7 simple bakes using ingredients you’ve already got in the cupboard

What better way to brighten up another lockdown afternoon?

Judging from Instagram sometimes, you need a fully stocked kitchen and a degree in culinary arts to be a baker.

However, baking doesn’t have to be completely OTT – you can also make something utterly delicious from a few ingredients you already have at home.

If you’re looking for new ways to entertain yourself, it might be time to rummage through your cupboards and try some of these simple recipes…

1. Beer bread


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Baking your own bread doesn’t have to be labour intensive and complicated. If you don’t have yeast in the house, believe it or not, you can replace it with beer.

This tasty loaf from Simple Joy calls for beer, self-raising flour and a sprinkling of sugar – that’s it. You don’t even need to knead the dough for long, just enough to bring the ingredients together. Different types of beers will give you varying flavour profiles too.

2. Peanut butter cookies


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Some bakes don’t even need flour – like this three ingredient recipe for peanut butter cookies from Barefeet In The Kitchen. All you have to do is mix together peanut butter, sugar and an egg, and bake into biscuits. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, dip half of the cookie in melted chocolate to finish.

3. Shortbread


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While you can get complex recipes for shortbread, it only really requires three ingredients: flour, butter and sugar. Try this recipe from Chew Out Loud to see how buttery you can get yours.

4. Macaroons

Macaroons are definitely on the fancier end of the afternoon tea spectrum, but that doesn’t mean they have to be a nightmare to throw together. This recipe from Living Sweet Moments calls for egg whites, shredded coconut and sugar. Drizzle the macaroons in melted chocolate for a particularly luxurious finish.

5. Chocolate brownies


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Sometimes only a chocolate hit will do – and you can’t deny the appeal of fudgy brownies. You might see elaborate recipes for cheesecake brownies or versions with 12 different types of chocolate, but you really can keep it simple. The easiest recipes require eggs, butter, cocoa powder and flour – feel free to add any extras you might have in the cupboard, like chopped walnuts or crushed Oreos.

6. Apple crumble

If you’ve got some apples knocking about, crumble for pudding it is. First, cook the chopped apples in a little sugar, then bake with a topping of butter, sugar and flour (or oats). If you’ve got some berries in the freezer, add them into the mix and serve with a generous dollop of cream or ice cream.

7. Banana bread


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Not to get all ‘lockdown one’ on you, but there’s a reason banana bread became the bake of 2020. It’s a great way to salvage overly ripe bananas, plus you’re likely to already have eggs, flour, butter and sugar at home. Add Nutella for an even better batter.

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