Last week I wrote a post for the Laura Ashley blog, all about getting cosy and ready for Autumn entertaining. I absolutely love their Autumn themed range, it has everything from cute fox mugs to leaf shaped coasters to really get you in the mood for snuggling up with warm treats as the nights draw in.

Autumn Home wareOne of my favourite things throughout the year are delicious hot drinks like tea and coffee, and I know I’ll be using my fox mugs a lot over the coming months.

Autumn Home wareFor my Laura Ashley post I created a spiced apple juice recipe. This is a lovely warming drink for cold days and the recipe can also be used for a spiced cider.

Autumn Home wareThe pumpkin soup bowl is perfect for not only a lovely warming bowl of soup, but I thought it worked really well as a mini punch bowl for my spiced apple juice.

Autumn Home wareI also used it too store this lovely autumnal pot pourri. This has a gorgeous spice and orange scent and contains lots of pretty things in colours that really capture the season. Alongside the autumn burnt amber and orange scented candle, my house was smelling all spicy and warm in no time.

Autumn Home wareOne of my favourite autumn treats would have to be toffee apples. they are such a traditional classic and no bonfire night celebration would be complete with out one. I’ve also shared my Toffee apple recipe on the Laura Ashley blog.

Autumn Home wareThese are all the things I used to create these gorgeous pictures:

Autumn Home ware

Top Row: Autumn Wreath – Pumpkin Soup Bowl – Leaf Coasters

Middle Row: Leaf PlacematsAutumn CandlePumpkin Pie Dish

Bottom Row: Fox MugAutumn Tea TowelsPot Pourri

Autumn Home wareWhat are your favourite things about autumn? Which are your favourite pieces from the Laura Ashley range?

*Thank you to Laura Ashley for sending me all the lovely things I used to create these blog posts. All opinions as always are my own. 

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Baking with floral flavours is always something that has intrigued me. I’ve tried edible flowers a few times and like flavours like Parma Violets and Rose flavoured Turkish delight. Until a few months ago I’d never really tried it in my own recipes. After a bit of research and just seeing what I could pick up at the supermarket I created this beautiful rose water cake.

Rose Water Cake RecipeI managed to find everything I needed in Waitrose, as they sell the edible rose petals. You could also get these online.

Rose Water Cake Recipe

You will need: 

For the cake 

4 eggs 

220g caster sugar 

220g self raising flour 

220g butter 

2 tsp baking powder 

Rose Water Cake RecipeFor the filling 

170g icing sugar 

120g butter 

1 tbsp rose water 

Pink gel food colouring 

Rose Water Cake RecipeFor the icing 

220g Icing sugar 

2 tbsp warm water 

1 tbsp rosewater 

Pink gel food colouring 

To decorate 

Edible rose petals 

Rose decoration 

Rose Water Cake RecipeHow to make: 

Preheat oven to 180ºc and grease an 8″ cake tin. 

Add all the cake ingredients to a bowl and mix quickly until fully combined, I’d recommend using a stand or hand mixer. 

Pour into the cake tin and bake for around 30 minutes until fully cooked and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. 

Once cooled cut through the middle into two pieces ready to fill. 

For the filling: Sift the icing sugar into a bowl with the butter and mix until fully combined. Add the colour until the mixture becomes pale pink. Pipe onto the bottom section of the cake and then add the top to make a sandwich.  

For the icing: Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and slowly add the water a little at a time until you get the required consistency. Add a little colour at a time until the icing is rose pink. Pour over the cake allowing it to spread to the edges. 

Sprinkle with rose petals and add a flower decoration. 

Rose Water Cake RecipeI hope some of you give this a go. If you make it, please send me a pic as I love to see! This recipe also appeared in Vintage Life Magazine. Check out my Baking section for lots more recipes.

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Today’s recipe is one that I’ve baked numerous times. It’s based on a recipe I found from the 1930s. Although these look a bit like chocolate muffins, they have a completely different texture. They are much more like a dense brownie than a traditional muffin or cupcake.

These are great at lunchtime with a big mug of tea and keep well in a cake tin.

You will need: For 12 cakes.

225g Flour

1 tspn baking powder

170g caster sugar

A little milk

40g cocoa powder

115g Butter

1 egg

A few drops of vanilla essence

How to Make:

Preheat oven to 220ºC Line a cake tray with 12 fairy cake cases.

Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa together.

Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar and mix well.

Add the beaten egg to the mixture with a few drops of vanilla.

Mix to a stiff consistency adding a little milk as required.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the cake cases.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Place on a wire rack and dust with caster sugar.

As always please let me know if you try this recipe. I really enjoyed seeing the pics of your rock cakes! As always I have some new recipes in the latest issue of Vintage Life magazine, which you can buy here.

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Rock cakes are another teatime classic, which I love. These are ideal for a beginner baker and taste a little like mini scones. These can be rustled up in no time at all and are perfect for a casual afternoon tea. There are recipes for rock cakes in so many of my vintage recipe books, but this one from the 1930s is my favourite. I’ve adapted it a bit to allow for modern measures, ingredients and ovens. 

Ingredients:

225g Flour

½ tsp Salt

2 tsp Baking Powder

85g Butter

85g Caster Sugar

1 Egg

115g Mixed Dried Fruit

A little milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 230ºc and prepare a greased baking tray.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar and mix well.

Add the egg, dried fruit and a little milk until it forms a stiff mixture.

Place the mixture in small rough heaps onto the baking tray.

Bake for 10-15 minutes at the top of the oven.

Cool on a wire rack.

If you try these delicious rock cakes, let me know what you think. I love seeing pictures of your versions of my recipes. I am really enjoying sharing recipes on here again. I have done so much experimenting and baking recently, so watch this space for its more. Also be sure to check out the Baking section of the blog for lots and lots of vintage recipes.

I have a new article in this months Vintage Life magazine. This time I’ve made my own Brownie in a Jar recipe, based on several vintage brownie recipes. Buy your copy of the magazine here.

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Once a regular feature of the British tea time, English Madeleines have gone out of favour in recent decades. They are however absolutely delicious and the make the perfect nostalgic treat, as part of a vintage afternoon tea. My grandma used to bake these regularly for her family and I’ve been enjoying making them myself and continuing the family tradition. 

They are quite straightforward to make and the only specialist equipment that you need is dariole moulds, which you can buy in most baking supply shops. I’ve found quite a few different versions of this recipe in various vintage cookbooks, but this one is by far my favourite.

How to Make

Makes 8 Madeleines

Ingredients: 

230g Butter plus extra for greasing.

230g Caster Sugar

4 Eggs

230g Self Raising Flour

To Decorate:

Apricot Jam

Desiccated Coconut

Glace Cherries

Equipment: 

8 Dariole Moulds

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 190ºc

Brush the insides of the moulds with melted butter.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale.

Add one egg at a time and beat into the mixture thoroughly.

Sift the flour into the mixture and fold in.

Divide the mixture between the moulds.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes.

Turn out and cool on a wire rack.

Cut a little off the bottom so that they sit flat on a plate.

Spread the sides and top with warm jam.

Roll in the coconut and place a cherry on the top.

As always, please let me know if you try any of my recipes and tag me in pictures! I always love to see what you’ve been baking.

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