice
200g caster sugar
100g walnuts, chopped, plus extra for topping
3 medium eggs
150ml sunflower oil
500g parsnips, peeled, ends trimmed and coarsely grated
Zest of 2 oranges, plus extra for decoration

For the frosting:
50g unsalted butter, softened
200g full-fat cream cheese
150g icing sugar
Zest of 1 orange

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C. Grease and line the base of two 20.5cm sandwich tins with baking paper. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice. Add the caster sugar and chopped walnuts, mix through with a wooden spoon, and set aside.

Put the eggs and sunflower oil in a different bowl, and beat for a few minutes. Now mix all the dry ingredients into the egg and oil mixture, along with the grated parsnips and orange zest. Mix everything together until you have a thick batter (about two minutes).

Divide the mixture between the two cake tins, and level it off using a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The cakes should be golden, and a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Leave the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack and peel off the baking paper. Leave to cool completely.

To make the frosting: In a bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon then add the cream cheese and icing sugar. Beat until it all comes together, but be careful not to overdo it, or the frosting will become runny. Leave the frosting in the fridge until you need it, if your kitchen is really warm. Take your cooled cakes and sandwich them together using the frosting. Top the cake with lashings of frosting and sprinkle with walnuts, and some extra orange zest.

Recipe taken from Nadiya’s Kitchen by Nadiya Hussain.


ABOVE: Baked Double Chocolate Pudding | PA Photo/Chris Terry/Michael Joseph

Baked Double Chocolate Pudding

100g melted butter, plus extra for greasing
3 eggs
175ml milk
250g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
150g light brown soft sugar
100g dark chocolate drops (70% cocoa solids), or dark chocolate, finely chopped into 5mm dice
100g milk chocolate drops, or milk chocolate, finely chopped into 5mm dice

For the sauce:
300ml water
200g light brown soft sugar
40g cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and butter a 2L ovenproof dish.

Whisk the melted butter, eggs and milk together in a jug until smooth. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a bowl then stir in the sugar.

Pour the butter mixture onto the flour and mix well to a smooth batter. Stir in the dark and
milk chocolate and spoon into the prepared baking dish.

To make the sauce, bring the water and sugar to the boil in a saucepan, then add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Pour evenly over the top of the batter then place the dish in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes.

The top of the sponge will be just firm to the touch, but underneath there will be a runny chocolate sauce.

Serve hot with double cream or ice cream.

Recipe taken from Sweet, by James Martin.


ABOVE: Hot Cheesecakes with a Naughty Topping | PA Photo/Dan Jones

Hot Cheesecakes with a Naughty Topping
SERVES 2, 474 calories per serving

45g digestives
20g melted butter
1 large egg, separated
115g full-fat cream cheese
1tbsp runny honey
1tsp cornflour
1tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:
Fresh raspberries
28g Daim bar, smashed, or 15g dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3. Whizz the digestive biscuits in a mini food processor to make fine crumbs. Tip them into a bowl, then stir in the melted butter and mix well. Divide the mixture between two 150ml ramekins.

Put the egg white in a clean bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk or a balloon whisk until the egg white just holds its shape. The balloon whisk takes a little longer than the electric but it’s great upper arm exercise!

In a separate bowl, whisk the cream cheese, honey, egg yolk, cornflour and vanilla extract, using the same whisk – no need to wash it – until smooth. Add a spoonful of the egg white to the cream cheese mixture and fold together. Add the remaining egg white and fold it in until smooth.

Divide the cream cheese mixture between the ramekins. Put them on a baking tray and bake them in the oven for 30 minutes until the cheesecake has cooked. Take them out of the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve topped with raspberries and pieces of Daim bar or dark chocolate.

Recipe taken from Tom’s Daily Plan by Tom Daily


ABOVE: Photo courtesy of James Wythe

Free-From Chocolate Ganache Cake
SERVES 10-12 (GF, DF, VG, V, RSF)

Ingredients for the cake
(PER TIER) so x2 this when buying the ingredients if making 2 tiers
200g gluten free self raising flour (I use doves farm)
150g ground almonds
30g cacao
300ml unsweetened almond milk
4 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

For the ganache:
2 ripe avocados
5 tbsp maple syrup
25g cacao powder
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
Generous pinch of salt

Pre heat your oven to 180C. Line a 8×8 cake baking tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Add all the cake ingredients into a mixing bowl in the order listed above and mix well until smooth (REMEMBER THE INGREDIENTS ARE PER TIER).

Pour the mix into the baking tin and place in the oven at 180 for 20 minutes (this can vary depending on how hot your oven runs). If you have a second baking tin the follow the instructions again and make another batch straight away. IF you don’t have another (like myself) just wait the 20 minutes and do the process again

Now onto making the ganache, in a food processor add the scooped out avocado along with all the other ingredients and blend until smooth (this can take a couple minutes). Allow the tiers to cool before layering half of the ganache on top of tier 1. You can then add any fruit on top (I added raspberries and blueberries). Gently place the second tier on top and layer with the rest of the ganache and top with whatever you like!

Recipe courtesy of James Wythe, AKA Healthy Living James. To find out more about Healthy Living James please visit


ABOVE: Photos courtesy of James Wythe

Gluten Free Banana & Pistachio Loaf
SERVES 10-12 (GF, DF, VG, V, RSF)

1 flax egg (mix 1 tbsp of chia seeds with 3 tbsp water, for 10 mins unKl a gel forms)
260g buckwheat flour (1 1/2 cups)
160g coconut flour (1 1/2 cups)
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 tbsp maple syrup
50g pistachios, shelled (unsalted)
coconut oil

For the icing:
1 can of coconut milk (chilled in the fridge overnight) you just want the fat from the top of the can
1 tbsp maple syrup
Extra pistachios to top

Pre heat the oven to 180C. In a mixing bowl, make the chia egg by adding 1 tbsp of chia seeds with 3 tbsp water for 10 mins until a gel like substance forms. Whilst the chia egg is forming, shell the pistachios if you haven’t managed to buy them this way. Crush them with a rolling pin until they are into halves.

Line a bread baking tin with baking paper greased with coconut oil. In a bowl mash 4 ripe bananas with a fork until there are no lumps. To the chia egg add the coconut flour, buckwheat flour, mashed bananas, cinnamon and maple syrup and mix with a spoon. Now add the pistachios and mix in well with your hands until a dough forms. Tightly press the dough into the baking tin and place in the oven for 20 mins.

Whilst the bread is baking, add the coconut fat (top thick part of the coconut milk can) to a bowl and machine whisk until it starts becoming slightly frothy, at this point add 1 tbsp of maple syrup and whisk again. Add this mix to the fridge to use later. Once the bread is ready, remove from the baking tin and allow to cool fully before topping with the coconut icing (otherwise it melts) this roughly takes 60-90 minutes.

Now remove the icing from the fridge and simply layer it onto the loaf and finally top with more pistachios.

Recipe courtesy of James Wythe, AKA Healthy Living James. To find out more about Healthy Living James please visit

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