What’s Cooking? – Autumnal Bakes

The title is a work in progress but I’ve decided to do a weekly article about what I’ve been up to in the kitchen. It will also encourage me to keep trying out new recipes!

This weekend I had a fair so decided to try out some seasonal recipes I haven’t made before. With autumn in full swing now, there is a big focus on warm & inviting spiced flavours like ginger & cinnamon. That got me thinking about what to try out that would keep with the season. With Halloween around the corner, I remembered a skeleton cookie cutter I was given as a present for my birthday last year. Not only would it be spooky but I could try out a gingerbread recipe with it. The cookies were a hit at the fair & I’ll admit to nibbling on one when I was decorating them! The cookies are available to order as part of my Halloween bakes (see facebook for more details) & I’ll also have them with me this weekend at the Urban Market in Drygate along with more seasonal goodies.

Skeleton Gingerbread Men

One nation that gets Autumnal flavours right is America. When I was over there a few years ago, I tried a pumpkin spiced doughtnut & the memory of it had stayed with me. I picked up a tin of Libby’s pumpkin puree in Tesco last week but want to find the right recipe for it before cracking it open. Another American favourite of mine is pecan pie with its treacle & nutty flavours. Pie-making is another baking area I hadn’t ventured so gave it a shot at creating a pecan pie. From the pic you can see the pie turned out well! The one thing I need to work on, and this is my own criticism, is to make sure the filling is all the way to the bottom as it was a but pastry heavy at the bottom. Oh and the neatness of the edges…

Pecan Pie

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m an official blogger for this week’s BBC Good Food Show at the SECC. As part of it, I was sent over some recipes that will feature in the free show guide to try out in advance. Given that last week was the final of the Great British Bake Off, I opted to try Mary Berry’s Raspberry & Apple muffins. They were, as Mary would say, a treat & I’ll admit that I munched on not long after it came out of the oven for my breakfast at the weekend!

Mary Berry's Raspberry & Apple Muffins

  • Servings: 12-15
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 85g Unsalted Butter
  • 250g Self-Raising Flour
  • tsp Baking Powder
  • 45g Ground Almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 115g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 250g Plain, full fat yoghurt
  • tbsp milk (either full fat or semi-skimmed)
  • 175g raspberries
  • 1 eating apple cut into 1cm pieces
  • For the glaze: 2 tbsp caster sugar &  tbsp orange juice

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Line 12 muffin holes with paper cases. Melt the butter in a pan & set aside to cool.

Melting butter

Tip the flour, almonds, sugar, baking powder & cinnamon into a bowl & mix together. In another bowl, beat the eggs & add the yoghurt, milk & cooled butter. Stir this mixture into the flour mixture & then add the raspberries & apples to make a light mixture.

Raspberry Apple Muffins

Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases & bake in the oven for 25 minutes until well risen & firm to touch.

For the glaze, warm the sugar & orange juice in a pan over a low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up & let the mixture bubble for 30 seconds so that it turns a bit syrupy.


Remove the muffins from the oven & let them cool in the muffin trays for 1-2 minutes before moving to a wire rack. Whilst they are still warm, brush the muffins with the glaze. (Tip – if you don’t have a pastry brush, you can use a teaspoon to drizzle the glaze)

Raspberry & Apple Muffins