Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to all of the frequently asked questions I receive. Select the arrow for the answer to drop down.

About Lou

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I started Crumbs and Corkscrews as an excuse to keep on baking after I decided to return back to my professional career as an Instructional Designer. At first I focused just on cakes and cupcakes, but I had so many requests for all sorts of desserts and sweets that my sweet tooth just couldn’t so no. And here we are!

My brother and I grew up with our Granny living with us and the cake tins were never empty. From fruit scones to mince pies, jam tarts to Victoria sponges; she was always baking. And as you can expect my brother and I were they waiting for the spoon. Granny taught me to bake from scratch and I haven’t stopped!

My passion for food and especially the love of baking from my Granny was why I started the blog. But over the years, it’s you, my fabulous readers and community that continue to inspire me. All your messages and comments that share how baking brings everyone together means so much. Thank you!

While cake design and baking used to be my full-time job, I missed my professional career. I decided to return to the 9-to-5 ten years ago where I’m an Instructional Designer and Consultant within the Leadership and Culture sector working with clients all across the globe. My role is still very creative which I absolutely love and I share my recipes and bakes with my colleagues too.

Although in a previous career time, I ran my own cake design business and bakery, unfortunately now I no longer create bespoke cakes or sell any of the cakes, bakes or desserts I make. The recipes I develop and post on Crumbs and Corkscrews are for you to make and enjoy.

I don’t teach any baking or cake decorating classes but I do run my Kitchen Live series, twice a year, that streams via Facebook and YouTube. During each series, I live stream creating deliciously easy recipes, taking you through the recipe step-by-step with loads of hints, tips and lots of chat with our community. If you’re interested, you can check out previous Kitchen Lives and sign up for notifications when the new series begins.

About recipes

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I was taught to bake by weighing out my ingredients, and as I’m based in the UK, we tend to prefer weight, like grams, rather than in volume or mass using cups, like an American style. I always recommend that for the best results, you should always weigh your ingredients using a digital kitchen scale. Baking is a science so the more accurate you can get your ingredients the better! I do include a cup conversion option in the recipe card to convert the ingredients if you prefer. This is automatic and I can’t guarantee the accuracy.

I use a Bosch Series 8, fan-assisted electric oven. The fan helps circulate the hot air arrange the oven to give a more even bake. My oven temperature measures in centigrade (C), and I will give the temperature in Fahrenheit (F) in the recipe as well.

My cakes and bakes are tried and tested in the cake tin size that I state in the recipe. For best results, I recommend using the same tin size that I use, as they will be correct for the ingredients listed. Make sure to check out the FAQs in the recipe post, for alternative tin size suggestions. In most cases, my cake recipes can also be made into cupcakes. If you have any questions, I recommend dropping a comment on the recipe post or send me an email at hello@crumbscorkscrews.com.

I can’t recommend using springform cake pans for cheesecake enough – it really is my Number 1 top tip! Using a normal loose bottom cake pan for cheesecakes will just end up in a sticky, creamy mess. What a waste of cheesecake! Instead using a springform cake pan you can easily release without the mess. I use an 8-inch round, 3-inch tall springform pan, and add a layer of baking parchment beneath my biscuit base so I can easily slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate.

Depending on what I’m making, I’ll use either a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Usually I’ll use a hand mixer if I want to whisk something quickly or doing want to make too much washing up; like for no bake cheesecakes or no churn ice creams. When I need to whisk something for longer and prefer to be hands-free to keep going with the recipe, I’ll use a stand mixer; like for whipping buttercream or making dough.

Every recipe will vary based on the ingredients used. However in most cases, my cake recipes can be easily made into cupcakes. If you have any questions, I recommend dropping a comment on the recipe post or send me an email at hello@crumbscorkscrews.com.

This will depend on the individual recipe. Most of my recipes can be frozen for up to 3 months and you will find more information in the FAQs in the recipe post about how to freeze the cake, bake or dessert, including how long and how to prevent freezer burn.

About ingredients

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All the recipes on the site have been tried and tested so many times that I really do recommend that you make the recipe exactly as it is written. I will include any substitution recommendations within the recipe post. If you do decide to substitute an ingredient, please remember that your final result may not be the same flavour or texture. If you have a question about a specific ingredients in a recipe, I recommend you leave a comment on the recipe or send me an email at hello@crumbscorkscrews.com.

While you can usually interchange salted and unsalted butter in most recipes, there are some recipes where there is a genuine reason for recommending one or another. I will always state which butter I have used in my recipe ingredients and I recommend you use the butter I have, as the recipes are all tried and tested. You can find out more in my Salted vs Unsalted Butter Baking Tips article.

A lot of my recipes ask you to add soured cream into the batter; this helps keep it nice and moist, especially in chocolate cakes. I’ll always recommend a substitution if you don’t have soured cream. My preferred substitute is to use the same quantity of Greek yogurt, but you can also use creme fraiche or natural yogurt instead.

In my recipes, it is possible to substitute buttermilk for the same quantities of either regular whole milk or natural yogurt. You can also make your own buttermilk substitute by souring milk with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice per 100ml. If you have a question about a specific ingredients in a recipe, I recommend you leave a comment on the recipe or send me an email at hello@crumbscorkscrews.com.

Golden syrup is a common UK ingredient often used in baking and desserts. Thick, golden and sweet, it is very similar to honey. You can substitute Golden Syrup with either the same quantities of honey or light corn syrup.

For recipes where raw flour is used, such as edible cookie dough, I will always recommend heat treating flour before using it as it may contain contaminants. There have also been outbreaks of e-coli that can be traced back to raw flour, and therefore it is highly recommended to cook the flour first to ensure it is safe to eat. Don’t skip this step if it is included in the recipe.

About Crumbs & Corkscrews

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No you can not republish my recipes along with my photography unless we have we have negotiated compensation for my copyrighted work. If you make and photograph one of my recipes, feel free to publish it on your website rewritten in your own words with credit given to the original recipe post on crumbscorkscrews.com.

Do not republish my recipe along with my photography unless we have negotiated compensation for the use of my copyrighted work. If you wish to use my photos please email me at hello@crumbscorkscrews.com for pricing and licensing details.

I do not accept guest posts or authors. Lou is the only author on this website.

I mention my favourite baking tools and ingredients in my posts, and include a shopping list for each recipe. Check out the Work with me page for ways that we can work together