Cinnamon Toast Cupcakes

Two posts in one week! I'm on fire.

One of my friends on Facebook made these at the weekend and they looked delish, so I couldn't resist making them too. It seems she is obsessed with The Cake Book by Cupcake Jemma as I am.

 The recipe is a bit strange. You actually make buttered toast to go in the mixture as well as to sprinkle on top along with cinnamon sugar.

I still remember when I was about ten discovering the cinnamon/sugar combination and was hooked. I made my own little shaker and heavily buttered my toast and covered every inch with the cinnamon sugar... Not the healthiest of breakfast but so so tasty!

I love cinnamon to this day and I still have a shaker (without the sugar) which gets added to most breakfast foods I eat. Apparently it's good for you too.

I would recommend you use brown bread as per the recipe. I only had brown multi seed and some people (my housemate) wasn't a fan of the crunchy bits.

Cinnamon Toast Cupcakes
By Cupcake Jemma

Makes 24

For the cupcakes

4 slices of brown bread
270g unsalted butter, plus extra for spreading, softened
225g caster sugar
25g soft dark brown sugar
200g self-raising flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large free range eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk

For the buttercream icing

300g unsalted butter, softened
675g icing sugar
ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons whole milk
4 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 170°C fan. Toast the bread until slightly burnt, then butter both sides and bake in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until crisp enough to snap. Remove and leave to cool, then whiz in a food processor or grate with a box grater and set aside.

For the cupcakes, whisk the sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer to get rid of any lumps, and then sift in the remaining dry cupcakes ingredients. Add the eggs, butter and 50g of the buttered toast crumbs, and then beat for 60 seconds. Pour in the milk and whisk for 20 seconds to make sure it's all incorporated. Fill the paper cases two-thirds full with mixture, but don't bother to smooth it out. Bake for 20 minutes, or until they spring back when touched.

Leave to cool, transferring to a wire cooling rack after 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat the butter with an electric mixer for 4 to 5 minutes or until pale and smooth. Sift the icing sugar and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon into a  large bowl, then add to the butter in two stages, beating well between each. Pour in the milk and beat for a further 3 to 5 minutes, or until smooth and silky. Once the cupcakes are cool, decorate with the icing and scatter the remaining toast crumbs on top. Combine the granulated sugar with a pinnace of cinnamon, then sprinkle over the cupcakes and serve.

Happy Baking x

Women's Weekly - Lavender Shortbread

Since my last post I've been thinking about how I can go about setting baking goals... and sticking to them. So I've decided that I'm going to bake OR cook something from each of my cookbooks. I have quite a few and a large percentage of them I have never used and therefore I have to use them or lose them... as my mum use to say!

I would say that I will do this every week or month as it just won't happen, but I'll play out specific days in my diary that I can complete a recipe.


So my first recipe is from a cookbook my dad sent me a few years ago… the Women’s Weekly High Tea cookbook. He knows me well! I have had this jar of lavender in my cupboard and just needed the perfect recipe to use it up.

Lavender Shortbread
by Women's Weekly 

250g unsalted butter, softened
75g caster sugar
1 tablespoon water
300g plain flour
100g rice flour
2 tablespoon dried edible lavender, chopped coarsely
2 tablespoons Demerara (light brown) sugar

Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease oven trays.

Beat butter and caster sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy, transfer to large bowl. Stir in the water, sifted flours and half the lavender, in two batches.

Turn dough onto floured surface, knead gently, until smooth. Shape dough into two 6cm x 20cm rectangle logs, cut into 1cm slices. Place about 2.5cm apart on oven trays, sprinkle with demerera sugar and remaining lavender.

Bake shortbread about 20 minutes. Stand 5 minutes, transfer to wire rack to cool. 

And if you live in Australia anywhere near Byron Bay, grab yourself some of this tea, it goes perfect with a side of shortread.

Happy Baking x

Simple Store Cupboard Chocolate Birthday Cake with 100's & 1000's

It's been awhile since I have blogged and I plan to remedy these long absences with a some baking projects/goals that I have set for myself for the remainder of the year. January and February for me are always a bit of a write off in terms of getting anything done. I'm a slave to my desk during these months as it's our renewal season and for me my new year starts at noon on the 20th of February (which is tomorrow... wooo!) along with the rest of the Marine Insurance Market. But as this year falls on a Friday, the "new year" including getting back to the gym and baking projects starts Monday!

I did however, want to share a cake I made for my housemate Tom's birthday at the weekend. I had several bags of 100's & 1000's sitting in my cupboard for a while now and I've been waiting for an occasion to make a cake and literally cover the whole thing with them.

He requested a chocolate caked as per usual and I decided to the make the Simple Store Cupboard Chocolate Cake recipe from Decorated by April Carter as I'm in love with this book... and it lives on my bedside table!

I made a complete mess of the kitchen and 100's and 1000's not only covered the cakes, but the whole kitchen floor. But it was totally worth it.

The mountain of chocolate icing...

Happy Birthday Tom!

Happy Baking x

Decorated by April Carter

A few weeks ago I was lucky to get invited to the book launch of Decorated by April Carter. Since then the book has kept its place next to my bed for nighttime reading and I've been pouring over the delicious recipes and stunning photography.

I finally decided to go with the recipe that first caught my eye, the Gingerbread Cake with Whisky Caramel. At the back of April's book are some handy tips on decorating, so what better an opportunity (excuse) to purchase a few new cake tools and try some new techniques.

April's instructions on assembling, icing and decorating cakes are easy to follow and with my new cake leveller I was very pleased with how precise my layers were.

I had a lot of fun putting this cake together and here's how it went... 

Firstly the levelling of the cake

Next the stacking of the layers


Then the crumb coat

And finally the drizzling of that heavenly whisky caramel

mmm delish!

I was a little obsessed with how uniform the inside of the cake looked; cutting in straight lines has never been my strong point (just ask my mum!) but with April's pearls of wisdom, and my new leveler, her Ginger Cake with Whisky Caramel has been an all round success.

And here it is, the final product... a perfect gingery/caramel/whisky treat just in time for Christmas.

Happy Baking x

Decorated by April Carter (Hardie Grant, £20.00) Photography: Danielle Wood

Pumpkin Pie

The cold snap has officially arrived in London; with a definite hint of winter. This is my favourite time of year and I have been anxious to finally christen ‘the pie dish’… I’ve only had it since April, and that was after technically ordering it in October last year. It’s been awhile.

This post is mainly for the benefit of my friend Craig; he asked me for the recipe and so I thought I would share it on my blog. However, it’s currently 38°C in Australia and pumpkin pie or any pie is that last thing I want to eat in that heat... unless it’s a chilled pie made of ice!!

Pumpkin Pie

from Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
Basic Pie Crust
No pre-baking required
260g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
110g unsalted butter

Grease a 23cm pie dish.

Put the flour, salt and butter in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
Add 1 tbsp water and beat until well-mixed. Add second tbsp water and beat until you have a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for an hour.

Roll out on a floured surface and line the pie dish, trimming the edges.
Preheat oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.

For the filling
1 egg
425g tin pumpkin puree (such as Libby’s)

235ml evaporated milk
220g caster sugar
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp flour

Put everything in a large bowl and mix until smooth and well combined. Pour into uncooked pie crust and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the filling is set firm. I did find I had to bake it for a bit longer, but that is just my oven.

Leave to cool completely, and serve with a big dollop of whipped cream.

And finally have all your friends come around to eat it... I've tried and I can't eat a whole pie myself.

Happy Baking x