8-8-8-4 Vanilla buns

When I was little I used to cook quite a lot with my Mum and also my Great Aunt Mary who lived next door to us.  Here’s a picture of Me with my Aunt Mary one Christmas.  We made and decorated that Christmas cake on the table.  You can’t see it very clearly though I’m afraid.Aunt Mary and I at Christmas

Last week, Anna posted the question ‘What is the easiest thing you bake?‘  The easiest recipe I always used to make with my Mum when I was younger had to be vanilla buns or chocolate cake.  Throughout the week we had hot cooked dinners each evening, but when it got to Sunday we would have a roast dinner for lunch and then afternoon tea – filled with sandwiches, cake and sausage rolls in the evening.  It was such a nice change from the rest of the week.  A chocolate cake or butterfly buns would always feature for the dessert.  The recipe?  8-8-8-4!

* 8oz caster sugar
* 8oz butter
* 8oz self-raising flour
* 4 eggs
* Dash of vanilla essence

Even I can remember that!

I decided to make some this morning after I had cleared away and paid the hundreds of bills we now have coming in for our wedding.  :(  When money stresses you out, I find cake is a great reliever!

I’m usually even too lazy to find my whisks so just mix everything up with a spoon…

1. Mix the sugar and butter together until nice and creamy…

sugar and butter

2. Add a little flour and one egg at a time until they’re all stirred into the mixture as well…

cake mixture3. Spoon a little mixture into each case…

bun cases

4. Then sit back and relax with your feet up whilst they cook in the oven at 160C for 15 minutes.  (Or pay your bills.  :(  )

If you want to add icing (Always!) then – still keeping it simple – ingredients are as follows…* 8oz icing sugar
* 4oz butter

For chocolate buns rather than vanilla ones, just swap 1oz of self-raising flour for 1oz cocoa powder.  If you want chocolate icing, swap 1oz icing sugar for the cocoa powder.  I tend to either make chocolate buns with vanilla icing or vanilla buns with chocolate icing…it’s all about the variety!

I still have quite a lot of bun cases and decorations back from when I held the MacMillan cancer care cake stall at the end of October so I made them look pretty…!

butterfly cupcake chocolate cupcake

animal cupcakes

Running wise, I set out on a great 4 miler last night.  My legs were a little achy still from 18 miles the day before followed by dancing in the evening so I kept it slow and really enjoyed the time out there on my feet.  Just before I went to bed I felt a slight tenderness underneath my left foot, almost like it was bruised and unfortunately I can still feel it (allbeit more faintly) today.  My trainers are OK, I haven’t really upped the mileage this week, my long run was completed offroad…the only thing I can think of perhaps making it sore is on the Sunday morning I used my left foot as leverage to break up some wood pieces for our wood burner.  There’s a strong possibility this caused it, despite not feeling any pain at the time.  Ice and rest today – hopefully back running again tomorrow!

Less than six weeks until London Marathon now.  Does anyone know what pacers there will be?  I’ve heard lots of good things just lately about the camaraderie of running with a pace group.  I was hoping to stick to the 4:45 pacer at MK maratho last year, but after starting alongside the 5 hour pacer, and running at sub 11mm for the first few miles even he was pulling away from me and I got rather disillusioned.  I hope there is a Sub 5 pacer at London who is running at the correct pacing that I can stick to as I think it would be good to have people there helping me not to rush off, and to chat to when things are getting tough!  I can always pull away if I’m feeling good towards the end, but the last three marathons I’ve run have seen me drop off drastically in the second half of the race and I want to finish London feeling strong!

Have you run with a pacer and would you recommend it?

8 thoughts on “8-8-8-4 Vanilla buns

  1. The London Marathon is the only race where I’ve ever even seen the right pacer for me! At the Great North Run there are pacers for my ideal time, but they always start on the other side of the gates from me and it’s hard to cross over once you’re in a certain pen due to the sheer volume of people. One thing I will say about London is that it’s tough as anything to actually get remotely near your pacer – I was following the 3:30 guy, but I had to be content with being stuck about 25 metres or more back from him. It was impossible to actually run with the guy due to all of the pushing and shoving, so if you really want to stay close to the pacer then make it a priority to find him/her VERY early on. Sadly I don’t know that the London Marathon is the best race for being in a chatty group because it’s so manic, and there’s so much crowd noise that you can barely hear yourself think!

    Jess recently posted…On PlagiarismMy Profile

    1. Thanks. I didn’t even think about how many other people would be running alongside each pacer. I think there’s more than one pacer for each time but even so, it’s bound to be rather crowded in the general area surrounding each one. Even though this will be my fourth marathon I feel like I still have so much to learn! I’m undecided yet whether or not to take music, or plan on talking to those around me or just run in silence and take it all in. I guess I won’t know until I get there quite how loud it’s going to be. I am a little worried about the pushing and shoving, especially if we’re in pens a long while before the start. :S

  2. For the Brighton half there were pacer runners- I tried to keep up with the 2.15 group but after about 10 miles I lost them and got a bit fed up as I was finding it tough. I managed to finish in 2.12 I think, and they were ahead of me so not really on time.
    At the Stockholm marathon I tried to keep up with the 5 hour group but lost them too, and then got overtaken by the 5.15, 5.30 and 5.45 group, but finished in 5.21 so they all went off pace too. They can’t be a certainty but I do like it when they are there, however I would have my own mile splits written down too to keep me on track.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…National Porridge Recipe CompetitionMy Profile

    1. It seems to be a common thing that they are not quite on target. If the 5:45 group overtook you they must have been overjoyed at their PBs!
      Stockholm must have had a big pacing team if they went right through to 5:45. I think it’s definitely a good idea in principle.

    1. Thank-you! It seems like bills for the remainder of all of the costs have come in at the start of this month. We were hit with the deposits just before Christmas. If I could space it out over the year it might seem a little nicer…only a little though. So much money! (Can’t wait though!)

  3. Oh these buns look amazing! I actually do need to bake something again for work so these will be perfect.
    I don’t know about London pacers :-S I don’t know about Paris either. In fact I have no idea what I’m doing about pacing… well I have a few ideas mainly starting slow then gradually increasing but it’s all a bit hazy at the moment. I’m planning to run 18 miles this weekend and I’m hoping that will help make things a bit clearer in my mind. I’m not sure if I’d want to stick with a pacer though… I like to be in complete control of my race and psychologically if I followed a pacer I would find myself losing control if that makes sense?
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…Reading Half MarathonMy Profile

    1. I understand what you mean about staying in control. I think I would like someone else to control me for this one though! My long runs haven’t gone so well just lately and I’ve struggled mentally to stay on board. I think if I could just follow someone through to the end it might help me on the day…I hope! Starting slow and picking up in the second half is recommended by lots and it’s what I’ll aim to do if I can’t latch onto a pacer. Just hope I stay strong through to the finish!

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