There's nothing like sitting down to a good old natter with your dearest friends, especially if it includes tea - or coffee - and cake.

But if you've been finding it harder and harder to actually get around to pulling on your apron and dragging out the biscuit tins, you've now got a great excuse.

Macmillan Cancer Support - a charity that provides practical, medical, emotional and financial support to those affected by the disease - is holding the World's Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday, September 26.

The annual event, which is now in its 18th year, invites people to get baking and boiling the kettle to raise funds for Macmillan's various activities.

If you'd like to get involved but don't know where to start, Macmillan has produced an inspirational collection of baking recipes.

The Little Book Of Treats (available from Somerfield stores nationwide for £3) includes recipes from a host of celebrities, including TV property queen Kirstie Allsopp, singer Sharleen Spiteri and radio DJ Neil Fox.


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes (optional)
Suitable for freezing
Serves 8-10

For the base:

250g (9oz) digestive biscuits or ginger crunch biscuits
80g (3oz) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

4 free range egg yolks
Zest of 2 limes and the juice of 6
397g can condensed milk

You will need an 18cm (7inch) loose-bottomed flan or pie dish base lined and lightly greased.

Pop the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush finely with a rolling pin or the side of a pie dish.

Mix well with the melted butter. Press the crumbs firmly into the base of the prepared dish and chill in the fridge for two-three hours to set.

In a bowl, beat the egg yolks until pale and thick. Beat in the condensed milk and then the lime zest and juice.

The mixture will suddenly thicken due to the acidity of the lime juice. Pour the mixture onto the biscuit base and return to the fridge for two to three hours or until set.

If you are concerned about eating raw egg yolks (elderly, pregnant or young children in particular) cook in a preheated oven 180C/Fan 160C/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.

Leave to cool then chill before serving.


  • Kirsty uses ginger crunch biscuits to compliment the lime flavour. Small slices are perfect with coffee or tea - and as a dessert, decorate the pie with swirls of cream and a fresh lime slice.


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50-60 minutes
Suitable for freezing

4 eggs
150g (5oz) caster sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
Zest of 2 lemons
225g (8oz) plain flour
1 level tsp baking powder
50g (1 3/4 oz) ground almonds
125ml (4 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
125ml (4 fl oz) white wine
Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas Mark 4. You will need a 19cm (7inch) loose-bottomed cake tin, greased and lined.

Whisk the eggs with the sugar until thick, pale and creamy. Fold in the orange and lemon zest.

Sift and fold in the flour and baking powder, a little at a time, then fold in the rest of the ingredients.

Do not worry if the mixture looks like it is separating, just keep folding in.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Pop it back into the over for a further 10 minutes, if needed.

Once cooked, cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar before serving.


  • The white wine in this recipe compliments the citrus fruits but if preferred you can use the juice of the oranges and lemons topped to 125ml with water.


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes 18

300g (10 1/2 oz) wholemeal flour
50g (1 3/4 oz) porridge oats
6 level tsp baking powder
250g (9oz) dark muscovado sugar
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg or allspice
6 eggs, lightly beaten
150ml (1/4 pt) sunflower oil or light olive oil
150ml (1/4 pt) natural yoghurt
75g (2 3/4 oz) walnut pieces
100g (3 1/2 oz) dried blueberries
100g (3 1/2 oz) dried 'no soak' apricots, chopped
50g (1 3/4 oz) pumpkin seeds, plus extra for decorating Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas Mark 4. Line some muffin tins with 18 paper muffin cases.

Mix all the ingredients for the muffins together in a large bowl. Spoon into the cases to 3/4 level. Sprinkle over some pumpkin seeds.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until risen and browned. Serve warm or leave to cool and serve cold. They're best on the day they are made.


  • Never over-mix muffins - the mixture rarely looks smooth for best results. Substitute the apricots for dates or prunes.
  • For a Macmillan coffee morning, why not make these mighty muffins in miniature muffin cases - cooking for 10 minutes or until risen and coloured.

:: You can save time by weighing out all the ingredients separately but mixing together the dry ingredients the night before. Cover with cling film and keep in a cool place, then mix in the remaining weighed out ingredients when ready to bake.