Tag Archives: vanilla

Diamond Cupcakes

5 Nov

Last month, my family and I celebrated my Grandparents’ Diamond wedding anniversary. That’s SIXTY years people. SIXTY! To celebrate, we held a tea dance, and I was privileged enough to be asked to bake some surprise cupcakes for the happy couple!

The celebration was really a double one, as I has just gotten engaged about 2 weeks before! So the diamonds were particularly apt!

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I made chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, in silver foil cases, and dusted with silver glitter.

Congrats to the happy couple, I just hope my fiancé and I make it that long!

Chocolate Vanilla Ombre Cake

3 Nov

Classic flavours, modern twist. Bloody delicious. Three phrases that pretty much sum up the 3 tiered baby shower monstrosity of a cake I made for a work colleague!


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I made a vanilla sponge, vanilla buttercream and a chocolate double cream ganache.

To assemble to cake, I sandwiched 3 sponge cakes together using the buttercream and a few dollops of ganache.

I then coated the cake in a white crumb coating and refrigerated for 30 mins.

Next, I separated the remaining vanilla buttercream into 3 bowls. 1 bowl I kept white, 1 bowl I added a small amount of blue to, and 1 bowl I added a LOT of blue colouring to!

I then worked my way from the bottom up, starting with the darker blue at the bottom, blending medium blue into the middle, and finishing off with the white buttercream.

I then coated the bottom of the cake in different shades of blue and purple sprinkles. Then I poured the cooled ganache over the top of the cake, and dusted it in glitter!

This took me a good 3 hours from start to finish, but it was worth it!


Pistachio white chocolate shortbread

14 Aug

Salty & sweet, nutty and nice, this is the biscuit (or cookie) to have with a cuppa tea. Deliciously easy and quick to whip up, you’ll want to keep a batch of this on hand for every unexpected guest, or every time you just need a small nibble!




  • 300g plain flour
  • 225g unsalted butter (or margarine)
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 150g roasted salted pistachios – coarsely chopped (if you can only find unsalted & unroasted, put your pistachios in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and salt to your taste. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 250oC for 10 mins)
  • 100g white chocolate chunks


  • Put flour, sugar and butter into a stand mixers (or use a hand mixer) and combine until it looks like breadcrumbs
  • Add egg yolk to help form mixture
  • Add pistachios and chocolate and combine
  • Shape dough into a ball and cut into 2 equal halves
  • Roll each half into a log and cover with cling film
  • Put in freezer for 30-40 mins
  • Once chilled, unwrap and slice
  • Lay on covered baking trays and bake for 12 mins at 175oC
  • Once baked, remove from oven and leave to cool on rack
  • Serve these with a cup of something hot and enjoy!

Sprinkle Cake

9 Feb

There’s no better way to kick off a new week than with a totally DELICIOUS, dreamy cake! You’ll be looking forward to baking this beauty I guarantee. I baked this on the weekend for my own birthday (yes, I do make my own birthday cake, but because I love it, not because I have to!)

Chocolatey, caramelly goodness

Chocolatey, caramelly goodness

The cake is a vanilla sponge recipe, the “buttercream” is actually whipped coconut cream, and for an extra touch, I added salted caramel sauce! The added bonus? The entire cake is dairy-free, to accommodate my lactose-intolerance. The plus side to this cake is also that we could have it for dessert after a meat meal!

Cakey Closeup

Cakey Closeup


  • To prep in advance, put 2 cans good quality Coconut Milk in the fridge overnight (I used Waitrose own, when I tried Tescos own, it did not yield the same result, do not use!)

Coconut “butter”cream

  • Make the coconut cream first – on day of cake baking (or before) open tin of coconut milk, and you’ll see that the “fat” has rise to the top.
  • Scoop this into a mixing bowl, and discard (or drink!) the coconut water underneath
  • Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the coconut cream with some cocoa powder, icing sugar and vanilla (to your taste) You could also add in coffee extract for a mocha buttercream!
  • Refrigerate until you’re ready the ice the cake

For the cake I made my standard Lily Vanilli plain victoria sponge cake.

I drizzled caramel sauce in between the layers and also over the top of the cake.

Caramel Sauce Recipe:

  • 75 grams margarine (or butter if you’re not dairy free!)
  • 50 grams soft light brown sugar
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 50 grams golden syrup
  • 125 ml oat or soya cream (or double cream if you’re not dairy free!)
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel


  • Melt marg, sugars and golden syrup in a pan over low heat
  • Let boil away for 4 mins, stirring occasionally
  • Add in cream and salt to taste and mix well
  • Leave to cool

To assemble the cake, let the super-soft sponge cool completely. Sandwich the layers with the cocoa buttercream. Stir in some caramel if it.s too hard. Drizzle caramel over tip of buttercream and put on another layer. Put some more buttercream on top and drizzle with yet more sauce! Decorate however you like, I like the sprinkle effect!

Slice, serve, enjoy!

Winter Tea Cakes

13 Jan

It’s well known that we Brits love tea time. Whether it’s tea and crumpets, or tea and cake, we’ll munch through it all! Today’s post is a lovely spiced tea cake recipe, perfect with a cup of tea when it’s cold outside.



I added some dark chocolate and raspberries to top these off, but you could also use a dollop of whipped cream or add some frosting, or just serve warm!



Ingredients (makes 24):

  • 360g plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 340g butter or dairy free spread (I used margarine)
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 250ml milk of choice
  • 200g dark chocolate (optional)
  • Raspberries or any other fruit (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C
  • Grease 2 12-hole cupcake/muffin tins
  • Mix together the dry ingredients (flour/baking powder/spices) until combined
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until pale, then mix in the vanilla bean paste
  • Add in the butter+sugar mixture to the dry mix and add milk about 100ml at a time. Mix well.
  • Separate the eggs and mix in the yolks. Beat the whites until stiff peaks form
  • Fold the whites into the mixture until you cant see them and the mixture is light and fluffy
  • Divide the mixture into the cupcake tin (I use an ice cream scoop for this!)
  • Bake for 15-20 mins – until lightly browned and a skewer in the middle comes out clean
  • Transfer to wire rack and leave to cool
  • Whilst cakes are cooling, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie
  • Once cakes are cool, spread the chocolate on the top of the cakes and top with fruit of choice
  • SERVE with a nicely brewed cuppa!
*Recipe slightly adapted from Lily Vanilli

Brownie Cookie Dough Cupcakes

15 Jan

My two favourite things. Brownies & cookie dough, brought together… In a cupcake. OMFG get in my face now!

Sumptuously tempting

Sumptuously tempting

These are crazy easy to make in just one evening with all the ingredients in your cupboards, and taste ridiculous. There’s a heft to them, they’re like a mini meal! Not for the faint hearted…

Don't eat all the cookie dough now!

Don’t eat all the cookie dough now!

Getting ready to frost

Getting ready to frost

The finished deal!

The finished cupcake!

I based my cupcakes on this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Quantities below make 20 cupcakes.


  • For the cupcakes:
  • 225g dark chocolate chips or chopped up
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 6 large eggs
  • 190g plain flour
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • For the cookie dough topping:
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 330g soft & light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 320g plain flour
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 235ml milk 
  • 150g milk chocolate chips


  • For the brownie cupcakes (mix by hand):
  • Melt the dark choc and butter in bain marie, set aside to cool.
  • When choc mixture has cooled, mix in sugar and vanilla.
  • Mix in eggs one at a time, until well incorporated
  • Sift in flour and salt and mix together until you have a thick, glossy batter.
  • Spoon into cupcake cases and bake on 180oC for 20-25 mins.
  • For cookie dough frosting (with hand or stand mixer):
  • Whisk together butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add in vanilla and sift in flour
  • Add in milk to create a gooey cookie dough
  • Mix in chocolate chips by hand
  • When cupcakes are cooled, spoon on your frosting and fluff it up to look enticing! Decorate with smarties or sprinkles if you wish!


Holiday Baking

3 Jan

Happy 2014! Sorry guys i’ve been way too quiet the past month, even though the truth is i’ve been making and baking more than ever. I’ve found my new favourite snack… sweet n salty pretzel bites:

crunchy and delicious!

crunchy and delicious!

They are so addictive! I made a NYE bundt cake too… marbled, sparkly, and looks just like fireworks! (Well I hope so anyway!)



I stayed in this NYE and made homemade pizzas and pasta for dinner – and watched the fireworks of course!

Happy New Year and here’s to 2014!

Moustached Movember Baking

15 Nov

Movember… thats right. Raise money by growing a moustache (if you’re a guy) or raising money by baking if you’re me!

Tash with a 'tache...

Tash with a ‘tache…

This week we had a Movember Bake Sale at work, so obviously I baked!

Lots of shortbread cookies...

Lots of shortbread cookies…

Vanilla shortbread, chocolate shortbread, dipped in milk and white chocolate, and liberally sprinkled with pistachio… YUM!

IMG_4644Get your ‘tache on a stick!

Girls bringing the 'tache back!

Girls bringing the ‘tache back!

Cookie close-up!

Cookie close-up!

I used my fail sale vanilla shortbread recipe by Lily Vanilli, and a batch of chocolate shortbread.

Chocolate Shortbread Recipe


  • 180 grams unsalted butter
  • 90 grams caster sugar
  • A sprinkle of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 240 grams plain flour
  • 30 grams cocoa powder
  • I egg yolk


  • Sift together flour and cocoa powder
  • Add in the sugar, salt and vanilla and mix all dry ingredients together
  • Rub in butter until the dough looks like breadcrumbs
  • Add in the egg yolk and incorporate until dough begins to come together
  • Roll out dough to 1cm thickness and cut into whichever shape you fancy!
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  • Bake for 15-18 mins approx at 165oC
  • Take out and leave to cool
  • Dip in melted chocolate and sprinkle over pistachios, or whichever topping you choose


ENJOY! Are you doing Movember?!

Another Bake Sale

21 Oct

Another weekend, another bake sale! Hi bakers, cakers and foodie fanatics. I’ve now fully moved into my new place, and after a couple of baking trial runs, I was ready for a MAMMOTH day of baking, in aid of my mum’s 115km trek for charity (for amazing kid’s charity One to One.)

For this occasion, I baked:

One very berry Victoria Sponge (with homemade berry coulis of course!)

One very berry Victoria Sponge (with homemade berry coulis of course!)

Melt in the mouth chocolate chip shortbread

Melt in the mouth chocolate chip shortbread

Pink vanilla cupcakes

Pink vanilla cupcakes

Chocolate Overload Cupcakes

Chocolate Overload Cupcakes

As well as some gorgeous gooey salted caramel brownies (not shown as they were gobbled up before I even got to take a picture!) We also had a velvety cheesecake, soft white choc and raspberry cookies, passion walnut cake, gluten free cupcakes, gingernut creams and a fabulous marble bundt cake!

Everyone had a brilliant time, and we raised nearly £350 for charity

Lots of other yummy bakes too!

Lots of other yummy bakes too!

Everyone loved the brownies and the choccy cupcakes, so i’ll be posting a recipe for those soon! What baking did you get up to this weekend?

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

9 Sep
Death by Chocolate

Death by Chocolate

This cake is a chocoholic’s dream… the ultimate cake for any chocolate lover! It’s a dense but moist chocolate cake, sandwiched together by not one by TWO different buttercreams, decorated with chocolate and drizzled with home-made salted caramel sauce. Drooling yet?!

All the chocolate!

All the chocolate!


As you can see, Mr Cadbury made a bit of an appearance here….! This cake is so rich that one slice is enough, and must be accompanied by a hot drink!

I adapted a Telegraph recipe for the cake, and made my own chocolate and Speculoos buttercream, as well as salted caramel sauce to accompany the cake.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 450g unsalted butter, softened
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml milk


  • Sift flour,cocoa powder and baking powder together in a mixing bowl and add in caster sugar and butter at room temperature
  • Mix using a stand or hand mixer until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  • Add in eggs one at a time, using the mixer on slow speed to incorporate
  • Add the vanilla to the milk and do the same, adding bit by bit until all combined
  • Pour the mixture into 2 separate tins (you can use 2 8 inch cake tins here)
  • Bake on 180oC for 35-45 mins approx, until cooked though (you can test this by inserting a skewer, you want it to come out clean, or with only a few crumbs)
  • Cool the cakes, and make your buttercreams and salted caramel

I used Nigella’s recipe for salted caramel sauce.

I made a speculoos buttercream by whipping together about 400g sifted icing sugar with 50g butter, and spooning in the speculoos spread until it reaches a thick creamy consistency. You can but the spread here. I used this buttercream to sandwich the cake together.

To top the cake I made a chocolate buttercream:


  • 450g icing sugar
  • 65g cocoa powder
  • 230g butter
  • 2tbs milk
  • 2tbs cream


  • Sift together icing sugar and coca powder
  • Add in butter and whisk well
  • Pour in milk and cream, adding more if needed, and whisk until it reaches a buttercream consistency
  • Feel free to add in more milk/cream if needed
  • This will make more than you need!
Cakey Closeup

Cakey Closeup


When the cakes were cooled I sliced the tops off to level them, and used the speculoos buttercream in the middle and topped with chocolate buttercream. I decorated the top of the cake using mini Cadbury chocolate bars, and drizzled the caramel sauce around the edges to keep it moist. This was a truly decadent cake, made for a birthday.

As you can see, birthday boy and the whole family (including me!) enjoyed it!

Tuck in!

Tuck in!