We might all want to have our cake and eat it, but baking’s not always easy on a student budget, with limited space and limited cooking kit. These recipes all give you more ingredients for your buck, and will help you make the most of the kitchen in your student digs. Want to know more about baking on a budget? Read Ruby Tandoh’s top tips.


Flex your cooking skills with our ultimate student collection, including cheap and cheerful sharing dinners and wholesome meals for one. Also, make sure you are kitted out with all the right equipment by reading our review of the best student kitchen essentials.

Sending somebody off to uni? Create an easily customisable My BBC Good Food cookbook filled with your pick of essential uni recipes for the perfect parting gift. It's sure to be a lifesaver for first-time cooks or budding chefs.

Cookie in skillet with ice cream and pretzels

Raid the corner shop for toppings for this tear-and-share pimped-up cookie. Don’t worry if you don’t have a baking sheet in your student halls – you can use an oven-proof frying pan. All the other ingredients are cheap and easy to get hold of, so the only question is: What will you put on yours?

Bake your own giant cookie with all the trimmings.

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2. Melt-in-the-middle mug cake

Chocolate mug cake with chocolates and spoon

Every student needs to memorise this microwave cake recipe which requires only a mug, five minutes of your time and precisely no weighing of ingredients. Just whisk everything together in your favourite mug, drop a choccie into the middle, microwave and – ping! – you’re ready to get stuck in to chocolate heaven.

Get more microwave mug cake hacks here.

3. Classic white loaf

Sliced white loaf

Your beginners’ bread-making class starts here, with a simple sandwich loaf made from very basic ingredients in just 20 minutes plus baking. You can make big batches of this and freeze loaves so that you know exactly what’s going into your daily bread. And once you’ve mastered the basics, you can start experimenting with different shapes, sizes and add-ins.

Try making your own classic white loaf.

4. Frying pan pizza

Vegetable pizza with slice cut

Got a frying pan? Then it’s time for a fakeaway. The easy dough for this pizza is made with flour and olive oil, and doesn’t need kneading or proving – just mix it together, roll it out, pop it in a frying pan and cook under a grill with your favourite toppings.

Make a filling frying pan pizza.

5. Easy chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes on cooling rack

Stretch your cake budget further with these chocolatey treats which can be frozen (if you can resist eating the whole batch) and then quickly reheated in the microwave. The recipe divides the chocolate between the cake batter and the icing to make your money go further and cut down on ingredients.

Bake up a batch of simple chocolate cupcakes.

6. Jumbo sausage roll

Sausage roll in slices on board

Portable and perfect for sharing, this sausage roll is super straightforward to bake with maximum moreishness. The recipe comes with the ingredients for making your own baked beans, too, if you fancy trying that as a side dish. Replace pork sausages with vegetarian alternatives if you prefer.

Make a jumbo sausage roll to feed a crowd.

7. Freezer biscuits

Biscuits on plate

Roll this dough up in a log wrapped in greaseproof paper, pop it in the freezer, and you can slice off rounds to bake as and when you and your mates fancy a biccie. You can vary the flavours between nuts, coconut or dried fruit, and you’ll easily find all the ingredients at the corner shop or supermarket.

Try baking homemade freezer biscuits.

8. Easy pancakes

Pancakes with sugar and lemon on plate

Too good to save for just Shrove Tuesday, pancakes are filling, frugal and fun to share. Step beyond lemon and sugar and make them sweet or savoury. Once you’ve whisked up the batter and flipped your first pancake you’ll realise how easy it is.

Whip up some super easy pancakes this weekend.

9. Feelgood flapjacks

Flapjack stack

These portable feelgood flapjack bars use banana and apple to bind together the oat mix so you can cut down on sugar and butter – better for you, better for your wallet. They keep well in a tin for a few days and pack in plenty of the good stuff in the shape of dried fruit, seeds and oats. Pack one in your bag for after your lecture.

10. Garlic bread

Garlic bread in slices with knife

Some things just taste way better when you DIY rather than order in or buy in a packet, and garlic bread is high on that list. It’s super simple to make – not to mention cheaper – and once you’ve baked this beginners’ recipe, you can try garlic bread nachos, cheesy garlic bread baked from scratch, or garlic bread pizzas.

Enjoyed these student recipe suggestions? Try our other easy cooking ideas...

Top 10 vegan student recipes
Our favourite healthy student meals
How to kit out a student kitchen


What's your favourite student baking recipe? Leave a comment below...

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