Baking is the perfect way to fill a rainy afternoon, and your tummy! 😂 My two love it, so here are a couple of simple recipes with an Easter twist…
With the help of some cookie cutters and some coloured icing, these cookies are pretty simple to create. (Warning: they may look nothing like this when the kids have finished decorating them! 😂)
200g caster sugar
280g self-raising flour
Simply mix the sugar with the butter until smooth (my two like to do this with their hands!), then throw in the flour and the eggs and mix well again. Add vanilla essence and any chocolate chips etc at this point if you wish.
Roll out the dough and cut with cookie cutters. (If it’s too soft, clingfilm the dough and pop into the fridge for half an hour before rolling.) Then transfer the cookies to a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Make sure you leave ample space around each one as they will spread as they cook.
Pop into the oven for 12-15 mins at 200°C / Fan 180°C / Gas 6. Once cooked, cool on the tray for a good 15 minutes before you transfer them onto a cooling rack. Then, once completely cooled, let the kids loose with icing and sweets for an afternoon of fun!
Hot Cross Buns
Easter would not be complete without hot cross buns!! This is a fairly simple recipe, so smother them in butter and enjoy! 😋
500g strong white bread flour
½ tsp salt
2 heaped tsp mixed spice
50g caster sugar
200g mixed dried fruit
7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast
For the crosses/glaze:
3 tbsp plain flour
honey or golden syrup to glaze
Pour the flour into a bowl and stir in the salt, mixed spice and sugar, then rub in the butter by hand. Stir in the dried fruit, then add the yeast and stir in. Warm the milk, beat with the eggs, then pour into the dried ingredients.
Using a blunt knife, mix the ingredients to form a moist dough, and leave to soak for 5 mins. Then, take the dough out of the bowl and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Shape the dough into buns on a floured surface.
Space the buns apart on a baking sheet – they will need room to expand. Cover the tray loosely with cling film, and leave it in a warm place until they have grown in size by about 50%. This will take 45 mins-1 hr 15 mins, depending on how warm the room is.
When the buns have risen, heat the oven to 220°C / Fan 200°C / Gas 7. For the top of the buns: Mix the flour with 2 tbsp of water to make a paste. Use a piping bag (or pour the mixture into a sandwich bag with one corner cut) to pipe crosses on top of each bun.
Bake for 12-15 mins until risen and golden. Then brush all over with honey or golden syrup. The buns will keep fresh for a day, but will last a few days if toasted. Yum, yum!
Quick and simple, this recipe is my go to when we are baking cakes, and a few mini eggs on top makes them Easter ready!
4oz caster sugar
4oz soft butter
4oz self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking powder
Optional – flavourings / icing / additional fillings
Preheat the oven to 190°C / Fan 170°C / Gas 5 and line a cupcake tray with cases before you start – you’ll probably need about 12. I like speedy baking; feel free to mix the ingredients in the traditional ways and orders if you so choose, but I literally throw all of the ingredients into my mixer in one go!
Whizz it up, share into cupcake cases and bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them and remove when golden brown.
To check that they’re ready, poke a fork into the middle of one of the cakes and if it comes out clean they’re cooked – it’s as easy as that! If there’s still wet batter in the middle, bake for a little longer before testing it again.
Cool on a rack, and then be creative with icing and decorations to suit your Easter theme.