‘Break Up’ Brownies (One bowl, 3 minutes)


No, not my break up, but my best friend’s… and as far as that goes, her pain is my pain. Excuse the knife, I found it suited well hahah πŸ™‚ The photos aren’t the best but neither is getting dumped sooo….

These brownies are so easy. Just mix in a bowl and bake. Done. No melting butter or beating egg whites etc…. the only hard work is very satisfyingly hacking up chocolate into chunks πŸ™‚


‘Break Up’ Brownies
1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup milk
2/3 cup water
150g chocolate, hacked into pieces

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a large loaf tin (mine was silicon).

Mix all the ingredients together until combined and pour into the tin. Bake for 30 minutes until set on top. Cool slightly and devour immediately.

Makes about 8 nice slices and is just as amazing the next day.


Honey Lemon Petit-Fours


It was winter. Edible flowers had been located. Lemon and honey drinks had been consumed in the double digits to cure the sore throats and coughs. Why not combine all of these into bite-size cake form? Those of you in the northern hemisphere seem to be looking forward to fall/autumn so hopefully this recipe will inspire some lemon and honey recipes πŸ™‚


I made a plate of goodies for some friends and features some caramel slice (find the best recipes here and here) and some little pieces of this pumpkin and blueberry tart πŸ™‚


Honey Lemon Petit-Fours
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 cup yogurt
Zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 cup flour
Icing and filling:
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp butter
2 Tbsp both raspberry jam and marmalade
To decorate:
Edible flower petals

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 20cm square cake tin.

Mix the Β cake ingredients together (if your honey is creamed, you will want to soften or melt it a bit first). Pour into the tin and bake for about 15 minutes, until a cake skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin.

Cut the cake in half. Annnnd now cut it into half again so you have quarters. Spread some jam on one quarter and place another on top. Repeat with the other quarters and the marmalade. Cut each quarter into four petit-fours (there are a lot of ‘fours’ going on here). Now to ice! In one little bowl, heat half the icing sugar, half the butter and about a tsp of the jam until a glaze forms. Spread on top of the jam filled cakes and arrange some petals on top. Repeat with the marmalade on the marmalade filled petit-fours. Leave until the glaze is set.

Makes 8 petit-fours, and the cake can be made the day before as it lasts very well πŸ™‚



Enjoy your week!

Sami xx

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream with Salted (Date) Caramel Sauce and Cinnamon Roasted Almonds


Just trying to to get some slightly healthier desserts into the repertoire, which surely can’t do any harm after all πŸ™‚ Especially if it means that you can eat it for breakfast.

IMG_3372 IMG_3373 Β Β IMG_3383

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream with Salted (Date) Caramel Sauce and Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
Ice cream:
1/2 cup vegan milk (I used rice milk)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp cornflour
1 can coconut cream (about 400mls)
Date Sauce:
1/2 cup dates
Hot water
Vegan milk
Roasted Almonds
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Hot water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup whole raw almonds

Mix together all the ingredients for the ice cream, making sure you stir the coconut cream well so there are no lumps. Churn in your ice cream machine.

Soak the dates by covering them in hot water. When soft, blend them until a sauce forms (maybe adding more water if needed) and add some salt to taste.

Next preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with a bit of baking paper. Mix the brown sugar, hot water, cinnamon and almonds together, then pour onto the tray. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden and toasted.

To serve, layer the ice cream, sauce and almonds and enjoy!


Lots of Vegan Cupcakes! (Baklava, Pumpkin Pie and Strawberry, Lemon and Coconut)


I have been experimenting πŸ™‚ Thank you internet and vegan margarine for these glorious cupcakes and addictive frosting….


Sometimes things aren’t the same without dairy or eggs…. but it’s the thought that counts and you can still have buttercream without the butter. Some purists would disagree (and hey, all things in moderation I guess!) but life is too short to go without the things to you want, especially when they fit your lifestyle choices. Hence, let them eat cupcakes! In three flavours, depending on the mood.


Or the season perhaps! These pumpkin pie cupcakes above scream ‘winter’ and the coconut ones below remind me of a summer mocktail or smoothie.


Plus cupcakes are pretty πŸ™‚ Shout out to Anna Olsen for the cupcake recipe and to all the customers at the work who picked up one for an afternoon or morning weekend treat πŸ˜€


For the Baklava Cupcakes
Make these cupcakes with HALF the recipe, adding 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp cardamom to the dry mixture
(makes 12)
1/3 cup berry jam
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
75g vegan butter substitute
1&1/2 cups (roughly) icing sugar
2 tsp vegan milk
1 tsp rosewater
Dye or berry juice to tint if desired
To decorate:
Walnut pieces
Flaked almonds
Toasted pistachios, chopped

Mix together the jam and cardamom. Once the cupcakes are cooled, cut out the insides and fill with jam. Cut off a but of the piece you cut out of the cupcake and place back on top, like a delicious cake lid.

Beat the icing ingredients together until nice and light and fluffy, adding the icing sugar gradually. Depending on the butter substitute you use, you may need to use a bit more or less milk to get a nice airy pipable frosting. Also adjust the rose water to your taste too πŸ™‚

Spoon the frosting into a piping bag and pipe away! As you can see from the photos from the top view, I tried two ways to pipe with a star nozzle; from the outside to the inside (top cupcake) and the opposite, centre to edges (bottom). Do whatever you like πŸ™‚ Decorate with the chopped nuts.

Makes 12, which are just as delicious the next day!

For the Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
Make these cupcakes here (I didn’t make them gluten free), up the cinnamon to 1 tsp and add some 1/2 tsp ground ginger too, and leave out the chocolate chips
For the caramelised walnuts:
Handful of walnuts
2 tsp maple syrup
Dusting of cinnamon
For the frosting:
75g vegan butter substitute
1&1/2 cups (roughly) icing sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp maple syrup
To decorate:
The walnuts from above,
Plus chopped dried apricots
Also some pumpkin seeds (which I didn’t have)

Heat the oven to 180 degrees. On a lined tray, mix the walnuts, maple syrup and cinnamon together until the nuts are coated and toast for about 15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool.

For the frosting, beat all the ingredients together until light and fluffy (may need a little less or more sugar depending on your margarine/butter substitute). Ice the cupcakes, and decorate with the chopped walnuts and apricots.

Makes 12 and they last very well πŸ™‚

For the Strawberry, Lemon and Coconut Cupcakes
Make these cupcakes (half the recipe) replacing half of the milk with coconut cream and adding 1 tsp lemon zest to the batter (makes 12)
1/3 cup coconut cream
1/4 tsp lemon zest
2 strawberries, finely chopped
75g vegan butter substitute
1&1/2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup chopped strawberries
2 tsp lemon juice
Pink dye or some beetroot juice to colour if desired
To decorate:
Coconut threads
Lemon zest and/or slices

Start with preparing the strawberries for the frosting: heat them in the microwave for 20 second bursts on high until the juices come out of them and they are soft. Chill until cool.

Whip the coconut cream until light and fluffy and then mix in the lemon zest and berry pieces. ‘Core’ the cupcakes and trim the core. Fill with the cream filling and place the ‘lid’ back on top.

Beat the butter substitute, icing sugar (adding a bit at a time), lemon juice and as much of the strawberry juice that you chilled as you can get from them (eat the pulp leftover with yogurt!). Beat until light and fluffy, adding more or less icing sugar as needed. Ice the cupcakes, then decorate with the coconut threads and lemon zest.

Makes 12 and they are delicious the next day πŸ™‚


Pumpkin and Blueberry Tart


Yet another tart from my kitchen combining the autumnal goodness of cinnamon, oats and pumpkin πŸ˜€ (the other one is here)


The addition of blueberries made a nice fruity match, and I’m sure cranberries or boysenberries would do just the same πŸ™‚ The texture of the filling is quite thick and almost fudgy; I haven’t had an authentic pumpkin pie yet so I’m still learning. I made my own ground oats for the tart crust using the food processor; I don’t think you could just substitute oat flour as it wasn’t quite fine enough. It doesn’t take too long anyway, and then you just add all the rest of the crust ingredients into the processor after! It’s amazing served with yogurt, but cream or ice cream would do the trick too.


Pumpkin and Blueberry Tart
3 cups oats (2 cups oat flour in the end)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch cardamom
100g butter, cold
1 cup blueberries
1/2 tin condensed milk
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
2 eggs
2 cups plain pumpkin puree

In a food processor, whizz up the oats until quite fine, like ground almonds. Measure out two cups of it and pulse with the brown sugar and spices to combine. Chop the butter into little cubes and pulse with the oats until the butter is dispersed and the mixture begins to clump. Press the mixture into a 30x10cm tart tin, and freeze for about 20 minutes.

Heat the blueberries until they are thick and syrupy, then chill until cool completely.Β Preheat the oven in the meanwhile, to 170 degrees Celsius. Whisk together the filling ingredients apart from the blueberries. Spread most of the blueberry mixture into the bottom of the tart crust. Spread the pumpkin filling on top and then drizzle some blueberry compote on top and swirl. Bake for 25 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cool in the tin. Serve with some blueberry compote and yogurt.


Chocolate and Boysenberry Melting Moments


Just a quick recipe before one of the best days of the week begins! (Well, Friday begins anyway). These are a little alternative in terms of melting moment-flavours, which lemon and passionfruit usually reign supreme over, but hey, it’s nice to change it up πŸ™‚ If you don’t have custard powder, use 1/4 cup cornflour instead, should work a treat. Enjoy πŸ™‚


Chocolate and Boysenberry Melting Moments
200g butter
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 cup flour
1/3 cupΒ custard powder
1/4 cup cocoa
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp boysenberry jam, plus extra to fill
2/3 cup icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Soften the butter and beat with the icing sugar until light and fluffy. Sift together the flour, custard powder and cocoa. Mix into the butter until just combined. Divide the dough up into 20 pieces and roll into balls. Place on the baking tray and flatten with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes until the cookies move when gently nudged. Cool on the tray.

Soften the butter and beat with the jam and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Pipe a ring of frosting onto the bottom of half of the cookies and spoon a bit of jam in the middle. Place another cookie on top and wait for the icing to set. Lasts a few days and makes 10 pretty size-able cookies πŸ™‚

Coconut, Lime and Crabapple Cake {DF and GF}



Birthday season has begun my friends! Happy early or belated birthday (whichever is closer) to any of you wonderful people reading this. If you have some photos of your birthday cake, please comment πŸ˜€
This means layer cakes and more layer cakes. Previous efforts include carrot cake, caramel cake, chocolate cake (white and milk), orange and cinnamon… the list goes on πŸ™‚



These photos were snapped at work before the cake was cut and devoured πŸ™‚



If you haven’t used coconut flour before, then try it out! You can probably make it at home too. It’s nut free, gluten free…. and it absorbs liquid like no flour I know. It tastes great too πŸ™‚


Coconut and lime go amazing together, and nana gave me some home made jam from home grown crab apples. Amazing! Rose jelly, quince or pretty much any red-fruit jam would go well too.



Coconut, Lime and Crabapple Cake {DF and GF}
Make two circle cakes using this recipe. Make it using vegetable oil so it’s dairy free!
Add 2 tsp lime zest to the mix.
150g dairy free spread/butter replacer
400g icing sugar
1 tsp lime zest
1/2 cup crabapple jam
Coconut flakes
Lime Zest

Whip the butter-replacer until light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar a bit at a time, and the lime zest. Add a little dairy free milk if too thick. Whip until light and fluffy. Spread a layer on top of the bottom layer and fill with jam. Β Place on the top layer and spread on another layer of frosting. Whip a few teaspoons of jam into the rest of the frosting and pipe the pink frosting in rosettes. Decorate with lime zest and coconut.

Makes 1 cake which feeds about 12 people (well at least). You can make it the day before, as the cake keeps the moisture very well!





Ginger Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting and Blueberries {Vegan}



I managed to lose the photos for these, you know how things just disappear into your laptop and phone and god knows what else? Anyway….. I managed to find these ones which I had sent to someone!

These are like a fancier PB+J flavour combination, with some ginger to warm up the smooth-ness of the peanut butter. They are vegan too! Enjoy πŸ™‚



Ginger CupcakesΒ with Peanut Butter Frosting and Blueberries
1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup canola or light oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
Dash vanilla essence
1 cup+ cold water
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
To top:
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a muffin tin (you will only be making 9 muffins).

Whisk the flour, baking soda, sugar and ginger together, then make a well in the centre and add in the golden syrup, canola oil, vinegar and vanilla. Pour the water on top and making a big mess, whisk until smooth. It should be quite runny, like a pancake batter almost, so add more water if needed. Divide evenly between the muffin tin holes and bake for 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tins.

For the frosting, mix all the ingredients until smooth. You may want to do the blueberry topping first, heat for about 2 minutes (30 seconds at a time) in the microwave on high then leave to cool/chill.

To finish, spread on the frosting and add the blueberries on top! It is just as delicious as a dessert with hot blueberries too πŸ™‚

Makes 9! It’s best to frost them right before serving because after a few hours, the frosting loses its shape πŸ™‚

Rose Syrup and Lemon Layer Cake


It would appear that the angular shape of this cake matches the photos! I have none from an angled perspective, so I will leave you to imagine it, or even make the cake πŸ™‚ Even though there are a few elements, it’s actually all pretty simple and there are no fancy ingredients except for the rose syrup (bought accidentally for margaritas). You can even leave out the syrup or maybe use rose water.


It’s actually quite light and fluffy, I tried to embrace my inner Japanese-patissier. Then I ruined that a little with the traditional buttercream, but hey, life is a work in progress.



Lemon and Rose Syrup Layer Cake
Sponge Cake:
2 eggs
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
30g butter
1 cup icing sugar
Pinch of lemon zest, some lemon juice
Rose Cream Filling:
1/8 c cream
1 tbsp rose syrup
To decorate:
More syrup
Lemon Slices

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a 20x20cm tin with baking paper.

Beat the eggs and sugar together until very light and pale. Sift the flour and baking powder on top and fold in very gently. When just combined, pour into the tin and bake for about 12 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool in the tin.

When cool, make the frosting. Beat the softened butter, icing sugar, lemon zest and about 2 tsp lemon juice until light and fluffy, adding a dash of milk if the icing is too thick.

Now whisk the cream and rose syrup until stiff, but not over beaten. We don’t want any butter now….

Unmold the cake and cut into three even layer, long rectangles. On top of two of the layers, spread on a thin layer of lemon frosting. On the last one, spread on the rose cream. Stack them, so that the rose layer in the middle. Pipe the remaining lemon frosting onto the top of the cake in whatever way you like, I did rows of dots. Arrange lemon slices on top and some dots of rose syrup if you like.

Makes 1x20cm long cake, which you can bake the day before and assemble on the day.



{Vegan} Papaya Mini-Cakes


What to do with those tinned fruits that you just can’t seem to use? In New Zealand, tinned papaya isn’t something you come by often… a bit like tinned water chestnuts and button mushrooms. They stray from canned peaches territory!


It was full summer when I made these cuties. Sadly, it is not longer summer but I managed to finally write out the recipe properly! They bring back memories of sunshine that hasn’t been seen in a while πŸ™‚


They are really nice as an afternoon treat, or they would go amazingly with just a plain vanilla ice cream. Superb in fact. Plus they look cute πŸ™‚


Anyway, I hope all your baking adventures are going well! We are heading into birthday cake season, and mine started with a dairy and gluten free coconut, lime and crabapple cake for a good friend of mine. Recipe to come! Enjoy your week everyone πŸ™‚


{Vegan} Papaya Cakes
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
210g tinned papaya
1 Tbsp white vinegar
3 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp dairy free spread
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To decorate:
Chopped fruit
Edible flower petals

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 20×20 cm diameter square cake tin.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and coconut. Drain the papaya, save a chunk for decorate and puree the rest. Add to the dry ingredients along with the vinegar, oil and 1/2 cup water. Whisk until smooth. If the mixture is a little thick (it shouldn’t be very thick like a butter cake batter, it should be thicker than pancakes though) then add some of the extra water. Pour into the tin and bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tin.

Unmold the cake and cut into circles. I used about 6cm diameter rounds to make mine! Beat together the icing ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread a thin layer of icing on the tops of the cakes. Place the rest in a piping bag and pipe a cut wee ring of dots around the top of the cakes as a crowning glory. Stack them on top of each other and decorate with the fruit and petals. I sprinkled mine with some more coconut too.

Makes about 7 little cakes, and lasts well for two days after making.