Lots of Little Cupcakes!

My regular posts on this blog have gone AWOL but I assure you that there has still been lots of baking going on when possible 🙂 I have been so obsessed with mini cupcakes lately! Instead of a recipe I’ll just explain them because there are so many….!

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These babies above are plain vanilla with vanilla buttercream that I spread on lazily with a knife and sprinkled with confetti, and below are some chocolate ones with piped chocolate buttercream 🙂 It’s the same batch but I added cocoa to half the mixture.

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The cuties above had some lemon zest and juice added to plain vanilla batter and I piped some buttercream flavoured with zest and juice on top, with a slice of more lemon zest.

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I got a bit extravagant when I photographed these ones and added some MAC… why not?! They are plan vanilla with soaked some Monin rose syrup and then some piped Rose Monin-flavoured buttercream and a dried rose petal.

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These ones are just vanilla cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream and a cute pink jellybean on top. And below are a cute mix of them!

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These ones weren’t as pretty as I expected 😦 But hey, they are all chocolate flavoured! I found those white chocolate disks with sprinkles on top at a pick’n’mix in a store close to where I work and I had to use them somehow….!

Anyway, that’s a small update on my baking adventures lately, I promise I have some recipes coming soon!

Happy Easter and happy baking!

Carrot Muffins with Apricot and Almond

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No cupcake wrappers in the house so no cupcakes today, just muffins instead! Carrot cake is delicious… everyone who doesn’t like it probably just hasn’t tried a good one yet….. 😉

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My dad grew this rose in his glorious garden haha so I had to take a picture!

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(There are a few more of his flowers on my insta)

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Carrot Muffins with Apricot and Almond
Ingredients:
Muffins:
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup grated carrots
Topping:
3 apricots (quite ripe)
Flaked almonds
Icing:
30g butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
A little hot water

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease a 12 hole muffin pan.

Whisk the eggs, oil, sugar and sour cream. Fold in the flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Fold in the carrots until just combined. Divide between the muffin holes (I only got 10 from mine). Bake for 20 minutes until the top springs back when pressed lightly.

Cool for a few mins then remove from the tin and cool completely. While they are cooling (or cooking, you can do this earlier), chop up the apricots and microwave for one minute on high, stir and then repeat. Cool completely then chill.

Soften the butter for the icing then mix in half the icing sugar and beat very well by hand. Add a few drops of water and add the rest of the icing sugar. Beat until thick and fluffy. Spread on top of the muffins then dollop on some apricot compote. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Chill until 5 mins before serving.

Makes 10 and they are just as delicious even three days later if kept chilled!

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Vegan Gingerbread Chocolate Cupcakes

Did you ever eat gingerbread men as a child, the ones with the chocolate coated hands and feet? Maybe that was just a New Zealand thing…. my friends and I would always save the chocolate pieces for last, prizing the sprinkle-coated pieces of chocolate which were already melting in ours hands….!

Anyway, I made cupcakes which remind me of those glory days:

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They look just like gingernut biscuits (which for those of you who don’t have these in your home country, are these). They look even more delicious when topped with a dark chocolate ganache 😀

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I decorated them with an almond sliver (you should avoid this if you have nut allergies to cater for!) and a sprinkle of cinnamon which just happened to be in a shaker at work 🙂

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Vegan Gingerbread Chocolate Cupcakes:
Ingredients:
One batch of these cupcakes made without the nutmeg and cloves, half the cinnamon and twice the ginger!
For the ganache:
200g dark dairy free chocolate
150g coconut cream
To decorate (optional):
Almond slivers
Ground cinnamon

Instructions:
Bake the cupcakes and while they cool, work on the ganache.

Chop the chocolate finely and heat the coconut cream in a bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds on high, then repeat until warm but not boiled. Tip in the chocolate and whisk until combined. Heat for 10 seconds if all the chocolate doesn’t melt. Cool then chill until spreadable.

Ice the cupcakes however you wish (I didn’t have my piping bag at work so I just flat-top iced them) and decorate with the almond sliver and sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon.

Makes 12 and they are still delicious 2 days later. I kept mine chilled so the ganache didn’t melt and then let them come to room temperature before serving.

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Christmas Day Buttermilk Pancakes with Fruit and Cream

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Pancakes are hands-down one of the best foods ever; I’m not even going to confine them to ‘breakfast foods’ because there’s no way you couldn’t eat them for every meal… As with everything sweet served at family meals, we made whipped cream to go with these but yogurt would be perfect too. I sprinkled the tangerines with a tiny bit of sugar and some cinnamon before serving.

Hope you had a lovely Christmas if you celebrate it, or at least a nice time with your friends and family!

There is an iced coffee with Bourbon and vanilla cream on top in the background there, which I asked my little brother to ‘hand model’ for in a photo below… 🙂

Christmas Day Buttermilk Pancakes with Fruit and Cream
Ingredients:
Pancakes:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup white sugar
4 eggs
2&1/4 cups buttermilk
Zest of one orange or lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
To serve:
Whipped cream
Maple Syrup
Toasted coconut flakes
Fresh fruit of your choice

Instructions:
Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredients and mix the batter until combined.

Heat up a skillet pan or a frying pan and drizzle in a little oil. Cook the pancakes until golden (they will turn quite dark but they still taste great don’t worry), and keep warm by placing a tea towel over them while you cook the others.

Serve ASAP and enjoy with whatever toppings you wish!

Serves 8 people

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Make Nutella Cheesecake.

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Excuse the Snapchat screenshot (with entirely appropriate emojis) and the use of imperatives, but if you are able to eat nuts/dairy/gluten etc then please, I beg of you, make this cheesecake. It is bliss.
(if you can’t make it, don’t worry, there are things just as delicious that exist) 🙂

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It fed quite a few hungry students for days, and we even went as far as to make double chocolate cookie dough to put on top….

HERE is the link for the video!

Sorry for not posting much 🙂

Mini Whole Wheat Apricot Crepe Cake (DF)(RSF)

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Have had this recipe for longer than I care to admit….. anyway, it’s a quick and easy dessert that looks a little fancy and doesn’t require an oven either. Plus it’s refined sugar free too!

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I made small crepes and use a tart tin to cut them out and make a pretty scalloped pattern on the sides.

 

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The coconut cream I used to fill them was a little runny but it still tasted good, especially with the apricot filling! Anyway, take care this week everyone and I’ll get onto some more recipes soon 🙂

 

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Mini Whole Wheat Apricot Crepe Cake (DF)(RSF)
Ingredients:
1/3 of this recipe with soy milk and dairy free spread
2 apricots
A few blueberries to decorate
1/2 cup coconut cream

Instructions:
Make the crepes in a small pan, or make them to about 15cm diameter. Cut them out with a tart tin or any other cutter that is big enough.
Mash up the apricots and blast the in the microwave for 30 seconds on high, then mix. Repeat two more times until you have a pulp. Let cool.
Whip the coconut cream until stiff peaks form. Start layering the crepes starting with a crepe, some apricot pulp and a thin layer of cream. Repeat until you get to the top layer. Spread on a thick amount of cream and dollop some blobs of cream around the edges. Place a blueberry on each blob and voila, done!

It’s best eaten as soon as it’s made, and serves 2-4 depending on how hungry you are.

 

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Dia de los Muertos-inspired Halloween Cookies

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I.E the result of craving something to paint and needing to bring treats to a Halloween party. These are simply plain (Marie/Vanilla Wine) biscuits sandwiched with bubblegum icing and topped with painted fondant decorations 🙂 

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You just fill, cut out fondant circles to size and adhere them to the cookies with a dab of water. Then add some little fondant flowers (daisies and ribbon roses) and attach with water. Then add your colours one by one!

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And voila! Super easy 🙂 I added some sprinkles, silver cachous and edible glitter gel too. I hope your halloween went well if you celebrated it! You could easily take this idea and turn it to whatever theme you have, it’s super simple if don’t have time to bake (hence the store-bought cookies) but want to decorate and make something your own 🙂

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Chocolate Honeycomb Birthday Cake

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I do still exist! So does my baking 🙂 and this time I have a funny story. When I was walking to work with this cake in a box to assemble later, I had the honeycomb in a plastic container on top of the box. It was 6am, pitch black, wind in a full blown gale. And what did I do? I walked past the windiest place I know in my city.

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And proceeded to watch as the box of honeycomb blew from my reach and onto the ground 5 metres away. After a split second of hope when the box didn’t open, it blew another metre and burst into a glorious explosion of caramelised sugar shards and that was that. The box and honeycomb blew into the distance and I could only laugh at my stupidity.

Two weeks ago I woke up and my first thought was ‘oh my gosh, I have a baking blog!’

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Yes, I forgot, completely 😦 I’m sure we all do that from time to time. Like we forget the keys or our passwords to how many ever accounts we seem to accumulate!

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Anyway, this cake was made as one of my first proper cake orders in a while for a ‘crunchie bar’ lover. It’s chocolate cake filled with honey buttercream (was meant to be filled with honey comb too but sadly my second batch hadn’t set when I was assembling) and topped with hokey pokey squiggles cookies, and honey comb and chocolate shards.
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I couldn’t find my nice piping tip a ziplock bag had to do. Any way, it turned out to be a very large cake indeed, with added height thanks to the toppings. Here’s roughly how to make it:

Chocolate Honeycomb Birthday Cake
Make 1.5 times this chocolate cake recipe here, making three layers
Make a batch of this honey comb
For the butter cream, whip 150g softened butter, 3 cups icing sugar, 3 Tbsp honey and 1 Tbsp (or more if needed) milk until light and super fluffy.

To assemble, spread butter cream on top of all the layers and stack them, then pipe some leftover buttercream around the top and arrange hokey pokey squiggles, honey comb shards and chocolate shards around the top. Voila! Makes a big cake….

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Pretzel Honey Cake

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“No one has ever made me a birthday cake before!”

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So this cake happened. Birthday cake is one of my favourite things in the world. Birthday cake deprivation is an issue close to my heart (although don’t worry, I am only half-serious in saying that, the world has bigger issues….).

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The guy who said this to me was from Germany, so I thought that maybe a vanilla and honey cake would be nice…. however somehow I put a tad too much baking soda into the ‘pretzel’ layers and it tasted like pretzels! I would attribute this to the ‘soda’ flavour that the caustic soda coating on pretzels gives them….

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The flavours work really nice together and the cake is nice and fluffy 🙂 I made it a square because that was the only baking tin we had in our flat at the time….

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Anyway, here is the recipe 🙂

Pretzel Birthday Cake
Cinnamon Layer:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1&1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/8 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup oil
1&1/2 cups water
Honey Layer:
3 tsp lemon juice
1 egg
3 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup flour
Icing:
100g butter
2 cups icing sugar
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line/grease three 20x20cm square tins (or you can use round tins if you prefer). You can start with either the pretzel or honey layers.

For the pretzel cakes:
Mix together the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Divide between two of the tins and bake for 15 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tin for about 20 mins then tip out into a wire rack to cool completely.

For honey layer:
Mix together the wet ingredients then add the dry and mix until combined. Repeat baking and cooling instructions from above.

When the layers are cool, you can choose to trim the edges like I did or just leave them.

For the frosting soften the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add half the icing sugar and the milk and vanilla essence, then the rest of the icing sugar. Keep beating until you have a gloriously fluffy frosting.

Spread the icing between the layers and stack on top of them.

 

 


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Spring Cupcakes! Some sweet ways to add more flowers into your life :)

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These are just some old photos that it wasn’t worth posting the recipes for, but ended up looking a little pretty 🙂 I made these about 5 years ago actually, some with fresh flowers and some with fondant. These ones above are mini cupcakes with different coloured icing (some have coconut on top to look like grass, like the ones below) with different flowers. There is Mexican Orange Blossom, Cherry blossom (for decoration, not to eat) and lavender and forget-me-not (edible).

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These ones above, I iced them with green coconut and made some fondant daisies and daffodils to decorate 🙂

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Annnnd here are the final ones, ribbon rose cupcakes (mini above and regular size far below). Here is a Wilton tutorial for them that I found helpful. I cut out fondant rounds to put on top of the cakes and made little green leaves too. I had just begun my phase of pastel loving at this time, hence the pastel yellow-green-blue-pink palette. Although this ‘phase’ hasn’t ended…..

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spring cupcakes (3)

 

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Anyway, just a little inspiration. I know that the Northern hemisphere is very much looking forward to fall/autumn right now, so I hope there are some bakers making the most of the season up there too!

Sam