Recipe: Banana and peanut butter loaf {teatime favourite!}

You can’t go wrong with a good banana loaf. This is the simplest banana bread recipe I’ve come across, with the classic equal ratio of butter, sugar and flour plus two eggs. Perfect as a teatime treat, or an easy weeknight pud with a handful of berries. It’s super adaptable, too – I’ve included a tasty swirl of peanut butter here, but you could try throwing some chocolate chips into the mixture before cooking, or studding the top with some pecans; or how about drizzling with an icing sugar and water glaze once it’s cooled and decorating with some banana chips or, my current favourite (a gift from Canada!): maple sugar chunks. Serve with a cuppa.
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Recipe: The best ever Christmas cake {part 1!}

Tomorrow is Stir-Up Sunday! For me, this is the real start of the festive season. I know it’s traditional to make a Christmas pudding this weekend, but I usually make a Christmas cake; I love the decoration element, and how easily it can be shared around family and friends to spread a little festive joy. Over the years I’ve tried out various different recipes for Christmas cake, but this is the best one I’ve found. It doesn’t involve soaking fruit overnight, and the final result is gorgeously fruity, moreish and (sorry, Mum!) …moist. I’ve made many a cake which turned out to be slightly bitter or dry – such a disappointment after all the time and effort you put in – but this recipe is spot on.
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Recipe: Pear and cinnamon galette

Who doesn’t love an autumnal Sunday? I’ve spent mine pottering in the kitchen, cooking up a feast for some of my favourite people, which was topped off with this gorgeous pear galette. I generally steer away from pastry (too much of a faff, and I lack the patience!), especially if I’m also juggling lots of different components for the first course – which I was today, with a roast chicken and all the trimmings to think about – but this was so simple it almost felt like cheating. No blind baking, no messing around with a fancy fluted tin – just a method so easy, even a pastry novice like me could nail it!
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Recipe: Apple and blackberry crumble cake {an award-winner!}

This is one of my absolute favourite cakes. I’ve made it so many times – including for a Women’s Institute’s cake stall at a street festival, for various afternoon teas, and more recently for the cake table at my lovely friend Jennie’s wedding – when it actually won a prize! I’d never won a prize for my baking before, so to say I was surprised is an understatement. Thrilling!
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Recipe: Lime and coconut cake

Ah, lime and coconut. It’s one of those flavour combinations made in heaven. I’ve wanted to attempt a cake like this one ever since I tried a deliciously damp and sticky slice at a tea room in Lincoln, and was determined to recreate it. The rich coconut works perfectly with the fresh sharpness of the lime. I love the slight chewy texture given by the desiccated coconut.
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