Monday 27 October 2014


Baking… it's all the rage just now! But what if you're not quite at 'Bake-Off' standards yet? Fear not… reader Kym has   the answer with her extra-easy muffin ideas. They really are foolproof! (I know, I've tried them…)

Kym says:
I love baking, and most of the time I make things from scratch… but sometimes life is just too short to be measuring and weighing and whisking things up, and at times like that a packet mix is perfect. Don't think of it as cheating - just as taking a short cut! And you can still add some extras to make the muffins special and unique.
So… first select your packet cake mix! Do some shopping around to see what's on offer… and remember that the expensive ones are not always better! As long as you have the basic muffin mix, you're good… you can easily jazz things up from there. Do check whether your mix requires any extras, like an egg/ milk/ extra sugar!

So… what extras can you use to make your muffins extra special?

* add a tablespoon of cocoa powder to make a plain mix chocolatey
* add chocolate chips to make it extra yummy!
* grated chocolate (dark, milk or white) makes a good substitute for chocolate chips
* a spoonful of nutella placed into the middle of the muffin and covered with more sponge mix when placing mixture into paper cases creates awesome muffins…
* instead of chocolate, try adding fruit… blueberries, raspberries or even grated or stewed apple or chopped tinned peaches or apricots.
* instead of adding a spoonful of nutella to the mix as you fill the paper cases, try adding a spoonful of lemon curd for lemon muffins, or a spoonful of jam.

Traditionally, muffins don't have icing, but you can break the rules and add some if you like! The simplest icing is made by mixing a few spoonfuls of icing sugar with a teaspoon of boiling water and a drizzle of lemon, for example, to ice lemon muffins… add more icing sugar or water to get a nice consistency and drizzle on top of cooled muffins. Or cheat a little bit more by buying a tub of buttercream icing from the supermarket!

Cathy says:
Long ago I had a friend called Ellie who always baked chocolate fudge cake whenever it was someone's birthday. It was amazing - I thought she was a baking queen! It was years later before she admitted the cakes had all been made from packet mixes! Do YOU like to bake from scratch or do you feel safer with a packet mix? COMMENT BELOW to tell all!


  1. From scratch I have just finished doing cookies!!!!!!!!!!!!! Last week I made sticky lemon cake and brownies thus week I am making cookies, Bonfire brownies and mini cupcakes. British bake off my style!!!!!!!

  2. I was never able to bake from scratch... I'm a embarrassment to baking!!

  3. I love baking all sorts of things from scratch. I think that is the best way to bake. Yesterday I made a chocolate tart. Delicious!

    1. OHHH… we NEED the chocolate tart recipe for DREAMCATCHER! Please do get in touch if you'd like a blog-spot on how to make it! Swoons… xxx

  4. Your description of Ellie matches my mum's! She used to also own a tea room and make chocolate fudge cakes for there. There was never any left by the end of the day, so in the morning we'd have to put some aside for ourselves. She made an especially great one for my nephew's 5th birthday that was covered with chocolate buttons and chocolatey treats!

    1. ooh… you and your mum should write about the tea room for DREAMCATCHER! So cool! xxx

  5. I love baking... and never knew that packet mixes EXISTED!

  6. I love baking (from scratch!) and one of my favourite things to bake are actually blueberry and almond muffins from my vegetarian recipe book. They are delicious and I bake them about once a week!

  7. I absolutely LOVE baking!!
    One of my best friends and I nearly always bake when she comes to my house! Our creations are crazy, but they always work...well most of the time! We've made things such as: Rainbow layered cake, Lemon tart, rainbow cookies, cupcakes, etc! I love to bake so much, I made and decorated my own birthday cake, strawberries and cream, yum!
    I think the better part of baking is definitely the decorating!

  8. Love baking from scratch. Love especially in winter. It fills the house with such a cosy warm smell. Lovelooking for new backing reciepts on youtube. Pitty the cake finishes after just frw minutes ��

  9. My friend and I loved to bake in her kitchen. We made cakes, brownies and cupcakes, all from packet mixes!



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