Spiced Christmas Cake

The festive season is well underway, but I feel like I haven’t had that many sweets. As I’m feeling better after being ill, I’m finally ready for the treats! So I decided to make something festive and full of what Christmas tastes like to me. Make way for this Spiced Christmas Cake which is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground giner
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • mincemeat filling (optional)
  • powdered sugar to top (optional; ignore the white sugar in the photo. Imagine its powdered sugar since I noticed the mistake just now.)

First, measure out the flour into a large bowl. Then add the baking powder and soda, salt, brown sugar, and all the spices. Combine evenly.

Next in a separate bowl, beat all four eggs very well. Whenever I make a cake, I make sure that the eggs are as smooth as possible. This ensures a silky batter with an even rise; well, most of the time anyway. The last thing you want is to take a bite of cake and then find a bit of scrambled egg in your mouth!

Once the eggs are beaten, add the vanilla, vegetable oil, milk, and applesauce. In the states, its easy to find smooth applesauce, and sometimes several brands to choose from. In the UK, it’s more of an accompaniment with meat I believe, and there are jars of it especially around the holidays. I found a small jar at Tesco on Broadmead for 55p, made with chunks of bramley apple.

Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of flour and spices, and mix very well. If you have a mixer, use that, other wise get a whisk and combine everything well to form a smooth batter.

Line a round baking tin with baking paper, or butter and flour. Pour the batter into the tin and let it settle for a few minutes.

Heat your oven to 180 C / 350F and bake on the middle or low rack for ~35 minutes. I like to bake cakes a bit lower on the racks to avoid browning the cake top too soon.

Once it comes out of the oven, let it cool completely. Then you can really get creative to how you want to spruce it up! I cut it in half creating a top and bottom. Here you can add a layer of cream, or to make it truly festive, spread on a layer of mincemeat! Then top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

And there you have it, Spiced Christmas Cake! This cake is fragrant with seasonal spices and goes great with a cup of tea or coffee. I made this for my work Christmas lunch, and completely forgot to take a photo before we cut into it. This is because I waited til the morning of to put the finishing touches to the cake while I was making my breakfast and getting some slow cooker soup together in the crock pot. And I wonder why I get so tired at the end of the day! Anyway, although there are a lot of ingredients that go into this cake, its totally worth it! The cake is super moist and the flavour is just devine. Its what Christmas tastes like! I hope you get the chance to give this cake a try and that it becomes a part of your Christmas dessert recipes. Have a very Merry Christmas, and as always, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

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Parsnip and Carrot Soup

So, Christmas is officially over, and if you’re like me, you may still be in a food hangover. Also, you may have lots of leftover root veg. We went to Aldi on Christmas Eve and found that they had their super 6 veg on sale for 9 p! So, of course I got a few bags of parsnips and carrots. When I woke up this morning, I realized we had to do some cooking! So, my husband is guest chef today and is preparing a lovely parsnip and carrot soup. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 5 parsnips
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 liter chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (garnish)

First, peel your root veg after giving them a good cleaning.

Next, you will chop the root veg, onions, and garlic. When chopping the parsnips, cut out the fibrous, woody core. This makes a sweeter, less bitter flavour.

Sauté the onions and garlic with the olive oil. Once softened, add the garam masala.

You will then add the parsnips and carrots, mixing it around in the fragrant sautéed bits.

Lastly, add a liter of chicken stock. You can used prepared stock, or you can quickly make it with stock cubes. You can easily make it vegan by adding veggie stock.

Cover, and let it simmer for an hour, or until the root veggies are softened.

Turn off the heat, remembering to add the chopped ginger at the very end. Once it cools for a few minutes, use a hand blender to blend until very smooth.

Garnish with pumpkin seeds, and there you have it, Parsnip and Carrot Soup! This was the perfect thing to make on a lazy Boxing Day, and full of nutrients for you hungover peeps. You can even add chunks of leftover turkey or ham for an even heartier soup.

I really love the mild spice the garam masala and ginger adds. Very warming, without being too intense. You can easily make it in a slow cooker for a filling midweek meal. I really liked the way it turned out and this may be on a regular rotation in my household. Enjoy the last days of 2017 and here’s to baking and cooking wonderful things in 2018! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Chocolate Coconut Flour Bread

The Christmas season is upon us, yay! Did anyone else catch the dressed up boats cruising the harborside Saturday night? Really put me in the holiday baking mood! This is my favourite time of year to bake up treats. Mostly because it’s cold and baking helps to heat up the kitchen. So tonight I’m bringing the heat by baking some Chocolate Coconut Flour Bread. This does not contain any refined flour, and to be honest, is more like cake than bread. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 6 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 eggs

First, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla. It helps if the butter is room temperature.

Next add in the cocoa powder and mix well.

In a small bowl, combine the coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Then add it to the butter mixture, combining it well.

In another separate bowl, whisk the eggs very well until yellow and smooth.

You will then add the eggs to the flour and butter mixture. At this point, it is time to really stir it up!

As you can see, at first glance, it may not appear to come together. But keep going.

It will begin to turn a light brown colour, but more mixing is still required.

The mixture will be ready when it looks like brownie batter. If you have a hand mixer, it will be helpful. Otherwise just use a whisk to mix thoroughly.

Go ahead and pour it into a lined or greased loaf tin. At this point you might be thinking there doesn’t seem to be enough batter for a loaf, but don’t worry, it will rise.

Heat the oven to 350 F / 180 C and bake for 24 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need a few more minutes.

When you take it out the oven, you’ll see that it did indeed rise. You can enjoy it as is, or add a glaze and festive sprinkles similar to the cookies I made last week.

And there you have it, Chocolate Coconut Flour Bread! Well, really, it’s more like cake, but calling it bread means you can have it for breakfast. With 6 eggs and coconut flour, it is actually pretty decent protein wise. It’s also a great option if you are baking for those who cannot tolerate traditional flour. Also, you can substitute coconut oil for the butter to make it dairy free as well.

That’s all for this week. Hope you enjoyed this chocolatey treat and are enjoying holiday baking in your kitchens across the globe. Mind the snow, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!

Almond Softies

December is finally here! I love this time of year because there’s a chill in the air and the best way to warm up is by baking something sweet! For my first recipe this month, I’ll be making Almond Softies which are a perfect treat for the Christmas season. Here is what you’ll need:

For the cookie dough:

  • 1 cup (225 g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (110g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups (240 g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ~3 teaspoons water
  • sliced almonds
  • festive sprinkles (optional)

First, cream together the butter, sugar, and almond extract. It helps if the butter is room temperature.

In a second bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Next, you will incorporate the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add it two tablespoons of flour at a time to ensure an even and smooth dough.

Place the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden up.

Spoon and slightly flatten small balls of dough, lining them evenly on a lined cookie sheet. Heat your oven to 400 F/200 C and bake for 7 minutes.When you take them out they will be very soft. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

As the cookies are cooling, you can prepare the glaze. Pour the powdered sugar into a small bowl, adding the almond extract. Stir in the water, one teaspoon at a time until the glaze comes together.

Drizzle the glaze over the cookies and add sliced almonds and sprinkles to garnish.

And there you have it, Almond Softies! As said in the name, these delights are soft and melt in your mouth with each delicious bite. These are a great addition to a Christmas party as they are always a crowd favourite. Even without the glaze and toppings, they are a hit and super easy to make. The only problem is never making enough!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and that you liked eating them even more! Until next time, stay warm Bristol! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Leftover Turkey Bake

Christmas is over, yet we’ve got tons of stuff in our fridge that we didn’t quite get around to eating. Pairing that with a huge hunk of leftover turkey, and I’ve got an easy recipe idea for this week. Here is what I used for my leftover turkey bake, although it’s really just a hodgepodge of what I had leftover:

1 pound cooked turkey, chopped into cubes

  • 1 carrot, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 zucchini cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup chopped Savoy cabbage
  • 1/2 head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups gravy
  • 1 pound chopped potatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon each of sage, thyme, & rosemary
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil to drizzle

 First, chop up your turkey and fresh veg, and place into a baking dish.

 Next, comes 1 1/2 cups gravy. If you have leftover gravy, use that. Otherwise, I used 1 1/2 cups hot water and added some instant gravy granules, stirring until thick.
Pour the gravy over the chopped turkey and veg. Use a large spoon the stir it in throughout to make sure the meat and veg are coated.


Wash and roughly chop about a pound of potatoes.

 Place them into a medium sized bowl. Drizzle them with olive oil. Next, sprinkle in the sage, thyme, and rosemary, topping it off with a pinch or two of sea salt as desired. Use a large spoon or your hands to mix it up, making sure the potatoes are covered in the olive oil and herbs.

Place the potatoes on top of the veg, forming a top layer. If you have lots of leftover mashed potatoes, you can spread the mash over the top instead. Heat your oven to 180C / 350F and bake for 55 -60 minutes. If your bake is topped with mashed potatoes, 45 minutes should suffice.


And there you go, Leftover Turkey Bake for dinner! It’s an easy way to use up your leftover meat, veg, and gravy after the holiday feast. The recipe can also be delicious if using leftover ham or roast beef.  And this leftover bake makes still more leftovers for lunch if you have to work today, like me. Enjoy your time off and relish the last days of 2015! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

today’s leftover lunch