Recipe for a Pump Bake – by Helen May


As the Great British Bake Off is back on our screens, I wanted to share my tried and tested recipe. Like many classic recipes, there are many recipes out there each with their own twist and tweak. However, I find most miss out the pre-preparation and proving which I find really helps the bake come together.


  • 1 blood glucose meter
  • 1 finger pricker
  • 2 test strips
  • 1 attached inulin pump
  • low blood glucose treatment
  • 1 spare pump battery
  • 1 Skin Tac Wipe (optional)
  • 1 cannula set (this many be in one or two parts) + 1 spare
  • 1 empty insulin pump cartridge/syringe kit
  • 200ml insulin (some pumps may require more)


5 minutes pre-preparation + 7 minutes preparation + 2 hours proving


Before starting the Pump Bake, using the blood glucose meter, finger pricker and test strip, take a blood glucose reading.

Based on the reading, make necessary adjustments to provide the optimum results: if the reading is too high, make a correction dose, if the reading is too low, take a dose of blood glucose treatment.

Dispose of used test strip.

Check there is plenty of charge left on the pump battery. If the battery indicator has started to fall, this is a good time to replace it.


If using the Skin Tac Wipe, select a clean area of skin around (just above or below depending on your own preference) your waist and apply. Keep the area uncovered.

Unwrap cannula set; empty insulin pump cartridge/syringe kit and construct the syringe.

Dispose of any packaging, recycling paper and plastic where possible.

Fill the insulin pump cartridge/syringe from the new insulin. Do this by inserting the non-depressed syringe needle into the bottle of insulin; turn the bottle upside down, depress the needle and let the syringe extend (this may require a little encouragement); once full, remove the needle from the bottle and return to the the right side down. Knock the cartridge on a hard surface to bring all the air-bubbles to the top. Gently push the syringe to remove all the air. Do not worry if your vial is no longer full.

Disconnect the insulin pump and remove the used insulin cartridge. Keep the rubber top from the pump and dispose of the old cartridge and tube (recycling any items possible).

Select “Rewind” from the pump menu.

Whilst waiting for this to complete, deconstruct the new syringe so you are left with the filled cartridge. Remembering to attach the rubber top from the pump, connect to the cannula set.

Once the pump has rewound, insert the new filled cartridge with attached cannula set, screw in place and select the Load Cartridge option from the pump menu.

Remove the old cannula and attach new one. If you used the Skin Tac Wipe, make sure you insert the cannula over the area you have wiped. The mechanisms for doing this vary according to pump and cannula type so check the instructions and ensure the cannula is correctly inserted. After some practice, you will be able to do this whilst the cartridge is loading.

Ensure the pump is disconnected from the cannula and select “Prime” from the pump menu. Keep pressing the option until you see insulin coming out of the end of the tube.

Reconnect the pump to the cannula and select “Fill Cannula” from the pump menu and dial in the required amount according to the cannula type (typically this is 0.5 for a standard cannula set and 0.7 for a inset 30).

Dispose of all sharps and packaging.


 This is the time when you need to check that the cartridge is correctly inserted, pump is correctly attached and everything feels comfortable. The best way to do this is to do something within these two hours that has a predictable impact to your blood glucose reading. For example, you could eat something that does not require  too much carb counting guesswork.

After 2 hours, repeat your blood glucose reading. If it is higher than expected, it is possible that the pump is not working correctly. Check

  • the pump is not in a Suspend mode
  • the tube is correctly connected to the cartridge
  • the tube is correct connected to the cannula
  • the cannula is correctly inserted.

If there are any problems, it is best to repeat the Preparation above.


The pump should now last for two to three days … depending on how much you eat … then you can re-bake for the next two to three days.


You might also like