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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Smith

The magic ingredient...

Updated: May 8

This month I wanted to tell you about a new INGREDIENT I have started using in my Carrot and Pecan Cake, Chocolate Cake and Tynedale Apple Cake.

As a business; I want to try and use as many locally sourced ingredients as I can - my eggs are from Wilde Farm in Ponteland, I also use Hemp North Northumbrian grown hulled hemp seeds in my flapjack and now I am delighted to announce that I can add Sea Banks Northumbrian Rapeseed Oil to the mix!

I am always on the look out for interesting local ingredients and I came across Sea Banks Rapeseed Oil in Turnbull’s in Alnwick (an amazing Northumbrian food hall full of local goodies!)

Having bought a bottle of their gorgeous golden oil I was soon on Instagram looking the producers up. I found out the farm was located near Walkworth and run by Karen and David. Their ethos is to produce the oil in a sustainable way and they always try to work in harmony with the environment.

Realising that I now wanted to use this oil in my baking…I wanted to find out if I could buy a large container of it! I contacted Karen and she got back to me straight away saying that I could come down to the farm to see where the oil was produced and pick my oil up at the same time.

I was there at the end of May and the oil seed rape was in its full sunshine yellow bloom…which seemed so appropriate when collecting my golden oil!

Karen was so friendly and helpful, and I couldn’t wait to start using my oil. And when my bottles are empty…I can even go and get them refilled which is brilliant news for me and the environment.

So is rapeseed oil good for cakes?


It has a very mild flavour and so will not change the flavour of your baked goods (unlike olive oil which can do that).

Oil in baking is a fat which makes bakes moist and tender. It produces a moist, dense coarse crumb which is why it is often used in muffins and vegetable based cakes (like carrot or courgette).

I currently use Seabanks Rapeseed oil in my Carrot and Pecan Cake, my Chocolate Cake and Tynedale Apple Cake and I love the results…and have received comments such as “Probably the nicest cake I’ve ever tasted” …so I think I’ll be sticking to my Northumbrian oil based recipes!

Fancy giving it a try in your baking?

Karen has her own family favourite recipes on the Sea Banks Rapeseed Oil website.

What is rapeseed oil?

A bright yellow plant to begin with! You may have noticed at the beginning of each summer, a bright sunshine yellow plant grown in the fields of Northumberland - this is oil seed rape and its seeds can be turned into rapeseed oil.


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