Pear + Almond Cakes


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 25 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! These delightful cakes were born out of a cake I made when a couple of friends came around for dinner. The last time we had gotten together one had suggested a future cake with pears and spices, maybe made with almonds. Naturally I got to work! The cake was delicious, and these mini-cakes have virtually no variations. The main change is that the original cake had a layer of thinly sliced pears in the bottom which became an upside-down decoration. The cake was fabulous until that layer of pear gradually made the whole cake soggy. So these cakes do away with it and stick to ribbons of sweet pears running through the cakes themselves. On the day of baking they will have a chewy golden caramelised crust. Over the next couple of days the crust will soften, the spices will become a little stronger and the pear will melt into the cakes. What you prefer is up to you! There are notes on making full size cakes in the Cook’s Notes at the bottom. These cakes can also be gluten free by switching out the small amount of flour with a cup-for-cup blend. These cakes are fast and delicious and look delightfully elegant and french. Perfect for your next cup of tea.

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Molasses Cupcakes + Cinnamon Frosting


 Prep Time : 15 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! I know we have had a few cupcake recipes lately. It’s such a quick way to get some cake in your face. So long as they’re good. I’ve eaten some dry cupcakes in my time. With too much frosting. These cupcakes are not that. Moist tender and flavourful cake. Topped with just enough buttery, lightly spiced frosting. I found this recipe in an old American recipe book that my mother has. After flipping through it on my last visit to my parents’ I got myself a copy from Thriftbooks. I made some tweaks to the ingredients. Added more butter. Then flipped the method. I always get great results using the Hummingbird Bakery method. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients then add the liquids. It’s so forgiving. Perfectly domed cakes with great texture. Molasses has a wonderful caramelly, licoricey slightly bitter flavour that mellows beautifully when you put it in cake.

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Best Banana Cupcakes + Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting


 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.

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One-Bowl Dark Chocolate, Olive Oil + Yoghurt Bundt Cake


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 40 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

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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.

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Dead of Night Cupcakes


 Prep Time : 15  + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

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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….

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Lemon + Honey Madeleines


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 10 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Moderate

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Welcome to spring my lovelies!! It’s a bit grey today but it has been fabulous here lately with sunshine and mild weather and longer days. I felt like I needed something light and lemony and these madeleines totally fit the bill. Light and frivolous and french. I have had my madeleine pans for a while and don’t use them nearly enough! The shape is so whimsical and sweet. This recipe is very straightforward and the batter is easy to prepare. The tricks are in the preparation of the pans and careful hawk-like monitoring while baking. It is essential not to over-bake, but since they are made of next to nothing then making a second batch to practice is not such a hardship and you can always drizzle the slightly dry ones with liqueur and top with custard and blueberries for instant trifle! This is also an excellent idea for any that might be hanging around the next day.

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Coconut Cupcakes + Lemon Vanilla Buttercream


 Prep Time : 15 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

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This is another one of those recipes that has been knocking around forever that I really should share and it’s another one from my Nannie! I love coconut, some others in this household are not so keen on it, so more for me!

Over the next few weeks there will be some healthier recipes while I do my form of Junk-free June where I look for healther homemade alternatives. My best gal is giving it her all and I thought it was a good chance to clean up and reset a bit for the winter when it’s really easy to slip into some bad habits using the weather as an excuse. Don’t worry, it’s not for long and there will still be delicious things to share and try around here!

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