Lazy weekend baking

Easing back into routine post-festivities opens the door to rediscovering simple joys.

Baking on lazy weekend afternoons or slow Sunday mornings feels satisfying. The craving for a fresh scone, reminiscent of childhood, occasionally takes hold. Topping it with jam and cream remains an everlasting pleasure, bringing together friends and family throughout the day.

This classic scone recipe serves as a reliable go-to when cravings strike. Its versatility allows for many twists - add soaked dates for date scones or grated cheese and herbs for a savoury spin.

Embracing the stone fruits while the season sticks around, mostly enjoyed fresh from the fruit bowl, I cannot go without transforming some into a baked delight.

My go-to is a ground almond cake paired with fresh fruits or berries - a simple celebration that requires no icing, making it a perfect companion for a leisurely afternoon tea and casual sips of your favourite brew. As I hold on to the straightforward charm of this cake, I'll demonstrate how to elevate it, making it suitable for any celebration without overcomplicating the flavour.

A moreish loaf is an irresistible choice, ideal for a satisfying morning tea or a sweet treat without the accompanying sugar rush. This recipe, enriched with nutritious ingredients, introduces a subtle bitterness from cacao and coffee, complementing bananas' sweet and caramel undertones.

Customise with chopped dark chocolate for a double chocolate indulgence or nuts for added texture. Enjoy the soft and spongy texture, perfect when warmed and paired with butter or almond butter.

Peach and blackberry cake

Suitable for: GF/DF


200ml olive oil

180g caster sugar

4 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

100g ground almonds

100g gluten-free flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

Pinch sea salt

2 medium peaches, sliced into 1cm wedges

100g blackberries or raspberries, fresh or frozen


2 peaches, sliced into 1cm wedges

1 tsp light olive oil

3 Tbsp caster sugar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

3 Tbsp water

250ml cream

1 tbsp icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Blackberries to garnish

Dairy-free option: Serve with coconut yoghurt instead of whipped cream.


Preheat oven to 165°C fan bake. Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line the base of the tin with a round of baking paper.

Combine ground almonds, rice flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to smooth out any lumps.

In an electric mixer, beat oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla together until thick and pale, about two minutes.

Add dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated but no longer.

Slice blackberries in half lengthways.

Pour half the cake batter into the pre-prepared cake tin and layer half the peaches and blackberries. Repeat with the remaining cake batter and fruit.

Bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin.

Make the toppings while the cake cooks; place sliced peaches and olive oil into a medium-sized pan on medium heat.

Cook peaches on each side for 5 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the castor sugar, lemon juice and water and swirl the pan using the handle to spread the sugar and liquid across the pan.

After two minutes, flip the peaches again and gently stir them in the syrup; cook for another 2 minutes before turning the pan off and allowing the peaches to cool.

Whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste until silky and thickened.

Once the cake is cool, gently remove it from the tin and transfer it to a cake plate.

Serve the cake with a dusting of icing sugar and the whipped cream, roasted peaches and blackberries on the side.

Alternatively loosely spread the whipped cream on top of the cake, dollop it with the roasted peaches and syrup, scatter the blackberries, and serve.

Classic scones with apricot jam and whipped cream


3 cups flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

60g cold butter

1 ½ cups full-fat milk



Apricot jam

150ml cream, whipped


Preheat the oven to 210°C to fan bake.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Grate the cold butter over the bowl of flour with a hand-held grater.

Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your hands until it resembles a fine crumb.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mix, then add the milk and combine quickly with a butter knife until just coming together, do not overmix.

Scatter some flour over a large baking tray, tip the dough into the centre of the tray, scatter more flour on top of the dough, and lightly press the dough into a round shape about 4cm thick.

Cut the dough into eight wedges using a large chef’s knife and brush the dough with milk.

Bake the scones for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden in colour.

Cool for 10 minutes before serving with butter, apricot jam and lashings of whipped cream.

Banana, cacao and espresso loaf

Suitable for: DF


2 free-range eggs

75g coconut sugar or brown sugar

4 bananas, 3 for the loaf and 1 for the topping

120ml light olive oil

1 Tbsp instant coffee granules or espresso powder

4 Tbsp cacao powder or cocoa

100g ground almonds

120g rye flour (or buckwheat / plain flour)

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp raw sugar on top


Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

In a food processor, blend eggs, coconut sugar, three bananas, olive oil and coffee until combined.

Add the almond meal, rye flour, cacao, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; blitz until just combined.

Pour batter into pre-prepared loaf tin, slice remaining banana in half lengthways, place on top of the loaf alongside each other, and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Place the loaf on a cooling rack, still in the tin, to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the tin.

Serve warm with butter or a generous spread of almond butter and banana slices for a snack.