Lemon Coconut Cake

When I want to bake with Liam, I always want a simple recipe that doesn’t require too much preparation.  Last week when he was in a good mood and I wanted to use up a container of sour cream that was sitting in the fridge,  I turned to my trusty Donna Hay ‘Fast, Fresh and Simple’ book & found a recipe for lemon yoghurt cake which Iooked like it would fit the bill.

My little helper

My little helper

I’ve written out the actual recipe from the book and have added the adjustments I made, due to not have all of the ingredients.

My version turned out lovely and moist.  Instead of using lemon frosting, I made a simple plain icing which worked well.


3/4 cup vegetable oil (replaced with 3/4 cup of light virgin olive oil)

2 eggs

1 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup thick natural yoghurt (200g of light sour cream and an extra 2 tablespoons of milk)

1 3/4 cups castor sugar

2 cups self raising flour

I also added 1/4 cup of coconut


Lemon Frosting

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Place the oil, eggs, rind, lemon juice, yoghurt (sour cream & milk) and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Sift over the flour and add the coconut and stir until smooth
  • Pour the mixture into a greased 24cm fluted ring tin and bake for 35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer
  • While the cake is still hot, remove from the tin and place on plate
  • To make lemon frosting gently stir together the sugar and lemon juice and spoon over cake and allow to set.


** You can also just use a plain icing as I did which also works well.


Lemony Goodness

Lemony Goodness

Chicken Fried Rice

This is another recipe which helps clear out the vegetable crisper, and can also be frozen.  Feel free to use whatever you have in your fridge, I used the below ingredients for the rice pictured.  If you want to make it even healthier, use brown rice and omit the bacon.

This is also a great meal for kids, you just need to cut everything up into smaller pieces.  I then freeze leftovers into small containers for a quick and easy meals for Liam.


500g skinless chicken breast diced

3 rashes of shortcut bacon (excess fat trimmed)

1 stick of celery – finely chopped

1 carrot – cut into small sticks

3 spring onions

1 full head of broccoli – cut into small pieces

1 capsicum – cut into small pieces

1/2 cup of frozen peas

Small tin of corn

200g of beans – cut in half or quartered

200g of snowpeas

50g of raw cashews

1 cup of uncooked rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pack of stirfry sauce – I use Kantong’s honey soy and garlic

Extra soy sauce to taste

Approx 1 tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce (can omit)


  • In a wok, add olive oil and bring to a high heat.  Add chicken and bacon and cook until the chicken has browned and almost cooked through.
  • Meanwhile bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add rice.
  • Add celery, carrot, spring onions, broccoli, capsicum, beans and cashews and cook until just starting to get tender
  • Add cooked rice, snowpeas, peas, corn and sauces to wok, mixing all ingredients together and cook until snow peas are cooked through (2 -3 minutes) – serve
  • After adding sauces, I suggest tasting and adding extra sauce if you wish



Nana Doug’s Chocolate Cake

One of the first things I can remember helping mum make is her Nan’s chocolate cake in her trusty old sunbeam mixer (circa early 70s).  The job allocated to my sister and I was the sifting – something I have tried to carry on with my 19 month old with limited success!

30 years later this is still my one of my favourite recipes when I need to make a quick cake.  Nowadays I try to make it a bit healthier – swapping butter for light spread and using skinny milk. Whilst this is still a winner, there is nothing like the original recipe ingredients. All  ingredient amounts are in imperial measurements (I’ve added conversions in brackets).

3oz (85g) butter

2 tablespoons of cocoa

6oz (175g) castor sugar

6oz (175g) self raising Ffour

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence

1/2 cup of milk

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees (fan forced oven)
  • Melt Butter and leave to cool slightly
  • Sift Flour and Cocoa into large mixing bowl
  • Add all other ingredients and beat together in mixer (Approx 5 minutes)
  • Grease tin (can use slice tin, loaf tin, 20cm round tin or ring tin)
  • Bake for 25 – 40 minutes, depending on tin used (I baked the cake pictured for 35 minutes in a 20cm round tin).

Chocolate Icing

2 Tablespoons of Cocoa

1/2 Cup of Icing Mixture

1 Teaspoon of Butter/marg

3 – 4 Table spoons of boiling water

  • Place Cocoa, Icing Mixture and Butter/Marg into a small bowl
  • Start by adding 2 tablespoons of boiling water to bowl and mixing together using a spoon
  • Continue to add water until desired consistency is achieved – icing should still be thick enough to easily spread over cake without running everywhere

** This cake can be frozen, I’ve even frozen it before when iced and it has defrosted well.

Yummy Chocolate Cake

Yummy Chocolate Cake