Happy Easter To You!

Firstly, before you read any further , I want to wish you happy easter and offer you a cupcake


Now, on to business. Ever since I was a little girl i’ve always been a fan of movies that contain singing and dancing. I’m sure it all started with Disney and the Disney Princesses who I have, of course, still watch outgrown. Ok, i’ve never been a good liar, I will happily sit down to a marathon of The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Mulan and Beauty and the Beast. But what girl wouldn’t?

However, for the sake of my job (in answer to the ever popular question from teenagers “miss, what’s your favourite movie?”) I have had to come up with some more adult sounding favourite movies.

1. Rush Hour

2. Any of the following: Grease, The Wizard of Oz, The Holiday Inn, The Easter Parade, Moulin Rouge, any kind of musical (i’m always living in hope that they will make Wicked the movie)

Thankfully, many musical movies end up being tied to a particular holiday. Exhibit A:

The Easter Parade

After all, what is a holiday without Fred Astaire? The addition of Judy Garland only elevates this movie from amazing to absolutely amazing! And so, every year when Easter rolls around, you will find me humming the tune to the Easter Parade. Humming because the only lines I can ever remember when singing it are

“here’s a hat that is trimmed with lace – happy easter”


“happy easter to you”

I clearly have a very short attention span.

Thankfully, one thing that can keep me focussed is baking, while watching The Easter Parade of course! So what did I bake for easter? Well, firstly I made some pretty little Easter Cucpakes

Here they are baking in the oven. Lookin’ pretty cute!

And here they are all iced with chocolate eggs.

The yellow and white ones are vanilla, the pink ones are musk and the blue ones are violet. Who says I can’t diversify?

For the cake and icing I used this Magnolia Bakery recipe which is always a winner. I also added a few drops of flavouring to each icing mixture t make them all different.

But something was still lacking. There had been a little idea for a big easter cake growing in my mind over the past few weeks. The cake version of the easter bunny basket. I used the same recipe as for the cupcakes above and it made two good sized cakes that could be cut in half to make four layers.

So first comes the basket.

This was my first attempt at basket weave and I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the results. A little wonky but nothing some more practice wont fix.

Then come the decorations!

And a better shot of the easter bunnies and eggs with better lighting and a better camera!

And the vanilla-y chocolatey innards!

It’s not really wonky, I carved the sides a little so that it would look more slopey like a real basket would. Ho hum.

So, all in all, it was a pretty happy, delicious and relaxing easter. How was your easter my lovelies? Did the easter bunny visit?

Christmas Cupcakes

The lights are twinkling, the tree is up and all the presents are wrapped and underneath! (I was super organised this year.) This is the first christmas in many years that I have not been working which means that i’ve been very relaxed and able to thoroughly enjoy the lead up to the festive season. Decorating the tree was something I could spend time doing without being zombified from lack of sleep or worried sick that I was meant to be spending that time doing something else. I particularly enjoyed putting up my favourite ornament…

It’s how I imagine I would look if I had a bob… and wings…

she says ‘life is short eat dessert first’

some wise words, don’t you think?

Another great thing about being on Christmas holidays is that I have time to do some Christmas cooking. I try to do this every year but this year I can enjoy it properly. Yay! Ive been doing a big of cooking for gifts which I will post about in the next few days, but first I want to show you some quick and easy and delicious Christmas Cupcakes. I got this recipe from Nigella Lawsons How to Be a Domestic Goddess (recipe can be found here) to make for my friend’s annual christmas party. The recipe is very straightforward but makes the most deliciously light and christmassy cupcakes with chocolate and spices. The chocolate is not overpowered by the spices and it was good to find something christmassy without ginger (as the mothership has a great aversion to ginger). These were definitely a winner!

and you can decorate them to look like christmas puddings!

I know that holly leaves are a much darker green but hey, you can only work with what you have! If you  have a darker green food colouring feel free to use it

So they are pretty straightforward to decorate but here are some tips if you have not used fondant before. I baked my cupcakes in red and green paper patty pans and iced them with white royal icing. You want your icing spreadable but not too runny or it will slide off the cupcake, or too thick as it will not stick properly. Remember that royal icing starts to set as soon as you finish mixing so you will want to work quickly.

To make the holly berries and leaves you will need:

1. 1 quantity of fondant (I use Orchard White Icing from any supermarket but you can use any fondant you like. Im just too lazy to make my own or go to a specialty store to get some)

2. Red gel food colouring (use gel as liquid food colouring will make your fondant too slippery and sticky. You don’t want it to be too wet!)

3. Green gel food colouring

4. a rolling pin (I find a small plastic rolling pin is best for rolling out small quantities of fondant

5. A small holly leaf cookie cutter

6. an implement to make leaf vein indentations on your holly leaves (I use the scalloped end of a fondant shaping tool. Pictured below)

7. Some icing sugar to dust your work surface and stop your fondant from sticking (the fondant will be quite soft in the summer heat so its good to have some icing sugar on hand in case it becomes too soft or sticky)

Now that you have your ingredients, you can begin!

Firstly you need to colour your fondant.

Dust your work surface with icing sugar and add a little green food colouring to your fondant to make the holly leaves.

Knead your fondant until the colour is evenly distributed. Wash and dry your hands, and repeat with a new piece of fondant and the red food colouring for your holly berries.

You will end up with two smooth coloured balls of fondant. You will need more green than red but you can always make up some more if you run out.

Roll your green fondant out to a thickness of about 5mm. I bought this little Wilton rolling pin in Melbourne and its fantastic because of the little rubber rings on the end. They allow me to consistently roll the fondant out to an even depth. Cool hey!

Use your leaf cutter to cut two leaves from the fondant

This is the tool I use to create the veins in my leaves. I like it because it looks a little crinkly and interesting.

Dot a vertical line from the bottom of the leaf to about 3/4 of the way up. Then dot some diagonal lines from the center of the leaf outwards to the pointy edges.

Like so! You can be a bit rough as it just adds to the charm of the finished product. When are leaves ever perfectly identical?

Roll three small balls out of the red fondant and attach in a cluster like holly berries. And there you have it!

It is easier to attach them to the cupcakes as you go so that the royal icing doesn’t set. Therefore it is important that you make the leaves before hand as they can be a little time consuming. You can make the berries as you attach them to the cupcakes.


So, my lovelies, what do you enjoy baking for christmas? And were my instructions ok? Any tips?

Another year older…

Last Saturday I woke up thinking “where did all the time go?” I looked behind the sofa, nothing. Under the bed? Nope, not there either. At the bottom of my handbag (a common hiding place for other necessities such as keys, lipstick, spare change)? Nuh uh!

I had to face the startling conclusion that the time had just gone. Poof. Another year, another notch on the wall. But birthdays are not supposed to be about doom and gloom! So despite the time sucking black hole following me around, I put on my apron and started baking for my annual afternoon tea party!

I had been secretly planning this for weeks and had hoped to have my tea party outside in the garden. But as E.E. Cummings would say, the world was “puddle wonderful” as the heavens opened for an almighty deluge. So the garden was not to be, but at least it cooled down so that the heat from my baking wasn’t so uncomfortable. See? Always a silver lining!

On the menu was:

Thumbprint cookies

Vanilla cupcakes

Mini vanilla cupcakes with fondant duckies


Brownie Bottom Cheesecake (on the bottom left)

Violet Cream Cupcakes (With sugared violets courtesy of the fabulous Mrs S!) And yes that is the Bourke St Bakery Flourless Chocolate Cake hiding in the corner.

and of course…

Birthday Cake!!

This time filled with strawberry jam and chantilly cream

(and yes, I can see my wonky layers! I didn’t realise chantilly cream was so unstable!)

I was particularly proud of my Violet Cream Cupcakes which came to me in a flash of inspiration. When I was in Adelaide recently, I fell in love with Haighs’ Violet Cream Chocolates. I loved them so much that I got to thinking… I had made Elderflower cupcakes, rosewater cupcakes, why not Violet ones? Furthermore, why not make chocolate cupcakes with Violet Buttercream Icing so that they would be Violet Cream Cupcakes? Brilliant!!

Thankyou to all my lovely friends who made it last Saturday and thanks also for the birthday wishes from those who were otherwise engaged. I had a wonderful time and I hope you all did as well!

So my lovelies, what food do you love to eat on your birthday?

(p.s. I think my camera lens might have been a bit grubby. Oops.)

Violet Cream Cupcake Recipe

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe – from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook


100g plain flour

20g cocoa

140g caster sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

40g unsalted butter

120ml full cream milk

1 egg

1/4 tsp vanilla extract


1. Put the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and butter in a bowl and mix until you have a sandy consistency

2. Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla together in a separate bowl

3. Pour half the milk mixture into the flour mixture and beat until smooth and combined

4. Slowly pour the remaining liquids in and beat until smooth

5. Spoon into paper cases and bake for 20-25 mins on 170 degree celsius

Violet Buttercream Icing


250 g icing sugar

80g unsalted butter

25ml milk

a dash of violet essence

purple food colouring


1. Beat butter and sugar until combined

2. gradually add milk until desired consistency is reached

3. Add a dash (maybe half a teaspoon) of violet essence and mix well. Add more essence as desired (bear in mind that if you are making this in advance the flavour will intensify the longer they are left)

4. add food colouring until desired colour is reached

March of the (fondant) Penguins

I love my friends. So for Helen the Melons birthday I figured I would continue on the theme of edible presents to show her just how much I love her! Cupcakes were a given, but what to put on top? It had to be different to what I had done previously. No more jungle animals, no more presents… but what?

Here’s a clue… its been pretty cold lately…

Ok so thats not much of a clue.

How about this? Yes, there are some pretty heart decorated ones on top. But that was not the main attraction. Do you like my cupcake carrier? It has two levels! Yay! Hooray for unsquished cupcakes!

Back to the guessing game. Give up?


Now am I saying that Helen the Melon looks like a penguin? Nuh uh. Does she walk like a penguin? Nope. Does she talk like a penguin? Certainly not! But she is very cute and cuddly like these little guys 😀

So I made her an army of cuddly (and tasty) penguin minions!

Could you eat these little guys?

The cupcakes were the Hummingbird Bakery Vanilla Cupcake recipe which is always a winner with vanilla buttercream. I used the Orchard brand ready to roll white fondant and Wilton black, red and yellow colouring gels to make the penguins.

So my lovelies, what kind of animal would you like to adorn your birthday cupcakes? I need some more inspiration now!