Recipe: Lazy Pumpkin Spiced Loaf Cake

pumpkin spiced loaf cake

It’s officially the start of October! Not only does that mean that I can start wearing extra spooky accessories on the regular (I MAY have treated myself to some ridiculous fabulous golden skeleton earrings already, ghoulfriends!), but it also means pumpkin spiced everything is in abundance – and I am totally OK with that.

Yes, that sweet n’ spicy cliche might be done to death by 2017, but it’s a cliche that I’m more than happy to indulge in!  To me (and about a million others I am sure!), pumpkin spiced scents and flavours signify the start of Autumn. And besides, it tastes amazing!

October also means that some pretty nasty weather is likely to kick in and there are going to be some days when you just can’t bear to put on real clothes and go outside. But your local coffee shop does a mean pumpkin spiced loaf cake – wah! What’s a gal to do?

pumpkin spiced loaf cake

Well, over the weekend I found myself in a similar position! My big plans to go out for the day had been totally thwarted by the weather, so I decided to stay home and bake something pumpkin-y and spicy #becauseoctober. A few of you have been sliding into my DM’s asking for the recipe (if you can really call it that!), so I thought I’d share it today!

If you’ve seen any of my other recipes, you’ll know by now that I am extremely lazy in the kitchen and this post is no exception! Here’s my quick and easy take on a pumpkin spiced loaf cake…

pumpkin spiced loaf cake

You will need:

  • 1 can of pumpkin filling (I used a brand called Baking Buddy, from Tesco)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 box of cake mix (I used Devil’s Food by Betty Crocker)
  • 8 tablespoons of oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 230ml water
  • White chocolate chunks
  • DIY spice mix (below – ground nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and allspice)
  • Frosting (I used the pre-made kind, also Betty Crocker!)

Preheat the oven to 180 (or whatever your cake mix dictates!). While that’s heating up, combine the eggs, oil, water and cake mix in a big bowl. Add the pumpkin filling and chocolate chunks and mix well. Sidenote: I couldn’t see the chocolate chunks after I baked the loaf, so it’s up to you if you want to bother with them! 

Spice up your life! Make your own spice mix using 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, half a teaspoon of ground ginger and half a teaspoon of ground allspice (the kind with clove listed in the ingredients). Mix together then add into your batter.

Pour your mixture into a loaf tin and bake in the oven for about half an hour. Enjoy the smell of warm pumpkin spiced sponge as it fills your home. Mmmm.

pumpkin spiced loaf cake

Once your cake is baked, let it cool. I personally think the loaf is nice on its own, BUT this time around I added a cinnamon frosted topping. This sounds fancy, but it was actually a tub of vanilla frosting mixed with a teaspoon of cinnamon – bada bing, bada boom!

You’re good to go – slice your loaf cake and cosy up with your favourite hot drink.

And that’s how I made this PSL: Pumpkin Spiced Loaf cake! I hope you give this seasonal treat a try – I have a feeling that this batch won’t be around for very long and I’ll be making it again soon…

DIY Spruced-up Soft Drinks With Fentimans

Fentimans

It’s January and, like everyone else I know, I’m spending quite a few of my nights in at the moment! But that’s alright with me because I’m still a little tired from December and all of the running around on the lead up to Christmas. This girl needs some downtime!

Lush baths, pom pom slippers and Netflix binges (I’m currently working my way through Gilmore Girls and all of Jim Gaffigan’s stand up shows, what about you?) are currently my favourite ingredients for a pitch-black, freezing cold weeknight, and I’m feeling ALL the better for it.

Fentimans

As some of you already know, I don’t drink, so unwinding with a glass of wine in front of the TV isn’t really my bag. That being said, I still enjoy something yummy to sip while catching up with my favourite obsessions shows. Flavoured tea is a big favourite but I’m also a huge fan of making fun flavoured drinks and mocktails.

Recently, the lovely team at Fentimans sensed my sudden spell of hibernation and promptly sent me a hamper filled with their botanically brewed drinks. I love their Rose Lemonade and I was more than happy to taste test some of the other flavours too – including their Ginger Beer, which has been in production since 1905!

Fentimans

Giving things some extra pizazz is something that I just can’t resist – be it on my outfit or sitting in my glass – so I decided to dress up my drinks with some additional flavours and garnishes. Throw in a pair of silk pyjamas and I think I just might feel like the fanciest couch potato ever.

So, I’m not calling these concoctions ‘recipes’ per se – let’s face it, most of the work has already been done – but a couple of simple makeovers on two of Fentimans’ classic flavours in case you fancy some spruced-up soft drinks…

Fentimans

Rose(mary) Limeade

For this drink, you’ll need: one 275ml bottle of Fentimans Rose Lemonade, 1 lemon, 1 lime, and a sprig of rosemary.

1. Slice up your lemon into wedges and cut your lime in half. Place a couple of lemon wedges in a glass.

2. Pour your Rose Lemonade into the glass (ice, m’lady?)

3. Squeeze in the juice from one half of the lime. Maybe even slice up the remaining half and throw that in the glass too? Easy, tiger.

4. Accessorise that glass with a sprig of rosemary and drink with your pinky pointing up.

Fentimans

Cool As An Elderflower 

For this drink, you’ll need: one 275ml bottle of Fentimans Wild English Elderflower, a cucumber and some fresh mint.

1. Slice the cucumber so you have about 3-4 slices ready. Put a couple of slices in the glass and keep one free.

2. Crush the fresh mint leaves to release the mint oils (who even AM I? I feel like Tom Cruise in Cocktail…) and add them to the glass too.

3. Pour your Fentimans drink into the glass.

4. Add the extra cucumber slice to the rim of the glass and, if you have any spare mint, garnish with that too. Super fresh!

Fentimans

And that’s really all there is to it! Low effort, strong flavours.

You might have noticed that I didn’t use any syrups in my DIY’s today – I thought I’d stick to a theme of natural additions since Fentimans are created with no artificial sweeteners, additives or colours. But who knows what I might find in my kitchen cupboards next time there’s a season finale that deserves a fancy soft drink?

Here’s to enjoying downtime with a flourish (it’s how Emily Gilmore would do things, after all!)…

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Recipe: Easy, Three-Ingredient White Chocolate Macarons

White chocolate macarons

Whether you’ve been gripped by Bake Off fever, you’ve volunteered to take care of dessert for your next girly get-together, or you’re just in the mood for something sweet, one thing’s for sure: getting creative in the kitchen has never been more popular! I’m all for pushing out of your comfort zone and trying something challenging, but sometimes we need a quick and easy solution that’ll still do the job too. And friends, today’s recipe is as quick and easy as they come!

White chocolate macarons

Today I’m going to share how to make these cute-as-a-button white chocolate macarons, using just THREE ingredients. The real star of the show is the Lees Macaringues – brightly coloured small meringue shells by Lees of Scotland. These are almond flavoured (like most macaron shells) but are actually nut and gluten free!

Fancy some easy, three-ingredient white chocolate macarons? Look no further…

White chocolate macarons

You will need: 

1 pack of Lees Macaringues

1 100g bar of white chocolate (I used Green & Black’s organic chocolate)

250g of double cream

1 small pan

1 heatproof bowl

White chocolate macarons

Pour all of the double cream into the pan and break up your chocolate into squares in the bowl. Heat the cream until it is just about to boil, remove it from the heat and immediately pour over the chocolate and mix it together; stirring until the chocolate has melted. You should be left with a mixture resembling a thick ganache.

Spoon a small amount (about a teaspoon’s worth) of the mixture onto the inside (the flat side) of one of the Macaringues and push the other shell onto it so you have a sweet little sandwich.

Repeat until you have a plate full of rainbow coloured treats to dazzle your guests (or yourself!).

White chocolate macarons

And that’s pretty much it… I told you it was easy! I’m already thinking about what else I could do with the Lees Macaringues for Christmas time – candy coloured Eton Mess, anyone? I hope you give this recipe a go and let me know if you come up with any fun variations. I’ve heard that adding a small amount of jam takes things to the next level, but there’s only one way to find out…

With desserts for days…

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