As the excitement builds for the new series of The Great British Bake Off we ask ourselves, do we ditch any attempt to lose weight and just immerse ourselves in the rolling feast of temptation that the programme always promises to deliver?

Well, at VavistaLife our view is that you CAN have your cake and eat it! We’re NOT about the misery of daily restraint and denying yourself any culinary pleasures. We know from research and science-based facts that long term, sustainable weight loss is about enjoying treats, enjoying food, but understanding what you’re eating in order to make sensible choices through small changes.

What sort of choices? Well, avoiding processed foods and getting back to home cooking is a great start: just what The Great British Bake Off does best!

So cake? Why not! Get inspired by The Bake Off and get baking.

To get you started, our Dietitian, Sophie Claasens, has come up with this delicious, healthier, cake recipe – enjoy!

Struggling to get rid of that butternut that’s been in the cupboard for weeks? Or finding it difficult to get the kids/yourself to eat enough veg? Try this little trick (and treat!) on a Sunday afternoon.


Portions of fruit: 0; Veg: 0 ; Added sugar: 2 tsp per portion
Servings: 20 slices
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

NB: Relying on a fruit and veg boost from a cake isn’t recommended every day because of the high sugar content, but at least this treat has some goodness along with the naughties in there too…everything in moderation!

We recommend cutting into 20 pieces after baking and only keeping enough slices for today out. Freeze the rest and remove the day before to defrost – hopefully helping to resist the temptation every time you look in the fridge!


  • 200g butter, melted
  • 140g dried apricots
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 200g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1tbsp candied ginger
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • eggs, beaten
  • 300g butternut squash, grated

For allergens, see ingredients in bold.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 and line a baking tray 30x30cm.
  2. Mix the dried apricots, candied ginger, zest and juice of oranges and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  4. Mix the melted butter, orange mixture and eggs together. Then pour this into the dry ingredients and mix, along with the grated butternut.
  5. Pour mixture into the baking tray and bake for about 40 minutes, when a knife comes out clean when pierced.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  7. Make 20 slices, keep enough aside for today’s dessert and freeze the rest.
  8. Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt.