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Mini cupcakes

Mini cupcakes

Just had to post these cute little mini cupcakes I made tonight – too delightful not to share.

Vanilla cupcakes with frosting

Vanilla cupcakes with frosting

Everyday should be a ‘cupcake and frosting day‘.

A quick post, as I just wanna dive into those beauties. This is a bog standard cupcake recipe; fool proof and found in just about any recipe book.



Here’s how (standard cupcake recipe)                   Makes 12 – muffin case size

Bits you need:


  • 200g self raising flour
  • 200g unsalted butter – softned
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g vanilla sugar – if no vanilla sugar, then make it 200g caster and add 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon milk


  • 150g butter
  • 350g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoon double cream or milk
  • Food colour – if desired
  • sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Prepare cupcake tins with muffin cases
  3. Place butter and both sugars in your mixing bowl (I used my Kenwood – or you can do it by hand)
  4. Beat the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy and goes pale in colour.
  5. Crack eggs in a jug, and whisk.
  6. Add a little of the egg and mix till combined and repeat until all egg has been used up, adding a little of the flour on the last addition.
  7. Mix in the remaining flour and add the mix – mix well.
  8. You should have a nice dropping consistency.
  9. Fill muffin cases – just over half way is ideal, or a little more if you want a bigger top to your cupcake.
  10. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Test with a skewer – if it comes out clean then your cupcakes are ready.
  11. Leave to cool on a cooling rack and make your frosting.


  1. Beat the softened butter for at least 5 minutes on high speed.
  2. Add icing sugar a tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add vanilla essence and double cream.
  4. Now beat the icing sugar for at least 5 minutes on high speed – I usually do it for at least 10. I just love the final consistency of the frosting – it is very light and fluffy.
  5. Add food colouring; a little at a time – use a toothpick or the end of a spoon to add colour in stages to get the desired colour.
  6. Fill piping bag and pipe – NO piping bag, then just load your cupcakes with icing and be generous with your sprinkles.




Pretty gluten-free shortbread

Pretty gluten-free shortbread

These shortbread are truly a delight and gluten-free too!. I have tried several different gluten-free shortbread recipes which  have not been hugely successful. These however, are delicious and taste like the real deal and this will be the only one I will use from now on – based purely on taste. Naturally with most dough like gluten-free baking there is always a downside. Rolling out the dough was tricky, so I had to do it between two pieces of clingfilm and carefully peel off and place on tray. A bit fiddly, but did the trick. Of course I just had to spend the time making them look pretty because they look so dull otherwise. Recipe taken from


Here’s how:                                                          

Bits you need:

  • 100g cornflour
  • 180g white rice flour (doves farm rice flour is great)
  • 8 tablespoons caster sugar (recipe also states icing if preferred)
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened.
  1. Sift both flours into a large bowl (or standing mixer bowl – Kenwood)
  2. Add sugar.
  3. Cut butter into cubes, then add to flour. Rub in with fingertips to combine and eventually you will get large breadcrumbs, bring together to form a dough ball. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 1 hour in fridge. (I used my Kenwood to do all the hard work – just take care to not over mix as the mixture will soften quickly).
  4. Preheat oven to Gas2/150C
  5. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper.
  6. Prepare to equal sized piece of clingfilm to roll the dough between.
  7. Remove dough from fridge.
  8. Break off a piece, enough to make two biscuits. Place between two pieces of clingfilm and roll gently to desired thickness. I roll mine to a little thicker than a £1 coin.
  9. Remove the top lay of clingfilm and used cutter to cut our biscuits.
  10. Carefully remove the shapes and place on a tray.
  11. Repeat this process until all dough is finished.
  12. Place in oven, bake for 20 -25 minutes until edges start to brown.
  13. Remove, leave to cool on tray as they will still be fragile. Allow to cool and decorate if desired.


To decorate, I just used a thicker glace icing (icing sugar and water) and piped the shapes with a small nozzle. Do not worry if you cannot pipe or have a steady hand, just free form it –  I did!



True Ofsted Conversation #1

True Ofsted Conversation #1.

The cookie of all ‘Giant Cookies’!

Decided to just open up a random cookbook today and make whatever was on the page.  Cookies, it was then. Not just any cookies, but GIANT ones. It was not my intention for them to be that big, but the recipe did say it was for 10 cookies, more like 20 medium size ones. In the end it does not matter what size they are, these are just simply the cookie of all cookies; a little crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Just how I like them. There is one downside however, well actually there is two. Not gluten free, much to hubbies disgust (but then I did made him Tiramisu cupcakes last night) and I did not have as many choc chips as I would have liked. Recipe – courtesy of Jo Wheatley ‘Passion for baking’.


Fancy a go, here it is:

200g unsalted butter

200g light soft brown sugar

125g demerera sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

400g plain flour

1/4 tsp baking powder (recipe stated 1 tsp)

1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda (recipe stated 1 tsp)

loads of choc chips/or chopped up chocolate


  1. Pre heat oven 170C
  2. Place butter and both sugars into a mixer (I used my trusty kenwood)
  3. Cream together until fluffy.
  4. Beat eggs in a jug, then add to mixture a little at a time, mixing well until combined.
  5. Add vanilla
  6. Sift in flour and baking powders, add chocolate.
  7. Using a wooden spoon at this stage mix to a dough, or dough hook on your mixer if you have one.
  8. Get ready a couple of large baking sheets with greaseproof.
  9. Divide mixture into 10 pieces (2o for smaller cookies)
  10. Place 4 or 5 on  baking sheet. Be sure to leave large gaps as these spread out quite a bit.
  11. Place on lot in oven , middle shelf. Bake for about 5 mins. Take out oven then tap the baking sheet on work top. This makes the cookies dispell air and then place back in oven for another 7 – 10 mins. (the second batch I just flattened carefully with the palm of my hand, instead of banging tray on surface)
  12. Remove, leave to cool for a few mins then place another tray of cookies in oven.
  13. When cool, place on cooling rack.

When cool, enjoy with a nice glass of cold milk.

Tiramisu Cupcakes – gluten free

Tiramisu Cupcakes – gluten free

Oh! How I have missed baking these last four weeks. Finally, I can forget about marking student’s work, well for the moment anyway and get on with making some yummy treats. Take a look at these scrumptious Tiramisu cupcakes with lashings of cream - gluten free of course. Have not tucked into one yet, but I have it on good authority that they are totally worth it. So, I had better hurry up with this blog post and grab one before they are all gone. I am in the mood for a cupcake weekend, so watch this space.

tiramusu cupcakes


Here goes: (makes 9)

110g butter or baking marg

110g self raising gluten free flour (doves farm)

110g light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 tablespoon coffee (dissolved in a small amount hot water)

2 tablespoons milk

For the topping you need:

300ml double cream or whipping cream

2 tablespoons icing sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa powder for dusting


Here’s how:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Prepare muffin cases – this mixture makes 9 standard muffins.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl (I used my kenwood – easy peasy), mix well until combined.
  4. Add more milk if mixture is too stiff – but I have found there is no need to do this.
  5. Fill muffin cases about two thirds, place in oven and bake for about 20mins.
  6. Leave to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, pour cream into mixing bowl along with the icing sugar. Whisk until cream is at piping consistency.
  8. Load a piping bag (if you do not have one, use small sandwich bag and snip a 1cm hole in on corner).
  9. Pipe as desired.
  10. Sprinkle with cocoa powder.
  11. Any cream left over, just eat it!


Anyone for Pretzels

Anyone for Pretzels

Pretzels! When Ryan suggested making these, my immediate thought was ‘oh god, hope they come out okay’. I am ashamed to admit that this was a total first for me. Well actually, Ryan did all the hard work, I just took pictures. It was not as complicated as I first thought, simple really. There are many recipes on the internet, some that take all night (I don’t think so!) and some with much shorter time frame. Needless to say, we chose the shortest pretzel recipe we could find and one that was not too finikety. We settled for the ‘Almost famous Soft Pretzels’ recipe.

We went to Germany two years ago and became hooked on them. I thought perhaps that is what inspired him to make them, but nope, it was the Simpsons apparently. Anyway he was a little star and the pretzels were a hit. I love the combination of sweetened dough with the salt crystals. Mmmm delicious, these were super tasty.


Bits you need:

240ml milk

7g dried, fast action yeast

320g plain flour

3 tablespoon soft brown sugar

120g butter (first 60g for pretzel dough and the rest for later), softened

1 teaspoon fine salt

20g baking powder

150ml water, warm

Here’s how:

  1. Warm the milk in a saucepan (does not need to be hot or boil, just warm to the touch is fine)
  2. Pour it into a large bowl and sprinkle over the yeast. Leave for 5 – 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the brown sugar and mix in half the flour and the fine salt.
  4. Add 60g of the butter and mix in well.
  5. add the remainder of the flour to make a sticky dough.
  6. Flour your work surface and turn out he dough.
  7. Knead for about 5 mins, then place in a greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave somewhere warm to proof until double in size. About 1 hour is plenty.
  8. Turn oven onto Gas 7 /220C, grease a large baking sheet or two smaller ones.
  9. Knock back the dough, by punching it, then turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds.
  10. Divide in to six pieces. Each piece need rolling out and stretching to about 40cms if you can. The recipe i used required a longer length, but we found 40cms was ample.
  11. Form each pretzel shape. Here are some images on how to do it
  12. Dissolve the baking powder in warm water.
  13. Dip each pretzel into the solution and then place on baking tray.
  14. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
  15. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 mins, until golden brown.
  16. Remove from oven.
  17. Melt the remainder of the butter and brush each pretzel generously, place on rack to cool.


More pics of Ryan making the pretzels.


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