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10 seasonal summer bakes and desserts you’ll love in The Violet Bakery Cookbook

by Jessica Lockyer-Palmer

published on 25 June 2020

There are many bakes out there that have perennial appeal – our lockdown saviour banana bread, a good chocolate cake, a trusty batch of shortbread cookies – but there is also a special kind of joy to be found in baking with the seasons. Though each season brings with it a different bounty, from autumn's orchard fruits and winter's citrus offerings to spring's perfect pink rhubarb, it is hard to argue against the claim that summer boasts the most exciting range of produce to inspire your baking and keep it varied. As early summer's fuzzy apricots, juicy cherries and sweet strawberries give way to the perfumed peaches and juicy nectarines of high summer and then the plump blackberries and earthy figs of summer's end, each of the warmer months brings with it a different offering to bring colour and flavour to your kitchen creations.

If you share our love of baking with the seasons, The Violet Bakery Cookbook is the cookbook to know. Author Claire Ptak is the owner of east London bakery, Violet, and the accomplished baker behind Harry and Meghan's wedding cake, no less. In her beautiful cookbook she shares the recipes behind the bakes that have people queuing right around the block (yes, long before we had to queue to get in everywhere…), all of which are made with low intervention and organic ingredients, meaning that a rotating array of seasonal produce is at the heart of these recipes and is the secret to their wonderful flavour. In this feature we have rounded up ten of our favourite bakes, puddings and desserts from the book that make summer produce the star of the show.

Apricot and Almond-Polenta Muffins

If almond cakes are your bag, you'll love these extra almond-y breakfast muffins. Made using polenta and almond paste to impart a beautiful flavour and texture, they are embellished with roasted apricots but can also be adapted to suit whatever fruit you have available, from cherries to figs.

From the book

 

Seasonal summer bakes and desserts from The Violet Bakery Cookbook - 1

Yellow Peach Crumb Bun

This crumb bun has become an essential fixture on the Violet menu, with the fruit dotted into the buttery base of this recipe altered according to the season and the nuts in the crunchy sugared topping adapted to match. For a summer variation Claire recommends yellow peaches with the skins left on (so as to turn the bun a pleasing pink) paired with pecans or almonds.  

Get your copy of The Violet Bakery Cookbook here.

Seasonal summer bakes and desserts from The Violet Bakery Cookbook - yellow peach crumb bun

Pistachio, Hazelnut and Raspberry Friands 

Nutty, buttery and easy to make, these raspberry-studded friands are mouthfuls of utter delight and all too easy to demolish in just one sitting.

Get your copy of The Violet Bakery Cookbook here.

Seasonal summer bakes and desserts from The Violet Bakery Cookbook - raspberry friands

Strawberry, Ginger and Poppy Seed Scones

The combination of sweet strawberries and sharp crystallised ginger adds plenty of intrigue to these summertime scones. Serve with a dollop of clotted cream, a generous spread of butter or just as they are – with a cup of tea, of course.

Get your copy of The Violet Bakery Cookbook here.

Seasonal summer bakes and desserts from The Violet Bakery Cookbook - poppy scones

Summer Fruit Spelt Cake

This light and nutty spelt cake is the perfect base for a scattering of summery fruits. Finish with the optional rosewater icing to add a touch of sweetness and a celebratory feel.

Get your copy of The Violet Bakery Cookbook here.

Seasonal summer bakes and desserts from The Violet Bakery Cookbook - spelt cake

Raspberry and Star Anise Crumble Muffins

Make the most of plump sweet raspberries while they are at their best by pairing them with aromatic star anise in these generously-proportioned muffins. If you love your cakes and bakes to have contrasting textures, you'll find the spiced crumble topping an irresistible touch.

Get your copy of The Violet Bakery Cookbook here.

Seasonal summer bakes and desserts from The Violet Bakery Cookbook - star anise muffins

Apricot Kernel Upside Down Cake

Every baker's repertoire needs a reliable upside-down cake. Claire's apricot version brings this retro recipe right up to date by using not only the fruit's sweet, tart flesh but the noyau, or kernel, which imparts an intense almond flavour. Best served with a dollop of Disaronno-spiked cream.

Get your copy of The Violet Bakery Cookbook here.

Seasonal summer bakes and desserts from The Violet Bakery Cookbook - upside down cake

Summer Pudding

This nostalgic summer pudding is the ultimate celebration of summer berries. Served chilled, it's currently occupying the number one spot on our list of desserts to serve in a heatwave.

Get your copy of The Violet Bakery Cookbook here.

Seasonal summer bakes and desserts from The Violet Bakery Cookbook - summer pudding

Cherry Cobbler

The short and sweet cherry season should be enjoyed to the fullest – eat them straight out of brown paper bags from the greengrocers, bake them into almond cakes, preserve them for times when they are no longer available, and roast them under a heavenly scone topping with this cobbler recipe.

Get your copy of The Violet Bakery Cookbook here.

Seasonal summer bakes and desserts from The Violet Bakery Cookbook - cherry cobbler

Wild Blackberry Tart

As the summer nears its close, and the British hedgerows grow laden with plump blackberries, head out for a forage and make this simple tart bursting with juicy fruit spiced with cinnamon.

Get your copy of The Violet Bakery Cookbook here.

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