More Macarons: Snickerdoodle Macarons

Do you like cinnamon donuts? Hang on, I don’t even know why i’m asking that, EVERYONE likes cinnamon donuts. While hot cinnamon donuts fresh from the fryer are a delicious treat, sometimes I just can’t be bothered making a big batch that just won’t taste the same the following day. These macarons however, improve with age! I’m not saying that macarons are less fiddly than fried donuts but yield will stay fresh for longer.

So why am I talking about donuts when these macarons are ‘snickerdoodle’ macarons? If you’ve never had a snickerdoodle before then you have my condolences. These biscuits are delicious, buttery, cinnamon-y and just plain good. They taste like cinnamon donuts converted into cookie form. So when I popped some cinnamon sugar on the top of my macarons and sandwiched some cinnamon buttercream between them, I found that they were similarly delicious. Mystery solved!

I used the Zumbo recipe posted previously to make the macaroni shells, but sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on top of half of them before baking. This gave a little more crunch and made them a little more reminiscent of the cookie after which they were named.

Aren’t they cute? All popped and crispy?

After baking the shells and letting them sit for a while, I hopped to it and whipped up some cinnamon buttercream. I seriously have no idea what i’m going to do when I move out later in the year and have to leave behind my mum’s kitchenaid mixer. And my mum…

nom nom cinnamon buttercream!

snickerdoodle macaron assemblage!

too cute!

and of course I had to taste test.


Sooooo, my lovelies, what is your favourite macaron flavour?

Snickerdoodle Macaron Recipe – Adapted from this recipe by Adriano Zumbo


300g almond meal

300g icing sugar

110g egg whites

300g caster sugar

75g water

2g powdered egg whites

110g egg whites

extra – 3 tbsp caster sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon


1. Combine almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl. Sieve the mixture thoroughly at least twice.

2. Put the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment

3. Put the caster sugar and water into a small saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved

4. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat until the mixture is boiling and reaches 118 degrees celsius

5. When the sugar syrup is close to the required temperature, place the powdered egg whites into the mixer bowl with the real egg whites and mix until frothy

6. When the sugar syrup is at the required temperature, pour the sugar syrup in a slow and steady stream down the inside of the mixer bowl while the machine is still mixing. Turn the speed up to high and mix for about 8 minutes (or until the mix has gone from very hot to just warm)

7. Stir the extra egg whites into the sieved almond and icing sugar mix

8. Add the meringue mixture to the almond mixture and fold through. Once it is all combined, continue to fold until the mixture has loosened and is more ‘lava like’. You don’t need to be gentle here like you would with a normal meringue, the aim is to soften the mixture rather than to keep all the air in it

9. Pipe 4cm circles of mixture onto a baking tray making sure that there is enough space between each macaron as they will spread slightly. Mix the extra caster sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle a little on top of half of the macarons.

10. Leave the trays for 30 mins to form a skin on the top. This will be how your macarons gain their ‘feet’ as the skin makes sure that they rise evenly and pop those little feet out the bottom (after 10 mins of resting, turn your oven on to 135 degrees celsius)

11. Place trays in the oven for 16 minutes or until they have a firm outer shell. Remove from the oven and set aside for 2 minutes. Carefully remove one macaron shell from the tray to check if the base is cool and dry. If it is still sticky on the bottom, put the tray back in the oven for another couple of minutes. When they are done, cool them on the trays.

Cinnamon Buttercream Recipe
100g unsalted butter (softened)
200g icing sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip for a few minutes until pale and creamy
2. Add the icing sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and whip for 5-8 minutes until the mixture is light and soft
3. Transfer mixture into a piping bag and pipe a circle onto the bottom of one macaron shell. Place another shell on top (bottom side in contact with the buttercream) press down gently and twist to secure

Comforting Rhubarb Cinnamon Cake and the onset of Christmas

Sometimes I think that the following confession makes me quite un-Australian. But I cannot change the way I feel, I just really love Winter. Summer is nice and I like to go to the beach and spend time outside just as much as the next person but there is something so snuggly about winter that makes it my favourite season. I love winter pjamas, flannel sheets, hot chocolate, reading in bed on a blustery, rainy morning, roast dinners, open fires, winter wardrobes, is there anything not to love? I have spent christmas in the european winter a few times now and I love that you can eat all the traditional food and its not stinking hot. I mostly love that I can cook whatever I want whenever I want because it’s never too hot to have the oven on.  So im not particularly put out by this crazy change in the weather we are currently experiencing in Sydney as it makes the putting up of decorations and the cooking of christmas treats much less sweaty. And so, my lovelies, I put the oven on today, this cold and rainy day in DECEMBER… and made this

Stephanie Alexanders’ Rhubarb Cinnamon Cake

The recipe was astonishingly simple with no need to stew or pre-cook the rhubarb. The yield was one family size delicious cakey/puddingy dessert with tangy sweet rhubarb, fragrant cinnamon and lots of crunchy munchy topping. Just the thing to eat with a cup of tea while watching Love Actually (lets face it, it really is time to break out the Christmas movies).


All you do is start with some ruby red rhubarb stalks

Chop them up. I think the chopping is quite theraputic

See, the red and green of the rhubarb marks the onset of the festive season. In fact you might want to bust out some of your christmas cds to listen to while cooking this

Whiz your cake batter in the food processor. Look! It matches the stand mixer from my last post 😀 hooray! And it’s red… see… christmas….

Stir through the rhubarb pieces and dump it all in a cake pan

And not too long after you can pop this baby out

Perfect delicious crispy crunchy top, and moist crumb with flecks of deep pink rhubarb.


Just a step up from a plain old tea cake, the cinnamon addition gives it a bit more depth and the rhubarb adds colour and texture. You could probably cook it a bit longer to get it firmer in the middle but I love it more moist and pudding like. A super easy way to warm you up on a cold Summer winter day. I defy you to eat this cake and not feel comforted and cuddled. So, my lovelies, what do you like to cook/eat to warm you up when you are cold and feeling miserable?

Rhubarb and Cinnamon Cake from The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander


80 g unsalted butter

300g plain flour

380g brown sugar

2 eggs

a few drops of vanilla essence

1 tsp salt

1 tsp bi carb soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

grated zest of 1 lemon

1 cup sour cream

400g rhubarb (cut into 1 cm pieces)

1/4 cup brown sugar (for the topping)

1 tsp ground cinnamon (for the topping)


1. Mix together the butter and sugar

2. add the eggs and vanilla

3. sift together the flour, salt, bi carb and cinnamon then add to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine

4. Add the lemon zest and sour cream then transfer to a large bowl and stir in the rhubarb

5. pour into a 24 cm round tin that has been greased and lined with paper

6. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the top of the cake

7. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 1 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted comes out clean

Going nuts for donuts! (version 2.0)

Who could forget the fabulous month where Daring Bakers‘ introduced us to the joys of home made donuts? I certainly couldn’t! Which is why I found myself craving the yeasty golden goodness of these treats in the chilly lead up to Easter this year. I had a few issues with the recipe from the October challenge and wanted to see if following the advice of other Daring Bakers would further improve the results of this already astounding recipe. Turns out, they do. Sorry for the anti climax.

But what could be anti climactic about risen dough? Look at this baby rise! I followed the instructions to the letter this time and resisted adding any more flour, despite the extreme wetness of the dough. Sometimes I think that there is nothing more joyous than coming back after an hour and seeing that beautiful crown of dough peeking over the rim of the bowl!

I didn’t have the luxury of using the S family kitchen with all its adult supervision and granite benchtops, not to mention tiled floors. So I was extra careful in my own kitchen (particularly after the poached pears debacle! My stove top is still recovering…). I kitted myself out with numerous bath towels to smother any small fires that may arise and was generally much more careful than I would otherwise be.

This is one well risen dough! Look at that honeycomb of air bubbles…

I patted the dough out onto my baking mat. It was still much too wet to roll out, although it had dried a little during the rising process.

I cut the dough into donut shapes using concentric circles

and banished them to their oily doom!


Mmmmm… golden fried goodness

After dipping them into the sugar cinnamon mixture they came out looking perfect!

Light and tasty and just pretty damn good!

I think the long cold rise over night in the fridge gives it a greater depth of flavour

And so my second foray into donut making was a great success. But do you think I stopped at just sugar cinnamon donuts? Of course not!

So I made sugar cinnamon strawberry jam donuts!

These babies went down even better than the original recipe donuts. I’m sorry I don’t have a middle shot to show you, but the insides are filled with strawberry jam. Mmmmmmmmmmmm….

The only alteration you need to make to the recipe is to cut one round without a hole in the middle, let the donut cool and cut a slit into the side of it. Insert a piping nozzle and squeeze strawberry jam inside. Fill up as much as you want!

The recipe can be found here.

So my lovelies, what is your favourite flavour of donut? Do you like them plain, or do you go all out with jam and cream?

Cinnamon Sugar-Coated Maple Apple Cakes

I have been very remiss with my blog this month. This year seems to be a very complicated year with each resolution being followed swiftly by a new problem that needs solving asap. This month has been a massive learning curve with mountains of marking, gale force winds, important birthdays and general stress! I think the most shocking lesson to learn was that somehow when I was sleeping words such as LOL, TTYL, TTYL and TTIF have entered the adolescent vernacular. I know that these are abbreviations, but apparently they can be pronounced as actual words. After spending five days in the wilderness with fifteen teenage girls, I feel well versed in the art of teenage conversation! So after being immersed in a culture that has changed dramatically since I was a part of it, I felt I needed to cook something buttery, sweet and slightly squidgy to make up for my general sense of confusion! Thank you Donna Hay for providing a beacon of light to guide and sooth me as I attempt to navigate the confouding morass of teenage popular culture.

Hail Donna Hay, creator of the

Cinnamon Sugar-Coated Maple Apple Cake

I had a bunch of pink lady apples that were on the verge of turning and were lightly too squishy to be eaten by themselves. This recipe made short but tasty work of them! The batter was very wet and sloppy but this made for light but moist cakes. Due to my extreme laziness the amount of butter in the recipe I didn’t even grease the pan and they mostly came out well. If you want the presentation to be perfect though, I would consider greasing the pan thoroughly or even using patty pans as I did have some breakages.

mmmmmm… cinnamony sugary appley goodness!

These are best eaten warm from the oven, so that a little puff of steam escapes when you break them open. You could serve these with cream or ice cream but in my opinion they stand alone and work well as a tasty snack. You can use any kind of muffin pan to cook them in, I cooked them in a large 6 hole texas muffin pan to begin with. Then I decided that Cinnamon Sugar-Coated Maple Apple Bars would be a good idea, so I made them in a mini loaf tin!

Yes, I didn’t grease the pan again. Yes, they broke. Badly. But on the upside, it meant that there were little crispy pieces of yummy buttery cake left in the pan for me to nibble on. And what could be wrong with that?

You could omit the final dousing in sugar and cinnamon and still have a delicious cake. But in my opinion, that would be like having a hot chocolate with skim milk. Why would you do that to yourself? If you’re going to eat a cake, it may as well be the tastiest cake you can lay your hands on. At least thats my argument and im sticking to it!

So, my lovelies, what is the strangest word you have heard recently being used in common conversation? Is it as strange as when one of my students told me that something was so funny that it was a “LOL-cano”? A volcano of LOL.

Cinnamon Sugar-Coated Maple Apple Cakes – From Donna Hays’ Seasons cookbook


2 1/2 (375g) self-raising flour, sifted

1 tsp ground cinnamon

250g butter

1 cup (175g) brown sugar

1/2 cup (125ml) maple syrup

4 eggs

6 red apples, peeled and grated (I had 7 or 8 but they were quite small, I dont think it really matters how many apples you use it will just be more or less appley according to the amount)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup (220g) caster sugar


1. Place the flour and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to combine

2. add the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs and apple and mix well to combine

3. spoon into twelve well greased 1 cup capacity tins (Donna Hay uses bundt tins but you could do anything) and bake for 20 mins at 180 degrees celsius. If you are using a different type of tin keep checking your cakes as they might take more or less time

4. Turn out of the tins immediately and coat the cakes in extra cinnamon and sugar

5. let cool for a little bit but eat while still warm!