Belinda Jeffery Mix & Bake

belinda jeffery's books

award-winning! Mix & Bake (Penguin/Lantern, 2007)

Baking has always been my ‘thing’ – I love it and it gives me more pleasure than any other type of cooking, and this book, Mix & Bake, is a collection of my all-time favourite baking recipes.

During my years of working in restaurants, I cooked my way around most parts of the menu, however it was always baking that I was most passionate about. When I say baking, I don’t mean those elaborate, multi-storey cakes and gateaux that you see in shop windows – they’re not really my cup of tea – but more the cherished family recipes and heart-and-soul baking that you find in old country cookbooks.

In Mix & Bake you will find recipes for simple cakes, breads, sweet and savoury tarts, and biscuits that you just know are going to taste good, and which often have a history to them – as do many of the recipes in this book. As I bake them, they immediately conjure up images of my family and friends, and tasting them is, for me, like a ‘taste’ of memories. Be it of my mum, Cooee, making her classic orange cake (I can still see her now, bowl in one hand and wooden spoon in the other, beating the butter and sugar until it was fluffy and always making sure there was plenty of mixture left on the spoon for me to lick); or of my ‘Auntie’ Beryl wreathed in a cloud of icing sugar as she baked hundreds of her Mexican Wedding Biscuits for my wedding day; and many more besides.

I also realise that, despite the best will in the world, finding the time to bake a cake may seem a luxury that few of us can afford these days. In response to this, I have tried to simplify and streamline these recipes as much as I can to make them more suited to hectic modern schedules; it becomes possible to, say, bake a slice or muffin that takes only twenty minutes (and, I should add, tastes so much more delicious than anything you can buy). And that’s the other thing about all of this – homemade cakes, biscuits and pies made with fresh, good-quality ingredients just taste incredibly good.

My two greatest wishes in writing this book are: that it encourages you to make some of these recipes (and in doing so to feel the quiet contentment and joy that baking can bring); and, that the recipes themselves, cooked and eaten with great pleasure in my own family for so many years, become your favourites too.


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reviews and what people are saying about Mix & Bake


“Move over, Nigella, I’ve already declared my new baking goddess to be our own Aussie Belinda Jeffery, and in trying yet another recipe from this book, she hasn’t let me down!”

Kitchen Wench Ellie Won


“Occasionally I have friends or acquaintances who ask me for pastry book recommendations. I cook for a living, but I’m also a home baker at heart. Even though I have many far more impressive looking books relating to pastry and baking, a particular one stands out amongst the rest. I turn to it when I want to whip up something comforting and it’s the book I’m confident will yield me a very pleasing result, even if it’s a previously unattempted recipe. It is also the one with batter-stained pages and the odd chocolate smudge – surely the good sign of a well-loved book (or a careless cook). The book? Belinda Jeffery’s Mix & Bake.”

The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf, Lemon pi


"...I knew nothing about Belinda Jeffery when I bought Mix & Bake. Frankly, I pre-ordered it for the cover art. I was delighted to find it contained some great recipes that ranged from comforting to dramatic. Jeffery is an excellent writer with a lively, encouraging voice, and I find it disappointing that she is not better known stateside.”

Baking with Lisa website, 31 January 2011


Mix and Bake - a baking bible in both my and M's kitchens. Talk about baking porn - this book is amazing. It is a mixture of simple country style baking (think scones, soda bread), to sophisticated cakes like a delicious mocha cake decorated with shards of coffee bean brittle.

Maudeandbettyblogspot, 17 March 2011


“Do yourself a favour. If you’re a home cook who loves to bake, you could do so much worse than treat yourself to Belinda Jeffery’s ‘Mix & Bake’. Everything is explained, loads of great tips and the recipes I’ve found to be failsafe…always elegant but striving for simplicity. They’re country, they’re scrumptious and they’re grounded in the real joy that comes from producing something that makes everyone around you hum with pleasure for your efforts.” Fiona McIntosh, 14 July 2012,


“In a world where molecular gastronomy is the latest buzzword, where food is often plated to resemble an abstract artwork and menus require a food dictionary to translate, it's a relief to know that simple baking has made a comeback.

"Cakes make people happy," says Belinda Jeffery, former restaurant owner, TV presenter and Mix and Bake contains beautiful photographs, full of quirky items from Jeffery's homely kitchen. Think lovely old rolling pins and tea cosies, the paraphernalia a mix of family things of Jeffery's own and eBay finds.

The Courier Mail, Natascha Mirosch


“One of my most loved cookbooks is Belinda Jeffery’s Mix & Bake. It is quite well worn and tattered but very much loved and I’m slowly working my way through all the recipes.” 11 March 2012


“This cake is again from Belinda Jeffery’s Mix and Bake. I think I’m going to try nearly all the recipes in this book. So far, this book hasn’t disappointed. All the cakes and muffins are so easy to make. Most of them really are just mix and bake recipes, taking 30 minutes to prepare. But the vital part is that all the cakes taste so good. The flavours are beautiful, without being insanely sweet or rich if you don’t want it to be.”, Thanh Do


“Someone has to write an ode to Belinda Jeffery’s many brownie recipes, they guarantee smiling faces.”

Barbara Sweeney, The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food section, September 2014