Quick, cheap and easy baking

Hello Dear Reader,

My family will descend on me for Sunday ‘tea’ tomorrow. Any Brit will know this is an elaborate meal not unlike a buffet! Sandwiches, quiche and of course, some cake. The best cups and saucers, the biggest tea pot and lots and lots of nattering. I’d rather just stay in bed at the moment, but a girl’s go to do, what a girl’s got to do! I started by making apricot slices. Take 8oz of apricots, a few table spoons of boiling water and blitz in the biff bash bosh! Leave to cool.

Make the base and topping by melting, 6oz marg in a pan and stir in 6oz flour, 6oz oats, 6 oz sugar, stir together. Press half onto the base of a tin. Spoon apricot mixture over the top, then sprinkle on the other half of the oatey mix and press down firmly with the back of a spoon. Bake at 190 degrees for 30 minutes and then check, put back in for longer if needed. Mark into squares and leave to cool in the tin.

Here’s the finished result. They are a bit big so I’ll cut them in half for tomorrow’s tea. I then made a coffee and walnut cake. I found the recipe, which is Mary Berry’s on the BBC food website. It’s often the basis or source of some of my recipes.

I used a Victoria sponge recipe of 8oz SR flour, 8oz of sugar, 8oz of marg and 4 large eggs and 2oz of crushed walnuts. I put them in a high sided jug and use the end of my rolling pin to crush them into pieces. I used my hand mixer and beat the lot together, along with a large teaspoon of instant coffee mixed with a tablespoon of boiling water. I baked them, along with the apricot slices for 30 minutes. I then left them to cool, whilst I made the butter cream filling and topping. I used 5oz of marg (I used Utterly Butterly as it was 80p for 500g in Lidl) and 8oz of icing sugar and a spoon of the coffee mixture and again, beat it together with my hand mixer. A hint, I always do this in a high sided jug to save myself from choking on the icing sugar.

Here’s a shot of the finished result, it will look wonderful as a centre piece to a tea table!

Ready for my close up? I use cake tin liners. I buy them from Trago Mills, in packs of 100 for £3.50. A pack lasts me for years. You can see the specks of walnut inside the cake.

Bird’s eye view? If I’m making this for us, then I don’t use as much butter cream, but only fill the middle and dust the top with icing sugar. This is for guests. It would cost a lot if I ordered this from the bakers but a few pennies as I made it myself.

What do you make for special Sunday ‘tea’? A lot less formal than lunch and it doesn’t matter if people are late.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx


34 thoughts on “Quick, cheap and easy baking

  1. Hope you feel well enough to enjoy the family's visit and that life is treating them rather better.

    I made your mincemeat slices for my husband and he definitely approves : )


  2. They look fabulous. Wish I could pop in for cuppa with you.

    I use silicon CIRCLES to line the base of my cake tins [dont know where I got 'em from – possibly Lakeland – massive pack, its been going for years!] I also use them for baking meringues/pavlovas, and for laying on the top of rice puds and similar in the pressure cooker, to stop them boiling over.

    I like the look of your apricot slice. That might be my offering for the next Church Tea!

    weekend blessings x


  3. Coffee and Walnut is my youngest daughter's fave cake. I make it much as you do but I use Camp liquid coffee and chicory syrup. I love the look of your apricot slices but I'm the only one who likes apricots. I make something similar though with a filling of strawberry or raspberry jam. Hope your tea goes well tomorrow.


  4. Sunday tea takes me back to being a child. we now have our main meal on a tea time so it no longer holds the same charm.

    I used to love the fact that we had cake, sandwiches and pickled onions!

    X x


  5. Your C&W cake looks delish, ditto the apricot slices but alas no Trago Mills in Sussex. Thanks for the recipes. Sunday tea reminds me of my Nan, her tea's were a tour de force.


  6. Froogs, thanks. I am sure any dried fruit would do in a pinch, as dried apricots are quite costly here. Raisins, dates, or craisins would be more affordable for me. Also, as another posted, I have made something similar, using homemade fruit preserves as the filling. Yum!


  7. I think I am missing something by not having tea time….
    We have a coffee break, but usually don't have any goodies to go with it, unless it is a special occaision. I know my grandmothers often had tea, but it seems to have skipped my generation.
    Looks lovely! Enjoy!


  8. It all looks delicious. Do you use dried apricots or canned? I'd like to try those apricot squares. I have some dried apricots that I bought at half price when the bulk store was being renovated. JB


  9. I have never seen cake liners before. I am going to have to check all the baking stores around here to see if they sell them. I love the edging it give the cake!


  10. hi froogs,just popped out of lurkdom to let every one know ,you can buy the cake liners in poundland, your cakes look amazing, going to have ago at the coffee and walnut today, hope you enjoy your tea

    love Eve


  11. Ooh Froogs what a spread I love apricot so I will make your slices. By the way what flour did you use SR or Plain? Another question could you tinker with the coffee and walnut cake as I can't stand nuts? Would you have to add extra of one of the other ingredients or could you substitute something else?
    Your family will think themselves very priviledged to be tucking in to all your wonderful homemade goodies.


  12. I make something similar to the apricot squares, but we call them jam bars and I don't push down on them. I may try your recipe (if I can translate it well enough into American measurements!) as it looks good.

    My family has a tradition of being together on Sunday evenings. We always have popcorn, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes apples and cheese, always ice cream.


  13. Your coffee and walnut cake looks delicious! Hope it went down well with your guests. I might add walnuts to next week's shopping list so I can have a go at a gluten-free version…

    Best Wishes
    Frugal Wife


  14. i make something similar to the apricot slices but i use dats instead.i simmer the dates in apple juice to soften them and then add cinnamon..relly yummy and you feel as if you are eating something that is actually quite good for you!
    hope you are feeling better!x


  15. OMG Coffee and Walnut cake is my biggest weakness when I want to treat us for a special occasion. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I will certainly make them myslef in future x


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