200g plain flour
50g caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons Vanilla Mart paste
50g butter
2 eggs
240ml milk
Fresh berries and maple syrup to serve


  • Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.
  • Melt the butter in the microwave then add vanilla paste, eggs and milk to your butter mixture and stir to combine.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and gently fold through until nice and thick.
  • Heat a small frying pan on a medium-low heat and add a little butter to the pan.
  • Pour over three heaped tablespoons of the batter.
  • Heat until golden brown and then flip.
  • Repeat with remaining pancake batter.
  • Serve with maple syrup and fresh raspberries.

Secret Trick for fluffy pancakes:

  • Avoid over-mixing the batter. When you add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir until just combined, not more. This will guarantee fluffier pancakes.

Mini vic sponge


150g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter, softened
150g self-raising flour
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp Vanilla Mart paste
125 ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
6 tbsp raspberry jam


  • Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan and grease the mini tins with butter.
  • Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  • Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Add the milk, vanilla paste, flour and a pinch of salt, then beat again until smooth.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the mini tins and level with a teaspoon.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until golden-brown.
  • Leave the mini cakes to cool and meanwhile whip the cream to soft peaks.
  • Cut each cake in half horizontally.
  • Spread the jam on the bottom half of each cake, then the cream. Finish each cake off by lightly sifting icing sugar over the tops.
  • Serve with tea.

Lemon muffins


2 large eggs
3 unwaxed lemons, zest of all, juice of 1
125g golden caster sugar
75g buttermilk
125ml vegetable oil
1/2 tsp Vanilla Mart paste
225g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
sugar crystals – optional


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a muffin ray with muffin cases.
  • Whisk the eggs, lemon zest and sugar.
  • Combine the buttermilk, oil, lemon juice and vanilla paste, then pour into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
  • Combine the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, flour and salt, then sift into the wet mixture.
  • Whisk lightly to make a smooth batter.
  • Divide batter between the muffin cases and sprinkle the top of the muffins with sugar crystals.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden.

Lemon & Vanilla shortbread


175g unsalted butter, soft
175g plain flour
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 of the seeds from Madagascan vanilla bean
70g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons vanilla sugar, for topping


  • Beat the butter, vanilla seeds, sugar and the lemon zest in a bowl.
  • Mix until smooth.
  • Add the flour and salt slowly until the dough comes together.
  • Place dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Cover with another sheet of parchment and roll out to 1/4-inch thick.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 160°C.
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut out rounds and transfer onto the parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle the vanilla sugar on each biscuit and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are a golden brown.

Hot cross buns

Ingredients for dough:

300ml milk
50g butter
1 Madagascan Vanilla Mart pod
1 tsp salt
500g strong bread flour
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
7g easy blend yeast
1 egg, beaten
75g sultanas
30g mixed peel
zest of 1 orange
1 apple, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp mixed spice

Ingredients for topping:

70g plain flour
2 tbsp golden syrup


  • Bring the milk to the boil, remove from the heat and add butter.
  • Pour flour, salt, caster sugar, seeds from vanilla pods, yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk and butter mixture, then the egg.
  • Mix well, until you have a sticky dough.
  • Knead on a lightly floured surface and put dough in a lightly oiled bowl.
  • Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • Tip in the sultanas, peel, zest, apple and cinnamon and knead into the dough.
  • Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  • Divide the dough into even balls, roll each into a smooth ball and arrange on baking trays lined with parchment.
  • Cover with a tea towel, then prove again for 1 hour more.
  • Heat oven to 200°C fan.
  • Mix the plain flour with 4-5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross.
  • Pipe crosses along each row of buns and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Melt the golden syrup in a pan and brush the buns while still warm before setting aside to cool.