Baking an Autumn Spiced Buttermilk Pound Loaf

This week I opted for a classic. But as ever I added a little twist. After my previous indulgent recipe last week of Peanut Butter Banana Loaf, I craved something slightly simpler. I decided to Bake a buttermilk pound loaf with Autumnal spices.

The pound cake is a British recipe that dates back to the 1700’s. Many people couldn’t read in this era, so the recipe was kept incredibly simple- 1 pound of each flour, butter, eggs and sugar. Easy to remember and create with very little. The name just stuck.

Spiced Buttermilk Pound Loaf

Part of my baking journey is to master the basics. I feel as though this is a great place to begin with anyone wanting to take up baking. Because if you can truly master the basics you can’t fail in going forward.

I used my Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook for the basis of this recipe. However I added to it a teaspoon of cinnamon and ginger. Along with some vanilla essence.

My other difference was that I did not have any buttermilk. Quite frankly, I do not care for it very much. I looked up alternatives to basic buttermilk, and found you could use a combination of cows milk and lemon juice to create a similar effect, so I went for this.

While the cake was baking, the house was filled with a beautifully sweet, warm and homey smell. My mouth was watering and I couldn’t wait to get it out of the oven. The cake took a good long while to bake. Around 1 hour 15 minutes.

Bird’s eye view of my Pound Loaf.

There was no fancy decoration needed here. This traditional cake needn’t compete with any other fussy toppings. It is perfect just as it is. Well, perhaps alongside a cup of tea.

When cutting into my cake, I couldn’t help but notice how sweet smelling it remained. It lifted the spirits of all my housemates with it’s aromatic aroma, even after it had cooled right down.

The only problem with this cake was, it is incredibly moorish. I polished off two slices right away while it was still warm. I slapped a bit of butter on my slice, which added another layer of moisture and saltiness.

This cake reminded me of a good old fashioned Rock Bun. One of my staple favourites growing up as a child. They were incredibly easy to make, fun to mould into little balls and dollop on a baking sheet. Not only this, but they hit the spot every time. Despite their simplicity they were always so satisfying. This is the same for Pound Cake.


Baking a Peanut Butter and Banana Loaf with Chocolate Chips

Welcome back to week two of my loaf cake journey.

 I have been excited to share this recipe with you all. My lovely housemate Lauren inspired me to create this combination. She is a peanut butter and banana fiend. Banana bread is a really simple classic. Which is vital for me, as I want to not only master the classic traditional loaves, but also make them a little bit more exciting. 

 Feast your eyes on my Banana Loaf, topped with Peanut butter frosting and chocolate chips. Banana and Peanut Butter Loaf Cake topped with Chocolate Chips.
Banana and Peanut Butter Loaf Cake topped with Chocolate Chips
This is actually, my very first baking invention. 


Peanut Butter and Banana Loaf


I am forever guilty for following a cookbook’s recipe to the finest detail, so this was quite a big leap. Baking always provides such a wonderful sense of achievement. But this small step towards adding to a already great recipe felt fantastic, especially as it really worked. For my banana loaf I followed a truly fantastic recipe, I highly recommend. I used The Hummingbird Cookbook. It was extremely simple, and I loved the addition of cinnamon and ginger powder to the bake.

 It was still a little bit haphazard without my electric whisk, but luckily you really don’t need it. You can just as easily hand whisk eggs and sugar then add the mashed banana. From then on all the dry ingredients are sieved into the wet, followed by the melted butter. It’s really that simple. Now for the tricky bit. Knowing when the banana bread is done. 


The recipe stated anywhere from 50 mins to an hour. I left mine in for 1 hour and 20 mins. Remember every oven can vary. But this time was luckily just right, as for once it wasn’t too gooey or too hard. It was just right. Cutting into my Peanut Butter and Banana Loaf
Cutting into my Peanut Butter and Banana Loaf
I wanted the topping to be a smoother version of a Hershey’s Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups centre. To create this, I added smooth peanut butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla essence into a pan. I heated gently for 1 minute stirring continuously and spooned it onto my completely cool cake. Then came the fun part of adding the chocolate. On a last minute whim I placed the sliced banana on top too. Overall I was so pleased.


Cutting into my cake

 My housemates were all very eager to try it, and seemed to like it very much. Again this is just the ultimate satisfaction for me. I did personally have one criticism for next time, this would be to change the chocolate chips to a darker more quality chocolate shaving. I feel this would aesthetically look better, but also could work well by counteracting with the sweetness of the topping. If you fancy making a really classic cake with an complimentary topping, you have found it. I love discovering new flavours, but sometimes you cannot beat a classic. Next week’s bake is already planned and I am so excited to share with you, so stay tuned!


Baking an Orange and Apricot Loaf with Lemon Icing

As well as writing this blog I am embarking on a new personal challenge. I aim to bake at least once a week. My current baking craze is loaf cakes. All things loafy. For the first week of this new tradition I decided to make a Orange and Apricot Loaf with Lemon drizzle icing. A picture of my Orange and Apricot Loaf cake with Lemon drizzle icing and orange zest. Perfect Autumn bake.
View from above of the finished bake.
I used an online recipe from the BBC Good Food website. I am usually quite sceptical with online recipes. However this website is very useful and I haven’t had a bad experience to date.

I made one change to the original recipe and decided to add lemon juice into the icing instead of orange juice. I was pleased with this substitution as it added a slightly sharper tang. It went down very well with the flavours of orange and apricot also, creating autumnal flavours. I have recently moved to London in a shared house with 4 other friends. This means a lot of my good baking equipment is situated in my family home back in The New Forest. Oh how I missed my electric whisk for this bake. It was almost impossible to blend the butter by hand, but then when it came to adding the eggs I was verging on new disaster territory of curdling. As a drastic form of improvisation I sought out my friends ‘Nutri-Bullet’ blender. I scooped my eggy batter into her flask in sheer desperation I could save my arms the pain of hours of mixing and poorly blended batter. In a split second it seemed to work. It was of course very liquidy at this point, but once I had folded in the flour, I was back on track.

I did not feel my batter needed milk at this point. It went into the oven for well over an hour. I think I timed it at around 1.5 hours. Every oven is different of course. I was very patient letting my cake cool twenty minutes in the tin and a further half an hour out of the tin. 

My housemates were very eager to sample a slice at this point. Once I had decorated with my lemon icing and a lovely sprinkle of automatic orange zest, I was compelled to photograph my cake. Now, having a photography degree did not help me very much at this point. I came to realise how hard food styling actually is. 

Cutting into my Orange and Apricot Loaf
Finally came the time to gather my friends with a cup of tea and cut a slice. The cake wasn’t bad for a first attempt. My personal criticism is that it could have done with a little bit more moisture in the sponge. I think I will try adding some orange juice into the batter next time. 

I was very pleased to notice the fruit hadn’t sunk to the bottom also. The apricots were not too chewy and the flavours were there. It seemed to go down quite well with my housemates. They even had two helpings. This is one of the reasons why I love baking, as it brings your loved ones together. There is massive satisfaction in instigating this. 

 Stay tuned for next week as I have another loafy up my sleeve!

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