Sticky toffee banana bread

Transform a classic banana bread into a showstopper bake with this delicious sticky toffee banana bread recipe!

Sticky toffee banana bread

How to make sticky toffee banana bread

  1. You’ll start by making the banana loaf cake
    The sponge mixture replaces white caster sugar with light brown sugar to lock in moisture and give a lovely caramel undertone to the cake. Mashed bananas are folded into the mixture before transferring to a loaf tin and baking in the oven.
  1. As the cake cools, you’ll move on to the sticky toffee sauce
    Butter, sugar and cream are all that’s needed to make the sauce. Just be careful when heating the mixture as it will get really hot! Once the mixture has boiled for a few minutes, you’ll pop the sauce in the fridge to set and firm up. The result is a smooth but thick texture that you can spread on top of the cake.
  1. Then it’s the final touches
    I used butterscotch pieces and banana chips to decorate the cake, but you could also use fudge pieces or even white chocolate chips would be delicious!
Sticky toffee banana bread

How to line a loaf tin

Unlike square baking tins, loaf tins can be a little tricky to prep. I’ve found that the best way is to first lightly grease the tin all over with a little butter. Then cut a piece of greaseproof paper that is long enough to line the base and long sides of the tin, with enough paper hanging over the edges to help lift the cake out. This way the loaf cake will have straight, neat edges and bake more evenly.


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Sticky toffee banana bread recipe (makes 10-12 slices)

Ingredients

For the banana bread:
150g unsalted butter
120g light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
220g self-raising flour
2 ripe medium-sized bananas, roughly 120g each

For the toffee sauce:
50g light brown sugar
35g unsalted butter
50ml double cream

For the decoration:
Mini butterscotch or fudge pieces
Dried banana chips

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350 F. Line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

Start by making the loaf cake. 
  1. In a bowl mash the bananas together with a whisk or fork until the mixture is lump-free. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.
  3. Now mix in the eggs, one at a time, adding two tablespoons of flour with each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.
  4. Add the remaining flour and mashed bananas, and fold the mixture together until fully combined.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and spread it out into an even layer.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the cake has risen, is golden on top and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Leave to cool for 15 minutes in the baking tin before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Now make the sticky toffee topping.
  1. Place the sugar and butter in a small-sized saucepan. Gently heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until both have fully melted and there are no lumps.
  2. Pour in half of the cream and stir the mixture together until combined. Repeat with the remaining cream.
  3. Now turn up the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a boil. Let the mixture boil for roughly 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t burn. The toffee should thicken and turn a lovely golden colour.
  4. Turn off the heat and pour the toffee into a jar or bowl (be careful as it will be really hot!).
  5. Leave at room temperature for 15 minutes, and then place in the fridge for an hour to firm up.
Now it’s time to decorate!
  1. Take the toffee out of the fridge and give it a good stir to loosen it up. You may need to let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften up.
  2. Spoon the toffee on top of the banana bread and use a palette knife to spread it out and create a swirly pattern.
  3. Scatter the butterscotch pieces on top and finish by dotting the banana chips down the middle of the cake.

Your sticky toffee banana bread will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.

Nutella Mocha Cupcakes

Coffee cupcakes filled with melted Nutella, topped with coffee hazelnut buttercream and decorated with crushed hazelnuts and a drizzle of Nutella. These Nutella Mocha Cupcakes are a coffee lovers dream!

Nutella Mocha Cupcakes

Nutella Mocha Cupcakes with nutella filling

Success tips for baking Nutella mocha cupcakes

Choosing the correct cupcake cases.
Cupcakes come in three sizes; fairy cake, standard and muffin. The baking time will vary depending on the case size you use. This recipe will give you 12 muffin-sized cupcakes. The cases I used were from Sainsbury’s and measured 2″ base and 1.5″ deep.

Removing the middle of the cupcakes.
Let them cool completely before you try to core the cupcakes. To do this, you can use a cupcake corer (like in the photo below), a knife or a piping nozzle. Be careful not to go all the way to the bottom, as you want to leave the bottom intact so the filling doesn’t spill out.

Piping the buttercream.
Piping can be really tricky but the more you practice the easier it will become. Here are a few of my top tips to help you:

  1. Only fill your piping bag ¾ full and use your hands to push the buttercream down to the end, squeezing out the air.
  2. Twist the top of the bag to keep the buttercream in place and to give you more control.
  3. Hold the piping bag upright in the middle of the cupcake. Apply pressure to the piping bag and pipe in a circular motion spiralling outwards and lifting upwards at the same time.
  4. To finish the swirl, release pressure and gently lift the piping bag up.
Coring the cupcake
Filling the cupcake with Nutella

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Nutella mocha cupcake recipe (makes 12)

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:
180g Stork (margarine) or unsalted butter
180g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
180g self-raising flour
2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee – I used 200 Degrees’ Brazilian Love Affair coffee, it’s my absolute favourite!
1 tablespoon water

For the filling:
1 jar Nutella – you’ll use roughly a teaspoon to fill each cupcake

For the hazelnut coffee buttercream:
250g salted butter
500g icing sugar
3 tablespoons freshly brewed coffee
2 teaspoons hazelnut coffee syrup – I used Monin syrup

For the decoration:
Crushed hazelnuts, to sprinkle on top
Nutella, to drizzle on top

Method

Start by making the cupcakes.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cupcake cases.
  2. In a small bowl mix the ground coffee or espresso powder with the water. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and pale in colour.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one by one, adding 2 tablespoons of the 180g flour at the same time.
  5. Now add the remaining flour, and the coffee mixture, and fold together until fully combined.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the cupcake cases, filling them roughly ¾ full.
  7. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until the cupcakes have risen and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Fill the cupcakes.

  1. Once the cupcakes are cool, scoop out the middle of each using a cupcake corer (like in the photos) or a teaspoon.
  2. Melt roughly 3-4 tablespoons of Nutella in a bowl in the microwave.
  3. Fill each cupcake with a heaped teaspoon of melted Nutella.
  4. Press the cake middles back into the holes to cap off the top (you may have to trim them down).

Now make the buttercream.

  1. Make a fresh cup of coffee and put it in the fridge until needed.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy, light and pale in colour.
  3. Sift in half the icing sugar and beat again until smooth.
  4. Now sift in the remaining icing sugar, add the hazelnut syrup and add 3 tablespoons of the fresh coffee.
  5. Beat together until the buttercream is smooth and fully combined.

Time to decorate!

  1. Spoon the buttercream into a large piping bag fitted with a large open star nozzle.
  2. Starting from the middle of the cupcakes, hold the piping bag upright and pipe in a circular motion moving outwards. To finish the swirl, gently lift the piping bag upwards.
  3. Drizzle a little Nutella on top of each cupcake and sprinkle over the crushed hazelnuts.

Your Nutella mocha cupcakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Salted Caramel Pecan Brownies

Gooey brownies filled with crunchy pecans, drizzled with salted caramel and finished with a sprinkle of sea salt – if heaven was a dessert these salted caramel pecan brownies would be it!

Salted Caramel Pecan Brownies

Why Salted Caramel Pecan Brownies are a must-bake

  • This no-fuss recipe is made even easier using ready-made Carnation Caramel.
  • Every bite is the perfect combo of sweet, salty, gooey and crunchy.
  • They’re a real crowd pleaser and perfect to share with friends and family.
  • You can also serve them warm with ice-cream for a decadent dinner party dessert.
Drizzling caramel on brownies

Recipe success tips

  • Use good quality ingredients. I also use Lindt 70% dark chocolate as it isn’t overly sweet, and for the eggs, I always use Clarence Court Burford Browns eggs as the yolks add extra richness.
  • Use an 8x8inch square baking tin. The baking time is based on using this specific size. If you’re using a large baking tin, decrease the baking time by a couple of minutes, or if it’s smaller, increase the baking time.
  • Be careful not to over-bake the brownies. Brownies will continue to cook as they cool down so I always say “if in doubt, take them out”. They’re done when the top is no longer shiny and small cracks have started to show around the edge.
  • Leave them to cool completely before slicing. This is so so important. The brownies need time to set and turn fudgy. If you cut them whilst they are still warm they will fall about and be too gooey.

I’ve also made a Top Tips For Baking Brownies video to help you:

Salted Caramel Pecan Brownies

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Salted Caramel Pecan Brownies recipe (makes 12 large / 16 small)

Ingredients

150g unsalted butter
150g 70% dark chocolate
2 large eggs, at room temperature
220g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
100g pecans, roughly chopped
4 teaspoons Carnation Caramel
Sea salt flakes

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line an 8inch/20cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl break up the dark chocolate and add the butter. Melt in the microwave in 30-second blasts, mixing after each, until completely smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together for a minute until they’re pale in colour and frothy.
  4. Add the melted chocolate mixture, flour and half of the chopped pecans to the bowl. Fold everything together until you have a thick chocolate mixture. 
  5. Transfer the mixture to the baking tin, spreading it out into an even layer. Scatter the remaining chopped pecans on top.
  6. Bake for 17-20 minutes until the top is no longer shiny and the edges have started to crack.
  7. Leave to cool completely in the baking tin for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results. If you’re short on time, you can speed this up by putting the brownies in the fridge for an hour.
  8. Carefully lift the brownies out of the baking tin. Open the tin of Carnation Caramel and give it a good stir. Use a spoon to drizzle it over the brownies and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt flakes on top.
  9. Slice into 12 or 16 brownies and serve.

Your salted caramel pecan brownies will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.

Pecan Cinnamon Roll Cookies

These Pecan Cinnamon Roll Cookies drizzled with cream cheese frosting are super soft, super chewy and SUPER delicious.

Pecans. Cinnamon. Soft-baked cookies. Cream cheese frosting. Now that is the ultimate flavour combination. This has to be my new all-time-favourite cookie recipe!

How to make Pecan Cinnamon Roll cookies

There are 3 parts to this recipe, each one is really quick and easy to make.

1. Start with the cookie dough – you’ll start by making my go-to cookie dough recipe but with a few additions. For these cookies you’ll add ground cinnamon which gives the dough a lovely sweet and spicy flavour, and you’ll also add some chopped pecans, which pair so well with cinnamon and add crunch throughout the cookies.

Pecan Cinnamon Roll Cookie dough

2. Roll the cookies in cinnamon sugar – Just before the cookies go in the oven, you’ll roll them in cinnamon sugar. Made by mixing light brown sugar with ground cinnamon, this extra step will give the cookies a gorgeous crinkly top and a sweet sugary coating.

Roll the cookie dough in cinnamon sugar

3. Decorate with a drizzle of cream cheese frosting – just like classic cinnamon rolls are finished with a coating of icing, these cookies are finished with a drizzle of cream cheese frosting. You can either pipe the frosting over the cookies or use a teaspoon to drizzle it across. This step really is the icing on the cake…or cookie in this case!

Drizzle with cream cheese frosting

Other cookie recipes to try

Once you’ve mastered these cookies be sure to give another a go. Here are a few of my favourite recipes:


Pecan Cinnamon Roll Cookie recipe (makes 12)

Ingredients

For the cookies:
160g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
150g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium egg + 1 medium egg yolk, at room temperature
1 + ½ teaspoons cinnamon
250g self-raising flour
100g whole pecans

For the cinnamon sugar:
1 teaspoon cinnamon
30g light brown sugar

For the cream cheese frosting:
75g icing sugar
35g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
35g full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese, cold from the fridge

Method

Start by making the cookie dough.

Melt the butter in 20-second blasts in the microwave until it turns to liquid. Add the light brown sugar and caster sugar, and mix together. Add the vanilla extract, whole egg and egg yolk and mix together.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and cinnamon in a bowl. Add to the wet ingredients and fold together until the mixture forms a dough.

Roughly chop the pecans, add them to the bowl and fold into the cookie dough. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and put it in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight for best results.

Bake the cookies.

Preheat oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and leave at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Make the cinnamon sugar by mixing together the light brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Take a heaped tablespoon of cookie dough, roll it into a ball and then roll it in the cinnamon sugar. Place on the baking tray. Repeat this step until all the cookie dough has been used up. Leave about 5cm between each cookie so they have enough room to spread out. I had 4 cookies on each baking tray and baked them in batches.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges and the middle is still soft. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Now make the cream cheese frosting.

Beat the butter until really soft and pale in colour. Sift in the icing sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the cream cheese and gently fold into the mixture until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix, as it can quickly become runny.

Time to decorate!

Transfer the cream cheese frosting to a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle. Pipe the cream cheese frosting over the cookies in a zig-zag motion. Alternatively, you can use a teaspoon to drizzle it on top.

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 day, or in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce

Light toffee sponge made with black treacle and light muscovado sugar, coated in sticky toffee sauce and finished with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream. A classic English recipe and one of my all time favourites, sticky toffee pudding is the ultimate comfort food dessert.

I’ve tried a lot of sticky toffee puddings over the years, basically if it’s on the dessert menu then it has to be ordered. One thing I’ve noticed is that they don’t always have dates in them, and to be completely honest I prefer sticky toffee pudding without dates. Controversial I know! So I have to caveat that this recipe is date-free, but it’s still perfectly sweet and full of flavour.

Ingredients (makes 4 individual sticky toffee puddings)

For the puddings:

50g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
90g light muscovado sugar 
1 large egg
2 tablespoons black treacle
110g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
120ml milk
Vanilla ice-cream

For the toffee sauce:

50g butter
60g light muscovado sugar
1/2 tablespoon black treacle
150ml double cream

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Grease 4 small pudding moulds (contains 145ml each) or 4 holes of a muffin tray with a little butter.

Start with the puddings. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add the egg and black treacle and mix through. Add the flour and baking powder and fold together until combined. Pour in the milk and mix again until smooth.

Divide the mixture evenly between the pudding moulds. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen and firm.

Whilst the puddings are baking, make your sauce. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened and darkened in colour. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm.

To serve, loosen the puddings from the sides of the tins with a knife before turning them out. Place them top-down on individual serving plates and pour the warm toffee sauce all over. Add a dollop of vanilla ice-cream to finish.