Grateful For The Joy Of Baking

I think it is about time to announce that THE 2022 JOY OF BAKING GRET BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF is most definitely going to be continuing into Monday! The incredible array of baking productions is going to keep our special BAKE OFF Judge Jeanne extremely busy.

Our next blogger I actually started following because she looks identical to one of my cousins Sian – I found it astonishing at first, and I thought perhaps Sian had set up a blog under a different name. May is not Sian, but I am so glad that I found her site. I love her posts, particularly reading about the historic sites she visits and her gratitude journal.

May, the creator of ENDLESS MAY DREAMS, who shares posts on Wellbeing, Culture, Travel and Food, baked this gorgeous Carrot Cake last month:


Jack and I love lots of walnuts on a carrot cake – so May’s photo jumped out at us immediately.

If you are wondering about the musical connection, Jack picked up that May’s post that included her fabulous cake was part of her September Gratitude Journal…so our favourite September song it is!!!

The Bread And Butter Of Baking

So many of the baking photographs we have received this weekend are embracing in delicious ways our focus on BUDGET BAKING and SUSTAINABLE BAKING.

We have two baking photographs for two different versions of the classic BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING from Sheree, the creator of VIEW FROM THE BACK. First of all a sweet spicy version that uses seasonal fruit – apples of course:


And we love Sheree’s recipe for a savoury version which would make a luxurious comforting supper:


Sheree, we love your recipes, including the twist you put on classic dishes to make them extra yummy.

We are all for taking classics and putting making them extra special and fun for all! Here is another sweet and savoury combination that totally captured our hearts.

The Joy Of Buttery Crumbly Cookies

I know there are lots of WordPressers in Australia and SouthAfrica and other areas who won’t perhaps feel the same way as I do – but it is feeling so dark and grey and cold this month. Baking is a brilliant way to stay joyful throughout the winter months, and also to give joy to others.

There is no gift quite like home-baked treats. Our next bake is the perfect edible present. Babitha, the creator of MY PEPPERMINT KITCHEN baked these glitzy butter cookies:


I am so curious Babitha how you managed to produce such perfectly shaped cookies. When I use a cutter, my biscuits spread in the oven to become unidentifiable blobs – not that it matter because they still taste great, but I wouldn’t dare to present them to someone as a gift. Whereas these beauties would make a delightful gift.

Please do share your secret Babitha, because this winter I would love to gift home-baked bickies to cheer up my friends during the cold months ahead.

The Supreme Staple Of Sustainable Baking

Today THE 2022 GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF has been drawing attention to sustainable baking. That may mean bakes that help to reduce food waste. The ultimate example of avoiding good waste has to be Banana Bread!

So we were so pleased to see this photograph from Cheryl, the creator of THE BAG LADY of her Banana Bread:


Cheryl shares an Old Vermont recipe on her site for this hunk of deliciousness! Please do visit the site of this wonderful blogger!

Meanwhile, my hunk of deliciousness is still managing to find songs for every baking post. I am very pleased with Jack who has managed to keep up with all of the baking photographs we are preparing posts for.

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

I am so delighted to share a baking photograph that came in from a very very lovely man. Over the course of 2022, Jonny (aka THE EXTRAORDINARY JONY FRAZER) has been cheering me up by sending me the sweetest most encouraging emails. He, like some other lovely WordPressers realized I was not enjoying my job and made it his mission to make me laugh and help me stay strong.

Jonny shared with us his Guinness Brownies – fudgy chocolate versus a pint of Irish Stout – genius!

We love your funky chicken table cloth Johnny!

We also love that you brought Irish inspiration to the BAKE OFF. Thank you so much Jonny for your bake, your humour, and your kindness. They are very precious – and you have indeed shared a great deal of joy during tough times with us. You have certainly made us smile. 🙂

Sharing The Joy Of Baking With Those We Love Most

One of the lessons we all came to appreciate during the Pandemic is appreciation for being able to visit those we love most. It was hard, so hard, for all those months of not seeing family. But we all know why we did it – to protect the people we love the most. This year, many of us have been so relieved and glad to be with our loved ones again.

We were very moved by the email we received from our next WordPresser. In fact Jessica, the creator of UNMEASURED JOURNEYS left me very teary-eyed. Tragedy struck Jessica’s family this spring when she lost her beloved Momma, and since then Jessica related to us that she has been trying to visit her Father as often as possible. Jessica told us her parents were married for fifty-five years, so we can only imagine how deeply their loss has been felt.

During a visit to her Father in June, Jessica learnt that her Father’s favourite cookies are Raisin and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies:

Jessica’s site includes some stunning photographs of nature and so much family joy. The MENU up at the top of Jessica’s website has a category entitled “MY MOMMA” and shares her beautiful tributes to her darling mother and very moving accounts of both grief and also gratitude. Jessica’s posts have endeared her to us…and we are so touched that she has shared her baking and her wonderful blog with us.

Oh Jessica – you have captured something incredibly special about how we can share they JOY OF BAKING with those we love the most. Thank you for your beautiful baking and your very beautiful words.

Keeping Your Landlord Happy

All weekend we have been able to see the delicious bakes from WordPress users sharing THE JOY OF BAKING with family, friends, students, colleagues, congregation members and others. But I have been able to share the joy of baking with my landlord.

I have a great landlord and landlady. They don’t like me calling them that, but that is what they are. I am so pleased with my little nest and very pleased with the reasonable rate of rent too. So, whenever they ask me for some assistance, I am delighted to offer a helping hand, especially when that involves baking.

Often they will ask me to help with food preparation for gatherings they are hosting. They come up with some interesting recipes, and this is their latest request. This is a Pistachio Cake:

The topping has to be applied just before service so it does not soak into the cake. It is Greek yoghurt and pomegranate seeds with honey drizzled all over.

When baking aromas fill this little nest – it really is HOME SWEET HOME!

The Joy Of Baking And Partying

Saturday night on THE GREAT BLOGGERRS’ BAKE OFF tends to become party night – after all with all these baking treats, we need to have a work out to burn off all the calories! Amongst the many things that WordPressers do well…are baking and parties! Many of us “found” each other when bloggers hosted “Blogging parties”. In some ways THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF is like a giant blogging party as it gives us the chance to discover more and more WordPress users.

One of our favourite bloggers was out partying last night – and like the very best party guests – she baked for it! Paula Light, the creator of LIGHT MOTIFS II baked a fabulous Chocolate Birthday Cake with rather glamourous Elvis inspired frosting:


As Paula reveals in her recipe, her chocolate cake is a great BUDGET BAKE…allowing for the sparkly fun frosting. We think it is an ideal celebration of Elvis and chocolate!


We hope you had a great time last night Paula!! We love your cake and we also love your blogging site. Many of you will know Paula is also a great writer and poet, and a huge contributor to all the fun we have on WordPress!

The Cheesy Joy Of Baking

A popular feature ingredient of the bakes that we are sharing in the 2022 GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF is cheese! We have had cheesecakes, cheese scones, cheese in pies…and now we have cheese bread!

Our next baker is Nadine (aka Naddy Braddy) who has send in a photograph of a Cheese and Onion Tear & Share Cob that she baked.

Nadine shared with us that she started making bread during the Pandemic and now bakes all of her bread because it works out to be much less expensive than buying the bread she enjoys.

This particular cob is made with granary flour and has mature Cheddar cheese and caramelized onions over the top. That sounds so tasty Nadine!

Jack could not think of a joyful song that had “cheese” in it, so I said to him, you could pick any kind of cheesy pop music. Big smile!!! Jack can now feature his favourite cheesy pop song – which happens to be one of his favourite shower songs.

Special Guest Poet – Ingrid

This very joyful weekend has been a jam-packed celebration of the warmth and flavour and joy of WordPress – international flavours, fun and friendliness and creative talent. Our Special Guest Poets have given us the opportunity to celebrate a massive part of WordPress – poetry!!!

Our next Special Guest Poet has delighted us with two poems…and I believe we have two bakes to accompany them. First of let me tell you a little about Ingrid, the Creator of EXPERIMENTS IN FICTION. Ingrid is a writer, a poet, an independent publisher who has shared some gorgeous photographs of nature and of course baking!!!

Many of you will remember one of 2020 STAR BAKERS Benji, the creator of BENJI’S VERY BIG BLOG and his perfect shortbread. It is clear to see the baking talent runs in the family.

Ingrid has busily preparing for a book launch, so we are very grateful for her lovely poems and baking photos which capture all the fun and warmth we love about BAKE OFF. Here is Ingrid’s “Lemon Drizzle”, both her cake and poem below:

Lemon Drizzle

Lemon drizzle

It’s the shizzle

Tingles the tongue

Makes tastebuds twizzle

If you’re looking for a slice

Of happiness then this’ll

Take you to a happy place

A culinary paradise

To wet your whistle

Some of you may remember the 2019 GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF – our first ever BAKE OFF – invited participants to bake a Sandwich Cake. We were amazed that we ended up with a huge variety of different cakes – all different flavours – which is astonishing. We have loved the wide array of bakes and styles and ingredients that have made up these joyful BAKES OFFS – but there is one bake that represents classic yummy baking so very well! This is Ingrid’s (not Victoria’s) Sandwich Cake and a brilliant poem too!

Victoria Sponge

Victorious Sponge, perfectly risen:

Measured and moulded and baked

with precision;

jam-sandwiched and sprinkled

with sugar so fine

you are not Victoria’s Sponge:

you are mine!