Baking Extras

  • Baking Powder – if you live in a house like ours, where everything stops if there’s no cake, you won’t be able to live without this raising agent.
  • Bicarbonate of soda – not just great for making cakes rise, you can use it for lots of household tasks (soaking your dishcloths and getting stains and smells out of carpets and clothes) and of course delicious soda bread!
  • Biscuits – like custard creams, ginger nuts and bourbons. Not just good for with a cup of tea, they make a change from digestives in desserts.
  • Cake decorations – I especially love the little flowers you can put on cupcakes
  • Cornflakes – for cornflake cakes, for the crunchy bits on homemade fish-fingers and for breakfasts too!
  • Food colouring – always great to liven up some muffins. I have red, green, blue and yellow colouring, as you can make most other colours you want with these.
  • Gelatine – It’s not fashionable to use gelatine in cooking these days, but it’s the only way of setting some puddings. For an easier form of gelatine, marshmallows can sometimes be substituted, as in my ‘Bailey’s Cake’.
  • Jams, marmalades and lemon curds – A natural partner to your baking, especially sponge cakes. Stir lemon curd into whipped cream or Mascarpone cheese for a great cake filling. See my Lemon and Raspberry Tart. Lime marmalade has also been a favourite in our family for generations.
  • Marshmallows – full size for baking and toasting. Mini ones for baking and floating in hot chocolate. If you need a recipe for using them up, try my ‘Bailey’s Cake’. Need I say anything else?



  • Orange flower water – great for adding a concentrated orange flavour. It can have a bitter tang, so be careful how much you use.
  • Peppermint essence – a key ingredient for keeping little ones occupied, having an afternoon making peppermint creams!
  • Porridge oats – great for making your own muesli and for making cookies :)
  • Ready made pastry – especially ready rolled puff, for on the spot desserts. It freezes really well and defrosts in about an hour.
  • Rose water – for adding a lovely floral note to homemade sweets and in baking. Again, it can be quite strong, so be careful how much you add.
  • Sponge fingers – lovely soaked in Tia Maria infused coffee for Tiramisu and in the cupboard ready for impromptu trifles
  • Sponge flan bases- great for impromptu puddings and easy desserts!
  • Suet – essential for making the classic pudding spotted dick and others like it. You don’t have to use beef suet anymore if you don’t want to. The vegetarian versions are just as good.
  • Sweet ready made sauces like toffee and chocolate for impromptu banoffee pies and other desserts.
  • Tinned fruit such as pears and peaches, not just for bakjng but also in savoury casseroles.
  • Vanilla – either use vanilla bean paste, pods (if you’ve got the time to faff about) or extract (if you’re in a hurry, plus it generally keeps longer) – never essence (it’s too synthetic and you don’t get a real vanilla flavour). I often try it in sweet recipes I’m creating. To buy authentic Madagascan Vanilla Extract, click on this link to Lakeland.
  • Writing icing – fab for writing personal messages on cakes or even my ‘Christmas Fudge’ with. You buy them in a pack with a selection of colours in tubes ready to pipe it out.


Got a Great Recipe?

Recipe ideas for the Yummy Cookery Club