Exclusive: Coles and Woolworths will be going head-to-head in a bun fight as soon as Christmas is over.
The supermarket giants will be selling hot cross buns before the end of the year, with Coles getting first out of the gates with national sales starting on Boxing Day.
Coles Head of Bakery Operations Shaun Percy told News Corp the decision to sell them across their stores early comes after sales in December last year revealed a growing demand outside of the traditional Easter period.
More than 1.6 million hot cross buns – equivalent to 124,000 kilograms – sold in just five days of landing in Coles stores before January 1, 2020.
Mr Percy said early sales results showed customers now expect Easter treats before they finish Christmas leftovers.
“While we understand there may be different views on selling the Easter treat early, our bakers are constantly being asked by customers when they can get their hands on our delicious hot cross buns,” he said.
“Many of our customers are also telling us they want to be able to purchase hot cross buns all year round.”
Coles sales data has also revealed the suburbs in each state and territory with the biggest appetite for hot cross buns in December last year.
In NSW, Kincumber ate 5064 buns, followed by Castle Hill (4842), Penrith (4830), Broadway (4110), Batemans Bay (3912), Green Hills (3786), Erina (3678) Chatswood (3648), Tuggerah and Casula (3492).
Overall, NSW ate 15 million hot cross buns during the Easter period last year.
Coles sold more than 66 million hot cross buns, including nearly 12 million in the week leading up to Easter weekend last year.
Woolworths told News Corp it would start selling hot cross buns to customers before the New Year, and promised a new range of flavours to try.
“In previous years we have waited until January before introducing Hot Cross Buns, but we know this year has been a tough one for a lot of Australians,” a spokesman said.
“Many customers are looking ahead to the new year and for those who want to ring it in with hot cross buns, we’ll have a range of new and traditional flavours for every Australian.”
Woolworths also said its data showed hot cross buns were popular, as they usually see nearly 17 million sold by the end of January alone.
“We can’t wait to share our exciting new range with customers in the days ahead,” the spokesman said.
ALDI confirmed to News Corp it would not be selling hot cross buns until January 2021.
“We know from previous years that our customers like to shop seasonal treats well ahead of the Easter period particularly in January,” a spokesman said.
“So customers who desire Australian made, soft and flavoursome hot cross buns will be able to find them in our stores from January 13.”
Christmas recipes and Christmas Menus for everyone!! Whether you’re having a summery Aussie Christmas lunch, a cosy White Christmas, a traditional Christmas dinner, or need speedy recipes that still have the wow factor, here’s a collection of my very best Christmas food ideas!
I started this guided walk through of my very best Christmas recipes back in 2017. Each year, I update the post with my latest recipes and add more suggested menus. I hope you find some inspiration! – Nagi x
Christmas Recipes and Menus
The RecipeTin Family is notorious for leaving our Christmas menu until the last minute. We like to toss ideas around, offering up suggestions, “debating”*, looking around to see what looks good this year.
There’s a big build up until 3 days before – then bam! The Menu is Set, tasks are allocated, and everyone is dispatched to source the required ingredients.
It’s all part of our annual Christmas ritual.
And now, it’s your turn. I hope this Christmas Recipe Index and Menu Ideas helps you to plan your Christmas Menu!
* This is code for heated arguments and requests being shot down. Such as scoffing at mum’s request for Crackling Roast Pork as well as ham (“double pork is a no no!” we declare), mocking my request for Fried Chicken (“it’s Christmas, don’t be so bogan!”), and experimental ideas like Turdukin shot down as “noooo, it’s just a hack, it isn’t that tasty!”. As far as I’m concerned, there are no rules for Christmas and the opinions of the RecipeTin Family should be disregarded. And Fried Chicken is the perfect main for any occasion!😂
Warm and cosy, many of these are great for making ahead! My picks:
Potatoes au Gratin – indulgent, tastes outrageously good (it’s French, you can’t go wrong) and it’s 100% perfect for make ahead;
Baked Mac & Cheese – best made fresh for optimal eating experience but I have tips for near perfect make-ahead! This is a regular at the RecipeTi Family Christmas – we splurge on very good gruyere cheese and it is outrageously to die for!
Salads & Summery Sides
Never under estimate the power of a really great fresh, crunchy salad. And for those of us who have a Summer Christmas, fill your festive table with these colourful, a little-bit-show-off salads and side dishes!
It might not be traditional, but for years Corn Bread has remained as a firm favourite in our family! We love how soft and moist it is, that it’s so tasty you could eat it plain but when you use it to mop your Christmas plate clean? Swooon…
Starters & Snacks
Things to nibble before the feast are mandatory. Full stop!
There is ALWAYS room for dessert. Always!!! But first … a sneak preview of a very special one with the recipe soon coming your way on Monday:
And here are some dessert suggestions to steal the show at your Christmas dinner this year!
Just a few suggestions for Christmas Menus……
🦃 🎄My Perfect Traditional Christmas Menu (ignoring all practical logistics like oven space and sleeping!)
😇 Super Easy Christmas Menu – low effort, forgiving, make ahead recipes
Menu 2: 🇦🇺Aussie Summer Christmas Lunch!🇦🇺
It’s un-Australian to spend Christmas Day holed up in the kitchen with the oven going all day! Here’s a suggested summer Christmas Lunch Menu – Aussie style!
Tasty Snacks to start – suggestions
Prawns (shrimp) with dipping sauces – An Aussie Christmas just ain’t an Aussie Christmas unless there are prawns on offer! Those sauces are also ideal for other shellfish: Crab, lobster, Morton Bay / Balman bugs, seafood sticks, and other cold seafoods.
Fresh Oysters with lemon wedges
Glazed Ham – You can’t get more classic than a Brown Sugar Glazed Ham or Maple Glazed Ham for your Christmas main! The impressive presentation and irresistible wafts of spice and sugar will turn heads and set tongues wagging as you ceremoniously deliver this glorious centrepiece to the table!
If you’re having a White Christmas, you’ll love this cosy menu! The number of mains you have will depend on how many people you’re serving. If you’ve got a small group, perhaps just opt for one main.
Menu 5: 2020 Sydney Morning Herald $20pp Menu
This is the menu that I did for the Good Food section of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Sunday Life Magazine which was published on Sunday 6 December 2020! My challenge was to come up with the most amazing menu possible on a budget of $20 per head, mindful of the challenging times we’ve experienced this year.
Here’s a link to the menu on the Good Food website. This is what’s included – the budget was for 8 adults at $20 pp, total of A$160.
Prawn Crostini with Minted Pea Puree – because what’s an Aussie Christmas without prawns?? Here’s the recipe on the Good Food website;
Crackling Roast Pork – an existing recipe on my website where I share my game changing (simple!) tips for the best crispy crackling of your life, guaranteed!
Christmas Tree Pavlova – which made the front cover of the Sunday Life Magazine! 🙌🏻 Here’s the recipe on the Good Food website, and I will be doing a full post on Monday with process photos and video tutorial! (PS Easier than you think!)
PS Ahead of Monday, here’s a little preview of the Pavlova Christmas Tree!
Menu 6: Thrifty but Nifty Christmas Dinner
You absolutely CAN make an amazing feast on a budget!
This menu is catered to an Australian audience, as it reflects the prices of produce here. For example, turkey is quite expensive here compared to other proteins – whereas in the States, you can buy turkey for less than $2/kg!
Starter – Italian Cheese Log. This makes loads, lasts for ages and a little goes a long way. You can fill it with economical antipasto type things!
Main Option 1: Garlic Herb Butter Roast Chicken. It’s AMAZING, less stress than turkey and definitely far more economical! Make multiple needed, and fancy up the presentation by placing it on a bed of green fluffage – see the photos in this Roast Turkey for presentation idea!
Main Option 2: Fish doesn’t have to break the bank. Cheaper fish are often overlooked but are rarely inferior in eating quality compared to more popular fish like salmon or snapper. Tailor, morwong, gurnard, leatherjacket, flake and basa, for example are all delicious and economical fish. Try them in this Fish Pie that’s inexpensive but absolutely worthy of gracing a Christmas table.
Prawns – While you’ll find prawns from quality seafood stores and the fish market are juicier, sweeter and with a better flavour, nowadays, I find the prawns from supermarkets (over the counter, not pre-packed or frozen) are far better quality than they used to be and they’re usually 30 – 40% cheaper. TIP: To add a wow factor, skip the jarred sauce and make on of these simple Seafood Sauces!
Bread – Nowadays, there are terrific breads even sold at our supermarkets! It’s really worth spending a couple of extra dollars to get a good artisan style bread – sourdough, ciabatta or even the stone baked range sold at Woolies. Or make a loaf of No Knead Artisan Bread yourself for less than $1! TIP: Fancy bread up with flavoured butter! Mix softened salted butter with a little parmesan or chopped herbs to fancy it up! Roll up in cling wrap and twist ends to form a log, refrigerate until firm (shape if needed) then soft a bit before serving with bread.
Dessert – With bargain summer fruit around, the Great Aussie Pav is actually a very economical dessert option. The only catch is that leftovers aren’t great. So my other suggestion is Chocolate Fudge Cake which is also a terrific easy economical option (at least one brand of baking chocolate is almost always on sale). And this keeps for days and days!
Menu 7: Super Easy Christmas Menu
Low effort, forgiving recipes – and still looks so impressive! All can be prepped ahead with minimal work required prior to serving!
Here’s a printable list of the recipes for the Easy Christmas Menu – so you don’t need to print out the entire post with all the photos! These are low effort, forgiving recipes – and still looks so impressive! All can be prepped ahead with minimal work required prior to serving.
Simple Salad (make one or two):
3 Minute Festive “Baked” Brie:
Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy:
Brown Sugar Glazed Ham or Maple Glazed Ham:
Easy creamy cheesy Potato Bake:
Lemon Potato Salad (alternative):
Easy Chocolate Fudge Cake:
Keywords: Easy Christmas Menu
Did you make this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @RecipeTinEats.
Originally published in December 2017. This post gets updated each year with the latest additions to holiday recipes and new menu suggestions!
Life of Dozer
More photos from the weekend when our local dog photographer (Kevin from Unleashed Northern Beaches) was down at the dog beach doing a Christmas photo day!
I might be smiling, but Dozer is never impressed…😂
And Life of Dozer from 2019:
When a gingerbread man’s arm goes missing, everyone is so quick to blame Dozer…. but in this case, it was my sausage fingers that was the cause of the amputation!
The average lawyer has a bad diet to go along with their demanding and highly stressful lifestyle.
It starts with late night document reviews with free Chinese food or pizza. It continues with free donuts to get you there early and even free snacks so you don’t leave the office until you have no other choice.
Combine this with hours spent sitting at your desk, and it is why many law firms are making their attorneys fat. Smart lawyers force themselves to stick to a healthy diet and workout regime.
The best attorneys choose a diet that fuels them through their workout and through the day. Let’s learn how a smart lawyer eats before and after a workout.
Eat Healthy Snacks Around the Time of Your Workout
Don’t grab a candy bar to reward yourself for spending an hour at the gym. Have a protein bar instead. Look for low sugar, moderate carb and ideally high protein foods to eat a few hours before an evening workout.
Think cheese, almonds, and bananas instead of bagels, donuts, and gummy bears.
A malpractice lawyer has added reason to eat healthy and present healthy snacks to the team. You’re well aware of the responsibility you have to foster healthy choices in others.
Attorneys are expected to work sixty-hour work weeks, and some clock more than seventy hours a week regularly. They may try to power through the day by drinking coffee and energy drinks throughout the day. This dehydrates you.
It can cause all kinds of problems if you try to go for a long walk on your lunch break or hit the gym after work. The solution is to stay hydrated. Drink as much water as you drink dehydrating beverages.
For example, grab an orange juice to go with a cup of coffee. Drink water instead of energy drinks in the afternoon, and drink plenty of water before and after your workout. This has the side benefit of helping you to quickly get to sleep at night.
Attorneys are at risk of bad choices due to their stressful lifestyle, often excused as something to relieve the stress.
The ABA did a study that found just over a third of lawyers engage in hazardous drinking.
They’re at increased risk of alcohol dependence. If you want to stay healthy, don’t drink a beer at the end of your workout or relax with two glasses of wine at the end of the day. And go to the gym instead of going out for a drink with friends to burn off stress.
Eat Healthy Meals Regularly
It doesn’t matter if you work out before heading to the office, on your lunch break, or at the end of the day. Eat healthy meals regularly. Don’t skip breakfast, eat a heavy lunch, and expect to do well at the gym.
Don’t snack throughout the day and expect to have the energy for an hour at the gym, either. Having regularly scheduled meals has other benefits, as well. You won’t suffer a blood sugar crash that leaves you craving unhealthy snacks.
Clearly, the impact of health and well being on a professional lawyer is critical. The best attorneys choose a diet that fuels them through their workout and through the day. Take these key points into your daily life and see your professional career thrive!
After changing his best friend’s life by helping him lose over 70lbs, dropping him down to an amazing 7% body fat, Terry was inspired to be a full-time internet trainer knowing he could do the same for many more. In 2010, Terry published his own diet and fitness e-book that can be purchased on this website. Let Terry help you change your body for the better!
Latest posts by Terry Asher (see all)
How a Smart Lawyer Eats Before and After a Workout
The best attorneys choose a diet that fuels them through their workout and through the day. Let’s learn how a smart lawyer eats before and after a workout.
Aussies love their pets, and while fur babies are by far the most commonly chosen family additions, feathered friends also rate as a popular choice.
According to the latest figures from Animal Medicines Australia’s national survey of pets and people, of the 29 million pets in the country today, an estimated 5.6 million are birds.
In the survey, 30 per cent of bird owners listed companionship as the main reason for having one as a pet.
As Dr Magdoline Awad – who is the chief veterinary officer at Greencross The Pet Company and SMARTDaily’s weekly pet columnist – explains, birds can also come to see their owners as companions. Here, she answers a reader’s question about their parrot, Pooch.
PARROT’S HAIR OBSESSION
I have a two-year-old parrot, Pooch, who keeps on eating my hair. It’s so frustrating as I have long hair that he keeps snipping short in places. He’s caged at night and most of the day unless we are home. We feed him parrot pellets and bits of fruit and nuts.
Most birds, including parrots, spend about 80 per cent of their life foraging for food and 20 per cent devoted to socialising, grooming and sleeping.
Preening is a social activity and it’s how your parrot keeps his feathers clean, waterproof and in good condition.
When Pooch is eating your hair, he is in fact preening you and nurturing a bond between you both. He is showing you that he really likes you.
If Pooch is caged for most of the day and night, it is important to provide him with plenty of environmental enrichment that allows him to carry out his natural foraging behaviours.
Enrichment strategies may include wrapping some of his food items in cardboard or newspaper; mixing edible and non-edible food items to encourage foraging behaviours; or providing a puzzle box where Pooch is required to unscrew or manipulate parts of the box to receive a food reward.
Lack of stimulation may cause Pooch to feel a heightened anticipation when you return home, and he may react by engaging in overzealous preening behaviours such as eating your hair. Providing enrichment may alleviate some of this unwanted behaviour.
Ensure Pooch is not swallowing your hair as this may contribute to blockages over time.
But if it all sounds too daunting for a sleepy Sunday morning, take the easy way out and prepare the poached eggs and Hollandaise Sauce up to 2 days ahead. They both reheat perfectly!
The great brunch favourite has finally arrived! Truthfully, I didn’t want to publish this without also sharing Poached Eggs and Hollandaise Sauce at the same time, and it’s a LOT of work to do all three which is why I’m releasing this months later than I promised.
Logic would prevail that I should have shared the Poached Eggs and Hollandaise Sauce separately. And while both are what I call Life Essential recipes, they don’t exactly make you jump up and down with excitement on their own, do they?
At least, not compared to seeing THIS:
And so, I persevered. All 3 must go out together – and they have arrived!
Eggs Benedict – The four parts
Here are the 4 components that make up Eggs Benedict:
Poached Eggs – while this recipe contains the directions for poached eggs, for an explanation of specific things I call for in the recipe (such as using fridge cold eggs, straining the eggs), see the separate Poached Eggs recipe for details;
Hollandaise Sauce – this is one of the great classic sauces of the world that’s notoriously hard to make by hand, even for seasoned chefs. I use a really easy blender stick method that takes 90 seconds flat with exactly the same quality! 90% faster and foolproof;
Ham, bacon or smoked salmon – traditionally, Eggs Benedict were made with what’s called “Canadian Bacon” in the US, which is the eye of bacon sold in Australia (ie the oval part, not the streaky, fatty part). However, over the years, all sorts of variations have evolved and here in Australia, the ham version is more common than bacon (bonus: it’s easier to cut through and eat). Smoked salmon is very popular (my personal favourite!). More variations: crab or lobster meat for very fancy options, bound together with a bit of mayonnaise and perhaps a squeeze of lemon.
English muffin – this is the traditional bread used for Eggs Benedict, but nowadays, especially with the evolution of the trendy bistro crowd, all sorts of fancy bread is used. Currently, brioche is all the rage – and not just yellow brioche, I’ve had it with jet black-coloured charcoalbrioche too! (Which BTW, tastes exactly the same – it just looks cool, I suppose!).
How to make Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict isn’t hard, it’s just about the order in which things are cooked so it all comes together while everything is warm. So here’s the order in which I make things:
Prepare all the ingredients and get the water boiling for the poached eggs;
Heat the oven on low to keep the English muffins and cooked bacon warm;
Cook bacon – If using bacon, cook the bacon at this stage then place in the oven to keep warm in a small baking dish covered with foil. If using ham, just put into the oven to warm up – nobody wants cold ham with warm-everything-else for their Eggs Benedict!
Toast the muffins then place in the oven to stay warm;
Make Hollandaise Sauce – my method takes 90 seconds flat, and it will stay warm for 15 minutes. Even at room temp is fine – you just don’t want it cold;
Poach the eggs using my Easy Method so you can make 8 eggs in 2 batches (so there will be no need to reheat). If you want to use the traditional Whirlpool Method, you will find the directions in my Poached Eggs recipe, but just be mindful that it takes experience to make multiple eggs at the same time with this technique!
Assemble – place muffins on serving plates, top with ham/eggs/smoked salmon, then a poached egg. Spoon over Hollandaise sauce and serve!
Also, both the poached eggs and Hollandaise Sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead and reheated – directions are in the recipe card notes.
How to make EASY Hollandaise Sauce
So, first up – Hollandaise sauce – my easy foolproof way! You will need a tall glass, jug or similar that the blender stick head fits in – it must reach all the way down to the base. I’m pretty sure most blender sticks come with a jug or milkshake-maker cup – but I have no idea where mine is!
Then here’s what you need to make Hollandaise Sauce, and how to make it:
Blitz yolks with cayenne pepper, lemon juice, salt and water (for thinning);
Pour in butter slowly over 45 seconds while blitzing constantly;
After the butter is in, move stick up and down to blend thoroughly for another 10 seconds;
Voila! Perfect Hollandaise Sauce for your poached eggs!
BONUS: Can be made ahead and reheated.
How to make poached eggs – my Easy Method
The steps explained below are for my Easy Method for making poached eggs that even beginners can use. For the traditional Whirlpool Method, please see the Poached Eggs recipe. The Whirlpool Method will make more “perfect” poached eggs shape, but it does take practice to perfect, it’s difficult to make more than one at a time, and you need eggs < 4 days old max.
For a full explanation of the why for the steps explained below, see the Poached Eggs recipe. If I explain everything here, it will take too much reading for you to get on with making your Eggs Benedict! 😂
A. Poached Eggs Preparation – key step
Strain the eggs in a small strainer to drain off watery whites which are the biggest offender in poached egg disasters – they cause the ghostly wispy whites.
Jiggle about and let the watery whites drip out for about 30 seconds;
Teacup – transfer the egg to a teacup for ease of slipping into the hot water. Much safer than using small bowls!
Repeat for as many eggs as you plan to make in the first batch – 4 at a time is easily manageable, 6 is for experienced, 8 is for poaching pros! (Oh, and you’ll need an extra big pot for 8!)
B. Right water temperature
Getting the right water temperature is key. If the water is too rapid, then the egg will jiggle about too much and get those untidy wisps. But if it’s not hot enough, the egg might not set and the whites just dissolves into the water.
I’ve found that the best way to get the right temperature is to bring the water to a boil first (to get enough heat in it), then turn the stove down until you get tiny bubbles rising from the base of the pot but no big bubbles breaking the surface of the water.
C. Poaching the Eggs
There’s a few key tips in these steps here to ensure poached eggs success!
Roll the eggs out of the teacup onto the base of the pot while submerging the teacup into the water. Reason: The shorter the distance the eggs fall, the better shape they will hold;
Continue with all eggs, spreading them out across the base of the pot;
Roll before they set – after 20 seconds, the eggs should be barely starting to set but manageable enough to roll over – this will form the poached eggs’ shape;
Poach 2 minutes for set whites and runny yolks, turning once more to make a nice poached egg shape;
Remove with slotted spoons – poke to check it’s done to your taste;
Drain and serve!
The Poached Eggs recipe also contains directions for the Whirlpool method of poaching eggs but it takes experience to do more than one at a time (successfully!). However, if this your preferred method, feel free to use it – directions (including video) are in the Poached Eggs recipe
Breakfast in PJ’s!
Poached Eggs and Hollandaise Sauce done, now the rest is a cinch! Toast the bread, cook the bacon (if using), then assemble.
Yes, making Eggs Benedict at home has a few components and yes, it might be daunting the first time you try your hand at it, especially if you want to make 8 eggs to serve 4 people.
But I promise you, if you read the recipe from start to finish and follow the steps in the order I’ve written them, you will be fine. So what if some of the eggs are a bit cool by the time you serve? So what if they are a bit wonky, and some have firmer yolks than you’d like? You’ve just made Eggs Benedict at home, you’ve saved a bucket of money (it’s expensive to have them out – north of $20 for a plate in my neck of the woods!), and you haven’t even had to get out of your PJ’s! – Nagi x
Recipe video above. Eggs Benedict, made easy! Featuring my no-compromise Easy Method for Poached Eggs and a 90-second Foolproof Hollandaise Sauce.But if it all sounds too daunting for a sleepy Sunday morning, take the easy way out and prepare the poached eggs and Hollandaise Sauce up to 2 days ahead. They both reheat perfectly.Save a bucketload by staying in for brunch this weekend – and you don’t even have to get out of your PJ’s!!Makes 8 Eggs Benedict to serve 4 people, ie. 2 eggs + 1 split muffin per person
3egg yolks , from large eggs (55-60g / 2 oz each, Note 1)
1/4tspcayenne pepper or white pepper
1 1/2tbsp lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 1/2tbspwater, plus more as needed
175g/ 1 1/2 sticksunsalted butter, cut into 1.5 cm / 1/2″ cubes (Note 2)
Preheat oven to 50°C/120°F.
Cook bacon in a little oil or butter to your liking. Transfer to small baking pan, cover with foil then place in oven.
Ham – if using ham, cover and place in oven to warm slightly.
Lightly toast English muffins then keep warm on rack on tray.
Place egg yolks in a tall narrow jug that the blender stick fits in, all the way to the base.
Add water, lemon juice, cayanne pepper and salt. Blitz briefly to combine.
Melt butter in a heatproof jug until hot (be very careful to ensure it doesn’t explode if using microwave!). If you use a stove, pour into a jug. Let it stand for just 15 seconds until the milky whites settles at the bottom of the jug. (Note 2)
With the blender stick going on high, slowly pour the butter in a thin stream into the eggs over around 45 seconds. Leave behind most of the milky whites in the butter – about 1 1/2 tbsp. (Note 2) Once all the butter is in, the sauce should be thick, creamy, smooth and pale yellow. Now blitz for a further 10 seconds, moving the stick up and down.
Thickness – If too thick, mix in warm tap water 1 teaspoon at a time. It should be thick but pourable so it will coat and stick to the eggs but not be transparent.
Keep warm – Transfer to a bowl, cover and keep warm – it will stay warm for 15 min but even room temp is fine (will heat up when in contact with hot eggs).
Strain eggs – Crack an egg into a small strainer set over a bowl or glass. Leave for 30 seconds and jiggle around a bit so watery whites strain through. Transfer to teacup. Repeat for another 3 eggs – separate teacup for each
Heat water – Fill a large pot with 7.5 cm / 3″ water. (Note 4) Bring water to the boil over high heat, then turn the heat down so there are tiny bubbles from the base of the pot but big bubbles are not breaking water surface. (Note 5)
Roll eggs into water – Submerge a teacup into the water so you can gently roll the egg out onto the base of the pot – minimise the drop distance for neatest shape. Repeat with remaining eggs – don’t take longer than 15 seconds to put them all in.
Turn eggs – 20 seconds after the first egg has gone in, eggs should be starting but are not fully set. Use a slotted spoon and tablespoon/dessert spoon to gently turn the eggs upside down – start with the first egg that went in, end with the last.
Poach 1 1/2 minutes – Leave for 1 minute, then turn again. Leave for another 30 seconds then using a slotted spoon, lift one out to check for doneness – whites should be soft but set, yolks should be runny.
Drain – Transfer to paper towel to drain and for top to dry with residual heat – 15 seconds. (Don’t leave for too long or it can get stuck to the paper towel.)
Place 2 English muffins halves on a plate. Pile on ham, bacon or smoked salmon. Top with poached egg, spoon over Hollandaise Sauce, sprinkle with parsley and chives. Serve immediately!
1. Egg yolks – separate the eggs when fridge-cold, it’s easier. Use the method shown in the video (passing yolk back and forth between broken shell) or just crack it in your hands and let the whites slip through your fingers into another bowl. You will need 3 large eggs, sold labelled as “large eggs” at grocery stores, weighing 55 – 60g / 2 oz per egg (industry standard). 2. Butter – the milky whites that settles at the bottom of melted butter is the dairy component in butter, and the clear yellow fat on top is 100% pure butter fat which is where all the flavour is. For the best flavour, leave behind most of the milky whites. If some gets in, it’s really no problem (in fact many recipes just use all the butter). I usually leave behind around 1 to 2 tbsp butter. For a true restaurant grade Hollandaise sauce, use ghee or clarified butter instead – this is the butter minus all the milk solids, and it will rock your Hollandaise Sauce to another level! 3. Fresher eggs = better poached eggs because they have better structural integrity. Old eggs are watery so they don’t hold together as well when poached. Straining out watery whites addresses this issue so you can make perfect poached eggs even if you don’t have your own chickens! Fridge-cold works best because the egg whites are tighter (like freshly laid eggs). 4. Pot size – use a large pot so there is space for the eggs and to roll them. In the video, the small pot I used could only do 4 eggs. My large dutch oven can handle 6. Whirlpool method – large saucepan or small pot. Don’t use a large pot – the vortex can be so fast, the egg will spin too quickly and the yolk might separate from the whites! 5. Water temp – bring to boil first to get enough heat in it, then reduce heat. If water is bubbling/moving too much = eggs jiggle = mess. If not hot enough = eggs mix into water instead of setting. Tiny bubbles coming up from base of pot is ok, but do not have big bubbles breaking surface. Surface can be barely quivering, but not rippling. After heat is turned down, drop eggs in immediately before water temp drops. 6. Make ahead – both poached eggs and Hollandaise Sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead.
Poached eggs – make, then submerge in cold water to stop them from cooking. Store in airtight container in fridge for 2 days. To reheat, bring pot of water to the boil, then turn down to low. Immediately add all eggs, leave for 30 seconds, then drain and use per recipe. See Poached Eggs recipe for complete directions and photos.
Hollandaise sauce – make then transfer to airtight container and refrigerate up to 2 days. To warm, place airtight container in large bowl of very warm (but not scalding hot) tap water. Leave 20 minutes, stir, replace water and repeat as needed until sauce is warmed. Can loosen with touch of hot tap water. See Hollandaise Sauce recipe for complete directions and photos.
“…this is the sponge I’ve been looking for my whole life. It’s so perfect I almost wept with sheer joy.”
“Wow wow wow!”
(Also, the directions to make these cupcakes are hidden deep in the Vanilla Cake recipe notes, and an astonishing number of readers have already made these cupcakes!)
These Vanilla Cupcakes are …..
Soft and fluffy, with a plush velvety crumb;
Infused with elegant buttery and vanilla flavours;
Perfectly shaped with a sweet golden dome;
Much more tender than your usual run-of-the-mill cupcake recipes;
Less sweet than typical cupcakes;
Safer to make than typical “cream butter and sugar” recipes; and
Stay fresh and moist for 4 days (minimum).
Sydneysiders may be interested to know that these Vanilla Cupcakes are just like the cupcakes at My Little Cupcake in Neutral Bay, a hidden gem with a cult following which (10 years on) I still say trumps the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York. Ballsy! Call me on it – try these cupcakes! 😂
Here’s my attempt to show you how these cupcakes stay incredibly fresh. The cupcake below is 4 days old. If it was dry and stale, the crumb would not bounce back like it does, it would just tear and stay indented.
And if it was dense, I would not be able to prod it at all!
This recipe uses classic cupcake ingredients but with Japanese techniques applied for the softest, plushest cupcakes you’ll ever make!
This post goes into detail on the steps to give bakers of all levels the confidence they need to make this. If you’re an experienced baker, you may wish to skip ahead to the recipe or recipe video. (Or Dozer 😂)
What you need for these magical Vanilla Cupcakes
Here’s what you need for these Vanilla Cupcakes. Everyday pantry ingredients! Don’t waste your money on cake flour – these work better with plain/all purpose flour!
Plain flour (aka all purpose flour) – there’s a widely held misconception that cake flour is the secret to tender, fluffy cupcakes. This is simply not true. These cupcakes actually come out better using plain flour rather than cake flour. You can taste the vanilla and butter slightly better, the crumb is slightly more velvety AND it keeps ever so slightly better too. Cake flour works very nearly as well so if that’s all you’ve got, it can be used. Do not substitute with self raising flour or gluten free flour;
Eggs at room temperature, not fridge cold – whipped to aerate, these are key to make the cake extraordinarily light and fluffy. You don’t get an eggy flavour. It’s important for the eggs to be at room temperature as they whip better;
Baking powder – not baking soda (bi-carb), it doesn’t rise as well. This is our safety net, extra helping hand to make the cake rise;
Milk, full fat – just plain cow milk. Low fat works as well but rises marginally less. Do not substitute with non dairy milk or buttermilk;
Sugar – best to use caster / superfine sugar if you can because it dissolves better in the eggs. But regular / granulated sugar works just fine too – you may just end up with slightly more (tiny!) speckling on the surface (from residual undissolved sugar grains. Barely visible to ordinary people – I’m just particular!
Oil – just 1 1/2 teaspoons adds a noticeable hint of extra moistness, especially on Day 4, without weighing down the cupcake in the slightest; and
Vanilla extract – the best you can afford. Imitation will work just fine, but the flavour isn’t as pure or real. I use Queen Vanilla Extract. Don’t waste your money on vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste – it’s not worth it for cupcakes.
How to make Vanilla Cupcakes
This cupcake recipe is straightforward and is in fact less risky to make than the typical recipe that starts with “cream butter and sugar….”. That single step is open to wide interpretation and is the single biggest cause of baking fails – especially cupcakes. The smaller the cake, the more prone to errors… but not with this recipe!
Beat eggs until fluffy
1. Use a handheld beater instead of a stand mixer – for small batch batters like this, it comes together better using a handheld beater you can move around the bowl rather than a large stand mixer bowl. If using a stand mixer, you’ll need to scrape down the sides and base well to ensure the batter comes together evenly. There is no excess batter in this recipe!
2. Whip the eggs and sugar – Beat the eggs with sugar for a whole 7 minutes until thick and glossy, it changes from yellow to white, and tripled in volume (just over double depth in the bowl).
The aeration created during this step is key for a soft, fluffy crumb. This is a technique borrowed from Japanese sponge cakes, world renowned for being the fluffiest in the world!
Here’s what it looks like before and after beating:
Top Tip: Don’t knock the air out
After the egg has been whipped, keep beating to a minimum otherwise you’ll knock the air out. Just follow my time and beater speeds and you can’t go wrong!
Gently fold in dry ingredients
3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Gradually add the flour mixture into the egg mixture in 3 lots, mixing for just 5 seconds on Speed 1 in between. This should make the flour just incorporated – don’t worry if there are some streaks on the bowl not mixed in. Key here is minimum mixing!
Whisk together some batter with hot milk (tempering)
5. Melt butter and heat milk – use a microwave or stove to heat milk with the butter until it melts. HOT milk helps with rise for these cupcakes – I was dubious so I tried the Vanilla Cake with cooled melted butter in milk and found it did not rise as well.
6. Mix some batter into hot milk (tempering) – this serves two purposes: a) bring down the temperature of the hot milk so it won’t “cook” the eggs (ie. tempering); and b) it lightens up the density of the hot milk (see above – it becomes foamy) so it blends together faster when added to the rest of the whipped egg mixture. Remember, minimal beating is key so we don’t knock out the cake-rising-bubbles we created in Step 2.
Finish batter & fill cupcake liners
7. Slowly pour milk mixture back into whipped eggs over 15 seconds while beating on the lowest speed. Scrape down sides of bowl, then mix for 10 seconds – the batter should now be smooth;
8. Fill cupcake liners with batter – I find the easiest way to do this is with an ice cream scoop with a lever. The standard size is 1/4 cup which is actually the perfect quantity for cupcakes!
KEY TIP: Do not overfill!
Only fill 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up the cupcake liner for a perfect shaped cupcake with a sweet golden dome. Too full = unsightly overflow and sometimes, it can even sink 😩. It is better to UNDER fill rather than overfill.
Why can overfilling make cupcakes sink? Because the sponge gets support from the liner – it climbs up the paper as it rises. Once it reaches the top, overflows or rises above the cupcake liner, it no longer has the support and this can cause the middle to sink.
Bake 22 minutes
11. Bake 22 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
12. Remove after 2 minutes – Rest for just 2 minutes to let them cool slightly, then get them out of the muffin tin asap otherwise they will continue cooking and may overcook. Cupcakes are small – they overcook easily!
This is what your cupcakes will look like – beautifully golden with a sweet little dome. Not too rounded – flat enough for tall swirls of frosting to sit. But not too flat – so it looks pretty even just dusted with icing sugar (powdered sugar) or drizzled with a glaze.
Best frosting for cupcakes
The best frosting for cupcakes comes down to personal taste and, more often than not, storage, shelf life and transport logistics.
There’s a wide variety of frostings pictured throughout this post – I’ve noted the frosting used in the caption under each photo. My frosting library is currently sadly lacking (I’m working on it!) but here’s a few options for you:
Vanilla Buttercream – the classic and easiest of all whipped butter based frostings. Use the recipe in my Vanilla Cake (recipe will frost 12 cupcakes with tall swirls, or 24 frosted with a knife like the pastel coloured cupcakes at the top of this post);
My Secret Less-Sweet Fluffy Vanilla Frosting (below) – far less sweet and rich than buttercream, pipes like a dream, and 100% smooth. It’s like a really fluffy buttercream / dense whipped cream But unlike whipped cream which deflates in the fridge within hours, this Fluffy Frosting holds its form for days!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream – many people consider this the superior version of traditional buttercream. Made using cooked egg whites whipped into a meringue, this is more technical to make than classic buttercream and yields a thick-yet-light silky smooth frosting that’s suitable for piping as high as you want, and holds its form for days. I haven’t shared a recipe yet but have used this recipe by a website called Sugar Spun Run in the picture below.
Best way to store cupcakes
Being the little cakes that they are, cupcakes are prone to easily drying out if not stored correctly.
Airtight container, stat! Don’t leave cupcakes out on the cooling rack longer than necessary. Once cool, get them in an airtight container as soon as possible;
Mild weather: Naked cupcakes are best stored on the counter rather than in the fridge – at 25C/77F (highest temp), my cupcakes last for 4 days without loss of freshness. Use a cake dome with heavy glass lid (to ensure no air gets in) or an airtight container;
Hot weather: Any hotter, store in the fridge in an airtight container BUT ensure you bring to room temperature before serving (naked cupcakes will take 30 minutes to come to room temp). The butter in the cupcakes firms up in the fridge, so cold cupcakes seem dry. Also, cold cakes just aren’t very pleasant!
Freeze as follows: place sheet of baking/parchment paper on cupcakes, then wrap in cling wrap or place in single layer in ziplock bags. With paper in between, you can stack. Place in an airtight container (for extra security / avoid freezer smells) then freeze. To use, thaw in the fridge overnight (still in container) then bring to room temperature before serving;
Iced / frosted cupcakes need to be stored the way the frosting needs to be stored. Most butter, cream cheese and cream based frostings need to be refrigerated. Follow the storage directions on the recipe you use. Then take cupcakes out of the fridge before serving;
No direct contact with cling wrap: Do not cover naked cupcakes with clingwrap – the surface will get tacky on Day 2 and the cling wrap will stick so when you take it off, it rips the surface off 😩; and
Do not stack naked cupcakes on top of each other – for same reason as above.
TIPS to nail the cupcakes – Every. Single. Time!
1. Read the recipe from start to finish before you start. You can shortcut reading for my quick ‘n easy dinners, but for baking, read first then start!
2. Follow the recipe steps in the order listed – don’t get sassy and try to do things ahead or leave things until later. For example, if you melt the butter and heat the milk way in advance and it’s too cool by the time you use it, the cupcakes won’t rise as well;
3. Once you start, don’t stop until the cupcakes are in the oven – this is because the batter in this recipe relies on the aeration of whipped eggs. If you leave the batter lying around, the bubbles will deflate and your cupcakes won’t rise as much as they should (they will still rise from the baking powder, just not as much). So if your chatty Aunt Marge calls while you’re mixing the batter, let it go to voicemail!
4. Make sure your baking powder is still good – if you do everything right and the batter looks like it does in my video, but your cupcakes don’t rise, the culprit is probably your baking powder. Even if it’s not past the expiry date, if not stored in a cool dry place, or if “someone” left the lid off for days, it can lose rising power. To check if your baking powder is still good, place 1/2 teaspoon in a bowl and pour over boiling water. It should immediately bubble energetically. If not, it’s dead – chuck it!
5. Handheld beater instead of stand mixer – While for Vanilla Cake, I recommend using a stand mixer for ease, for these cupcakes, it’s the other way round. With this smaller batch batter, it’s easier to make using a handheld beater because the ability to move the beater around the bowl makes the batter come together easily with less bowl scraping.
However, you can use a stand mixer if you prefer. Just be sure to regularly stop and scrape down the sides AND base of the bowl using a rubber spatula. There’s no spare batter when only making 12 cupcakes!
6. Eggs at room temperature – these will fluff better and faster, leading to fluffier cupcakes. It’s easy to warm up fridge cold eggs – just leave in warm water for 5 minutes. What’s a room temperature egg? Pick up the egg. Fridge cold? Too cold. Cool but not cold? That’s ok. Very warm? Hopefully not – unless they just came out of a chicken!
7. De-chill icy cold mixing bowls – run them under warm tap water then dry before using. Not hot tap water – just warm. Why? Eggs aerate faster and better when slightly warm. Cold bowl will lower temperature of eggs. This is a general useful baking tip to apply on days when it’s 17°C – eg softened butter creamed in an icy cold bowl will make it firm up; and
8. Don’t substitute ingredients unless I specifically say you can in the recipe notes. Regular readers know that I’m very flexible with most of my savoury meals. But with baking, I get stern – because I want your cupcakes to work!
Vanilla Cupcakes – Recap!
PHEW! That is a LOT of information for these seemingly innocent looking little cupcakes! So just to recap the key points:
This recipe yields cupcakes with a professional bakery-style crumb that are more tender, fluffy and moist than your usual recipes;
This is done by applying Japanese baking techniques to typical Western cupcake ingredients;
The cupcakes stay fresh and moist for 4 days which is an exceptional shelf life for cupcakes;
Check to ensure your baking powder is still good (see recipe Note 2);
Follow the recipe steps in the order listed, do not jump around;
Once you start making the batter, do not stop until the cupcakes are in the oven; and
Most importantly, figure out how you’re going to deliver a freshly made cupcake to me. I’m done with cupcakes for a while. Someone make them for ME!😜
Especially for those who have been in pursuit of the perfect cupcakes all their lives, I hope you try, love and treasure this recipe as much as I do. For me, the biggest upside is that they’re still like freshly made on Day 4. Because every single other recipe I’ve tried were always disappointingly stale the next day. – Nagi x
Recipe video above. Your search for the perfect Vanilla Cupcakes is over! These have a professional bakery-style crumb that’s way more plush and velvety than typical recipes. And very importantly, these stay perfectly fresh for 4 days – unheard of!While for Vanilla Cake, I prefer using a standmixer, for these cupcakes, I find it’s easier to use a handheld beater – see notes for why.Metric – click button above ingredients. Sweetness – Note 11. Cake flour – no need, better with plain flour. See Notes for four key things to guarantee success.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C fan) for 20 minutes before starting the batter (Note 8). Place shelf in the middle of the oven.
Place cupcake liners in a standard muffin tin. (Note 9)
Whisk Dry: Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Heat Milk-Butter: Place butter and milk in a heatproof jug and microwave 2 minutes on high to melt butter. Do not let milk bubble and boil (foam ok). Cover and leave in microwave to keep very warm (stove: cover with lid and leave on turned off stove). (Note 10)
Briefly mix eggs: In a separate, preferably heavy based glass bowl, beat eggs for 30 seconds on speed 6 of a handheld beater.
Add sugar: With the beater still going, pour the sugar in over 30 seconds.
Beat until tripled: Beat eggs for 6 minutes on speed 8, or until tripled in volume and almost pure white.
Gently add flour: When the egg is whipped, scatter 1/3 flour across surface, then beat on Speed 1 for 5 seconds. Stop beating, add half remaining flour, then mix on Speed 1 for 5 sec. Add remaining flour, then mix on Speed 1 for 5 – 10 sec until the flour is just mixed in. Once you can’t see flour, stop straight away.
Temper milk with some Egg Batter: Pour hot milk, vanilla and oil into the now empty flour bowl. Add about 3/4 cups of the Egg Batter into the hot milk (don’t need to be 100% accurate with amount). Use a whisk to mix until smooth – you can be vigorous here. Will look foamy.
Slowly add milk: With the beater on Speed 1, pour the Milk mixture into the Egg Batter over 15 seconds, then turn beater off.
Scrape and final mix: Scrape down sides and base of bowl. Beat on Speed 1 for 10 seconds – batter should now be smooth and pourable.
Fill muffin tin: Pour batter into muffin tin, filling to 8mm / 1/3 from the top. Easiest to use a standard ice cream scoop with lever (filled to very brim).
Bake 22 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
Cool & frost:
Remove from oven. Cool just 2 minutes then use a fork to help remove and place on cooling rack.
Cool completely before icing with frosting of choice, or cream and fresh berries or jam.
See list of ideas in post and links to recipes! Pictured in post with the following:– my Secret Less-Sweet Fluffy Vanilla Frosting;– Vanilla Buttercream (in my Vanilla Cake recipe) – makes enough for 12 x tall swirls (pictured in post) or 24 knife-smeared (3rd photo in post)– Chocolate and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream (coming in a couple of weeks!)
To ensure success:
read recipe from start to finish before starting;
make sure your baking powder is not past its expiry (see Note 2);
work in order of steps per recipe; and
once you start, keep going until it’s in the oven. Do not at any point leave batter sitting around – bubbles will subside!
RECIPE NOTES 1. Cake flour works just fine with this recipe, but butter and vanilla flavour, and crumb is ever so slightly better using plain / all purpose flour. Also, cake flour makes the cake surface sweaty and sticky the next day. 2. Baking powder – dead baking powder is a common problem with cake fails. To ensure yours is good, even if not past expiry, place 1/2 tsp in a bowl and add 1/4 cup boiling water. If it bubbles, it’s good. It not, it’s dead – chuck it! Baking soda (bi-carb) won’t make the cake rise quite as well. If you have no choice, then use 3/4 teaspoons of baking soda. 3. Eggs – important to be at room temp as they fluff better when whipped which is key to the fluffy texture of these cupcakes. Quick way to warm up fridge cold eggs – place in a large bowl, cover with warm tap water (just warm, not hot), leave for 5 minutes. Wipe dry (to avoid residual water dripping into bowl), then use per recipe. Large eggs – 50 – 55g / 2 oz per egg this is the industry standard of egg sizes sold as “large eggs” in Australia and the US. If your eggs are significantly larger or smaller in size, just weigh your eggs and use 200 – 220g / 8 oz in total (including shell) or 180 – 200g / 7.3 oz in total excluding shell (crack eggs, whisk THEN pour into a bowl to measure out what you need). 4. Caster / superfine sugar are finer grains than regular / granulated sugar so it dissolves easier when whipped with the eggs. Granulated / regular sugar sometimes doesn’t fully dissolve which doesn’t affect the rise or texture but can leave some very fine brown sugar specks on the surface / sides. Not a big deal – just visual if serving undecorated. (But who serves cupcakes naked??) Do not reduce sugar – 3/4 cup is the minimum required for the eggs to whip into a stiff enough foam to make cupcakes rise sufficiently. 5. Milk – if you sub with lower fat milk then the texture of the crumb becomes a little less tender. Do not substitute with non-dairy milk, such as soy or almond milk. 6. Vanilla come in all sorts of qualities. I use Vanilla Extract. Better quality (more expensive) = better flavour, but I think vanilla bean paste is wasted in cakes. 7. Oil – just 1 1/2 teaspoons makes a noticeable difference to the moistness on the day it’s made and most especially 4 days later. 8. Oven preheating – 30 minutes preheat is recommended to ensure no loss of heat when the oven door is opened. Never use the rapid heat function on your oven for baking, no matter how fancy your oven is! 9. Muffin tin and cupcake liners – use cupcake liners that sit about 4mm / 1/6″ above the rim of standard muffin tin holes (1/3 cup holes). This is the perfect size to use 1/4 cup standard ice cream scoops to fill with batter, and makes perfect size cupcakes. Recipe will also work for larger and mini cupcakes but you’ll need to adjust the bake time. 10. Milk must behot / very warm when mixed with batter. So heat it up just before starting the batter. Don’t do this way ahead and let the milk cool (this affects rise). 11. Sweetness note – these cupcakes are sweeter than Asian cakes, less sweet than typical Western cupcakes (usually 1 cup sugar for 12 cupcakes). Please do not reduce sugar – 1 1/2 cups is minimum required to make the eggs foamy enough to rise. 12. Different measures in different countries – tablespoon and cup sizes differ slightly from country to country. In most recipes, the difference is not enough to affect the outcome of the recipe, but for baking recipes, you do need to be careful. These cupcakes have been specifically tested using both US and Australian cups (the two countries with the greatest size variance) and they came out exactly the same. So you can have confidence that this recipe can be used no matter which country you are in – only exception is Japan (cup sizes are considerably smaller (200ml) so please use weights provided). For absolutely certainty, opt to use the weights provided (click Metric toggle button above ingredients). Professional kitchens only use weights. 13. Storage – because cupcakes are small, they will dry out faster than cakes if left out. So be sure to put unfrosted cupcakes into an airtight container as soon as they are fully cool.
Best way to store – airtight container in pantry, not fridge. Will stay near perfectly fresh for 4 days;
If extremely hot where you are, they will need to be refrigerated. This does dry them out a touch, but they are still excellent. Take out 30 minutes before serving to bring to room temperate before serving;
Frosted cupcakes must be stored according to the storage directions of the frosting – most will require refrigeration above a certain temperature or if kept for a prolonged period of time;
Freezer – place parchment paper on surface, then wrap in cling wrap and put in an airtight container, or place in ziplock bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in fridge, bring to room temperature before serving.
14. Nutrition per cupcake. Cupcake only ie no frosting.
This is the crumpet recipe released by Warburtons, the UK’s biggest commercial crumpet maker. They’re an absolute dead ringer for store bought, with the signature holes, distinct “spongey” texture, perfect for toasting. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to make a crumpet, this is going to blow your mind! And it’s easy!
Warburtons is the UK’s biggest and most popular commercial crumpet producer. They make over 700 million of them a year!
To cheer up the UK public during lockdown, they shared their secret crumpet recipe for people to make at home. Though I doubt it’s the precise commercial batter recipe (they probably adapted it for the home cook), the end result is EXACTY like store bought crumpets.
After many, many, MANY failed crumpet attempts over the years (even from notable chefs!), I am still shaking my head at how astonishingly perfect these crumpets are – and how easy they are to make!
What are crumpets?
Hailing from England, they’re like a cross between an English muffin and pancakes. Their distinguishing feature is the surface that’s riddled with holes which allows butter to permeate through from top to bottom. The surface has a unique almost “spongey” texture, but it’s very fluffy inside, just like bread!
What goes in crumpets
Here’s what you need to make crumpets. I always knew yeast was in the batter. The addition of baking powder was the key that made all the difference – from crumpet making fails to crumpet making success!
How to make crumpets
Here’s how to make crumpets in 3 easy steps:
Mix water, flour and salt to form a sticky but stirrable batter. Then mix in yeast dissolved in a bit of water, baking powder and sugar to form a smooth batter;
Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes until the surface gets foamy; then
Ladle into rings and cook on the stove until bubbles pop on the surface and the top is cooked.
It is quite straightforward, but because homemade crumpets is a bit of a unique recipe, I’m going to add a bit more information about each step in the proceeding sections. If you’re not interested, jump to the recipe! (Or video – or Dozer 😂)
The crumpet batter
The crumpet batter is literally a dump-and-mix job, though you do need to mix well for a couple of minutes by hand (or half that time using a handheld mixer) which I assume is to get good gluten formation to get that signature chew for any type of yeast bread, as opposed to being “cakey”.
Then once mixed, you simply put it in a warm place so it gets nice and foamy. This is the equivalent of dough rising so the crumpets rise when they’re cooking.
The crumpet batter won’t increase in volume very much – just around 10 / 15%.
Crumpet rings are a “thing”. They are around 9 cm / 3.5″ wide and about 2.5cm / 1″ tall. The ones I have are non stick, but they come in silver too.
But honestly, anything metal and round will do the trick – egg rings, biscuit cutters, scone cutters, even cleaned large tuna cans. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be round! Star shaped crumpets, anyone??
Now, I’m not going to lie to you – you probably won’t nail the first one. It does take practice – but no more than when you first started out perfecting the art of golden fluffy pancakes or pikelets!
The secret to cooking crumpets perfectly is to start them off on a high heat to get those bubbles activated, then turn the stove down so the crumpet cooks through without burning the base. The cooking technique is one change I made to the original Warburtons recipe – they say to cook on medium high the whole time = scorched base.
Though store bought crumpets don’t have colour on the holey side, I like to flip to get a blush of colour on it and cook any residual raw batter.
And here’s a close up of the inside of the crumpets with the signature vertical “tunnels” from the holes!
Even better the next day!!
An essential step with crumpets is to cool them completely, otherwise they are kind of moist and “doughy” inside.
In fact, if you want an absolute dead ringer for store bought crumpets, they are best made the day before, or the day before! They keep for days in the fridge – I’ve kept them for 5 days and once toasted, they are perfect.
Can you freezer homemade crumpets?
They freezer perfectly too. Thaw or even microwave thaw, then toast as usual!
How to eat a crumpets
I realise that writing about how to eat crumpets may induce eye rolling from Crumpet-Eating-Experts. But bear with me – not everyone has been eating crumpets all their life!
Toasting is essential to make the golden base crispy. Then slather with butter (what do you think all those holes are for?? So the crumpet gets soaked with butter, from top to bottom!) then spread of choice.
What to put on crumpets
As far as what to put on crumpets (other than the mandatory butter) – honey is by far the top choice (think – hole seepage). My personal second choice is Vegemite (it’s an Aussie thing 🇦🇺), followed by jam. Other spreads like Nutella and peanut butter go great too – whatever you put on toast, you can put on crumpets!
Though if you want the ultimate crumpet experience, don’t go past butter and honey. That moment when you bite into the crumpet and salty melted butter and sweet molten honey squirts into your mouth…
UGH! I’m torturing myself at the thought. I’m off to toast another crumpet for morning tea! – Nagi x
Recipe video above. This is the crumpet recipe released by Warburtons, the UK’s largest commercial maker of crumpets! The batter is extraordinarily easy to make, but cooking them may take practice to get the temperature right for your stove. But if you’ve nailed pancakes, you will nail crumpets!Double rising agent is the key here for the signature holes – baking powder PLUS yeast. Just one doesn’t cut it, and baking soda doesn’t work as well.It’s alarming how much time I’ve lost watching the bubbles pop…it’s mesmerising!!!
Place flour, water and salt in a bowl and whisk for 2 minutes (electric beater 1 minute on speed 5).
Yeast Mixture – Dissolve Yeast into 1 tbsp warm water in a small bowl.
Add Yeast Mixture, sugar and baking powder into bowl, then whisk for 30 seconds (or 15 sec speed 5).
Cover with cling wrap or plate, then place in a very warm place for 15 to 30 minutes until the surface gets nice and foamy. It will only increase in volume by ~10 – 15%.
Grease 2 or 3 rings with butter (approx 9 cm / 3.5″ wide, though any ring or metal shaper will do, Note 3)
Brush non stick skillet lightly with melted butter then place rings in the skillet.
Turn stove on medium high (medium for strong stoves) and bring to heat (Note 4 for “sizzle test”).
Pour 1/4 cup batter into the rings (65ml), about 1cm / 2/5″ deep (will rise ~60%).
Cook for 1 1/2 minutes – bubbles should start appearing on the surface (but not popping yet).
Turn heat down to medium, cook for 1 minute – some bubbles should pop around the edges.
Turn heat down to medium low, cook for a further 2 1/2 to 4 minutes, until the surface is “set” and it’s clear there will be no more bubbles popping! (At this stage you can help the final bubbles pop with a skewer!)
Remove rings then flip and cook the other side for 20 to 30 seconds for a blush of colour.
Transfer to write rack (golden side down) and fully cool.
Can be eaten once cool, but it’s even better the next day (Note 5).
How to eat crumpets:
Toast in a toaster until the base is crispy.
Slather generously with butter, then spread of choice (honey is perfection) and devour immediately!
1. Warm water – just tap water, warm enough that you’d want to take a bubble bath in it, not so hot that you’d scorch yourself. 200ml = 200g (handy so you can just pour straight in rather than measuring out separately!) 2. Yeast – I use instant yeast because it’s my standard but the original recipe calls for normal dried yeast (same amount). I haven’t tried with fresh yeast. 3. Rings – anything round like biscuit cutters, egg rings or even a cleaned empty tuna can. Though why restrict yourself to round?? Any cookie cutter will work here! 4. Pan heat – the batter needs to sizzle gently when it hits the pan, otherwise it’s not hot enough to get the bubbles happening. But if too hot, the crumpets will burn! TEST by putting a dab of batter on the end of a butter knife and pressing it on the skillet. Sizzle = hot enough. There should not be wisps of smoke coming from the pan at this stage (too hot). COOKING TIP: Heat control is key to crumpet success! You need stronger heat at the begin to get the holes bubbling, then lower heat so the crumpet cooks through without burning the base BUT still strong enough to make the bubbles “pop”. The temps provided in the recipe are for a standard stove – if yours is extra strong (like the portable one I use for videos), dial it down a bit. Bubbles will start to pop around the edges first, then in the centre. There can be some wisps of smoke from the butter around the rings, but if it gets quite smokey, it means the skillet is too hot. If this happens, remove skillet from stove to cool it down a bit, then return it to the stove. 5. Texture of crumpets really becomes just like store bought if you leave them overnight, more of that signature “rubbery” texture (I realise that sounds totally off-putting but I don’t know how else to describe it!). 6. Crumpet height / size – makes 6 crumpets using 9cm / 3.5″ rings that are about 1.7cm / 2/3″ high (store bought height). If you want to go a bit trendy-bistro style and make thicker ones, use a heaped 1/4 cup (about 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp) for each ring – you will get slightly less holes on the surface (thicker = less holes) but can make them about 2.2cm / just shy of 1″ thick which looks very puffy and impressive – some trendy bistros charge upwards of $20 for house made thick crumpets! 6. Different cup sizes – cups and tablespoons differ slightly between countries (with the US having the greatest variance to the rest of the world). It’s best to make this recipe with the provided weights if you can, for absolute accuracy. But I did make it using US cups mixed with Aussie tablespoons and it works just fine. So it’s actually a pretty forgiving batter – it’s the stove cook that makes the most difference. 7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days, or freeze 3 months. 8. Nutrition per crumpet.
Healthy fats – every one of our cell membranes is partly made up of fats. Fats are also the basis for many hormones and play other critical roles in our body’s function. This means that the type of fats we eat have a role in how our bodies work. Healthy fats including extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts and oily fish ensure our bodies have the right materials for health readily available. They are also linked to better brain function and heart health.
Avoid ultra-processed foods – according to Public Health Nutrition, ‘ultra-processed’ foods are energy-dense, high in unhealthy types of fat, refined starches, sugars and salt, and poor sources of protein, dietary fibre and micronutrients. Unfortunately these are the foods that are also most accessible to us, since this includes many breakfast cereals, granola bars, supermarket bread, hot dogs, instant noodles and more. These foods are designed to overcome our own satiety signals, so no matter how much we eat, we don’t feel full.
Meat is not essential, although I do eat it – after reading widely, while there are ethical reasons not to eat meat due to environmental and animal welfare concerns, there is insufficient evidence that excluding it completely is essential for health. Meat is a good source of some micronutrients, like B12 and iron. If you choose to include meat in your diet, it should only take up a small part of a plate that is mostly filled with plant-based foods. I also try and buy meat that has been ethically raised.
No soda or fruit juice – soft drink is full of empty kilojoules, has no effect on satiety and its consumption is so strongly linked with obesity that some countries have introduced a tax on drinks with added sugar. Fruit juice has just as much sugar as soft drinks. This sugar rush is absorbed quickly, and doesn’t fill you up. Diet soda has also been linked to poorer health. Stick with water if you are thirsty.
Time-restricted eating – the evidence around fasting as a strategy to promote cellular repair and prevent or delay age-related conditions is interesting, but since we still haven’t definitively shown it extends human life, I can’t bring myself to miss out on the enjoyment of food a couple of days a week. There is, however, some evidence that giving ourselves a break for a few hours a day from eating is another strategy for cellular repair so I give myself a 12-hour eating break in a day, which just means not eating again until breakfast after an early dinner.
Eating consciously – if I am at a restaurant, I have dessert. I love having ice-cream with my family on Fridays. While I savour these foods, I don’t expect them to fill me up. If I am hungry I eat wholefoods and if I enjoy a special occasion treat, I eat it consciously.
What I eat in a day
5.30am I get up before my family to have some quiet time early in the morning. I make a large flat white and savour it while I start the day with some writing time.
6.30am I make breakfast of porridge with rolled oats, chia seeds, pear, tahini, raw cacao and pine nuts. Sounds decadent, but it’s quick and very filling!
10am In a quick break between patients, I have my second coffee of the day, a black coffee with two pieces of 90 per cent cocoa chocolate. I love the bitter coffee and chocolate combination.
12.30pm Lunch is leftover mushroom and brown rice risotto with some sauteed kale and half an avocado. I follow it up with an apple with peanut butter.
4pm I get home and start cooking, I have a quick handful of raw mixed nuts to get me through.
5.30pm Dinner is one of my absolute favourites: roast chicken cooked over puy lentils with tomato, leek and peas. I love sharing this meal with my family while we talk about our day. I don’t eat again after dinner because I like to give myself around 12 hours off eating a day. It’s a gentle form of time-restricted eating.
Staying Alive by Dr Kate Gregorevic is out now, Pan Macmillan, RRP $34.99
One method is via the legal system — either through cases before the Fair Work Commission or through legislated changes to employment law (for example, as recommended in this Senate Select Committee on the Future of Work and Workers report).
“How come in Australia a company can do this? It’s slavery.’’ @TWUAus pursues legal action against Uber Eats over sacking of food delivery driver, hoping the case will advance the Australian rights of gig economy workers. @australianhttps://t.co/XAcr82Fxf8
While few on the Left would argue against a re-balancing of employment law, there is a more fundamental solution to the problem posed. Perhaps it is deceptively simple. If we reduced unemployment to the frictional level of about two per cent – as it was for much of the period from the 1950s to the early 1970s – and underemployment to a similar level, then people would not be forced to engage in the modern serfdom offered by the so-called gig economy. They would have other choices.
But, how on Earth can we reduce unemployment to about two per cent at a time when the current COVID-19 crisis is likely to push it to record highs? It may be a cynical view, but National Cabinet’s supposed “laser-like” focus on jobs is unlikely to deliver much, relying as it undoubtedly will on the market to do the heavy lifting.
There is no reason to suppose that profit maximising firms should deliver anything close to full employment. That is not their role. Rather, it is up to society as a whole to end the scourge of high unemployment and underemployment — with the latter category exemplified by delivery workers and cut-price taxi drivers struggling for work.
As John Maynard Keynesdemonstrated long ago, cutting wages will not magically cause the labour market to “clear”. Given the scale of the current crisis, we need unprecedented and sustained government spending.
We need a government-funded program to guarantee a job to anyone who wants one. The wage level of these “job guarantee” jobs should be set at a genuinely liveable wage. This would provide an effective minimum wage, but one enforced through workers themselves rejecting offers below the job guarantee level rather than through porous legal mechanisms.
How could we possibly afford this?
If we drop misleading mainstream economics frames and use a modern monetary theory (MMT) lens, then it becomes clear. We can afford this in the same way that governments have always been able to afford to ramp up spending during wars and other crises.
National governments with their own currency are currency issuers, not currency users. The rest of us are the latter and must earn before we spend. However, currency-issuing federal governments can literally never run out of Australian dollars. They can run out of things to spend them on, but not while unemployment and underemployment remain high.
Theoretically, it is possible to spend too much so as to cause inflation — although excess demand has not normally been the cause of inflationary episodes. Governments borrow money, but this is not necessary. (There is an increasing amount of accessible information available that can assist in understanding MMT — as demonstrated in this previous IA article.)
So, armed with an understanding that governments do not face intrinsic financial limits, it becomes clear that the maintenance of high unemployment/underemployment is a political choice rather than an unavoidable outcome.
Is there an alternative?
There is an alternative, which may or may not lead to the downfall of the more exploitative gig economy companies. It may or may not lead to us needing to pay a little more for our ride home. But what it will do is to eliminate the need for people to work for breadline wages. And let’s be clear — low wages are not the only problem. They are compounded by a lack of job security, low levels of dignity and little or no training and career opportunities.
In the 1960s and early 1970s when unemployment was low, Australia was a significantly more equal place than today in terms of income distribution — though not in terms of gender, race and other important but separate ways.
As unemployment rose in much of the period from the early 1970s to the early 1990s, income inequality also steadily increased. The emergence of the modern gig economy and associated underemployment has contributed to the fact that over the last 20 years or so – despite falling unemployment – inequality has not reduced. Indeed, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the underemployment rate overtook that for unemployment around the turn of the millennium and has not looked back since. It is especially a problem right now.
We cannot leave the market to decide our level of unemployment and underemployment. The market is a great tool and its price signals can help decide the extent to which people utilise things like delivery services and cab services. But markets have always been a creature of government and need clear parameters to operate for the public good.
Again, to go back to Keynes, one of the most important roles of government is to provide enough aggregate demand to eliminate excess idle capacity. If we do that – preferably via a job guarantee – the market will do much of the rest.
So, pardon the pun, what is the key takeaway?
In future, it is okay for you to get your takeaway delivered, but you will need to pay a fair price for it.
This churros recipe is astonishingly easy, and makes a truly great churros that’s hot and crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside. The molten chocolate dipping sauce is mandatory, and you’ll have an entire batch on the table in a mere 20 minutes!
BONUS: Churros are great for making ahead, making it a great party dessert.
Up until several years ago, this churros obsessed food blogger thought Churros was native to Mexico. Thus on her first (but certianly not last) trip to Mexico, she was expecting to be in churro heaven. Churros, churros, churros everywhere.
But no. I barely saw churro at all.
Duh. Churro isn’t native to Mexico. It’s Spanish!🤦🏻♀️
So just as tourists here in Australia wonder why there aren’t kangaroos bounding around on the streets of Sydney and koalas snuggled in trees everywhere, I guess I totally missed the Churro memo.
Having said that though, it is actually very popular in the touristy areas of Mexico!!
We don’t break out the deep fryer very often around here. But with the promise of hot crispy churros waiting on the other side, and also because we only need to shallow fry rather than deep fry like when making things like Fried Chicken, we deem churros to be Fry-Worthy.
Also, it’s FRY-day today.😂 (FRIday) Admit it, you laughed!!
What goes in churros
All you need is flour, baking powder, oil and boiling water to make the batter, then cinnamon and sugar for coating.
Boiling water is key here – it makes the batter a unique “gummy” texture so when piped and cooked, it retains the signature ridges. There’s no sugar in the batter – with the cinnamon sugar coating plus mandatory dipping sauce, you absolutely don’t need it.
What does churros taste like?
They taste like cinnamon doughnuts – but BETTER because you’ve got crispy ridges. The inside is fluffy like a doughnut and they are at their prime freshly made, but they reheat exceptionally well too making them a great make ahead for parties!
How to make churros
The batter is a mere dump-and-mix job, and it’s got a unique thick “gummy” texture so the churros holds its form when it’s piped, even before it hits the oil.
The safest and easiest way to cook churros is to use scissors. Because the batter is so thick, you can pipe the batter out and it will hang from the piping bag as you lower it into the oil (as opposed to dropping out, causing the oil to splash), then just snip with scissors.
How long to make them
They come in varying lengths, with longer ones (ie 30cm / 1 foot) being more of a novelty type at carnivals and tourist hot spots. Around 15cm / 6″ is a more practical length – still long enough to look impressive, but short enough to cook in a standard size household pot.
You could also make shorter ones for small bite size options, and if you don’t have a piping bag, just drop balls of dough into the oil and make churros doughnuts!
How to serve churros
I know this might sound like an odd section to include for those of you with extensive churros eating experience – but actually, churros is not so common here in Australia so let me describe how to eat it!
It’s traditionally a street snack, so you buy one long one or a little paper cup with a few shorter ones in it, then eat it while walking around on the street. Managing a dipping sauce while on the move can become a bit tricky, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.
At home, I just pile them up on a platter with a little cup of the dipping sauce, then you just dunk and eat!
Don’t count the churros and compare to what the recipe says it will make. I’ll just tell you now – there’s two missing!
How to REHEAT Churros!
As with anything deep fried, churros are at their prime when they’re freshly made. They stay warm and crisp for around 20 minutes once they come out of the oil, which is ample time to cook a whole batch, coat in cinnamon sugar then serve.
After 30 minutes or so, they soften. And though, like doughnuts, they are still delicious when cold and soft, it’s definitely worth popping them in the oven to reheat and more importantly, crisp up again.
And if you are making these ahead intentionally (as opposed to just reheating leftovers), store the churros WITHOUT the sugar coating – this will make them reheat to near freshly cooked perfection, then just roll in the cinnamon sugar and serve! – Nagi x
PS BONUS: Churros impresses people. “You MADE these??!” *She beams with pride, making a weak attempt to hide her glee*😂
Recipe video above. I am obsessed with Churro!! Great party food because they reheat well in the oven. If you don’t have a piping bag, just drop little dollops of dough in the oil and make churros doughnut balls!
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
1/4cupcaster / superfine sugar
1cupflour, plain / all purpose(Note 1)
1tbspvegetable, canola or olive oil(not extra virgin olive oil)
2cups+vegetable or canola oil, for frying
1/2cupdark chocolate or semi sweet chocolate chips(Note 2)
1/2cupthickened / heavy cream(heavy cream)
Cinnamon sugar coating: Combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl, set aside.
Batter: Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add oil and water and mix until just combined – it should be a thick, gummy batter, like a wet sticky dough, not thin and watery.
Piping bag: Transfer dough into a piping bag with a 8mm / 1/3″ star tip nozzle. Set aside while oil heats.
Heat oil: Heat 5cm / 2″ oil over medium high in a small pot, wok or small but deep skillet (Note 3) to 170°C/340°F, or until it takes 20 seconds for a small cube of bread to turn golden.
Pipe & snip: Pipe 15cm / 6″ lengths of dough into the oil, snipping with scissors (snip close to oil surface to avoid splash). Do 3 to 4 per batch, makes 10 to 12 in total.
Cook: Cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden and crisp, rolling occasionally.
Drain: Remove onto paper towel lined plate to drain. Then roll in sugar. Serve hot with Chocolate Sauce!
Place in a heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until smooth. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool and thicken slightly.
Makes about 12 x 15cm/6″ long ones, or 20 shorter ones. 1. Flour – Use plain / all purpose flour, not self raising flour. 2. Chocolate – Make sure you get chocolate for cooking (ie from baking aisle), not chocolate for eating! It melts properly. 3. Deep frying – In the video, I use a smallish pot which is large enough to make churros around 17 cm / 7″ long. To use minimal oil, the best is to a wok (because the shape means you can use less oil for the same surface area for frying). A deep small skillet also works great. 4. MAKE AHEAD: Do not roll in sugar. Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight container (not in fridge). It will go soft. Reheat in 180C/350F oven for 5 minutes or until crisp, then roll in sugar. 5. GENERAL NOTE: Some people have commented about the absence of sugar in the batter. It isn’t needed – the coating adds loads of sweetness, not to mention the dipping sauce! 6. Recipe source – This is a recipe by Nigella Lawson that I found online but no longer seems to be available. There is a version on Food Network but the ingredient measurements are slightly different and I found it does not work as well, (dough too sloppy) so I have stuck to the original recipe that I am grateful I printed out to save in my recipe folder! 6. Different Measures in Different Countries – Measuring spoons and cups differ slightly between some countries. The difference is quite small so it does not affect most recipes, but for baking recipes, it usually does matter. For all recipes on my site, where the difference does matter, I specifically provide different measures depending on where you are located, like for my Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. For this Spanish Churros, the measures specified in the ingredients will work whichever country you are in. If you are in a high altitude or very humid tropical area, you may find the dough is sloppier than what you see in the video. In which case, just adjust by adding a touch more flour. And vice versa if your dough looks too dry. 7. No nutrition today. Because it’s deep fried and I don’t know how to calculate it. But I do know the calorie count is higher than a celery stick. 😉
Keywords: churros, churros recipe
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Originally published 2016. Long overdue for fresh new photos, brand new process steps and video!
More recipes that are easier than you think
A few more recipes people assume are too hard, but are much easier than you think!
Life of Dozer
He’s not allowed in the shoot room when I deep fry – and he ain’t happy about it!