Prep Time : 15 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 15 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy
Hello my lovelies! I was in a cupcake mood. It’s been getting greyer and greyer lately. Autumn is definitely here. Cake fixes everything. I am also now at my parent’s place and wanted to leave something nice at home for my snug-bug. Now I wish I had the cupcakes with me. With their fluffy banana sweetness and soft silky frosting. These are comforting stuff-in-your-face cupcakes with indulgent frosting that will stick to your fingers and the tip of your nose. No sculpted artifice here today. Just a finger-licking treat! Sour cream frosting is perfect here because it’s not too sweet tanginess balances with the banana.
Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 40 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy
Hello my lovelies! Say hello to your new, better go-to one bowl chocolate cake. Before y’all are like “but you said you were going to eat healthy”… this chocolate cake is practically health food. Olive oil and greek yoghurt. Minimal sugar. The ground almonds and oil make this cake so tender. Oil is liquid at room temperature so cakes made with it stay super soft. Ground almonds help break up gluten and also retain moisture. It’s fabulous on it’s own but can also be dressed up if the occasion requires. It also comes together in moments in a single bowl. Which is a bonus for everyone. But especially for people who have kitchen accidents and end up being a one-handed gimp for a while. It’s essentially my job to make food so you’d think I’d be able to tell the difference between food and fingers… This cake is so easy a person with one arm can make it. No excuses.
Hello my lovelies! Ten days to go! The perfect time to get those beautiful cakes you’ve made dressed up for the party. My decorating skills are fairly basic so these ideas are all simple and require no fancy equipment. Bonus. They are based on my childhood Christmas cakes and offer differing amounts if icing coverage depending on your taste. The iced cakes all use plain white and almond flavoured fondant. This is both nostalgic and practical. Fruit cake is one of the only cakes that I like fondant on as I find it too heavy and sweet for much else. In NZ for the longest time there was one brand of ready to roll icing, King. I still believe it has the nicest flavour of what we can get here. The gloriously fake flavour of their almond icing tastes of Christmas to me but please feel free to use actual marzipan if you have it or prefer it. Three different options with differing levels of sugar and effort follow. Allons-y!
Prep Time : 20 Minutes | Cook Time : up to 3 Hours | Total Time : up to 4 hours | Difficulty : Easier than you think
Hello my lovelies! Less than six weeks to Christmas – the greatest of all the holidays! I have a wonderful new book on the way from Book Depository – its called Delicious December and it’s all about Dutch Christmas traditions and how they form part of our Christmas celebrations today. And there are recipes! For cookies! I’m sorry grinches but it’s time to think about getting fruitcakes ready if you are going to make your own. To make sure your cakes have time to absorb and develop the true taste of Christmas (liquor) then generally you should start a month out. Spend three weeks feeding your new babies with brandy or rum and then you have a good week to get them iced or decorated as you please! Christmas sanity is all about planning. This recipe is my interpretation of our family classic. I added some spices (natch) and switched up the fruit otherwise it’s generations deep. So long as you keep the total weight of fruit the same, feel free to use whatever you like. I recommend using about half of something simple like currants or sultanas though. This recipe can be baked up in various sized pans and smaller cakes make fab holiday gifts. Because I am the only one in our two person household that eats fruit cake I make the full mix up as 4 small cakes – one for me and the others to give away.
Prep Time : 15 + 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 40 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Easy
Hello my lovelies! I spent Friday hanging out with my two best gals shopping and eating (the two things we are best at). Because I was thinking about it all week, I had to make this cake for you all. This recipe is a very slightly tweaked version of the family recipe that my friend Kerry gave me when we were teenagers. In its original form it is a denser cake, but I was in the mood for something fluffier. I think cardamom works really well here (as it does everywhere), and it works with the vanilla to give this cake a lovely flavour even though I knocked the sugar back a lot. The cake itself is flavourful but not very sweet as it’s designed to be fully frosted and balances perfectly. I have left the difficulty at easy as it is a simple cake to prepare, the difficulty of the decorating is entirely up to you!
Prep Time : 15 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy
Halloween baking is essentially regular baking with lots of make up on. There’s lots of food colouring and fine motor skill involved. How about something simple, seasonally appropriate, requires no piping, no food colouring and tastes like Oreos? There’s no argument really. This recipe uses one of my favourite ingredients, black cocoa. It’s cocoa that has been dutch processed an extra couple of times giving a it a distinctive flavour and black colour when baked. It’s why Oreos taste and look like they do, and it’s a lifesaver when you don’t want to load up on odd tasting artificial colouring to get things black. I get mine from one of my favourite places here in NZ, Equagold. King Arthur in the US have one, and there are other brands available on Amazon.
While this recipe is designed to save the fiddly decorating, the cakes themselves are also a great base for other decorations if you are more talented than the rest of us. The cakes are not overly sweet so stand up well to more frosting. Be careful not to over-bake these cakes or they will get dry – and let’s be honest if they dip slightly in the top it’s just more room for frosting….
Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 25 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy
Hello my lovelies! I know it feels early with daylight savings and all, but you can always make yourself an ultra-rewarding chocolate hit in almost no time at all so life can’t be that bad. It’s been a very chocolate filled week. After recipe testing this bad boy and our annual trip to the Amora Hotel Chocolate Buffet for dinner the other night I am probably at peak chocolate saturation, medically speaking…
You guys, this cake is amazing. It is incidentally gluten free, but mostly just delicious. It is adapted from one of my favourite books Flavour Flours by Alice Medrich. If you are gluten free, or just like to experiment with different flours it is fabulous. This recipe utilises two of my favourite baking concepts. Rebranding and things-that-look-fancy-but-are-actually-super-easy. The astute among you may realise that you are essentially making a large round brownie. But now that it’s round and you’re serving it slightly warm in wedges it’s a truffle cake. Bam. Regardless of whether you are on board with that concept, you will still be making some of the most amazing tasting brownies ever.
The second important takeaway is that asian supermarkets and stores are your friend. For more than just things you need to make dinner. Any of the asian supermarkets I have gone to here have gochugaru or korean chili flakes. Try to get one that is made by sun-drying the chili if you can for the best flavour. I absolutely love gochugaru and I use it everywhere. It is less hot and more flavourful than regular western chili powder and adds a lot of fruitiness. I also learned that indian stores have an insane range of alternative flours at really reasonable prices. In NZ it is slowly getting easier to buy alternative flours in supermarkets, but most still require a trip to a health or organic store where they can be eye-wateringly expensive.