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Mini Easter Cakes

INGREDIENTS: 200g softened butter, 200g caster sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 4 free-range eggs, 200g self-raising flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder 

For the filling: 100g butter, softened, 200g icing sugar 4 tablespoons strawberry jam  

To decorate: mini chocolate eggs, sprinkles and sugar flowers – or whatever you fancy!

*Allergens are in bold

EQUIPMENT: 20cm x 30cm baking tin, greaseproof paper, large mixing bowl, wooden spoon, small mixing bow, large metal spoon, round cutter (whichever size you have to hand), table knife


1. Preheat the oven to 180℃/fan 160℃/Gas 4. Line a 20cm x 30cm baking tin with greaseproof paper and set aside.

2. Place the softened butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl, and beat with a wooden spoon until pale and fluffy. 

3. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl, and whisk with a fork.

4. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, mixing all the time. As you stir, add a little of the flour, to help prevent the mixture curdling.

5. Add the rest of the flour, carefully folding it into the mixture using a large metal spoon. Be careful not to beat all the air out of it. 

6. Spoon the mixture into your pre-lined tin, and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden.

7. Remove the cake from the oven and check it’s cooked through – a toothpick or knife should come out clean after inserting it into the cake. If not, bake for 5 more minutes. Leave to cool.

8. Meanwhile, make your buttercream filling by beating the softened butter and sugar together until fluffy. 

9. When the cake is cool, use a round cutter to cut circles of cake out of the sponge. Spread a little buttercream onto each cake, then top half of the cakes with some jam, then place another iced cake on top, then decorate with whatever you fancy.

Cook School tip:

Don’t waste any cake leftover from cutting – serve it with custard for a weeknight treat.

Mother’s Day Scones

INGREDIENTS: 225g self-raising flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 40g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces, 1 tablespoon golden caster sugar 140ml milk, plus a little extra 

To serve: Butter, strawberry jam and clotted cream 

*Allergens are in bold:

EQUIPMENT: Baking tray, greaseproof paper, mixing bowl, table knife, 6cm round fluted cutter, pastry brush 


1. Preheat the oven to 220℃/fan 200℃/Gas 7. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. 

2. Put the flour, baking powder and pieces of butter into a mixing bowl, and rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs. This can take a few minutes, but keep going! 

3. Add the sugar and milk to the bowl, and use a table knife to mix everything together. 

4. Use your hands to bring the mixture together to make a ball of dough, then sprinkle a little flour onto your work surface, and tip the dough out of the bowl. 

5. Gently flatten the dough until it’s about 1.5cm thick, then dip your round fluted cutter into some flour, and cut out scones from the dough. 

6. Gather all the spare bits of dough, roll them together to make a ball and flatten it out again to make more scones. You should be able to make around 8-10 in total.

7. Arrange the scones on the baking tray, spaced a little bit apart. Dip a pastry brush into some milk and brush over the scones. 

8. Bake for 10 minutes until risen and golden, then serve warm with butter, cream and jam. 

Cook School tip: 

For fruit scones, stir 50g dried fruit such as raisins, currants or sultanas into the mixture when you add the sugar. 

Mother’s Day French-Style Yoghurt Pots 

These can be made with homemade or bought granola and compote – the most important thing is that children get a chance to make it for Mum! 

Spoon a little granola into a glass, top with yoghurt, and finish with your favourite fruit compote on top. Repeat with another layer. Pop on a tray and take to Mum for breakfast in bed.

Mother’s Day Granola

INGREDIENTS: 6 tablespoons (80ml) maple syrup, 6 tablespoons (80ml) coconut oil, melted, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 350g jumbo oats, 10 tablespoons coconut chips or unsweetened desiccated coconut, 8 tablespoons (100g) mixed seeds, 6 tablespoons (100g) mixed chopped nuts (optional – you can use more seeds if you prefer), 3 handfuls dried fruit, such as chewy bananas, apricots and dates 

*Allergens are in bold

EQUIPMENT: Jug, baking tray, wooden spoon, scissors


1. Preheat the oven to 160℃/fan 140℃/Gas 3.

2. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract to a jug and stir together. 

3. Scatter the oats across the bottom of a baking tray. Add the coconut chips, mixed seeds and nuts, if using, and mix together with a spoon (or your hands!). 

4. Drizzle over the maple syrup mixture and stir everything together. Bake for 30 mins. 

5. Meanwhile, cut the fruit into small pieces using a pair of scissors.

6. After 30 minutes, remove the baking tray from the oven, add the dried fruit and put back in the oven to cook for another 10 minutes. 

7. Remove, and leave to cool, then use them to make our tasty Mother’s Day French-Style Yoghurt Pots!

Rhubarb compote 

INGREDIENTS: 400g forced rhubarb, 1 small orange (blood oranges are especially delicious!), 2 tablespoons honey, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) 

*Allergens are in bold

EQUIPMENT: Bowl, small knife, teaspoon


1. Preheat the oven to 200℃/fan 180℃/Gas 6.

2. Rinse the forced rhubarb, and shake off the water.

3. Using the claw-cutting technique, cut the rhubarb into small pieces and scatter it across a roasting dish.

4. Squeeze over the juice of one small orange, add 2 tablespoons of honey and half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, if using, and stir.

5. Cover with foil and roast for 25-30 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender.

6. Leave to cool slightly, then serve with yoghurt or ice cream, or on top of your favourite cereal.

Cook School tip: 

You can melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over a gentle heat, by heating it in a microwave (stirring after ten-second intervals), or by placing the jar with the lid screwed on tight in a bowl of hot water.

Classic pancakes

INGREDIENTS: 25g unsalted butter ,125g plain flour, pinch of salt, 2 free-range eggs, 300ml milk (or plant-based alternative), 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 20g unsalted butter for frying, lemon juice and sugar or chocolate spread or your favourite toppings.

*Allergens are in bold

EQUIPMENT: Small saucepan, sieve, large bowl, small bowl, fork, measuring jug, clean tea towel, non-stick frying pan, ladle, spatula


1. Put the butter in a small saucepan, melt it gently over a low heat, then set aside to cool. 

2. Sieve the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. This helps take out any lumps in the flour, and will add a little air to your pancake mixture. 

3. Make a hole in the middle of the flour so you can see the bottom of the bowl – this is called a well. 

4. Crack the eggs into a separate small bowl, pick out any shell, and whisk with a fork. Pour them into the flour well, then stir just the eggs with the fork and watch the flour fall into them. Don’t be tempted to bring the flour into the eggs – it will gradually fall in on its own. Mix until the mixture is quite thick.  

5. Add the milk and melted butter to the bowl and mix again. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to stand for about 15 minutes. 

6. When the batter is ready, heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a little of the oil and butter. Spoon a ladleful of the batter into the pan then carefully move the pan around so the mixture covers the base. 

7. Cook for a couple of minutes, until it starts to come away from the edges of the pan, then flip the pancake over with a spatula. Cook for another minute, then toss it for fun, if you dare!

8. Repeat with the rest of the batter and serve.

Cook School tips: 

Leave the batter to stand for at least 15 minutes to give your pancakes a great texture.

If you want to serve your pancakes together, heat your oven to its lowest setting. As you make the pancakes, put them on a baking tray in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the batter.

If you’d like classic lemon and sugar pancakes, cut your lemon half and then quarters to make wedges. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the pancake, then top with a little sprinkling of sugar. 

For chocolate pancakes, top the pancakes with chocolate spread and fold into triangles. 

Fluffy pancakes

INGREDIENTS: 15g butter, 300ml natural yoghurt, 1 free-range egg, 125g plain flour, 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 100g chocolate chips or frozen berries, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (for frying), maple syrup, for serving.

*Allergens are in bold

EQUIPMENT: Scales, small saucepan, measuring jug, large bowl, fork, non-stick frying pan, tablespoon, spatula 


1. Put the butter in a small saucepan, melt it gently over a low heat, then set aside to cool. 

2. Put the yoghurt into a big bowl, add the melted butter and egg and mix together with a fork. 

3. Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix well, then add the vanilla extract and chocolate chips or frozen berries. 

4. Heat a little of the oil in a frying pan and, when it’s hot, carefully drop three separate tablespoons of pancake mix into the pan, leaving a gap between each one. 

5. When the pancakes start to bubble on the surface, turn them over using your spatula and cook for a few more minutes. 

6. Remove the pancakes from the pan, add a little more oil, and repeat with the rest of the dough. 

7. Drizzle over a little maple syrup and enjoy.

Cook School tip:

If you want to serve your pancakes together, heat your oven to its lowest setting. As you make the pancakes, put them on a baking tray in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the batter.

Jammy dodger biscuits

INGREDIENTS: 225g softened unsalted butter (make sure you keep the butter out of the fridge, as it needs to be soft), 125g icing sugar (plus a little extra for dusting), ½ teaspoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract), 1 medium free-range egg, 300g plain flour, 120g strawberry jam

*Allergens are in bold

EQUIPMENT: Scales, large bowl, small bowl, electric or hand whisk, greaseproof paper, 1 x 7cm approx round fluted cutter (one with a frilly edge), a heart-shaped cutter, or a cup and table knife, 2 x baking trays, 1 x 3cm approx heart-shaped or 3cm round cutter, teaspoon 


1. Put the butter and icing sugar in a large bowl and use an electric, or hand whisk, to cream them together until they’re pale and fluffy.

2. Add the vanilla paste (or extract) and whisk again to mix. 

3. Crack the egg into a small bowl and remove any bits of shell. Add the egg to the bowl of creamed butter. 

4. Add the flour to the bowl and whisk again, until you have a soft dough. 

5. Take the dough out of the bowl, wrap it in greaseproof paper and put it into the fridge for at least one hour, until firm. 

6. When you’re ready to bake your biscuits, preheat the oven to 170℃/fan 150℃/Gas 3.  

7. Sprinkle a little flour on a work surface and break the dough in half and then into quarters. Roll out one piece of dough until it’s about the same thickness as a pound coin. 

8. Using a cutter, or a cup and a table knife, cut heart shapes or circles out of the dough, then repeat with the remaining pieces. 

9. At the end, scrunch up any remaining dough and roll it out again so you have as little leftover dough as possible.

10. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper, and lay the biscuits evenly across them, with a little gap in between. Use a small round or heart-shaped cutter, or a table knife, to cut circles or hearts out of the centre of half the biscuits. Leave the other half whole.

11. Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes, until pale golden. Remove from the oven and leave them to firm up and cool on the trays. 

12. Once cool, spoon one heaped teaspoon of jam on each of the whole biscuits. Dust the remaining biscuits that have their middles cut out with icing sugar and sit them on top of the jammy biscuits to make sandwiches. Press gently to stick them together but be careful – you don’t want to break the tops.

Cook School tips:  

If you have any leftover biscuit dough, you can freeze it, wrapped in greaseproof paper, for up to one month, or roll it out to cut out more mini hearts and circles. Bake the mini heart and circle biscuits for about three to four minutes, until light golden. 

If your butter is too hard to whisk, pop it in a microwave-safe dish and blast it for just a few seconds on the defrost setting to soften it up.

When children are learning how to break eggs, it helps to crack them into a small bowl so you can pick out any bits of shell before adding them to your recipe.