#EasyBaking: 3 dessert recipes that aren't banana bread

by: Abegaile Legaspi
12 May 2020

Banana bread has taken social media by storm and everyone went bananas (see what we did there). And Hong Kong may be slowly reopening thanks to the eased social distancing rules but the #quarantinebaking bug is still alive and strong. We've scoured the internet and here’s our pick of easy recipes for all the sweet tooths in your life. 

Cupcake Jemma’s Red Velvet New York Cookie


230g cold and chopped unsalted butter

160g (read: powdered sugar)

160g light brown sugar

450g white chocolate chips

475g plain flour

25g Cocoa (15g regular and 10g black cocoa)

1 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp red food colouring (paste food colouring not liquid)


In the mixer, add the unsalted butter, light brown sugar and powdered sugar and white chocolate chips. Mix at medium speed until combined.

Add the plain flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder to a clean large mixing bowl. Mix until evenly combined.

Then, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix at low speed until it reaches a sand-like or breadcrumb consistency.

Add eggs and yolk, vanilla extract and food colouring to a clean medium bowl and whisk.

Pour the milk mixture and mix at low speed.

Divide dough into 120g balls.

Refrigerate for at least 90 minutes or overnight.

Bake at 180°C for 14 minutes.

Let it cool before serving.


Ottolenghi’s Walnut and Halva cake (makes one loaf)

Ingredients (cake)

85g unsalted butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

100g caster sugar (read: powdered sugar)

2 medium eggs, lightly whisked

200g plain flour

¾ tsp baking powder

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda


Ingredients (topping)

130g soured cream

60g unsalted butter

120g walnuts, roughly chopped

1 tsp ground cinnamon

25g dark muscovado sugar

170g plain sesame halva, broken into large, 3 cm pieces

Method for topping

Put the butter in a small saucepan on a low to medium heat. Leave to melt, then let it sizzle for a few minutes until it's light brown and smells slightly nutty. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, mix the butter, walnuts and cinnamon, divide the mixture in two and stir the sugar into one of the portions (you may need to use your hands to break up the sugar and spread it evenly through the nuts).

Method for cake batter

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a 12cm x 25cm loaf tin with a little butter, and line the base and sides with greaseproof paper.

In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Then, add the eggs a little at a time. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt, and bit by bit add this and the cream alternately. Make sure not to over-mix.

Spread half the batter on the base of the cake tin and evenly scatter over the sugarless nut mix. Dot the halva on top, and spread the remaining batter over this – the halva will drag a bit into the batter, but don't worry about that.

Finally, sprinkle the sugar nuts on top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer, comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 20 minutes, then gently remove from the tin by lifting the greaseproof paper. Take off the paper and leave the cake to cool on a wire rack (it may crumble otherwise).

Tip: Use plain or vanilla Arab-style sesame halva for this rich cake. To serve as a dessert, have thick whipped cream alongside.


Home Stories A to Z’s 10 Minute Chocolate Cake (makes 12 servings)


1 cup of sugar

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

6 ounces (3/4 cup) coffee (cooled a bit)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick butter (melted)

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Ganache Ingredients:

1 scant cup chocolate chips (scant means not full)

6 ounces (3/4 cup) heavy cream


Brew 6 ounces of black coffee and set aside. Melt butter in the microwave. Place a parchment paper circle on the bottom of a 9-inch glass pyrex pan and grease sides with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients and whisk until well combined. Add the eggs, coffee, vanilla, and butter. Mix well. Add chocolate chips and fold into the mixture until evenly combined. Pour the cake mixture into a microwave-safe baking pan.

Bake the cake in the microwave for 6 minutes on high. Microwave oven temperature and cooking times greatly vary so check at 5 minutes and work up until cake is done. The bottom centre may be slightly undone which is desirable. Remove cake from the microwave and let it cool in the pan for a few minutes.

Method for ganache

Heat 6 ounces of cream in a microwave-safe bowl until hot. Remove from the microwave and add chocolate chips to the bowl. Allow the cream to melt the chocolate. Mix with a whisk until fully combined.

Flip cake onto a cake stand, remove parchment paper, pour ganache over the cake and serve.

Tip: This cake can be served immediately with a wet ganache or reserved until the ganache is set. Both ways are delicious!