Sweet summer treats

Ready to get your bake on? Volunteers Sue and Anne share their favourite recipes that’re guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face this summer. We’re talking a delicious date and walnut cake and sweet and sticky ginger and rhubarb muffins.

Date and Walnut cake
Date and walnut cake

Sue’s date and walnut cake

One of our longest-standing volunteers, Sue, has shared with us a recipe from her student days: “My friend’s mother would regularly supply us with this cake; it was perfect with a cup of tea after a good gardening session”.


275 g dates, chopped 

175g self-raising flour

110g chopped walnuts

50g melted margarine or butter, melted

225g granulated sugar

2 eggs, beaten

3 tbsp milk


  1. Preheat oven to 180c/Mark 4 and grease and line a 15cm square tin.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, before adding the beaten egg, milk, and melted fat.
  3. Stir well before placing in tin. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes.
ginger and rhubarb muffins
Ginger and rhubarb muffins

Anne’s ginger and rhubarb muffins

Garden volunteer Anne’s muffins are a great way to use up a glut of rhubarb. After all, you can only east so much rhubarb crumble! Our Communications and Events Supervisor, Sara, has tested this recipe for herself and can testify that they really are delicious!


 75g butter

75g light muscovado sugar

2 medium eggs, beaten

2 or 3 sticks of rhubarb, cut into 2cm chunks

2.5cm piece of stem ginger, finely chopped

1 lemon, zest finely grated

4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

175ml natural yoghurt

175g self-raising flour  

1 tbsp ground ginger


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Lightly oil and line nine deep muffin tins. Alternatively, use paper muffin cases.

 2. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl, then beat until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then stir in the rhubarb, stem ginger and lemon zest.

  1. Mix the milk into the yogurt. Mix the flour with the ginger. Stir a little of the milk mixture into the butter mixture, then stir a little of the flour into the mixture.  Repeat until all the ingredients are used up, being careful not to overmix.

4. Divide the mixture between the muffin tins, filling to the top.

5. Bake for 40 mins until golden. Serve warm.