Baking on a budget

Inspired by the Great British Bake Off? Well, you don’t need to buy lots of expensive ingredients or equipment to make a half decent batch. Here are some tips and recipes to bring down the cost of your baking.

Use up old ingredients

I made some delicious soft-baked cookies the other day, simply by opening the cupboard and using the end of a bag of flour, the last egg, the last dregs of a bag of raisins, and a bit of golden syrup to make up for a lack of caster sugar. Here is the recipe (you can also just eat the raw dough as it is frankly amazing). Here is the recipe:

Makes about 20 cookies

  • 1 egg
  • 170g soft brown sugar
  • 225g margarine (or unsalted butter if you’re posh)
  • 240g self-raising flour
  • 40g porridge oats
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 225g raisins / nuts

Method: Thoroughly mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and place individual spoonfuls on lined baking sheets with good gaps between each spoonful. Bake on 180 C for about 12-15 minutes.


Soda bread is one of the best recipes for using up bits and bobs from your cupboards and fridge. The whole idea is to use slightly gone-off milk. So next time you forget to use the milk before the sell-by date, check out this recipe and make a really delicious bread for yourself rather than chucking out the milk and buying a supermarket sliced loaf.

Premium ingredients aren’t always better

It’s also important at this point that although we all love a bit of organic and free-range, you don’t have to use premium ingredients to get a good result. Most people love my chocolate brownie recipe and although the book I originally got it from says to use eye-wateringly expensive 70% dark chocolate, I used leftover Christmas chocolate once (a bit of Galaxy and Cadbury Dairy Milk I think) and they turned out to be the best brownies I’d ever made. Now I only use cheap stuff.

You can also get great deals on many ingredients, like Andy did when he made this lovely cheesecake.

You don’t need a fancy mixer…

…to make homemade bread.The soda bread mentioned above has got to be one of the easiest bread recipes out there. No need to take out an extra mortgage to fund said fancy mixer! Here is the recipe – you can even make it on the work top if you don’t have a bowl and mix it with your hands (actually better than using a spoon):

Makes 1 loaf

  • 450g coarse wholemeal flour
  • 50g rolled oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 450ml sour milk (or milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice)
  • Handful of porridge oats to sprinkle over the top

Method: Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl (or on work surface) and then shape into a round shape on lined baking tray. Bake on 200 C for about 45 mins to 1 hour.

5 thoughts on “Baking on a budget

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