Sunday, 14 April 2013

Vegan Cupcakes

While this entry started off being about vegan cupcakes it ended up being more about my new lens optic I've been playing with this week, so there are a lot of photos of these cupcakes.
The cupcakes themselves were made for a friend who has had a bit of a rough week and I wanted to make something for her to help cheer her up. The thing was that she is vegan and I've never baked anything in my life before. I always thought it would be tasteless dry and horrible, and no buttercream!! how was I going to make cupcakes look any good without lashings of buttercream?
When I looked up some vegan cupcake recipes on Pinterest they all looked pretty good. For some reason when I think vegan baking I think of that girl that made the turd like cupcake on New Zealands hottest home baker, major fail!
But to my surprise the cupcake recipe was really simple and I didn't have to go and buy anything special for it and........I found a 'buttercream' recipe! and it tasted really good, (well after I added a bit of cheery oil for flavoring to get rid of the margarine taste). It whipped up beautifully and was so lovely to pipe, keeping it shape well. The cupcakes themselves..... well I won't be changing to a vegan diet anytime soon. While they were a pretty darn good substitute I just found them a bit doughy and didn't have a huge amount of flavor. I would like to try another recipe though, something other than vanilla might have a bit more flavor.
Enjoy all the photos, (there are a million of them).



Sugar is back for 2013

Yes its been a while since posting on my cake blog and it was time for a bit of a revamp!
Last weekend I celebrated my 30th birthday and instead of having a big party on Saturday night I decided to have a cake party instead. 
So after baking and cake decorating all weekend we had a bit of afternoon tea on Sunday.
I made a big birthday cake which was two tiers of mud cake and the top tier was lolly cake.
There were lamingtons, and white chocolate truffles along with mini cupcakes.
It all went down a treat!


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Think Pink!

I have been wanting to make an 'Ombre' cake for such a long time and thought Mothers day would be a great opportunity to make something awesome for Mum.
I originally found a photo on Pinterest, there are heaps of different ones if you google search 'Gradient Cake' or 'Ombre Cake'. Some are gorgeous and some... well lets just say not so gorgeous! Green is not a great colour for a cake and neither is Blue!
Pinks and violets as long as they are nice and light seem to work best.
I new it was going to be a mission and it so was! Lets just say it will be a while till I make one again!

This is the link I found on Pinterest where I first saw an ombre cake, it also has the recipes used:


I used the same recipe that was on the original image that I found on Pinterest as it said it was a nice white cake. I also used real vanilla extract and not 'flavored essence' (worth the $8.00 investment)
I only needed the smallest amount of Wilton coloring, I also mixed it through carefully as I didn't want to over mix my cake batter.
I used 'Cake Flour' which is what the recipe calls for. We don't have this available in New Zealand so I found out how to make it. Pretty easy really, for every cup of flour that's required take out two tablespoons of flour and replace it with two table spoons of cornflour then sift sift sift!
I'm not sure why American recipes call for 'cake flour' I think our NZ flour is of better quality than the US and our high grade flour would be the same as cake flour. (Just a theory).

I decided to make one six inch cake (four separate layers) out of the recipe, it was just for Mum so didn't want to make it too huge. It still ended up a really good size with each layer being about an inch high.
I trimmed the slight dome shape off the top of the cakes to may them nice and even.

I decided to make the same white chocolate butter cream recipe that came with the cake recipe as it sounded pretty good! and oh it was! Also had real vanilla extract in it which went so well with the white chocolate taste. Unsalted butter was best for this recipe.
I put the butter-cream between each layer, I'm not sure I would do this again as it was so much icing when it came to eating it, but still really good!

I needed to even out the cake with butter-cream before putting the rosettes on it to make the cake nice and even. I knew I wouldn't have enough icing so needed to make some more up. May have had a few too many taste tests too!

And there you have it, the finished product! I was pretty stoked with it really. The incing was not perfect but it was close enough and I was over this baking experience. Our butter here in NZ is much more naturally yellow it is impossible to get a completely white icing, but its close enough.

I was pretty happy with my icing coloring, I think it all blends it pretty well, a nice gradient, and now to see if the inside is a perfect match or not.............

So stoked! pretty good colour match from the cake to the icing, I think this is one of the most important aspects of this cake. The outside has to match the inside. In saying that though a really cool idea for an ombre cake is to have it white and plain on the outside and then when people cut into it its a pleasant surprise!

I was so happy with this cake, I just had to keep photographing it in every way that I could think of!

and again.....

I loved the results but next time I would invest in more than one 6inch tin and also make sure I had enough icing to begin with.

And Mum loved it!

I would definitely make this again but it would have to be for a pretty special occasion or a lot of money!!! 

Friday, 3 February 2012

Mini three tiered cakes

Its been quite a while since my last post, I have been busy planning a certain special occasion, my wedding! yay only 4 weeks away now. Before you ask, yes I am making and decorating my own wedding cake, mad?, maybe?

I have been wanting a certain cake pan for a while now and came across it in a couple of shops here in NZ and it was about $80-$90, eek! But I found one on Amazon for about $50 including international shipping. Bargin!

I had to make some cakes with it immediately of course, a 9inch cake recipe made two and a bit cakes!
The pan has four individual three tier cakes, so cute.
If I had all the time in the world I would make a mini cake for every guest at my wedding, but unfortunately I am not wonder woman!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


This year instead of making something made from chocolate I decided to give Macaron's a go again.
I made these a few years ago but wasn't really sure what they were suppose to be like texture wise.
These were from a simple recipe that was in my Woman's Weekly, Cookie book. Its just a plain Macaron with white chocolate ganache, Yum!

They do have an interesting texture, a crunchy thin shell with a chewy almost gooey center, it should have a slight chewiness to it. I added dried lemon rind to the yellow ones to get a slight lemon flavour.
I'll have to find some new flavors to play with.