Can this home cook tempt you back to the biscuit tin? Sandra Carter takes a nibble…

Dare I mention cake again? I wouldn’t want to ruin any New Year resolution.

But if you are ready to consider just the occasional sweet treat, High Wycombe home baker, mum and freelance copywriter LJ Stocks has put together a book of deliciously easy bakes called There’s Always Cake In My House.

LJ explains: “I believe baking should be easy, simple and delicious.

“I also believe baking is good for the soul. There’s something incredibly heart-warming in creating treats for those you love.”

LJ has been putting favourite recipes on her website for the past three years, and the response encouraged her to draw together 52 all-time favourites enjoyed by her friends, husband Phil and young sons Jesse and Ezra.

The cookies, traybakes and cupcakes can take on a decidedly creative twist, such as peanut butter Rolo stuffed cookies, or strawberry cupcakes with Prosecco frosting.

Other recipes are straightforward and easy to follow, and many are suitable for youngsters to join in.

Here’s one to tempt you:

Cheesecake Brownie

100g baking spread or butter

175g caster sugar

75g dark muscovado sugar

200g dark chocolate chunks, split into two 100g portions

1 tbsp golden syrup

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g plain flour

2 tbsp cocoa

1/2 tsp baking powder


250g tub of soft/cream cheese

3 tbsp caster sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line an 8-9 inch square tin with baking paper or reusable liner.

2. Pop your butter, both sugars, 100g of chocolate and golden syrup into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring until melted together. Take off the heat.

3. Beat together the eggs and vanilla, then mix in your chocolate mixture once it’s cooled a bit.

4. Mix the flour, cocoa and baking powder, then fold into the mixture.

5. Mix in the remaining 100g of chocolate chunks.

6. Pour your brownie mixture into the tin.

7. Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl - don’t beat it, just stir until the sugar’s mixed in, you want it nice and thick.

8. Dollop nine teaspoons of cheesecake mix in three rows on top of your brownie mix, then carefully swirl with a knife. A knife gives good, thick swirls, rather than the thin swirls that a skewer might give.

9. If you want more swirls, add a little more cheesecake mix and swirl again. You probably won’t need all your cheesecake mixture.

10. Bake for 20-25 minutes. When it’s done the top should look crisp and the edges should be just beginning to crack and shrink away from the edges of the tin.

11. Let it cool in the tin for a good 10-15 minutes, then lift out and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

12. Cut up and enjoy the scrumptious swirls!

There’s Always Cake In My House by LJ Stocks, £8.99, is available from Amazon, or £9.99 inc p&p from