Cooking and baking are a large part of my life. For that reason, it was always likely that any business I started would have an element of cake included. Since starting GillyMac eight years ago, I must have made hundreds of cakes, traybakes and biscuits. Over the rest of 2021, I will share some of the bakes I enjoy making the most. Some are recipes that seem to have no owner, and others are from books or websites. I have tested them all, and they come highly recommended.

Let’s start with Scones, Tiffin, Carrot Cake, Yorkshire Tea Cake and a Classic Chocolate Cake.


 The lightest, fluffiest scones I enjoy making are from Nigella Lawson’s recipe. They are reliable and rise every time. Be careful as you roll them out. Only those cut from the first roll of the dough will rise evenly. When you combine the leftover pieces from the first roll, the scones pressed from this piece will be just as tasty but uneven. I always double to batch – as one patch is never enough.

Use wholemeal flour, walnuts and raisins for a different but gorgeous taste!

Mum’s Tiffin

Mum has been making Tiffin for my friends and me for as long as I can remember. The only thing I have earlier memories of is her making Scottish Tablet for us.

I’ve typed up the recipe and included it below. This quantity will make about 30 pieces. My younger daughter thinks this is the perfect amount as one batch will feed her class on ‘Cake Tuesdays’.

Carrot Cake

I have tried lots of Carrot Cake recipes. The best ones usually have loads of ingredients. I don’t have time to include overly complicated bakes, so finding Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen’s Easy Carrot Cake was a game-changer. It is the moistest, tasty carrot cake ever. It isn’t complicated, doesn’t need any fuss and freezes well. The cream cheese frosting is nice with it. The cake isn’t overly sweet, and so the frosting is a lovely sweet addition.

I really like the recipes from Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen. She has some great tea-time meal recipes as well.

Yorkshire Tea Loaf

My older daughter went to University in Leeds, and around that time, I discovered a blog called Insomniac Mummy.  I think the lady was based in Yorkshire. The blog was witty and one of the first I followed. It has now disappeared. It moved to a new platform but now seems to be around. The original blog contained a recipe for Yorkshire Tea Loaf. I have looked for something similar, but nothing has come close to how great this one is.  The recipe is written out in full below and credited to the original blogger.

I use a Waitrose Vine Fruit mix and cherries, but swapping cranberries for cherries is nice too. I drink Yorkshire Tea, but any good quality tea with some strength would do. Yorkshire Tea is best, though.

Chocolate Cake

We started to make Charlotte’s Easy Chocolate Cake last year in lockdown to cheer us up—it’s an easy bake and always tasty. The only faff is grating the chocolate, but boy, is it worth it. We also make the chocolate buttercream to go with it but don’t bother grating chocolate for this; I miss it out. Make sure you use good quality, high cocoa content chocolate. I tend to use above 60% cocoa content – it is worth the extra few pence! The other fab thing about this recipe is that it is all thrown in one bowl and mixed. What could be easier?

I hope you enjoy these xxxx Gill xxxx