Time to get your apron on!

Do you enjoy baking? It’s one of our favourite activities here at Aspire, not only because we love to eat but because there are so many great benefits to it too. Here’s just a few reasons why we love baking:

1. Improves your appetite.
Baking can stimulate your senses, knowing the ingredients that are in your food, the feel of the ingredients and the smell of your freshly baked goods can encourage people to enjoy their food and build up an appetite. 

2. Helps to relax and reduces stress.
Baking can be a very relaxing activity. It is known that techniques such as kneading bread have been shown to reduce levels of anxiety, as it helps you to focus your mind. 

3. Allows you to show your creative side.
Baking allows you to express yourself and show your creative side, whether this is icing your cakes in your favourite colour icing, decorating with glitter or using edible cake toppers. Seeing your well-designed bakes can improve your mood.

4. Improves communication.
Baking is good for the brain; it is important to follow instructions and recipes to ensure you get the best result and is a fun activity to do as a team too.

Andrew, who attends Brierley Community Hub says –
“I really like baking with friends at Brierley, especially when we try them afterwards, it’s better than going to the shop and buying cakes. There is nothing better than someone enjoying your fresh bakes and I love sharing my cakes with my friends and family.”

Tasty cakes Andrew suggests you try baking at home:

Lemon Drizzle Cake


225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
1 lemon, zested

For the drizzle topping
1 ½ lemon, juiced
85g caster sugar


Step 1
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Beat together the butter and caster sugar until pale and creamy, then add the eggs, one at a time, slowly mixing through.
Step 2
Sift in the self-raising flour, then add the lemon zest and mix until well combined.
Step 3
Line a tin with greaseproof paper, then spoon in the mixture and level the top with a spoon.
Step 4
Bake for 45-50 mins until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Step 5
While the cake is cooling in its tin, mix together the lemon juice and caster sugar to make the drizzle.
Step 6
Prick the warm cake all over with a skewer or fork, then pour over the drizzle .
Step 7
Leave in the tin until completely cool, then remove and serve.

Victoria Sponge Cake


200g caster sugar
200g softened butter
4 eggs, beaten
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk

For the drizzle topping:
100g butter, softened
140g icing sugar, sifted
drop vanilla extract (optional)
half a 340g jar strawberry jam
icing sugar, to decorate


Step 1
Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter two sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper.
In a large bowl, beat 200g caster sugar, 200g softened butter, 4 beaten eggs, 200g self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp milk together until you have a smooth, soft batter.
Step 2
Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Step 3
Bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.
Step 4
Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
To make the filling, beat the 100g softened butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in 140g sifted icing sugar and a drop of vanilla extract.
Step 5
Spread the buttercream over the bottom of one of the sponges. Top it with 170g strawberry jam and sandwich the second sponge on top.
Step 6
Dust with a little icing sugar before serving. Keep in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.

Please download tasty cake recipes here: Tasty Cake Recipes

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