3 Fun Bakes To Make This Weekend

Food blogger Jane Dunn's fun baking recipes have helped her amassed more than 850,000 followers as Jane’s Patisserie on Instagram. Her new book Celebrate! includes 70 new bakes to try at home – perfect timing if you want to jump onto the #BakeTok trend. Here are three of our favourites, as well as some of Jane’s best baking tips…
By Sherri Andrew

I learned to bake when I was in school. The best place to start baking is with your family and friends when you’re little. I eventually trained as a chef when I was older, so my love of baking just kept growing.

My favourite thing to bake right now is cookies. I’m obsessed with anything cookie themed because they’re so easy and delicious, especially my new recipe for birthday cake cookies. 

My most watched TikTok is my millionaire cake. It’s a deliciously gooey cake with brown sugar sponge, chocolate buttercream and caramel in each layer. 

I love baking with chocolate and caramel. Both are delicious in any kind of bake – how can you not love them? Even adding fruit into a chocolatey recipe is a dream.

The one appliance I’d be lost without is my KitchenAid mixer. They make things a million times easier and they look great in the kitchen. That said, you can easily make any kind of bake without one – they just save a bit of time and effort. 

If I’m having the girls over, I always bake a cheesecake. They’re easy to make and such a crowd-pleaser. You can add in any flavour you like – all of my friends are now equally obsessed.

If I want to impress on date night, I’ll bake a salted caramel chocolate pot. Luxurious and delicious, what more could you want?

Celebrate! is all about baking special things every day and having fun with it. There are different recipes for holidays throughout the year like Easter and Christmas, as well as fun recipes for birthdays and summer – they can all be adapted whatever the occasion. 

Feeling inspired? Here are Jane’s top three baking tips:

1. Weigh your ingredients accurately. Baking is like chemistry so accuracy is key.

2. Always pre-heat the oven. I know people joke about just whacking anything in at 200°C, but make sure you have the exact temperature you need.  

3. Have fun! Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect, as long as it’s tasty and you have fun, that’s all that matters!

Cinnamon Blondies

These cinnamon blondies really hit the spot. An easy blondie batter flavoured with ground cinnamon and stuffed full of white chocolate chips, topped with a cinnamon-favoured white chocolate drizzle – what could be better?

Total Time
50 Minutes
200g of unsalted butter, melted
250g of soft light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla extract
275g of plain four
3 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tbsp of cornflour
300g of white chocolate chips
75g of white chocolate, melted
Step 1
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 23cm square tin with parchment paper.
Step 2
In a large bowl, add the melted butter and sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat again until smooth. Add the flour, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and the cornflour and beat until thick. Add the chocolate chips and fold through.
Step 3
Pour the mixture into the tin and spread out evenly. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until there is a slight wobble in the middle. Leave to cool in the tin. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
Step 4
Once the blondies have set, carefully mix the melted white chocolate and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon together. Drizzle over the blondies and return to the fridge to chill and set. Cut into squares with a sharp knife and enjoy.

Margarita Cupcakes

This is the perfect bake for any party and you can’t beat serving them in the summer. A classic margarita often includes tequila, orange and lime, but for these cupcakes I focused on the tequila and lime only. If you do want to add some orange flavour, try adding half a teaspoon of orange extract to both the cupcake mixture and the buttercream.

Total Time
48 Minutes
125g of unsalted butter or baking spread, at room temperature
200g of caster sugar
200g of self-raising flour
½ tsp of salt
3 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla extract
125ml of full-fat milk
Zest of 3 limes
180ml of tequila
For The Buttercream
200g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
400g of icing sugar
50ml of tequila
Zest of 1 lime
To Decorate
Lime slices
Lime Zest
Mini Umbrellas
Step 1
Preheat the oven to 180°C and get 12 cupcake cases ready.
Step 2
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the flour, salt, eggs and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Finally, add the milk and lime zest and beat again.
Step 3
Divide the mixture equally between the 12 cupcake cases. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes. While still warm, pour 1 tablespoon of tequila over each cupcake. Leave to cool fully on a wire rack.
Step 4
To make the buttercream, beat the butter in a large bowl for a few minutes to loosen it
Step 5
Gradually beat in the icing sugar until well combined. Pour in the tequila slowly while continuously mixing. Add the lime zest and beat the buttercream for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
Step 6
Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag with the piping nozzle of your choice. Pipe the buttercream over the cupcakes however you like.
Step 7
Top each cupcake with a slice of lime, a sprinkling of lime zest and a mini umbrella.

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

A lemon meringue pie is one of the freshest and zingiest bakes you can make. A homemade sweet shortcrust pastry (if you want to use shop bought, that’s totally fine), a tart and smooth lemon curd filling, topped with a light Italian meringue – three different textures that combine to create something delicious. Italian meringue sounds intense, but use a thermometer to make it easier, and you will enjoy the taste so much more than normal meringue.

Total Time
2 Hours 28 Minutes
For The Pastry
350g of plain four, plus extra for dusting
2 tbsp of icing sugar
200g of chilled unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp of cold water
For The Filling
Zest of 4 lemons
150ml of lemon juice
100g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g of caster sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
For The Topping
185g of white granulated sugar
85ml of water
95g of egg whites
Step 1
Grease and dust flour over the insides of eight individual 10cm loose-bottomed tart tins.
Step 2
In a large bowl, sift the flour and icing sugar and add the butter, egg yolks and cold water Rub the mixture together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs, bring together with your hands and kneading in the bowl until smooth.
Step 3
Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out until 3mm thick. Cut out eight circles of pastry a little larger than the tart tins and press each pastry circle into the bottom and sides of each tin, trimming the edges. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Step 4
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C. Cover each pastry case with a circle of parchment paper and fill each one with baking beans/rice. Bake ‘blind’ for 15 minutes.
Step 5
Remove the parchment paper and the beans from each tin and bake for an extra 10 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through and turning golden in colour. Leave to cool in the tins.
Step 6
To make the filling, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter and sugar to a large pan and heat, stirring until the mixture has dissolved and is smooth.
Step 7
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks together and then add to the pan. Heat the mixture for 7-8 minutes until thickened. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture to each pastry case.
Step 8
To make the topping, add the sugar and water to a heavy-based pan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. When the mixture starts to boil, monitor the temperature until it reaches 120°C (firm ball stage) with a sugar thermometer. If any sugar splashes up the sides of the pan while boiling, brush the sides with a pastry brush and cold water to stop the mixture crystallising.
Step 9
Meanwhile, using a clean bowl and whisk (otherwise the egg whites won’t stiffen), add the egg whites to the bowl and whisk until they start to form soft peaks. When the sugar syrup has reached temperature, start to slowly trickle it onto the egg whites at the edge of the bowl while continuously whisking. Make sure you do this carefully so the egg whites stay smooth.
Step 10
Once all the sugar syrup has been added, continue to whisk the mixture fast and at high speed for 5-7 minutes until it’s smooth and has cooled down. Transfer it to a piping bag and with a piping nozzle pipe onto the eight individual lemon meringue pies.
Step 11
If you have a cook’s blowtorch, carefully toast the edges of each meringue. Otherwise, place the meringues under the grill in the oven to brown slightly. Chill the lemon meringue pies for 1 hour. Remove them from the tins and enjoy.

Jane's Patisserie Celebrate! by Jane Dunn (Ebury Press, £20). Photography by Ellis Parrinder.

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