This doesn’t happen on Masterchef ….

So those lovely folk at Anchor asked me to make something yummy to celebrate their 125th birthday. And, better yet, they asked for an elevenses treat. So far, so excellent. As a child, I loved Winnie the Pooh, mostly because he was always ready for a little snackerel round about this time of day. Some might call him a bear of very little brain. I think he was eminently sensible. No one wants to die of hunger before it’s even lunchtime, do they?

Ok then, so I was all completely on track to make some of my signature flapjacks. What’s that? Yes, I know they’re not hugely exotic, but they are very, very nutritious. Yes, really. They’re full of oats, which as everyone knows lower cholesterol and provide sustained energy in a controlled fashion, unlike those naughty white flour snacks. I won’t mention the half-pound of butter if you don’t. Or the syrup. Obviously there is a sprinkling of sugar, too, but not that much. Not in the grand scheme of things.

Right, so there I was, poised on the edge of making the Anchor flapjacks. Well, if we must be strictly accurate, I was on the sofa, watching Above Suspicion (aka Shouty and Pouty) on catch-up, when Child Two called up from the kitchen. ‘Can I make some fairy cakes?’ Well, obviously, the answer to that in our house is always a resounding YES. So make them she did. With my Anchor butter. Specially bought for the flapjacks.

Oh deary me. On the plus side, we now have a delectable tin full of yummy fairy cakes, in two flavours, almond and lemon, with matching icing. Nommy nom nom. On the, ahem, minus side, we have no flapjacks. But do not despair. I’m going to give you the recipes for both, then you can decide which works out better for your own personal elevenses moment.

Child Two’s Fairy Cakes

Set oven to 170 C

Put paper or silicone cases into two fairy cake tins


250g Anchor butter

250g caster sugar

4 eggs

vanilla essence

250g self raising flour

almond essence

100g ground almonds

juice and pith of a lemon

Icing: icing sugar, lemon juice, almond essence


Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla essence. Sieve in flour, then beat. Divide mixture into two bowls. Add half lemon juice and pith to one bowl, and almond essence and ground almonds to the other. Mix well. Put into paper cases with a teaspoon. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

When cool, make glace icing in two bowls, one with the other half of the lemon juice and pith, the other with more almond essence. Drizzle over cakes and enjoy!

DD’s Flapjacks

Set oven to 180 C, put greaseproof paper in a lasagne dish or baking tin


250g Anchor butter

450g oats – from cereal aisle at supermarket. If you can’t find them, then an oat-heavy muesli works really well.

200g sugar (any type works)

2-3 tablespoons golden syrup

Optional extras (try one at a time until you find your family’s favourite)

Half teaspoon cinnamon or allspice

100g chopped hazlenuts

100g raisins


Microwave or heat butter in a large bowl/pan until melted. Add the oats, sugar and syrup and any ingredients you fancy from the optional list. Cook for twenty minutes and try not to eat it all before everyone gets home.



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