Friday, 15 March 2013

Getting my bake-on for Comic Relief..

My sister's is having a bake sale, at work,  for comic relief so yesterday, I made red nose day cupcakes.

I started off by baking twenty-four cupcakes.  For the recipe, please see my post: "fondant ducky, you're the one"

These cupcakes have lots of little steps to them that can be rather time consuming.  But once you get the hang of it, and work in a "conveyor belt" type of way you will soon speed up.  Never-the-less it took in excess of three hours to bake and decorate twenty four of these bad boys! If you are new to the cupcake decorating game, maybe start with twelve, unless you have a lot of time!  The ingredients needed for the decorating are: fudge, giant white chocolate buttons, red peanut M&Ms (or any large round red sweets), soft eating liquorice.  

 Start off by spreading a little butter cream frosting into a dome shape on your cupcake.  This gives a rounded face shape, making your cupcake more 3D. Then, knead the fudge until soft and pliable and roll out.  You need to cut out a circle, using a circular cutter, that is one size bigger than your cupcake cases.  Then place your fudge circle onto the cupcake and mould into place. 

For the eyes, take two giant white chocolate buttons. Using melted white chocolate as glue, stick on a chocolate chip for a pupil.  Repeat until you have enough for all your cupcakes, two per cupcake. Once all your eyes are complete, pop them into the fridge to set.  This should only take five minutes! The trickiest bit of the whole process is positioning the eyes.  To do this, mark out where you want to put the eyes, and then make a slight incision into the fudge.  Then stick the eyes into the incision, using melted chocolate as glue. The eyes will slant upwards,
creating a 3D effect. 

Then, using melted chocolate, stick on your peanut M&M in the centre of the cupcake to form your red nose! Remember to have the M&M logo on the side facing the fudge!

To make the liquorice mouth, take a piece of soft eating liquorice and roll out into a flat shape.  Then fashion a smile using either a knife or a round cutter. Using a little water, or melted chocolate, stick on your liquorice smile!

This is done by taking a small amount of fudge and rolling into a sausage shape. Then curl the roll so that the two ends meet. The fudge ears should stick onto the fudge with little need for glue, however, if you feel that they need a bit more stability, then by all means, use a little more melted white chocolate!

And there you have it! Cupcakes fit for any red-nose-day bake sale! These fudgey-faces can be modified for numerous events.  You can substitute the liquorice smile for a moustache for Movember, or you can take off the big red nose and substitute for a plain fudge nose for a more subdued face for any occasion!

This week, I joined the world of twitter! So for more information, or updates as to when new posts are published, follow me on twitter:

The original idea for this cupcake was by "My Cupcake Addiction".  This is a youtube channel which give you step by step tutorials on cupcake decorating.  Check her out, I've learnt a lot!!

Sunday, 10 March 2013


 Today I spent the morning making cookie monster cupcakes.

Firstly, I made red blue velvet cupcakes.
20 ounces self raising flour
14 ounces sugar
2 cocoa powder
3 eggs
7 ounces butter
8ounces water
2 tbspn olive oil
2 tspn vanilla extract
Blue food paste dye

This recipe yields twenty-four cupcakes in total - good for large number orders but you can always just half the recipe if you don't want that many!!  And, simple as anything, pop everything into the bowl and mix until incorporated.  This batter is thick, and spoons easily into cupcake cases.  Just remember to only fill them three quarters full!! Then pop them into a preheated oven at 180 degrees for twelve to fifteen minutes. 

Once they are cooked pop them on a cooling rack and begin your buttercream frosting.
Blue paste food dye
140g softened butter
280g icing sugar
2 tspn vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
Begin by whipping your butter until it is light in colour and texture! Then add your icing sugar a little at a time to avoid a icing sugar snow storm!! Once half the sugar has been incorporated, add the vanilla extract, followed by the milk and food dye.  Then add the rest of the sugar little by little until combined.  Continue whisking for a further five minutes on high speed.  Your buttercream frosting will then be ready to go!

To decorate:
Pipe a mound of buttercream onto the cupcake and smooth into a dome shape using an offset spatula.  I have seen the frosting covered in blue coconut shavings or blue sprinkles but I used my offset spatula to "rough up" the frosting adding a fur effect.  The choice is yours!

For the eyes, take two giant white chocolate buttons.  Using melted white chocolate as glue, stick on a chocolate chip for a pupil. These were then placed into the frosting with the chocolate chips facing different directions. This makes cookie monster look crrraaazy for cooookies!! 

For the mouth, I used a mini cookie and wedged it into the frosting and into the cake in an upward slant.  When doing this, take care to support the cake to ensure the top half of the cup cake does not tear off!!  It was at this point that Michael came into the kitchen to hear me squeaking and jumping around in excitement (simple things)!!

I was so so pleased with how these turned out, they look pretty impressive (even if I do say so myself) but are relatively simple to put together!

I have been thinking for a while now that I would like to start selling my baked goods.  If you have seen anything you like on my blog, or have a specific requirement, and would like to place an order, please leave me a comment, or email me: and I will get straight back to you!!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Boyfriend Bakes with Bananas...

So, this week, my lovely boyfriend decided to join me in the kitchen to bake! We made one of his favourites, banana bread! I have tried out lots of different recipes for banana bread but this time I tried Sophie Dahl's recipe and it tasted amaaazing!

So, here it is:
75g butter
4 bananas
200g soft brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbspn vanilla extract
1 tspn baking poweder
1 pinch of salt
170g plain flour

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
The main principle of baking banana bread is to ensure your bananas are very ripe.  When I make my banana bread I prefer to keep the bananas quite chunky so I chop them with a knife rather than mashing them with a fork.  So begin by doing this.  In a large bowl, add your; bananas, sugar, butter and egg and mix.  Then add your vanilla extract, plus your baking powder and salt.  Last of all, fold in the flour until just incorporated.  Pour into a buttered and lined loaf tin and pop in the oven for approximately an hour.  And it really is as easy as that! Good for a first time baker, like my boyfriend!

You can really get creative with what you put on top.  Most people go for chocolate spread, cream cheese frosting.  Sophie suggests a lick of butter! However, I like mine plain and simple - all by itself!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Fondant ducky, you're the one...

These are my "never-fail" cupcakes.  The recipe is quick, simple and, like I said, never fails!  It's a simple, bung everything in the bowl, and whisk recipe, yielding 12 deliciously moist, deliciously fluffy, deliciously vanilla-ry cupcakes!

Ingredients for the buns:
  • 125 gram(s) butter (soft)
  • 125 gram(s) caster sugar
  • 2 medium egg(s)
  • 125 gram(s) Plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon(s) bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoon(s) milk
  • - See more at:
     125g butter
    125g sugar
    2 medium eggs
    125g plain flour
    1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
    2 tspn baking powder
    3 tbspn milk
    3 tspn vanilla extract

    So, as I said, put all the ingredients in one bowl and whisk until incorporated.  Then, add the milk. You want the batter to be of a dropping consistency.  Then spoon into a muffin tin lined with cake cases and pop in the oven at 200 degrees for around 15-20 minutes.

    Whilst the cupcakes are cooling you can make your frosting. 
    Ingredients for buttercream:
    Paste food colouring of your choice
    140g softened butter
    280g icing sugar
    2 tspn vanilla extract
    2 tbsp milk

    Begin by whisking the butter, you want to do this for about 5 minutes, until the butter is lighter in colour and fluffy in texture.  Once the butter is whisked, add the icing sugar in two parts.  After the first half, add the vanilla and milk and continue whisking until the vanilla and milk is incorporated.  Then, add the second half of your icing sugar. Continue whisking for another five minutes.  Add your food colouring. You can then pipe, swirl, or spread your buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes in whatever way you choose.

    I then topped my cupcakes with a fondant duck, rendering the cupcake fit for a baby shower or a baby's first birthday! They were surprisingly easy to model.  I got so into making them, I forgot to take pictures, faux pas!! To make the body of the duck, take a piece of fondant and roll into a ball the size of a marble.  Roll the ball into a cone shape and lift the pointy end upwards.  Cut out two fondant-shaped hearts and stick onto body of the cone using water.  These are your wings.  Paint on two eyes, with food colouring, using a skewer.  Make a teeny tiny cone from fondant and stick onto the head of the duck for a beak.  Put the whole thing into the freezer for ten minutes and then stick on top of your cupcake.

    In the past, I preferred to steer clear of fondant, thinking it was too technical, however, I have become rather fond of using it to model shapes and animals to make toppers for cakes and cupcakes! Don't be afraid, you'll be surprised what you can achieve with a little bit of fondant...  

  • 125 gram(s) butter (soft)
  • 125 gram(s) caster sugar
  • 2 medium egg(s)
  • 125 gram(s) Plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon(s) bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoon(s) milk
  • - See more at:
  • 125 gram(s) butter (soft)
  • 125 gram(s) caster sugar
  • 2 medium egg(s)
  • 125 gram(s) Plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon(s) bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoon(s) milk
  • - See more at:

    Thursday, 21 February 2013

    Cake POPs!

    Today, I ventured into the world of cake POPs! These were such fun to do and pretty easy! If you haven't made them before they are definitely worth a go!

    You start off with a simple vanilla cake,  I tinted mine hot pink, and bake it.  Then once it is cooked and cooled you crumble the cake into a bowl and add some frosting.  Not too much, just enough to bring the crumbs together to form a dough-like consistency. Then roll into little bite-size balls and refrigerate for 30minutes!  Once the cake balls have been refrigerated, melt some candy melts, or chocolate. Dip a lollipop stick into the candy melts and then plunge into the cake ball,  about half way. Repeat on all your cake pops.

    The cake pop should still be cold so the candy melt sealing the stick to the cake ball will set quickly, giving you a sturdy cake pop! It can then be plunged into the melted candy! Cover the ball but do not twist into the melted chocolate as it will cause the cake ball to fall off the stick! (Trust me, it happened to me twice)! Then dip into a bowl of sprinkles of your choice! Pop the stick into some styrofoam to set!

    These cake POPs were so much fun, and so delicious! I hope you have fun making them!

    Monday, 11 February 2013

    Valentines sugar cookies...

    You may say I'm a cliche. You may say, "Pooh! What a cheeseball!!" However, surely, if you can't be cliche, or cheesy, on valentine's day that when else can you? Therefore, I have thrown myself, whole heartedly into designing some of the cutest cookies I have ever made! So forgive me, but I loved it!!!  I bought a set of measuring cups this week and so you will notice I have used cup measures in the recipe list, rather than grams.  It seemed to work, however, I found that I feel more comfortable, and trusting, of grams rather than cup measures!

    For the sugar cookie dough you will need:
    230g of butter.
    1 egg.
    1 cup of icing sugar.
     2 1/2 cups of plain flour.
    1/2 tespoon of salt.
     1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

    The method itself is incredibly easy.  You start off by creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Then add your egg and vanilla essence and beat until incorporated. Slowly, mix in your flour until a soft dough forms.  It will be quite sticky, this is normal!! Then wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for two hours! I'm told, you cannot skip the refrigeration step.  I'm not entirely certain of why you need to refrigerate for so long, however, I do as I'm told!!

     Afterwards, knead the dough and roll out to desired thickness.  I then used a heart cutter and shaped different designs.  These then went in the oven at 180C for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. 

    The royal icing for decoration was pretty simple to whip up.
    675g Icing sugar.
    3 egg whites.
    3 teaspoons lemon juice.
    1 1/2 teaspoon of glucose syrup.

    You start by whisking the egg whites until they are frothy. Fold in icing sugar spoon by spoon.  Add in the glucose and lemon juice and then whip the mixture to thick peaks. I then added food dye in three batches. 

    The decoration is then up to your imagination!!

    I have recently found a new love, a love that sees me glued to my mac screen and visiting youtube more than ever.  And that love is baking blogs.  I couldn't write a blog post about the cutest cookies I've ever made, without pointing you in the direction of a blog that makes the most cutest cookies I have ever seen:                          

    Lakelands spree..

    Good evening fellow baking, blog-reading enthusiasts! I am writing this during the early hours of the morning.  Due to shift work, my body clock is completely up the duff and so I thought, what better time to fill you in on my baking adventures?! I can not be held accountable for mispelt words, and oddly structured sentences!
    This week, I went on a Lakelands spree.  I decided, if I'm going to give this baking blog a real go, I should have a certain amount of kit to bake with! So, during my Lakelands spree, I bought my first offset spatula. Well, my first two offset spatulas!! One large, one small! It was an exciting moment I must say! And from now on in, may all my cakes forever be covered in super smooth, silky frosting (No excuses)!

    I also bought some disposable piping bags. I have a reusable piping bag but I find it rater stiff to work with, plus disposable means less washing up, which I detest!

    I lastly bought some lollipop sticks, 10cm in length! I have made cake balls several times ( including some ridiculously cute Christmas pud ones during the festive season) however, I have never tried cake pops! In my head it will be easier as I should get a smoother coating on chocolate, but that remains to be seen!

    So, of course,  with this new kit, I had to bake something! I ended up baking a plain vanilla sponge! The same recipe I used in previous blogs and so I won't bore you with repeating myself! However, what I would like to tell you about is my new found white chocolate frosting! I'm sure this ha been done before but to me it feels like my own invention! I stumbled across it rather coincidently! I had started to make a white chocolate ganache when I realised I would have liked a stiffer frosting that holds a better shape when set. So there I was, with white chocolate ganache, wanting frosting. So I whipped up some vanilla buttercream, poured in the ganache and hey presto, I had a luxurious, silly smooth white chocolate frosting! Well I tell you, it is incredibly sweet, and terribly bad for you,  but one slice can't do too much damage right? How about a second? Or third?...