Nothing is better than a cake stop during a ride or even post-ride. Here are some easy-to-make cafe treats to bake and eat at home.
If the thought of baking makes you wince, or you're low on store cupboard essentials like flour, here's how to make cafe-stop-worthy sweet treats at home using just the basics.
We tried and tested (and ate) all of these recipes, so we know they work. Plus, we've provided plenty of substitutions for you, too.
Flapjacks are an easy win and simple to make. The basic recipe for a flapjack is butter, something sweet, and oats. You can add all sorts of ingredients to give your flapjacks a twist.
200g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
300g golden syrup
450g jumbo rolled porridge oats
pinch of plain flour
200g dried, ready-to-eat apricots, roughly chopped
100g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
You'll need a 20cm cake tin or shallow tin
Don't have unsalted butter? Use salted butter or margarine.
Don't have golden syrup? This is quite essential for the chewy texture, but you can make up the difference with maple syrup or honey.
No jumbo rolled oats? Use standard oats. The flapjack might just be a bit crunchier.
Sub out plain chocolate for milk chocolate or dark chocolate. If you don't have dried apricots, you can take them out or switch for raisins, sultanas, chopped nuts, dates, cranberries, glace cherries, or a mixture of them all to make up to 200g.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (180°C non-fan). Grease a 20cm square cake tin with butter, then line the base and sides with baking parchment.
Slowly bring the butter and syrup to the boil in a saucepan, stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats and salt, then the dried apricots, until well combined.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, then press it into an even layer using the back of a wooden spoon. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown.
Set aside to cool slightly in the tin, then run a round-bladed knife around the inside edges of the tin, then cut the flapjack into squares. Set them aside to cool completely in the tin.
Meanwhile, suspend a heatproof glass bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure that the base of the bowl does not touch the water. You can also microwave your chocolate, but only heat in 15 second blasts so as not to burn the chocolate, and be sure to stir after every blast.
Add the chocolate and stir until melted.
Drizzle them with the melted chocolate. Set aside for a further 25-30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.
Lemon and Almond Cookies
This recipe is inspired by our Italian colleagues who build our bicycle frames. It is based on Ricciarelli, which is soft and chewy. The lemon flavour is slight, but you can add more zest if you like a punchy lemon taste. Unlike a Biscotti or Amaretti biscuits that are crunchy the ground almonds create a soft cookie. Perfect with a post-ride espresso.
125g caster sugar
grated zest of 1 large lemon
135g ground almonds
2 egg whites
75g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra to dust
2 tsp lemon juice
You'll need a baking tray
Can't find caster sugar? Use granulated and grind it up in a pestle and mortar or with a rolling pin.
Can't find lemons? Try orange or grapefruit. But not lime — it doesn't work as well.
Hate separating eggs? You can buy egg whites in a carton in the chilled aisle. Whites can be frozen until you need them.
Preheat the oven to 150°C (170°C if non-fan). Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. If you don't have paper, very lightly oil your baking sheet with vegetable or sunflower oil.
Put the caster sugar in a small food processor and pulse a few times with the lemon zest until you have a fine lemon sugar (or grind in a pestle and mortar or with a rolling pin). Then add sugar and ground almonds to a bowl.
In a new, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites using a hand-held electric whisk until they form stiff peaks. Add 25g icing sugar and fold in carefully.
Add to the bowl with the ground almond mixture and gently fold in, along with the lemon juice, until evenly combined. If the mixture feels sticky don't worry too much, but you can add more ground almonds if you feel you need make the mix less sticky.
Put 50g of icing sugar on a dinner plate and drop heaped dessertspoons of the mixture onto the icing sugar, rolling them around in the icing sugar until coated all over. You may find using two spoons is easier.
Arrange on the baking sheets and press down into discs of about 1cm thick. Dust over with a little more icing sugar until coated.
Bake for 15 minutes until the surface cracks and they are golden brown, but they will still be quite soft. Cool for 5 minutes then carefully transfer to wire rack to cool completely and crisp up.
If you don't have baking paper, when you remove the cookie from the oven, use a knife to lift them from the surface.
Low Flour Bakes
This recipe is adapted from the legendary Delia Smith's Four Nut Brownies. We've reduced the flour content and upped the cocoa powder. The result is a chewy and ultra-chocolatey brownie.
50g dark chocolate (75 percent cocoa solids)
2 eggs, beaten
225g granulated sugar
25g cocoa powder
50g plain flour
1 level tsp baking powder
¼ level teaspoon salt
No granulated sugar? Caster sugar will be fine.
Want to add nuts? Use 100g of mixed of chopped nuts; toast them in a dry pan for 1 minute for extra nutty-ness.
Try adding frozen raspberries or white chocolate chips if you want something more indulgent.
Preheat the oven to 170°C (180°C non-fan). Grease and line a baking tin pf roughly 18cm x 25cm. A smaller tin is fine, you'll just have a thicker brownie.
Put the chocolate and butter together in a large mixing bowl fitted over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water.
Allow the chocolate to melt, then beat it until smooth, and remove it from the heat.
You can also melt in the microwave; heat for 15-30 seconds, stir, and check your chocolate. You don't want it to over heat and split.
Stir in all the other ingredients until thoroughly blended.
Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared tin and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, or until it's slightly springy in the centre.
Remove the tin from the oven and leave it to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into roughly 15 squares. Then, using a palette knife, transfer the squares on to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Three Ingredient Scones
These scones are ridiculously easy to make and work every time. You won't look back once you have tried them. The secret is the lemonade, which makes them light and fluffy.
300g self-raising flour
150ml double cream
pinch of salt
Don't have self raising flour? You can use plain flour, just add a half teaspoon of baking powder and a half teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (also known as baking soda).
Preheat oven to 200°C (fan assisted) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Sift the self-raising flour and salt into a bowl.
Make a well in the centre. Pour the cream and lemonade into the dry ingredients and mix together to form a soft dough.
Get your hands into the bowl and knead the dough, bringing together all the bits. This should take a few minutes and the dough will be little bit sticky
On a floured surface, gently pat the dough out to a thickness of about 3-4cm. Cut into approx. 8 pieces and lift each onto the baking tray. You can use a cookie cutter, glass, or a knife.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with butter or cool and serve with your favourite jam and whipped cream.
Three Ingredient Ultra-Chocolatey Cake
Eggs, butter, and chocolate are whisked together for a rich dessert that's impressive yet completely hassle-free to make. There isn't any additional sugar, so if you like dense cakes that aren't sugary and sickly, this one is for you. Add cream, or raspberries or strawberries to the top.
225g dark chocolate
110g unsalted butter
Don't like dark chocolate? Try adding in a Terry's chocolate orange for a twist. Plain chocolate also works too!
Preheat the oven to 140°C (160°C non fan). Grease and line a 15-20cm round cake tin.
Beat 4 large eggs in a large mixing bowl for 10 minutes until doubled in volume. Use an electric hand whisk or mixer.
Put 225g unsalted butter and 450g chopped dark chocolate in a pan and gently melt over a low heat. You must allow the mixture to cool slightly, then carefully fold into the eggs.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and wrap the outside of the tin in foil.
Place your cake in a large roasting tin, then carefully fill the tin one-third with boiling water. Don't get any on your cake. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.