Sunday, 27 April 2014


I'm the first to admit that these aren't the prettiest thing to bake, but they are pretty damn tasty. I get a craving for them every now and again and can whip them up in about 30 minutes. It's very easy to trick yourself into thinking they're a healthy snack (if you forget about the butter, sugar and golden syrup) and the whole tray is usually gone in a couple of days.

This recipe was given to me by my friend Susan, and it can be jazzed up whatever way you want. I kept them plain this time, but depending on the occasion or what's in the house, you can also add M&Ms, chocolate chips, raisins, desiccated coconut (or anything else that you have lying around) and top with chocolate.

225g unsalted butter, melted
115g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
115g plain flour
300g jumbo oats
Pinch bicarbonate of soda

Line a baking tin with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 180ºC. Mix butter, sugar and golden syrup. Add in the flour, oats and bicarb and mix well. Stir in any extra fillings. Press into the baking tin and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Carrot Cupcakes

Happy Easter. I'm off to mum's for Sunday dinner so, of course, I said I'd bring something for dessert. 


I'm still not convinced that vegetables belong in a cake, but seeing as it's Easter I thought I'd give it another go! I used the same recipe as last time, with a few little changes. 

These cupcakes are so light and fluffy, and I love the cinnamon flavour in the cream cheese icing. I'm officially converted. I've even managed to eat two for breakfast.

This batch made 24 big cupcakes but I was seriously short on icing. I managed to spread it on about 18 of them before I ran out. I've adjusted the recipe below so you should have enough to cover them all.

(adapted from Donal Skehan)
275g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
275g caster sugar
4 large eggs
250ml vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
400g carrots, peeled and grated

Preheat your oven to 180ºC and line your cupcake tins. In a large bowl, sift in the flour, bicarb and cinnamon (or just give it a good whisk). In another bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar, until light and fluffy. Slowly pour in the oil, until completely incorporated and then add in the vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients, until just mixed through. Finally, fold through the grated carrots. Divide the batter between the cupcake liners and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. 

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
400g cream cheese, softened
100g unsalted butter, softened
900g icing sugar
  4 tsp cinnamon
Beat together the cream cheese and butter, until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the icing sugar and cinnamon until well combined.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Easter Nests

This isn't really a recipe. Just something quick, easy and fun to make with kids around Easter time. I did these with my class. They were so excited to be "baking" and were so proud showing the end results to their parents.

Easter Nests
(makes about 30)
450g chocolate
Mini Eggs

Melt the chocolate three quarters of the way in the microwave and then stir it to melt the rest (this prevents it from burning). Add in enough cornflakes to use up all the chocolate. Get the kids to mix it and, when they're finished, lick the spoons (this is the best part!). Pop some Mini Eggs on top and leave to set for about 30 minutes.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Mini Cheesecake Easter Eggs

I've mentioned my favourite baking blog Raspberri Cupcakes before. The recipe that brought me to the blog (via The Londoner) was these cheesecake filled chocolate Easter eggs. That was about a year ago and I've been dying to make them ever since. Easter is just around the corner so I finally got my chance.

These were surprisingly simple to make. The hardest part was finding the hollow chocolate eggs. I looked everywhere and couldn't get proper egg-sized ones so ended up with smaller ones from Lidl. I'm actually really glad with the way it turned out, as they were perfectly bite-sized.

I made 48 eggs as I wanted to bring these into work as a pre-Easter holiday treat, and I also made some for mum. I had intended to swap the passion fruit curd for lemon curd, but as my eggs were so small I didn't want to waste the curd so just went with some simple yellow icing to make the "yolk".

(adapted from Raspberri Cupcakes)

Cheesecake Filling
300g cream cheese, softened
60g icing sugar
4 tsp lemon juice
250ml double cream

Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice together. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture. 

Lemon Icing
50g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
 Yellow food colouring

These quantities are just a guideline. I started with the amount above and then judged it by eye to get the right consistency, adding in a little bit of icing sugar or lemon juice at a time.  And then when I was happy with the consistency, I added in a few drops of yellow food colouring.

Pipe the cheesecake mixture into your hollow chocolate eggs. I used old egg cartons to hold everything upright. Then pipe a dot of lemon icing on top.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

All-In-One Vanilla Cupcakes

Last week I made a Very Hungry Caterpillar cupcake cake for my friend's son's first birthday party. As it was my first 'commissioned' cake, I was taking no chances and used some of my favourite recipes. Check out the cake and cookie recipes.

The cupcake recipe I used is one of my all time favourites, as it it just so quick and easy to make. You literally pop all the ingredients in a bowl and beat. The buttercream takes a little bit more work, but it's totally worth it!! For this cake, I doubled the cupcake recipe to make 24 large cupcakes and trippled the buttercream recipe to cover all the cupcakes, the cake for the face of the caterpillar and a mini smash cake for the birthday boy as well.

250g caster sugar
250g butter
4 eggs
250g self-raising flour
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a cupcake tin with cases. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat for about 2 minutes until smooth. Fill the cupcake cases three quarters of the way up and bake for about 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack. 

Vanilla Buttercream
250g unsalted butter, softened
450g icing sugar
2 tbsp hot water
2 tsp vanilla extract
Food colouring (optional)

Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in half the icing sugar with the water. When combined, beat in the other half of the icing sugar with the vanilla until smooth. Add in any food colourings. Pipe onto your cooled cupcakes.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcake Cake

Move over Rainbow Cake, I've a new favourite cake. This was my first 'commissioned' cake that I was asked to make for a friend's son's first birthday. The party was 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' themed, so we searched Pinterest, and decided on a cupcake cake. I then added some fruit cookies to jazz up the cake board.

The cake is a four-layer vanilla rainbow cake, covered in a thin layer of vanilla buttercream and red fondant. The cupcakes are also vanilla with the same vanilla buttercream coloured various shades of green. And the cookies are brown sugar cookies covered in fondant.

I wasn't taking any chances on this cake, so I turned to old favourite recipes. The cake and cookie recipes have featured on the blog before. The cupcakes haven't, but I left my recipe book at mum's house so I'll pop up the recipe during the week.