We’re very lucky to have a number of culinary experts participating in the Leeds Book Club.

These wonderful and generous people have provided us with some fabulous cakes and treats during our meetings (which I will be taking photos of in the future!).

If you’d like to try any at home, please find the recipes below!!


LEEDSBOOKCLUB accepts no responsibility whatsoever (not even a little bit, no, not the teensiest trace of guilt) for your gluttony.

If you end up gorging on foodstuffs just because they are all tasty and wonderful, it’s your own fault!!



Baked by: @NeilnMichelle



  • 300g Chocolate digestive
  • 150g Butter (Melted)
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 50g Dairy Milk (Grated)
  • 15g Gelatine
  • 60ml Water
  • 500g Cream Cheese
  • 110g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Mars Bars (Finely Chopped)


  • Break biscuits (blender, processor or good old rolling pin) until they are like breadcrumbs. Add the melted butter and mix until the crumbs are coated. Press the biscuit mixture evenly over the base of a springform tin (the more it is pressed the harder it will be when finished). Place the biscuit base in the fridge.
  • Sprinkle gelatine over the 60ml of water in a small heatproof jug. Stand the jug in small saucepan of simmering water, stir until gelatine dissolves. Leave to cool.
  • Mix cream cheese and caster sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer or spoon until smooth. In a separate bowl whip the double cream by beating with an electric mixer or whisk until soft peaks form.
  • Stir gelatine and mars bars into cream cheese mixture then fold in the whipped cream.
  • Put the cream cheese mixture on top of the biscuit base and spread with the back of a spoon until even.
  • Sprinkle the grated dairy milk over the top and place in fridge for roughly 4 hours.

Remove from fridge and eat! 🙂



Baked by: @Kayelle5

I did take a photo but it came out all dark and moody so this pic is from the t’interweb. 

For the Brownies

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g plain dark chocolate and 100g dark mint chocolate (I used Lindt), broken up
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 30g cocoa
  • box matchmakers, broken up

Icing – 50g icing sugar, mixed with water til drizzle-able

  1. Line a brownie tin with greaseproof paper and heat the oven to 180g (gas 4)
  2. Put the butter and dark chocolate in a bowl over a simmering pan of water and melt together until smooth.  Put to one side to cool a bit.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar together until fluffy, then fold in the melted chocolate mix
  4. Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder and fold gently in until thick and fudgy.  Fold in the matchmakers too.
  5. Tip the mixture into the tin, smooth the top, and bake for about 25 mins, until the top cracks and the middle is still a bit soft.  
  6. Take out and cool completely.
  7. Mix the icing and drizzle on top and leave to set – I put sparkly sugar on top too. 
  8. Cut up into little squares and persuade a friendly book club to eat them.



Baked by: @CultureLeeds

For the cake:

  • 225gms Unsalted Butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 350gms Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 Tablespoons Boiling water
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Gel Food Colouring
  • 40gms Cocoa Powder
  • 250mls Buttermilk
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 350gms Sugar
  • 3 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar

For the frosting:

  • 250gms unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 500gms icing sugar
  • 400gms Cream Cheese (full fat)
  1. Preheat oven to 170c (150c fan) gas mark 3.
  2. In a small bowl mix the boiling water, food colouring gel, cocoa powder and buttermilk until fully combined.
  3. In another bowl sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a third bowl (!) use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until fully combined, then mix in the vanilla extract. ON a slow speed, add a third of the flour mixture, followed by half the buttermilk mixture. 
  6. Add another third of the flour mix, then the other half of the buttermilk mix, then the final third of the flour mix.  Stir in the vinegar.
  7. Split the mixture into large cupcake cases, filling them 2/3 full. Bake for ten minutes, then check every 2 or 3 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
  • To make the frosting, beat the butter until light and smooth, which should take about 5 minutes. Slowly beat in the icing sugar until combined, then increase the speed and beat until light and fluffy. 
  • Beat in the cream cheese until just combined, but don’t overbeat or the mixture will be too thin.
  • Top the cakes with the frosting and serve.


Recipe: Dan Lepard

Baked for us by: @TubeOfSands

  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium egg
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 170g bag dried cranberries
  • Icing sugar

Makes about 25

For Sandy’s special secret recipe replace the chocolate chips and cranberries with chopped roasted hazelnuts and orange peel

  • Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and egg until smooth, then stir in the oil, flour, baking powder and oats. Mix in the chocolate and cranberries, then chill or freeze the dough until it firms slightly.
  • Cover a tray with nonstick paper, roll walnut-sized scoops of the dough between your hands so they shape into smooth balls, then place them on the tray and squash slightly to flatten. Using a tea strainer or fine sieve, very heavily dredge the top of each cookie with icing sugar (unless you’re baking them ahead of time, in which case dust with icing sugar when you serve them).
  • Heat the oven to 170C (150C fan-assisted)/335F/gas mark 3 and bake for about 14 minutes until puffed and golden at the edges. Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes, then, with a spatula, carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool and firm.


Recipe: Charlotte Morgan

Baked for us by: @WoodsieGirl

For the sponge:

  • 120 g self-raising flour
  • 145 g golden caster sugar
  • 40 g butter, at room temperature
  • 120 ml whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds

For the frosting:

  • 225 g butter, softened
  • 400 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 orange, zest and ½ of its juice
  • orange rind, to decorate
  1. For the sponge: preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole tin with cupcake paper cases. 
  2. Tip the flour, sugar, butter and orange zest into a food processor and blitz on a slow speed for one minute, until you achieve a sandy consistency. 
  3. Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until just incorporated. Don’t worry if it looks a little messy at this stage – it will come together! 
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining milk together with the egg and orange juice. Pour into the batter, add the poppy seeds and beat for a couple of minutes until smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl to catch any unmixed ingredients as you go. 
  5. Divide the mixture between the 12 paper cases, filling each one up two-thirds full. 
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the golden sponge bounces back when prodded with a finger. 
  7. Leave to cool on a wire rack while you make the frosting. 

For the frosting: 

  1. Tip the butter and icing sugar into a food processor and beat until well combined. 
  2. Add the orange juice and zest, then beat again for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy. 
  3. When the sponges have cooled completely, carefully spoon a third of the frosting into a piping bag and use it to decorate the first four cupcakes. 
  4. Repeat until you have finished them all. Alternatively, just use a palette knife to spread about 2 tbsp of frosting onto each cupcake. 
  5. Decorate with orange rind, if desired.


Baked by: @CultureLeeds

For the macarons:

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 25g caster sugar

For the ganache filling:

  • 90ml double cream
  • 180g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 45g unsalted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. Sift together the icing sugar, ground almonds and cocoa powder. Whisk the egg whites until half-stiff, sprinkle over the caster sugar and continue whisking until very stiff, but not dry. Gradually and gently fold in the sifted ingredients.
  3. Fit a piping bag with a 1cm plain icing nozzle and fill with the macaron mixture. Pipe out 5cm rounds on the lined baking sheets, then leave to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to form a skin.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes: you want them dry on top but still chewy underneath. 
  5. Remove to cool on a wire rack, and when they are cool, sandwich with the ganache, which you make by heating all the ingredients in a saucepan until the chocolate’s just melted. 
  6. Off the heat, whisk for 3-4 minutes until thick, then leave to cool in the fridge. 
  7. Use a knife to spread the ganache on the underside of one macaron, then stick another macaron to it.

Makes 36 rounds, 18 macarons.


Baked by: @Meulop

  • 6oz self-raising flour
  • 6oz caster sugar
  • 6oz butter (preferably soft, to save your arms work)
  • 3 eggs
  • Dash of vanilla essence

Two methods for this. 

A) You can just bung all the ingredients into a bowl and beat them together, and you should be fine.


  • Cream the butter/sugar together
  • Briefly beat the eggs
  • Fold in the flour and eggs a bit at a time.
  • Add vanilla stuff at the end.
  1. Either way, the resulting mixture should go into two 7-inch round cake tins that have been greased (and floured, if you like).
  2. Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes (should be springy if you gently prod it with your fingers, and a skewer should come out clean)
  3. Spread the top of one of the halves with jam (n.b. if the top is dome-like you may want to level it out a bit first, then eat the delicious warm cake you’ve just cut off) then put the other half on top.
  4. I used ready-roll icing to ice it – follow the instructions on the pack, To help it stick to the cake, spread jam over the entire outside of the cake. It may be helpful to warm the jam a bit first to make it more liquid.
  5. The coloured number 1 was done by slowly adding food colouring to a blob of the ready-roll icing, following each drop with a bit of icing sugar to stop it getting to sticky. When doing this, latex or vinyl gloves are essential, otherwise you’ll be washing your hands like Lady Macbeth afterwards.
  6. The hashtag was done with a tube of cheap lettering icing (from Morrisons I think?), and in the process of doing it I invented several new profanities,


Oh, I wish!
Pic CLEARLY from t’interweb

Recipe by: Kelloggs

Baked by me!!

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows – OR –
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies® cereal
  • 1 bar melting chocolate (I used white)
  • In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
  • Add RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.
  • Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.
  • Cool.
  • Cut into 2-inch squares.
  • Melt chocolate according to directions and pour over hardening mixture (make sure it’s cooled first!)
  • Best if served the same day.


From t’interweb

Recipe by: Nigel Slater on the Guardian website

Baked for us by: @WoodsieGirl

Serves: 12

  1. You will need a baking tin, about 23cm x 23cm, preferably non-stick, or a small roasting tin. 
  2. Set the oven at 180°C/Gas 4. Line the bottom of the baking tin with baking parchment. Put the sugar and butter into the bowl of a food mixer and beat for several minutes till white and fluffy. You can do it by hand if you wish, but you need to keep going until the mixture is really soft and creamy. 
  3. Meanwhile, break the chocolate into pieces, set 50g of it aside and melt the rest in a bowl suspended over, but not touching, a pan of simmering water. As soon as the chocolate has melted remove it from the heat. Chop the remaining 50g into gravel-sized pieces. 
  4. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat them lightly with a fork.
  5. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix in a pinch of salt. With the food mixer running slowly, introduce the beaten egg a little at a time, speeding up in between additions. 
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer to the work surface, then mix in the melted and the chopped chocolate with a large metal spoon. 
  7. Lastly, fold in the flour and cocoa, gently and firmly, without knocking any of the air out. 
  8. Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the top and bake for 30 minutes. The top will have risen slightly and the cake will appear slightly softer in the middle than around the edges. 
  9. Pierce the centre of the cake with a fork – it should come out sticky, but not with raw mixture attached to it. If it does, then return the brownie to the oven for three more minutes. 
  10. It is worth remembering that it will solidify a little on cooling, so if it appears a bit wet, don’t worry.

Extra Features – added by our baker!

  • I also added the zest of one orange, and a pinch (about a quarter of a teaspoon) of sweet mixed spice. 
  • I also substituted the 50g of dark chocolate that you’re meant to chop up and stir into the mixture, for 50g of white chocolate chips instead.


Pic from t’interwb
But mine looked just like this!

Recipe by: School, then various home efforts!

Baked by me! And no one has sued yet!*

  • 1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips – use what feels right to you!
  • 200g (3/4 cup) rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp. golden syrup
  • 20g (1 1/2 tbsp.) butter
  • 70g (5 tbsp.) Demerara sugar
  • 1 bar melting chocolate
  • Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5, 190 degrees C.
  • Melt butter in a large pan.
  • Once melted, slowly add syrup and sugar.
  • Once the misture has thickened; add oats and chocolate chips.
  • Stir well.
  • Pour mixture into a 20cm (8 inch) round or square baking dish and cook in oven at 190 C (350-375 F) for roughly 20 minutes.
  • Melt chocolate according to directions and pour over hardening mixture (make sure it’s cooled first!)
  • Once cooled, but before it fully hardens, cut into squares, wedges or fingers.

* That is NOT a hint to litigate!


Recipe by: Nigella (written up in her own words by our baker)

Baked for us by: @L1nds

  • 200g dark chocolate (preferably 70% cocoa)
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons golden syrup
  • 250g salted peanuts
  • 4 x 40g Crunchie bars


  • Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a pan over a low heat
  • Crush the Crunchies (Nigella says to do this over a bowl with your hands but that’s actually quite painful so I keep them in their wrappers, put them in a plastic bag and batter with a rolling pin!)
  • Take the pan off the heat, stir the peanuts and Crunchies into the chocolate mixture
  • Pour into a lined cake tin (25cm) or large foil tray (roughly 30cm x 20cm) and smooth the top. 
  • Refrigerate for about 4 hours and slice. Store in the fridge, keeps for 3-4 days.



Recipe provided by the Chief Constable of Leeds, Richard Nottingham. 

(This is, of course, a lie, as Richard has to rely on Mary to whip up a proper meringue. But she’s willing to allow it to go out under his name as she’s a lovely woman. Given that it’s from the 18th century, measurements are in the old money.)

  • 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 oz. cornflour
  • 1/2 pint boiling water
  • 5 oz. caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  1. Pre-heat oven 310 degrees.
  2. Make pastry (or buy) and bake blind in a pie dish. Allow to cool.
  3. Squeeze the juice from both lemons and grate the zest.
  4. Mix the cornflour with a little cold water, then pour on the boiling water and add the lemon juice and zest. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Keep boiling and stirring for 3 minutes.
  5. Separate the yolks and whites of the eggs. Add 3 oz. of sugar to the egg yolks, beat, and then add to the saucepan, mixing well. Pour into the cooled pastry of the pie dish.
  6. Whisk up the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and then fold in the remaining sugar. Spread over the lemon filling of the pie, ensuring it’s completely covered and that the meringue touches the pastry all around the edges. Sprinkle caster sugar over the meringue.
  7. Cook in a pre-heated over (Mark 2, 310 degrees) for 25-30 minutes to set meringue. 
  8. Serve warm.

With thanks to @ChrisNickson2 for playing postman. For other bits and pieces from Chris, have a peek here!



Recipe taken from What Katie Does

As provided by the fantabulistic @WoodsieGirl

  • 1 cup or 110g of sugar
  • 1 cup or 110g of crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • Dash of vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180C

2. Mix ingredients

3. Space out 12 blobs onto a baking (paper lined) tray

4. Cook for 10mins

5. Do NOT overcook. They may seem a bit wobbily but they will harden once cooled.



As provided by the awesome @Meulop

  • 8oz Self raising flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice
  • 4oz soft brown sugar
  • 4oz margarine
  • 4oz golden syrup
  • 4oz treacle
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ pint milk
  1. mix flour and spices in a bowl
  2. melt sugar, margarine, syrup and treacle in a pan and allow to cool slightly
  3. beat egg into milk
  4. gradually, alternately add small amounts of the treacle mix and milk mix to flour mix beating well
  5. pour into prepared tin (small roasting lined and greased)
  6. med oven (gas 4/180C) 30 mins
  7. allow to cool and cut into squares


To the juice of ½ lemon add icing sugar until a stiff consistency is reached. 



(OK, you’re responsible for your own actions if you eat any more!!)

5 LAYER COFFEE CAKE (Book Club 6!)

As provided by the wonderful R!

The Cake

  • 6 eggs
  • 300g Self Raising Flour
  • 300g Caster Sugar
  • 300g Butter
  • 6 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in boiling water

The Icing

  • Icing Sugar
  • Butter
  • Coffee

1. Heat oven to 180 degrees

2. Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. 

3. Add eggs one at a time, sifting in a little flour with each. 

4. Combine into the mixture any remaining flour and the coffee. 

5. Pour into 18cm greased and lined cake tins. R did hers two tins at a time, being careful not to use too much of the mixture to ensure evenly sized layers. 

6. Cook for 20 minutes. 

7. Remove from over, allow to cool for 10 minutes, then lay out on a wire rack. 

8. Repeat for remaining layers. 

9. Sandwich together with coffee butter icing, or if you haven’t got any icing – butterscotch sauce will also stick the layers together.



Again, not the cake, but still – mouthwatering!

As provided by the delicious @Bookelfleeds

The Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • 110 grams sifted flour
  • 110 grams caster flour
  • Rind of 1 lemon
  • 100 grams of butter

The Icing

  • Icing sugar
  • Lemon juice
  1. Mix that stuff!
  2. Bake in a cake tin (honestly, she has no faith in me!) for about 25 mins at 200 degrees C.
  3. Apparently it’s done when you stick a knife in it and it comes up clean.
  4. Cool.
  5. Cut cake in half.
  6. Spread with lemon curd. You can make your own if you wish, but that will take lots of time.
  7. Place the halves together.
  8. For the icing on the cake (couldn’t help myself), mix the icing sugar with lemon juice until smooth and smother the cake with it!

Share, eat and enjoy!



The Cake

  • 4oz butter
  • 4oz soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2oz rice flour
  • 4oz plain flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder

The Crumble

  • 2oz brown sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon

1. Cream butter and sugar together

2. Beat in eggs

3. Fold in dry ingredients, mixing well.

4. Turn into a round 8″ tin and smooth the top.

5. Mix crumble ingredients together & sprinkle over the cake mix.

6. Bake at 180C/gas 4 for approximately 35mins.

7. Leave in tin until cold.

Serve to eager book lovers!

BROWNIES (Touching the Void!)

As provided by the eve-obliging @Meulop!

  • 4oz butter
  • 2oz dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids, and the higher the better)
  • 2oz self-raising flour
  • 8oz caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Put the butter and chocolate in a mixing bowl.
  2. Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water and allow the butter/chocolate to melt
    (N.b. if possible the water should not be touching the bowl – want to be gentle).
  3. Mix the dry ingredients in a second bowl, then add the into the melted chocolate/butter.
  4. Beat the eggs, then add to the mixture gradually.
  5. Line a brownie pan (or roasting tin) with greaseproof paper, then grease the paper.
  6. Pour the mixture into the tin.
  7. Bake for about 35 mins at 180C/Gas mark 4.



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