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Four cosy autumn bakes to try this weekend

It’s that time of year again – the blankets are out, the candles are lit, and we’re ready to hunker down and hibernate till Christmas. We like to think of October and November as ‘snuggle season’, and there’s only one activity we need alongside our busy schedule of bubble baths and Netflix marathons… baking!


Here are four bakes that we made for quiet Sundays in front of the fire. Tag us if you give them a try!


Caramel Pear Blondies



250G unsalted butter

3 large eggs

275g light brown soft sugar

25g dark brown muscovado sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 tsp fine sea salt

200g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

100g dried pears, chopped

100g dark chocolate, chopped

3 tbsp caramel



  1. Heat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas 4. Butter and line a 20x20cm square cake tin. 
  2. Melt the butter over a medium heat, keeping it stirring. Bubble for a few minutes then remove from the heat and leave to cool. 
  3. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk together with both types of sugar until just combined. Add the melted butter, vanilla and salt, and mix together. 
  4. Fold through the flour, baking powder, pears and most of the chocolate. Be careful not to overmix. 
  5. Pour the mixture into the baking tin, top with the remaining chocolate and dollop on the caramel. Bake for 40 mins until cooked through and leave to cool in the tin. Cut into 12 squares and enjoy!



Blackberry and Apple Cake



125g butter

125G caster sugar

3 large eggs

50g ground almonds

2 apples

100g blackberries

For the topping

1 pinch of cinnamon

2 tbsp demerara sugar

25g butter, cut into thin slices

25g peeled and toasted hazelnuts, chopped

Icing sugar



  1. Heat the oven to 160c/140c fan/gas 3. Butter a round cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Whisk butter and caster sugar together until light a fluffy, then pour into a bowl and beat in the eggs a little at a time. Fold in the remaining egg, the ground almonds and the flour and mix gently. 
  2. Add 2/3s of the apples and all the blackberries. Mix together then pour into the prepared tin and smooth out. Scatter over the remaining apples and sprinkle on the cinnamon, demerara sugar and butter slices. Bake for 50-55 mins, remove and scatter over the hazelnuts. When the cake is cool, dust with icing sugar and serve. 



Slow Cooker Sticky Toffee Pudding



250g pitted dates, chopped

100g butter

4 tbsp treacle

1 tsp vanilla extract

250g light brown soft sugar

300ml double cream

2 eggs, lightly whisked

200g self-raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda



  1. Put the dates in a bowl, add 150ml boiling water and leave to soak for 30 mins. Butter a pudding bowl and line with baking paper. 
  2. Add half the butter, half the treacle, the vanilla, 75g of the sugar and the cream to a pan on medium heat. Cook for 4-5 mins, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and bubble for 3 mins, then stir in a pinch of salt. Pour a third of the mixture into the bowl. 
  3. Whisk the remaining butter, treacle, sugar and eggs together then fold in the flour, bicarb, ¼ tsp salt, the dates and the water. Add to the bowl and smooth the surface, leaving a 1cm space at the top. Cover with two sheets of baking paper and foil, making a pleat in the middle so the pudding can expand. Secure with string. 
  4. Set the slow cooker to low and put the bowl inside, then add boiling water to halfway up the bowl. Cover and cook for 7-8 hours. When done, use a knife to release the edge of the pudding and turn out onto a plate. Reheat the remaining sauce, pour over and serve with ice cream. 

Sticky ginger parkin



200g salted butter, chopped

85g light brown soft sugar

85g treacle

185g golden syrup

250g self-raising flour

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp mixed spice

100g porridge oats

2 larg eggs

1 tbsp milk

2 balls stem ginger from a jar, chopped, and 2 tbsp syrup from the jar



  1. Heat the oven to 150c/130c fan/gas2. Put a heavy-bottomed ovenproof frying pan over a low heat and gently melt the butter, sugar, treacle and golden syrup together, stirring until everything is combined. Remove from the heat and cool for 5-10 mins.
  2. Sieve the flour and spices together and mix in the oats. Whisk the eggs, milk, stem ginger and ginger syrup together in a bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the cooled butter mixture until fully combined. Add the ginger, milk and egg mixture until you have a thick cake batter. Pop in the oven and bake for 45-50 mins until risen. Serve with extra ginger syrup and custard. 
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