Baptism Cake – Butter Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Setting off on our 1700km road trip down to Victoria, we didn’t make any plans as to where we would stop, or how far we wanted to get each day.  The only deadline we had was that we needed to be in arrive by the Sunday morning (we left on Friday morning), as our boys were being baptised at the local church that morning.

Thankfully the boys were PERFECT (well, close enough anyway!) and we arrived a whole 24 hours before the baptism.  Although it was a small event, of course we needed a cake to celebrate!! In theory this gave me plenty of time to make and decorate one for them.

I decided to go with a simple butter cake, topped with butter cream – the same one I made for my sister’s baby shower.  I bought some very cute animal cake toppers from Coles, and also used smarties to decorate – I did need 2 large bags to get enough of the colours that I wanted!

Baptism Cake1

I only finished decorating the cake 10 minutes before we had to leave for Church as I had no little help from my husband who decided to go riding that morning and lost track of time – but let’s not even get me started on that!

Baptism Cake

The cake was a big success, there was way too much for just seven adults, but Liam was more than keen to try some!

This is such a versatile and easy cake to make.  Even though you need to make two cakes to get the four layers, it still takes no time at all to put together.  After the stress of getting everyone and the cake ready, it was a very fitting way to end what turned out to be a beautiful day xx

baptism 2

Carrot, Banana and Coconut Muffins

These muffins are jam packed full of yummy fruit, veggies and seeds and are also quite filling – the perfect snack to stop any over indulging at your next Christmas party!  This recipe is from ‘Wholefoods for Children’ by Jude Belreau. I am LOVING this book, it is full of great recipes not only for babies and kids, but the big kids too!  This recipe made around 24 muffins, so I stashed half of them in the freezer, and they have defrosted really well.

Please don’t be put off by the list of ingredients, these were really quick and easy to make (with a little helper), and you can always substitute regular flour for spelt flour and cow’s milk for coconut milk if you don’t have any. The original recipe also suggested sultanas, but I prefer currants.

Carrot Banana & Coconut Muffins

130g white spelt flour

165g wholemeal spelt flour

90g rapadura sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

45g desiccated coconut

1 teaspoon quinoa flakes

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts roughly chopped

1/4 cup sunflower seeds roughly ground

1/4 cup pepitas roughly ground

1 banana cut into small pieces

1/2 cup rasins

90g unsalted butter melted and cooled

1 egg

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup plain yoghurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line muffin tins with cupcake papers

* Place the flours, sugar, baking powered, cinnamon, coconut, quinoa flakes, nuts and seeds into a bowl and whisk together to combine.

* Add the carrot, banana and currants and mix through

* Place the butter, egg, coconut milk, yoghurt and vanilla in a bowl and mix until it has just combined

* Add to the dry ingredients and mix through until just combined. Let the mixture stand for a couple of minutes to absorb some of the liquid, then spoon into muffin pan.

* Bake for approx 20 – 25 minutes until golden on top and cooked through.

Christmas Baking – Shortbread

Is there anything better than shortbread at Christmas time?  This is the only time of the year I ever make this (all bar last year when I made interesting shaped shortbreads for my sister’s hens night), and i just LOVE the stuff.

This recipe is from my Mum, going waaaay back to when we were kids and she was stuck with us in a Doctor’s waiting room watching crappy morning tv shows (this was the early 90s – some things haven’t changed though), and she saw this on a cooking show called ‘What’s Cooking’. She was so impressed with it, that she wrote down the number at the end of the show, and called up to get the recipe posted to her – that is a hard copy typed out and sent through the post – yes kids, this really used to happen!  Since then it’s been her trusted recipe, which over the past few years since I’ve been making it I’ve called my own.

My biggest tip is that you need to make this in a cool room – living in Brisbane this can be hard during the Summer, so I always try to make it first thing in the morning.

Shortbread

250g softened butter

125g caster sugar

25g rice flour

5 drops of vanilla essence

375g plain flour

* Preheat oven to 190 degrees.

* Beat together the butter, sugar and rice flour until they turn white. Add a few drops of vanilla essence and continue to beat.

* Gradually add the flour to the mixture, whilst continuing to mix on a low speed until a paste forms.

* Turn mixture onto a cool bench dusted with flour and work until a smooth ball forms.

* I split my ball into two and place one in the fridge, covered in glad wrap.

* Roll the other ball until apron 1cm thick and use cookie cutter to make desired shapes.

* Bake in oven for approx 12 minutes until edges start to turn a golden brown.

White Chocolate, Macadamia and Coconut Cookies

Last year, Nestle bought out a book ‘Australia’s Sweet Baking Favourites’ as part of a promotion when you bought a few of their products.  Being the recipe book collection/addict that I am, naturally I got it.  There are some great traditional favourites in this book, but I was eager to add my own spin to a recipe. I settled on the White Choc Chip and Macadamia Cookie recipe since I had a few organic (read expensive) macadamias left over from a slice I’d made a few days before.  Naturally, it only seemed right to add coconut to this mixture to make these taste even better.

We LOVED these, and it just adds further proof (not that I needed any) that coconut makes everything taste better.  Enjoy!

white choc chip macadamia and coconut cookies

125g softened butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 3/4 cup sifted self raising flour

1 cup white chocolate bits

3/4 cup coarsely chopped unroasted macadamias

1/4 cup shredded coconut

* Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line two baking trays with paper

* Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then add the egg and beat until just combined.

* Stir through the flour, white chocolate bits, macadamias and coconut until combined

* Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on trays – leave approx 3cm gap between cookies, and press down on them gently to lightly flatten

* Bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack

Throwback Thursday – Rock Cakes

Earlier this week, Liam had one of his little friends come over for a play.  I’d had the best intentions of tidying up the night before, but it just didn’t happen.  That morning I was madly racing around trying to make the house at least semi presentable, Liam on the other hand seemed to be following me around unpacking everything I had just put away.

I’d wanted to do some baking for the kids morning tea, but when it was apparent I was quickly running out of time, I thought about making some scones, but changed my mind at the last minute and made Rock Cakes.  This recipe is from my old McAlpins baking book, so I knew it was going to be easy to put together.  When adding the dried fruit I decided to go with currants and chopped dates which were super yummy.

These tasted great straight out of the oven.  If you wanted to, you could cut them in half and add butter or jam, but we were happy to eat them on their own.  The kids enjoyed them, as did Saxon (our dog), who always does well when the kids are outside eating!

Simple & Delicious

Simple & Delicious

2 cups self raising flour

90g unsalted butter, chilled & cubed

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup mixed dried fruit (I used currants and dates)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

* Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper

* Sift the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

* Stir through the sugar, dried fruit and ginger.

* Whisk together the egg and milk in a bowl and add to the dry ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.

* Drop rough heaps of mixture (I used a soup spoon) onto the trays and bake for 10 – 12 minutes (I found mine were ready after 10 minutes).

* Transfer onto a wire rack to cool

Vanilla Cupcakes

Sometimes I crave just a simple cupcake.  No indulgent added extras, just a plain simple vanilla cupcake with frosting.  If you feel the same, then these are for you.  To add to the simplicity, this is an easy recipe where all ingredients are added and mixed together.  These cupcakes are super light and fluffy, you can have them with just icing or turn them into butterfly cakes with jam and cream.

Simply perfection

Simply perfection

120 grams unsalted butter – softened

2/3 cup caster sugar

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

2 eggs

* Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper cases

* Put the butter, sugar, flour, milk, vanilla and eggs in a bowl and beat with electric beaters on a low speed for 2 minutes or until well mixed

* Increase speed and beat for a further 2 minutes or until smooth and pale

* Spoon mixture in to cupcake tray and bake for 20 minutes or until golden

* Allow to cool completely on a wire rack

* Ice/decorate as desired and enjoy!!

Butterfly cupcake with strawberry and cream - yum!

Butterfly cupcake with strawberry and cream – yum!

Polka Dot Cookies

Hello, my name is Lauren and I am addicted to food magazines.  I have a huge pile of magazines and recipes that I just can’t bear to part with. Slowly I have tried to cull the number I have hoarded away, as soon as I get rid of them, they are replaced by more.  I was tackling this never ending project earlier in the week, and came across this recipe that I had pulled out of a magazine (I have no idea which one it may have come from).  I used M&M’s which I think are better than smarties anyway.  The pack I had was just enough to decorate all of the cookies and leave a few leftover for me.  The original recipe is double what I have put below, the half serving made around 36 cookies which is more than enough for morning tea!

The last time I made these was before we were married, so at least five years ago – and they are just as good as I remembered!

These are GREAT!

These are GREAT!

2 cups of self raising flour – sifted

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup malted milk powder

150g melted unsalted butter – slightly cooled

2 eggs lightly beaten

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

180g pack of smarties – or M&M’s

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees (160 if fan forced) and line two trays with baking paper.
  • Combine flour, sugar and malted milk powder in a bowl and stir to combine.
  • Make a well in the centre and add eggs, vanilla extract and butter and mix together
  • Using a tablespoon of mixture, roll into balls, flatten slightly and place on tray approx 4cm apart. Press smarties/M&M’s into top of cookies
  • Bake for 8 – 9 minutes and swap trays halfway through
  • Stand on trays for 1 minute before transferring to wire rack to cool