Baking In Translation: How to Cook British Without Freaking Out


victoria sponge (1 of 1)



I just wanted to let readers in the Seattle area know that I’ll be teaching a baking class at Book Larder on April 30th entitled Baking in Translation. I’m nervous already, so it would be wonderful to see as many friendly faces as possible in the audience.  And of course, if you’re a Seattle blog reader, do come and laugh at my funny accent, I’d love to meet you.


victoria sponge (4 of 5)


The class has arisen from the occasional blog posts I write lamenting all the difficulties I’ve had over the past five years translating British recipes into American and vice versa.

We will cover weighing ingredients in metric versus measuring with cup measures; differences in terminology and vocabulary, such as flour and cream equivalents; where to source strange ingredients in the Seattle area and what to substitute if you can’t get hold of them, and discussing things like pan sizes and oven temperatures. Please come armed with any questions that have been bugging you and we’ll try to cover them all.

While we’re chatting, I will be showing you how to bake a classic English Victoria sponge (measured out in metric) and, if we have time, English flapjacks, using weird British ingredients like porridge oats, golden syrup and sultanas. There will also be treats available to taste.

I will be putting together a detailed hand-out containing all my hard-won knowledge which will be yours to take home, and by the end of it, the world of British cooking will be your oyster and you’ll be buried knee-deep in the Guardian’s food website and ordering obscure English cookbooks from Amazon UK.


victoria sponge (2 of 5)


Tickets cost a bargainaceous $25 and can be ordered here.  Spaces are limited to 24. Oh and if you haven’t been before, you will adore Book Larder so come armed with lots of money too.

The pictures are from last autumn when I made five Victoria sponges for Seattle’s annual Will Bake for Food event (click through and you’ll see one of my sponges out in the wild).



  1. says

    I’d love to take the course! I love to cook and am planning a switch to a kitchen scale, especially for baking. Volume measures just aren’t accurate enough.
    So no “cooked breakfast” (said with a Cornish accent)?
    You will be brilliant – you MUST report back!

  2. says

    I’ll be there as Antipodean support! I’ll be the one nodding knowingly when you speak in metric. I hope you’ve perfected hot cross buns by then. 🙂

  3. says

    @Lilian. Oh I’m glad there’s going to be a least one familiar face. And you can correct me when I get all my conversions wrong.
    @Sandra and @Jo I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make the handout available as a downloadable PDF from the site, for people who can’t be there in person.

  4. K says

    Those are gorgeous Victoria sponges, wow! *frowny face* at mention of Guardian food pages; curling up with the Observer Food Monthly is one of the things I miss most about living in London. (Yes it’s possible to read it online but it is not the same.)

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