Easy autumn-inspired baking recipes to try at home

Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 4:10 pm

This week (14 to 20 October 2020) brings with it National Baking Week, which coincides perfectly with autumn. It’s the perfect time to wrap up, stay cosy and bake sweet treats inspired by the season.

With Halloween and Bonfire Night on their way, these recipes are perfect to try this autumn.

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Spiced pumpkin cake

Spiced pumpkin is a favourite flavour at this time of year, popping up in everything from hot drinks to sweet treats.

Ingredients

  • 500g pumpkin or butternut squash flesh (peeled weight), grated
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 200g butter, melted
  • 300g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g sultanas
  • Half tsp salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp orange juice

Method

Heat the oven to 180C/fan, 160C/gas 4. Line a 30 x 20cm baking tin with baking parchment.

Next, put the flour, sugar, spice, bicarbonate of soda, sultanas and salt into a large bowl and stir together.

Beat the eggs into the melted butter, stir in both the orange zest and juice, and then mix with the dry ingredients.

Then, stir in the pumpkin before pouring the batter into the tin.

Bake in the oven for 30 mins or until golden and springy to touch.

Pecan pie

Pecan pie is traditionally served at Thanksgiving dinners in North America, and is a warming dessert during the autumn months.

  • Flour, for dusting
  • 500g pack sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 75g butter, softened
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 175g golden syrup
  • 175g maple syrup
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Half tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g pecan halves
  • Double cream, whipped, to serve (optional)

Method

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry. Then, use the pastry to line a 23cm tart tin. Keep any off-cuts in case you need to fill any cracks after blind-baking. Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork and chill for 30 mins or until firm.

Next, heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas mark 5.

Then, line the pastry case with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the sides are set.

Remove the beans and parchment and then return the tin to the oven for five to 10 minutes until the pastry is golden and the base is set, before leaving to cool.

Increase the oven to 200C/190C fan/gas 6, and use an electric whisk to beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Continue whisking as you pour in both of the syrups.

Add the eggs gradually, before pouring in the salt and the vanilla, then whisk until combined.

Stir in the pecans, before pouring the mixture into the tart case. Bake for 10 minutes.

Then, turn the heat down to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and continue baking for 30 to 35 minutes until the pie is golden brown and the filling wobbles a little in the centre when shaken.

Leave to cool in the tin, before serving with whipped cream.

Vegan cranberry orange muffins

If you’re searching for a plant-based sweet treat, then these Cranberry Orange Muffins from The Simple Veganista could be right up your street.

Ingredients

  • 240g flour
  • 96g sugar (pure cane, coconut or date)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Half teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 250ml orange juice
  • 125g unsweetened applesauce
  • 200g cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4. Next, line a muffin tin with parchment liners or lightly grease with oil.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Next, add the orange juice and applesauce, mix well until just combined, and then gently fold in the cranberries and orange zest.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin holes, filling to the rim. You can also top with a few cranberries and a sprinkle of sugar if you wish.

Bake for 30 minutes, leave to cool down and then enjoy.

Apple crumble

Enjoy a warming crumble this autumn, with this Jamie Oliver apple crumble recipe.

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 400g cooking apples
  • 50g caster sugar

Crumble:

  • 35g wholemeal flour
  • 35g rolled oats
  • 35g unsalted butter
  • 20g caster sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5.

Next, peel and core the apples, then quarter and cut into chunks. Put the apples into a pan with the sugar and one tablespoon of water, then cook over a low heat for five minutes to soften slightly, stirring occasionally, then tip into a small ovenproof baking dish.

Place the flour and oats in a bowl and mix well. Then, chop the butter into small cubes and add this to the oats and flour. Mix and rub in with your fingertips until it turns into an even crumb texture.

Add the sugar and mix through, before covering the fruit with the crumble mixture.

Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

If you fancy mixing it up a bit, you could stray slightly from the recipe a little and add different fruits of your choice.

Custard

If you fancy homemade custard poured on top of any of the autumnal treats above, then this easy recipe adds an extra touch of sweetness.

The ingredients required for this BBC Good Food recipe are:

  • 200ml double cream
  • 700ml whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Put the cream and milk into a large pan and gently bring to just below boiling point.

In a large bowl, whisk the yolks, cornflour, sugar and vanilla. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture onto the sugar mixture, whisking constantly.

Next, wipe out the saucepan and pour the mixture back into it. Heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon until the custard is thickened, but before any lumps form.

Eyeball pops

If you want to make something quick and spooky for the Halloween season then these BBC Good Food eyeball pops are perfect.

Ingredients

  • 100g/4oz madeira cake
  • 100g Oreo cookie
  • 100g bar milk chocolate, melted
  • 200g bar white chocolate, melted

You will also need:

  • A few Smarties and icing pens, to decorate
  • 10 wooden skewers
  • Half small pumpkin or butternut squash , deseeded, to stand pops in

First, break the Madeira cake and cookies into the bowl of a food processor, pour in the melted milk chocolate and whizz to combine together.

Next, tip the mixture into a bowl, then use your hands to roll into about 10 walnut-sized balls.

Chill for two hours until really firm. Then, push a skewer into each ball, then carefully spoon the white chocolate over the cake balls to completely cover.

Stand the cake pops in the pumpkin, then press a Smartie onto the surface while wet. Chill again until the chocolate has set.

Finally, before serving, use the icing pens to add a pupil to each Smartie and wiggly red veins to the eyeballs.

Candy apples

Candy apples are perfect for anytime throughout autumn, but are especially great at Halloween and Bonfire Night.

This recipe is quick and easy to make, but provides a temptingly tasty treat.

Ingredients

  • 8 red apples
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • a few drops red food colouring (optional)

You will also need:

  • 8 sticks, chopsticks or lolly sticks

Method

The first thing you will need to do is remove the stalks from the apples. Next, put them in a heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water from the kettle to cover them and leave for three to four minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon and pat dry.

Next, push the sharpest end of each stick into the stalk-end of each apple, making sure it's firmly wedged in.

Put a large piece of baking parchment on a board.

Tip the sugar into a large saucepan, add the lemon juice and 100ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Swirl the pan gently to move the sugar around, but don’t stir.

Then, add the golden syrup and simmer the mixture until it reaches the 'hard crack' stage or 150C on a sugar thermometer.

If you don't have a thermometer, you can test the toffee by dropping a small amount into cold water, which should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle.

When it's ready, drip in some food colouring if you wish, and then swirl to combine. Turn off the heat.

Then, quickly but carefully, dip each apple into the toffee, tipping the pan to cover it fully. Lift out and allow any excess to drip off back into the pan before placing on the baking parchment and leaving to set.

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, The Star.