Fairtrade Fortnight (22 Feb – 7 March 2010)

A couple of weeks ago I got the following email from a friend I have known for years… years and years.

And I thought you all might like to see what she said, because we are, of course, not only massively interested in delicious cooking but we are all supportive of Fairtrade.

So, read on and see if you can do something. After all, baking is not just for tea-time….

To encourage fairer baking, Tate & Lyle  and cupcake queen and author Lily Vanilli, have developed a trio of delicious and unusual recipes using Fairtrade ingredients, which I am delighted to share with you.  You’ll probably be aware that the Fairtrade mark is the only independent consumer label that ensures farmers in developing countries receive an agreed and stable price for the crops they grow that covers the cost of sustainable production… so it deserves support

Two years ago, Tate & Lyle announced plans to move its retail cane sugars range to Fairtrade with no resulting price increase to consumers.  In the first year alone, this switch created a return of  £2 million in Fairtrade premiums for cane farmers.
I hope that you will feel able to support Fairtrade Fortnight  through your blog and encourage “Fair” baking during the run up to Fairtrade Fortnight. Maybe you would also try one of Lily’s recipes with a view to sharing the results with your readers?  What could leave a better taste in one’s mouth than a delicious cake made from fairly traded ingredients?!
Lily Vanilli’s Fairtrade Bacon and Banana Cakes
4 rashers unsmoked organic back bacon
150g ripe Fairtrade bananas (approx 2 small)
60g Fairtrade honey
100g unsalted organic butter (at room temperature)
40g Tate & Lyle Fairtrade caster sugar
140g organic plain flour (sifted)
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 large, free-range organic eggs (at room temperature)
Handful Fairtrade Brazil nuts (toasted & chopped)
1/2 tsp grated Fairtrade nutmeg
1/2 tsp Fairtrade ground cinnamon
12 paper cupcake cases


1. Lay rashers of bacon on a foil lined sheet and place in a cold oven with the temperature set to 200c for approx 20 mins or until crispy. Allow to cool

 2. Turn heat down to 180c

 3. Mash bananas with honey in a small bowl and set aside

 4. Sift together all the dry ingredients into a large bowl – flour, sugar, baking powder, salt

 5. Cut butter into small chunks and add to the dry ingredients, blend with an electric mixer on medium speed until evenly incorporated

 6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition

 7. Mix in the banana/honey mixture, spices and Brazil nuts to taste

 8. Spoon into cupcakes cases, filling almost to the top 

 9. Bake in preheated oven for 15 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean

 10. Remove and leave to cool in the pans for approx 3 mins – then transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.


55g unsalted organic butter (at room temperature)
325g Tate & Lyle Fairtrade icing sugar
1/2 cup (4fl oz) organic double cream
2 tbsp Fairtrade honey

 1. Beat the butter until smooth, then add half of the sugar, the double cream and the honey

 2. Continue beating, slowly adding the rest of the sugar to achieve a smooth, even texture

 3. Ice each cooled cupcake with a thick swirl of frosting and top with strips of cooled bacon and chopped Brazil nuts.

Fairtrade Devil’s Food Ale Cakes
115g unsalted organic butter (at room temperature)
45g Divine Fairtrade cocoa
155g Fairtrade ale (Honey Ale)
170g organic plain flour (sifted)
Pinch of salt
2/3 tsp baking soda
225g Tate & Lyle Fairtrade caster sugar
1 large free-range, organic egg (at room temperature)
3 fl oz (3/8 cup) organic buttermilk
12 paper cupcake cases


Preheat the oven to 180c

 1. Bring ale to the boil in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa.  Leave to cool until it reaches room temperature

 2. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside

 3. Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixture until very light and fluffy (about 5 mins)

 4. Add the egg and beat until just incorporated

 5. Beat in the cooled ale/cocoa mixture

 6. Add the sifted dry mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk in two parts – beginning and ending with the dry and beating after each addition

 7. Spoon the batter into a baking tray lined with cupcake cases (2/3 of the way full)

 8. Bake in preheated oven for 15 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean

 9. Cool briefly in the pans and then transfer to a wire rack until cooled completely.


1. Boil ale in a saucepan, remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa. Allow to cool completely – transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge if necessary

 2. Beat the butter until smooth

 3. Add the vanilla, ale/cocoa mixture and half the icing sugar and continue to beat. Gradually add all of the sugar – beating continuously until you reach a consistency you like

 4. Spread onto cooled cupcakes and top with shavings of Fairtrade chocolate and Brazil nuts. Or do as I did and just add more chocolate!

Fairtrade Burnt Butter, White Chocolate and Brazil Nut Cookies
280g organic plain flour (sifted)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
170g Unsalted organic butter (at room temperature)
220g Tate & Lyle Fairtrade light brown sugar
100g Tate & Lyle Fairtrade granulated sugar
1 large free-range organic egg (at room temperature)
1 free-range, organic egg yolk (at room temperature)
1/2 tsp Fairtrade vanilla essence
Handful Fairtrade white chocolate chunks
Handful Fairtrade Brazil nuts (chopped)
Zest of one Fairtrade lemon


Preheat oven to 150c

 1. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt

 2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and heat, stirring continuously until brown bits begin to form at the bottom of the pan (approx 5 mins)

 3. Beat the melted butter together with the light brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth 

 4. Add the egg & egg yolk and beat to incorporate into sugar/butter mixture

5. Set the mixer to a low speed and gradually add the sifted dry ingredients

 6. Add lemon zest, chocolate and Brazil nuts to taste

 7. Roll dough into 2 inch diameter balls and lay on a lined baking sheet, approx 2 inches apart, bake in preheated oven 15 mins or until brown around the edges and soft in the centre.

So what do you think? Fancy a try at any of these? It’s not just for our own enjoyment – well, it is, but think of the greater good – this is your chance to help Fairtrade!

Thanks, Emma!

(Oh, and have something nice for tea!)

9 thoughts on “Fairtrade Fortnight (22 Feb – 7 March 2010)”

  1. Didn’t realise it was fairtrade fortnight already – it comes around so fast! I bought a load of fairtrade chocolate today, so have plentiful supplies to make these Ale cakes, which sound rather splendid!

  2. The ale cake was fabulous…. a hint of bitter beeriness in the sweetness of the cakes.
    Everyone – Judy is a fantastic baker – if you click on her name it takes you to her site. Fantastic recipes for cookies, muffins, cheesecakes and all sorts of lovely cakey things!
    Do the same for the Daily Chef – another Stateside blogger with all sorts of fabulous recipes!

  3. Giles, I am with you with the bonkers bit.. I can see the sort of salty vibe would work… BUT (and this is a big but) I truly dislike bananas! 🙂

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