You have turned these breakfast staples into a dish for any time of day, with an inventive cornflake tart, an oaty quiche, and crispy ice‑cream sandwiches to finishThis week’s recipe swap came with a whole lot of sugar, and a healthy dose of nostalgia. From cornflakes and Coco Pops to Frosties and Honey Loops, I’m now enjoying the boxes of leftover cereal almost as much the recipes themselves – minus the fighting with my older brother for the best box in the variety pack this time.
I started off with an intriguing cereal tea from MarmadukeScarlet; I’ll admit I had my doubts at first, not being a lover of the milk at the bottom of the bowl, but it turned out to be sweet, malty and comforting. It was the perfect drink to sip while I waited for MarisaMo’s Coco-Pop ice-cream sandwiches to come out of the freezer. The Coco Pop cookies from the recipe were just as delicious without the salted caramel filling, too. The beggar’s cake from LeftoverLiz was the ultimate storecupboard pudding, and especially good served warm with an indecent amount of double cream. On the savoury side, leek and gruyere tart from Kaylncon was a true revelation; the slight sweetness of the honey oat cereal and short, crumbly texture made the pastry almost shortbread-like.
Every recipe this week put a smile on my face, but none as much as MizPepperPot’s cornflake tart. With a nod to childhood baking, I’d happily eat these for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Make sure you don’t forget the custard.
The winning recipe: Cornflake tart
This was one of my favourite school dinner desserts, served warm with lashings of custard. I’ve tweaked the recipe by adding ground almonds and lemon zest.
MizPepperPot, via GuardianWitness
Makes 4 x 12cm tarts
For the pastry
225g plain flour
100g butter, chilled and chopped
15g caster sugar
Cold water, to bind
For the filling
100g jam or fruit compote
115g golden syrup
25g ground almonds
Zest from 1 lemon
Custard or thick double cream, to serve
1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. To make the pastry, blitz the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor to a fine crumb, or rub the butter into the flour with your hands. Gradually add the egg and a little water until the mix comes together and forms a dough. Cover and chill the pastry for 30 minutes.
2 When the pastry has chilled, roll out the dough, grease and line the tart cases. Press the dough into the tins, line with baking paper and fill with dried beans or baking beads. Bake for 20 minutes.
3 To make the filling, add the butter, golden syrup, ground almonds and lemon zest to a saucepan. Gently heat the ingredients through for 2 mins, until everything has melted and come together, then stir in the cornflakes.
4 Remove the paper and beans from the tart cases and spoon the jam or compote into the base of the pastry. Cover this with the cornflake mix and return to the oven for 5 minutes, then serve with custard or thick cream.
Coco Pops ice-cream sandwiches
For the cookies
100g cocoa powder
20g Coco Pops or other chocolate cereal
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
230g unsalted butter, room temperature
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp sea salt
100g toffee or fudge pieces
50g Coco Pops or other chocolate cereal
1 tub salted caramel ice-cream
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. In a food processor, grind the cereal into a fine powder. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, ground cereal, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then in a separate large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy – about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, then beat to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until combined, then chill the dough for 1-2 hours.
2 Divide the dough and roll into 40-50 ping-pong sized balls. Place on paper-lined baking trays about 5cm apart, then press down lightly with a glass and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until cookies are set: about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely.
3 When ready to prepare the sandwiches, combine the toffee bits and cereal in a small bowl. Spread a scoop of ice-cream on the underside of one side of the cookies. Top with another cookie and roll the edges in toffee-cereal mixture. Continue with the remaining cookies, placing each completed ice-cream sandwich in the freezer immediately. Freeze the ice-cream sandwiches for at least 2 hours, until firm.
Cereal milk tea
Time to indulge your inner child with cereal milk tea, to recreate the best bit of a bowl of cereal – the sweet dregs of milk infused with sweet cereal flavours left over at the bottom of the bowl.
This definitely works best with very sweet cereals such as Frosties or Coco Pops. If you can get the variety pack of miniature boxes of cereal, all the better because you have, well, variety.
30g sweet cereal
250-300ml whole milk
Unused J-cloth or piece of clean muslin or cheesecloth
Cardboard (for labels)
Hot chocolate powder (optional)
1 Grind the cereal up in a blender. Add a little sugar if required.
2 Cut the J-cloth into large squares, then place about 2-3 tbsp of ground cereal mixture in the centre of each. Bring the 4 corners together and secure with a rubber band.
3 Make a label with cardboard (using a piece from your cereal box is a good idea) and secure with a piece of kitchen twine.
4 Heat the milk and dunk the cereal tea bag in the milk. Allow to steep for 2-3 minutes. Add a sprinkling of hot chocolate powder to the mixture for extra chocolatey flavour, if you like.
Leek and gruyere cereal quiche
The decadent egg filling is made with sauteed leeks and gruyere cheese. This recipe is great for showcasing how two of the USA’s most popular breakfast items can come together to create a delicious breakfast option. This recipe is easy and versatile, great for serving to families on Saturday morning or at an elegant brunch. Simply delicious!
Kaylncon, via GuardianWitness
For the pastry
50g honey oat cereal
2 tbsp dried bacon bits (optional)
100g solid vegetable fat or butter
3-4 tbsp ice-cold water
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
For the filling
230ml single or double cream
100g gruyere cheese, grated
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large leek, sliced
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 To make the pastry, grind the cereal and bacon, if using, into a fine powder, then mix with the flour and rub the fat in, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the water and toss gently just until the dough forms a ball, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. On floured board, roll the dough into a rough 27cm-diameter circle, then use this to line a 20cm tart tin, preferably with fluted edges. Poke the crust all over with a fork, then bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the bottom and sides with egg yolk, then set aside.
3 To make the filling, combine the eggs, cream, cheese, salt, nutmeg and pepper, then set aside. Add olive oil to a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and potatoes and cook for 10 minutes until the potatoes have softened a little, then spoon into the pastry case. Pour in the filling and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 160C/325F/gas mark 3 and bake another 30-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Serve warm.
Bettelmann or mendiant (depending on which side of the border you are on) is a dense, spicy fruit cake from Alsace. The name means “beggar”. Nothing too impoverished about it though, as it is very like a bread pudding in flavour and texture.
LeftoverLiz, via GuardianWitness
2 tbsp dried sultanas or cherries
1 tbsp rum or kirsch
125g breakfast cereal, crushed
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp each mixed spice and cinnamon
2 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 Soak the dried fruit in the rum or kirsch, then preheat the oven to 170C/340F/gas mark 3½, then grease a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin.
2 Blitz the cereal to a powder and use a spoonful to line the cake tin on the bottom and sides.
3 Warm the milk and sugar and stir in the blitzed cereal. Work the mixture with a wooden spoon until it reaches a porridge like consistency, then add the eggs and spice. Mix well and pour into the prepared tin.
4 Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, then serve warm with cream or custard.
Ever thought of using your favourite cereals to make tea? Neither had we. Photograph: Jill Mead for the Guardian