No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Sunday, 29 January 2017


This is a simple, quick, cheap, low(ish) calorie cake that can be ready  to eat in as little as 5 minutes (well, 6 minutes and 56 seconds). Mix in one mug - or jug - then pour into a prepared mug to bake. Easy to make with your youngster.

[[Here's the full, 8"/20cm version of the cake - which will set you back all of 70p!]]

Sunday 29th January 2017
Came across this chocolate cake recipe which doesn't use any oil, using apple sauce instead. I thought I'd use this method in this recipe:

4 dessertspoons self raising flour (approx. 40g)
4* dessertspoons sugar (approx. 50g)
1 heaped teaspoon cocoa powder (5g)
3 heaped teaspoons apple sauce (30g)

6 dessertspoons water (60g)

And it worked a treat! So, no more oil for me. This, of course, reduces the cal count - by about 150cals. So the cake comes in at around 375 cals.

*I thought it was a little sweet, so next time I'll use 3 dsps of sugar.

Thursday 9th May 2013
I've been tinkering with this recipe a little, to try and make it a little more user-friendly! For instance, I now cook it in a cereal dish lined with baking parchment - it was just too tricky trying to get it out of the mug in one piece. Mind you, if there's no-one else sharing this, then eating it straight out of the mug is the way to go!

I've also started mixing it in a (high-sided) cereal bowl with a rounded bottom - it makes it much easier to ensure you don't leave any caked dry mix in the bottom corners, as can happen when mixing it in a mug.

The third change I've made is to mix the sugar and cocoa powder first, before adding the flour. The sharp edges of the granulated sugar break up the clots of cocoa powder, so a sieve becomes unnecessary.

My record to date is 6 minutes 56 seconds from thinking about cake to hearing the microwave's ping as it finishes the two minute cooking time.

I just laid the baking parchment over the top of the bowl - the weight of the mixture sank the paper into the bowl

And here it is turned out onto a plate.
The time the cake weighed 190g (I used a larger dessertspoon), so, although the calorie count further down doesn't really apply, I guess 50g of this would still come in at around 175 calories.

If you're making the cereal bowl version of this, cut the baking parchment halfway across - then one bit folds under the other as the cake mix is poured in. 

Sunday 17th February 2013 (My first attempt at this)
Place a small disc of baking parchment in the bottom of a mug, then spray the inside of the mug with One-cal Fry-lite, or similar. Assemble the ingredients in a separate mug or a jug.
Not a great pic, I'll be the first to admit. But the cake was quick and tasty.
4 dessertspoons self raising flour (approx. 40g)
dessertspoons sugar (approx. 50g)
1 heaped teaspoon cocoa powder (5g)
dessertspoons vegetable oil (approx. 28g)
dessertspoons water (60g)

Mix the dry ingredients together (I'll admit to sieving the cocoa, since it clumps easily, but the flour should be fine).

Add the oil and water and mix together first with a spoon, then a fork. Make sure you scrape up all the dry ingredients.

Pour the mixture into your prepared mug and microwave for 2 to 2 and a half minutes on full power (800W in my case). Check with a skewer to see if it is done.

Calorie count:
This works out at 525 calories - for approximately 150g of cake = 175 calories for each portion of 50g.

Children should be able to make this from start to finish - since the mug handle should remain cool, the child can place the mug in and out of the microwave quite safely.


  1. Hi, interesting stuff... If you're concerned about calories in baked goods, you should look into using applesauce or -- my favorite -- pumpkin puree (from a can - you can freeze any left over) in place of oil in cakes, and in place of oil, and in place of all or part of other liquid or semi-liquid ingredients, in other baked goods. They can also replace eggs in things like pancakes. So many delicious possibilities... pumpkin pancakes -- yummm! Heavenly and nutritious.

    1. (sorry, I should have deleted 'and in place of oil' there in the middle where it gets repetitious : )