Category Archives: Cupcakes

Lemon Diva Cupcakes

With a brand new kitchenaid just BEGGING to be used, I was pretty determined to make something sweet for the boys birthday last week. He wasn’t overly keen as he really isn’t a bit fan of sweets, but when I told him about the possibility of lemon cupcakes, he was in.

Now, his second question after agreeing to lemon cupcakes was “hang on, don’t you hate lemon?” and the answer to that is YES, yes I do. I have a mild citrus allergy (discovered after one too many nights in a row of drinking vodka sunrises) and so I just never enjoy anything that is overly citrus. My parents used to try to force me to eat oranges and as a result, the sight of orange in a fruit salad will ensure I wont take a bite (years later I am sure they felt bad when they discovered the allergy!) and lemon… well… it is just so sour!

But, I do love the boy and so I told him I would find a way to make a lemon cupcake that would satisfy him but one that wasn’t overly sour.

I turned to Julie Godwin’s Lemon Diva cupcakes from Masterchef last year…

Now the original recipe calls for the zest of 3 lemons, but I just felt that would be far too much for a lemon hater like me, so I cut it down to 2 lemons and the result was almost the perfect balance between sour and sweet. The lemon flavour was definately there, but it wasn’t so in your face. (The boy wouldn’t have minded in your face though. His favourite Cold Rock Icecream is lemon gelati with sour worms.)

I liked these cupcakes, but didn’t love them. I think the icing was what really let them down, but I guess that is my own fault anyway!

Lemon Diva Cupcake

100g unsalted butter, softened (I used nutelex)
185g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
2 eggs
200g self-raising flour
1/2 cup (125ml) milk (I used soy milk)
Zest of 3 Lemons (or 2 if you don’t want the full lemon experience)


1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160C fan-forced). Line muffin pans with paper cases of your choice.

2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste with electric mixer until pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Add the flour and milk in alternate batches and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Add flavourings of your choice, i.e. the lemon zest!

3. Spoon some mixture into paper cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.

For icing, I ignored the icing sugar and butter recipe she suggested and opted for a butter cream. I wont post the recipe though because the lemon juice for some reason seemed to deflate the icing. I don’t know why, because my extensive googling showed that it shouldnt have happened, but the second I added the juice in it turned runny and I couldn’t get it back.


Return of the raspberry curd


Now, I will  be the first to admit, these aren’t the prettiest cupcakes going around. But boy, were they tasty. 

Since I first made raspberry curd I had been dreaming of its other applications and I thought a chocolate cupcake filled with raspberry curd and topped with raspberry icing. And wouldn’t you know it, I got a request to make some cupcakes for my sister in law’s hens night! 


Look at that curd!! 

There were a few issues though – I used a touch too much leftover curd (AKA – All of it!) in the icing, so it never thickened up into a nice pipeable icing, but damn, it packed a raspberry punch! 


So yes… not overly pretty, but very tasty! 

Raspberry Curd – As seen on Notes from My Food Diary, originally from Luscious Berry Desserts by Lori Longbotham  

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Two 1/2-pints ripe raspberries or one 12-ounce package frozen raspberries, thawed (1 1/2 cups)
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 to 3 tsp fresh lemon juice 

Chocolate cupcakes




  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups (255g) brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup (75) plain flour
  • 1/4 cup (30g) cocoa powder



  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 18 x 1/3-cup (80ml) capacity muffin pans with paper cases.  
  2. Combine the chocolate and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 
  3. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, until just combined. Add the flours and cocoa powder and stir until just combined. Add the melted chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Spoon evenly among the lined muffin pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  



Notebook: – April 2009


Once the cupcakes are cooled and your curd is made, cut a hole out of the centre of the cupcakes reserving the cake you cut out), fill with curd and cover back up with the top of the cake hole (did that even make sense? Google cupcake core method for better instructions!)

Make buttercream icing by combining butter with icing sugar and then add in as much curd as you desire to get your preferred consistency and flavour. ice the cupcakes.

Bondi Chai Vanilla and Honey Cupcakes with Cinnamon buttercream

I totally NEVER win anything! I put it down to my extremely common first and last name. But a while back I was fortunate enough to win a packet of Vanilla and Honey Bondi chai from Something by Kate! Its taken me a while to get around to making them, but I finally did!

I made these for an Engagement party recently held for some good friends of mine. They are big chai latte drinkers, so I knew these would be right up their alley! I must confess though, I have NEVER tasted chai before so the entire time I was tasting the batter thinking to myself, I wonder if this is what it is meant to taste like?

No matter though, I really liked these cupcakes! They were sweet and spicy at the same time, and the honey flavour in them went together really well. And I now quite like a chai! (got to use up the rest of the bag!) They did taste better once they had a bit of time to really cool down, and in truth, my buttercream icing failed (note: if you want to make it, make sure you have a very powerful stand mixer as my handheld one is not up to the task) to hold its shape, but a bit of icing sugar mixed in there made it a less runny version and the honey cinnamon taste was a really good compliment to the vanilla chai honey cupcake!

Chai and honey cupcakes

 3 chai spice tea bags
2/3 cup boiling water
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup honey
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup buttermilk
1 large egg at room temperature

Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 175C. Line a standard muffin tray with paper liners. In a small bowl, steep the teabags in  the boiling water for 5 minutes. (Or if using Bondi Chai, please put 3 serves of tea in bowl, as per packet instructions.) Discard the tea bags and let the tea cool to room temperature. 

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl combine the honey, melted butter, buttermilk, chai mixture and egg. Add the flour and using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly amongst the muffin cups, filling until about ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean (around 15-20 minutes)

Let the cupcakes cool completely (about 1 hour) before icing.

 Basic Buttercream

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 cup butter, divided into pieces
Cinnamon for flavouring
Dash of honey for flavouring 

In a large, clean, heatproof bowl combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over, but not touching, simmering water. Heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch – roughly 2 minutes. 

Remove the bowl from a saucepan. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg white mixture until fluffy, cooled to room temperature and holds stiff peaks, about 6 minutes.

With the mixer on medium speed, add the salt and butter, a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. If the frosting appears to separate or is very liquid after the butter is added, continue to beat on high speed until smooth and creamy (about 3-5 minutes). Add the flavouring of your choice and frost away.

Triple chocolate cupcakes

I am always on the hunt for the perfect chocolate cupcake. And when I saw this recipe on Joy The Baker I thought it looked like a really simple recipe to follow, and as a vegan recipe it also meant no dairy for me! And even better – I had all the ingredients on hand!

I made mine a little different to her though, I whipped up a chocolate “goo” filling, and frosted with chocolate icing. The end result is an incredibly rich, moist cupcake. With one little exception – the tops were quite hard and some of the shapes I got from them were quite weird domed tops! I put this down to it being my first time doing full vegan cupcakes and the difference of vinegar and oil over eggs. Didnt hurt the taste though!

See – shiny = hard!

The Easiest Chocolate Cake

     makes 24 cupcakes or 2 8-inch rounds

     from Organic and Chic

2 1/4 cups organic all-purpose flour
2 cups organic cane sugar
1 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
2/3 cup organic canola oil
2 teaspoons organic white vinegar
2 cups cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Or 175C).  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.  

In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, vanilla extract and vinegar.  

Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients being careful not to overmix.  The mixture will be quite wet, but that’s ok

I poured my batter into a plastic pitcher to better divide the batter between the cupcake cups.  

Pour the batter until the cups are two thirds full and place in the oven for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cup comes out clean.  

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack until completely cool before frosting

For the goo:
Combine 100ml dark chocolate, with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Microwave on low in 30 second burts, stirring, until melted. Add 1/2 cup of icing sugar to make a little thicker, and stir until combined.

Using the dome method, cut a little hole in the top of the cupcake and fill with a teaspoon of the mixture. Cover back up.

When you have filled all your cupcakes, it is now time to make icing!

I added a few cups of icing sugar and a few tablespoons of soy milk to the chocolate mixture and mixed until I got the consistency I wanted. I added a tablespoon of cocoa to give it an extra chocolate kick, and then iced. In hindsight I would have made a little bit of extra icing! But thats just me, I love icing!

You cant quite see the chocolate goo – but it is in there! Thanks to Joy for sharing a great recipe!

Pecan pie cupcakes

I grew up on pecan pies – every Wednesday night at our Family Dinner, Pop would bring out the pecan pie, following the traditional lamb roast. Its something my cousins and I have always enjoyed and when Pop switched to blueberry crumbles a few years ago, we were devestated!

For his wake I knew I wanted to do my own tribute to Pop, but all the pecan pie recipes I came across just werent quite right. So I turned to the ever trustworthy cupcake. I knew it would be easier that way to ensure everyone got one and to get the taste that we all knew and love!

These were simple to make and while they dont make too many cupcakes (and they don’t rise!) they were dense, moist and so delicious!


  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  3. Spray a miniature muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Fill each 3/4 full.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for approx. 18 minutes.

I topped them off with a brown sugar frosting that was SO rich and sweet, but was the perfect accompaiment to the pecan pie.

Brown Sugar Frosting Recipe

  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 C brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 2 C sifted confectioners’ sugar
  1. In a saucepan, melt butter.
  2. Add the brown sugar.
  3. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium low, and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the milk and return to a boil, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
  6. Gradually add sifted confectioners’ sugar.
  7. Beat until thick enough to spread. If too thick, add a little hot water.

Source: The cupcake project

This was a fantastic recipe and I highly recommend giving the pecan pie cupcakes a go! Already I’ve had requests from my sister for a repeat performance of them!

Chocolate crackle cupcakes

This should have been awesome. A cupcake with a piece of chocolate crackle on it? How could it go wrong! In all honesty, it wasnt that bad, but I had hyped these up so much in my mind that I was just a bit too excited about them.

It all started when I heard about Sugardeaux’s version. I was so excited by the idea, but knowing that I could never eat them because of the dairy issue. (BOO!!!) So I wondered, how hard could it be to make a similar version?

The work “Christmas party” gave me the perfect excuse to try them out (I use the term Christmas party loosely because its a morning tea, please bring a plate kind of affair.) I decided (rather last minute) to be festive and threw a few drops of mint in the icing, and that didnt seem to really help the flavour at all! I would have started over, but I was in short supply of icing sugar. So choc mint cupcakes with a chocolate crackle piece it would have to be!

Knowing that a lot of people at work are not sweets people, I went for a lighter chocolate cupcake recipe than normal – and I am glad I did! These were fluffy, moist and not too overpowering.

Before I start: Heres what I was aiming for!

Quite the difference hey!

First up: make the chocolate crackles! I halved the below recipe and had plenty leftover!


  • 4 cups Rice Bubbles (I used cocoa pops… why not go the whole hog!)
  • 1 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 250g copha

Preparation method

  1.   Mix dry ingredients together. Melt copha over a low heat until melted – do not boil. Mix melted copha and dry ingredients well. Spoon into paper patty cases and set in refrigerator.

Next up, make the chocolate cake!

Chocolate Cupcakes


  • 1 1/3 cups (170g) plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • pinch salt
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk

Preparation method

  1.   Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a muffin pan with patty cups.
  2.   Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
  3.   In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
  4.   Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Ice with your favourite icing when cool.

Then make your icing:
I did a simple icing of nutellex, icing sugar, a bit of water and some colouring.

Ice the cupcakes, then taking a piece of chocolate crackle, place firmly on top of the cupcake.

The end result was a moist, fluffy cupcake with a really fresh icing and a real crunch. For those of you who love textures in your desserts, this is a different option and I think with a bit more tweaking these could really work.

Ben quite liked these cupcakes, I think for me I just hyped them up too much. But lesson learnt!

Strawberry “milkshake” cupcakes

Perhaps the use of quotes around milkshake was excessive, but the recipe I followed for these were just plain strawberry – but they totally reminded me of a strawberry milkshake. Not surprisingly Ben (who always orders a strawberry milkshake at breakfast) really liked them!

These were also made for the morning tea and went down quite well!

Strawberry cupcakes

 2 tbsp strawberry jam
½ cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
4 drops pink or red food colouring
1/3 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a standard muffin tin with papers. In a small bowl mix together fresh strawberries and jam.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites, food colouring and vanilla, beating well on low speed after each addition.

Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions. Beat on medium high until no traces of flour remain, scraping down the sides as you go. Do not overbeat. Fold in the strawberry mixture until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly amongst the pans, filling each ¾ full. Bake until light and golden – 25 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool for 1 hour before icing.

For the icing I mixed together some nutellex, icing sugar and strawberry jam – it was a touch runnier than I would have liked, but tasted great.

I was surprised by how much I liked these – normally I will go for the chocolate option over strawberry, but the mixture of the jam and real strawberries worked quite well. The lack of egg yolk also made them a light and fluffy cupcake.

Slice shot! Just wanted to show you the lovely pink colour inside!

Vanilla “surprise” cupcakes with chocolate icing

A farewell morning tea proved to be a perfect excuse to make some cupcakes. Only this whole no-dairy thing means re-thinking every thing I cook and trying out new ways of finding substitutes.

With that in mind, I decided to start simple – with a vanilla cupcake. I used my go-to vanilla recipe:

Vanilla Cupcakes – Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk

 Preheat oven to 350F. Line a standard muffin tin with papers.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and egg white one at a time, beating well on low speed after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions. Beat on medium high until no traces of flour remain, scraping down the sides as you go. Do not overbeat.

Divide the batter evenly amongst the pans, filling each ¾ full. Bake until light and golden – 18-20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool for 1 hour before icing.

I subbed the butter with nutellex and the milk for soy milk.

I also threw in a little surprise:

A piece of dark chocolate (dairy, nut, gluten free. Oh the fun I am having!)

The result was a nice, fluffy cupcake with a melty chocolate centre! mmm!

I topped with some chocolate icing (nutellex, icing sugar, cocoa and some melted dark chocolate all mixed together) to give it some more chocolatey goodness and I was quite surprised by how I couldn’t taste a difference to the normal cupcakes! They were perhaps a touch dryer? So next time I will incorporate a touch more milk. That said, a banana in the mixture was always my favourite milk alternative!

Slice shot!

They went down a treat at morning tea and I was just grateful I had something I could actually eat because the temptation may have proved too much amongst all those other cakes and cheeses!

Chocolate caramel cupcakes revisited

Remember these? Well, I got to make them again this last Saturday. Except, the difference between now and then is that I am no longer able to eat anything dairy – so this was pure torture! Imagine not being able to lick the bowl after mixing up a delicious cake! Absolute torture!

These were for a friends birthday, who requested the very smart addition of Mars Bar to the top of the cupcakes. I think it works!

Also, piping skills are on the improve!

Picture 262

It was almost a shame to put mars bar on top! (Almost!)

Picture 265

And here they are all lined up.

Picture 267

The recipe was the same as last time, except I made chocolate buttercream icing by melting 100 grams dark chocolate with a tablespoon of butter and cocoa then pouring icing sugar on the lot. I have no idea about how much icing sugar I used, I just kept pouring until I got the consistency I wanted.

From what I can tell, these were even richer than the last lot and that was something nobody was complaining about at all!

Chocolate caramel cupcakes

I recently held an afternoon tea for the cricket widows – it was an excuse not to go watch the boys play cricket on a Saturday, catch up, and enjoy some time together. Of course, I used it as an excuse to bake!

First up was these delicious chocolate caramel cupcakes. These were so rich and decadent, it was almost wrong!


18 (I got 24)


  • 1 cup (250ml) thickened cream
  • 450g good-quality dark chocolate
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
  • 1 cup (150g) plain flour
  • 1 tbs good-quality cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Chocolate sauce
  • 100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) thin cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line an 18-hole patty pan with paper cases.
  2. Stir cream and chocolate in a pan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly.
  3. Place eggs and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer, and beat on high until pale and doubled in volume. Slowly beat in chocolate mixture.
  4. Sift in flour, cocoa and baking powder, then stir with a metal spoon to combine.
  5. Divide mixture among cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool slightly in pans, then remove cakes from cases.
  6. Meanwhile, for sauce, place ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water). Stir until chocolate has melted.
  7. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Cool slightly
  8. Use notes below to put caramel inside cupcakes
  9. Serve cakes topped with sauce.


delicious. – September 2005, Page 94

For the caramel filling – well I am too scared to try to make my own caramel or dulce de leche just yet, so I used this bad boy:
Top’n’fill caramel! So wrong, yet so yummy! Its a good time saver and personally, I quite like the taste!

I used the cone method to cut a section out of the cupcake and put a spoonful of caramel in its place, before replacing the “lid” of the cupcake back on and then ice the cupcake.

Picture 195
Oh hi, I’m just a regular, chocolate cupcake!
Picture 200
Or am  I?
These were seriously good – and it was so fun having people eat them, not realising that there was a surprise inside!
One of the girls, took one for the road, but decided to eat it in the car. Apparently she had fun trying to drive and eat at the same time! oops! That said, the next day I saw her again and she took some leftovers and did exactly the same thing on the ride home!