How to bake on a budget

How to bake on a budget

1. Don’t bother using posh products

All flour is the same, the cheaper ones work just as well as long as you measure your ingredients properly and follow the recipe your cakes will turn out fine.

2. Don’t lick the bowl, make extra cakes

To save time when making up a cake mixture instead of giving the bowl to the grandchildren to scrap off, bake up some cupcakes and freeze so they can be used quickly when you are in a rush and family or friends descend on you.

3. Check the bargain shelves

The reduced section at the supermarket is a treasure trove of cupcake cases, baking tins, greaseproof paper. The majority of the time it's just the packaging that is damaged and nothing wrong with goods.

4. Rice instead of baking beans

Making a tart? When blind baking, don’t fork out for expensive baking beans, rice or old pennies work just as well.

5. Buy seasonal produce

Getting strawberries in December can be pricey, try and buy those in the summer and darker berries in the autumn.

6. Never throw bananas away

If you have a bunch of bananas that have been neglected, don’t bin them. Ripened bananas are always best for baking. But if you don't have time when those bananas look worse for wear, peel off the skins and freeze for a later date to use in cakes and smoothies.

7. Reuse baking paper

If you are having mass baking session, try and reuse baking paper where possible. Just peel off from the bottom of your cake, dust off and use again.

8. Mix sugar and molasses to make brown sugar

Need some brown sugar but don’t have any to hand? Mix molasses and regular caster sugar together to make your own.

9. Add lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk to make buttermilk

Shop bought buttermilk can be expensive and most recipes requiring it only need a few tablespoons. Instead of wasting a whole tub, just add lemon juice or vinegar to full fat milk and leave for five minutes to separate. 

10. Make your own condensed milk

Get some whole milk, a cup of sugar and a tablespoon of butter. Simmer milk and sugar for 2 hours then strain and add butter, leave to cool in fridge for perfect condensed milk.

11.  DIY self-raising flour

Just add baking powder and salt to plain flour for when you’re running low on self-raising.

12.  Don’t buy expensive cake decorations

Edible glitter can be pricey. Instead custom-make decorations by mixing regular sugar with food colouring. Plus it will have none of the nasty preservatives either.

13.  Use a wine bottle instead of a rolling pin

You probably only use a rolling pin twice a year max and it can take up valuable drawer space. Instead just wrap a wine bottle in cling film and roll away.

14.  Check out reviews of recipes before you bake

There’s no point wasting time and money on recipes that is going to turn out tasting horrible. If you are getting your recipe online, check out the reviews on tried and tested site.

15.  Freeze leftover egg whites and yolks

If you’re making a meringue and have a load of leftover egg yolks or vice versa with egg whites, pop the leftovers in an ice cube tray to use again at a later date. Just make sure to mix egg yolks with a teaspoon of sugar to keep the egg proteins fluid after freezing.

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