Trying out a few new things.

Today I just felt like making some cupcakes, as you do.

It was more because I had said I was going to make a peanut butter and jam cheesecake to @nessliddell but then I forgot to check the recipe before I went to the supermarket. So that has been put off till next week.


Instead I found some Betty Crocker’s frosting, so decided to try it. This is a great find because 1) Did not know we had Betty Crocker in New Zealand, 2) I found it at Pak’n’Sav Hastings, which is well known for not stocking even basic products (like 600ml Cokes or Watties Sweet Chilli Sauce – I mean come on, it is bottled but a mere few blocks away!) and 3) It is so goddamn delicious. I could eat it with a spoon, just like nutella.

Also my dear friend @LittleIchiban brought me back some Minnie’s Bake Shop sprinkles from the US of A “cha cha cha”. So I thought today was a brilliant time to use them, because why have them, if you aren’t going to use them?

So I just made a basic vanilla cupcake recipe which you can find here.

Here is the end result:

Evil in cupcake form.

This has been sitting in my drafts for a while and obviously I’m going on a finishing spree of posts lately. Don’t be deceived by the cloud like appearance. These cupcakes are evil, pure evil because of the amount of sugar they have in them. They do taste amazing though. I devoured four by the end of the day.


Coconut lemon curd cake: 125g butter, softened. 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind. 2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar. 2 eggs. 1/3 cup (80ml) milk. 3/4 cup (60g) desiccated coconut. 1 1/4 cups (185g) self-raising flour

Lemon curd: 4 egg yolks. 1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar. 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind. 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice. 40g butter.

Coconut meringue: 4 egg whites. 1 cup (220g) caster sugar. 1 1/3 cups (95g) shredded coconut, chopped finely.


1. Make lemon curd. Combine ingredients in a small heatproof bowl over small saucepan of simmering water, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Cover tightly, refrigerate curd until cold.

2. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Line 6-hole texas or 12-hole standard muffin pan with paper cases.

3. Beat butter, rind, sugar and eggs in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.

4. Stir in milk and coconut, then sifted flour. Divide mixture among cases; smooth surface.

5. Bake large cakes about 25 minutes, small cakes about 20 minutes. Turn cakes onto wire rack to cool. Increase oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced.

6. Cut a 2cm deep hole in the centre of each cake, fill with curd; discard cake tops [WHY!?]

7. Make coconut meringue: Beat egg whites in small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form; gradually add sugar beating until sugar dissolves. Fold in coconut. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain tube.

8. Pip meringue on top of each cake; place cakes on oven tray.

9. Bake in hot oven 5 minutes or until meringue is browned lightly.


The recipe calls for coconut in the cake and in the meringue, but I made it without. Partly because there was none in the cupboard when I decided to make them and partly because coconut is such a weird ingredient.

With meringue you literally need to beat the shit out of it, and then some more. This is usually where people go wrong – they don’t beat the egg whites enough. Just so happens, this was the first time I have EVER tried to make meringue and I think I did a pretty damn good job. Except for the fact that after a day you could see the sugar coming out in the meringue – a tell-tale sign I did not beat the egg whites enough. My mother said you can test if it is done by rubbing some meringue between your fingers (DIRTY) to feel if the sugar is dissolved. If you can still feel crystals, beat that shit some more. This she tells me after I’ve already baked them and eaten two. Oh well.

With piping the meringue onto the cupcakes you don’t necessarily have to pipe it. I don’t have a piping bag so instead used a knife to spread it on. Bit more messy, but it gets the job done.

Don’t just throw away the left overs. Why would you? It’s good eating. You can perhaps make a cake of sorts. Grab a baking dish, layer the cut out bits of cupcake on the bottom, spread with left-over lemon curd and then spread left-over meringue over that and bake until golden. Of course, you could just eat the left-overs without doing this, like I did. Nom nom nom. But be warned: I felt sick for hours and no amount of Coke Zero made me feel better. And trust me. YOU WILL HAVE LEFT-OVERS.

Sunday cupcake fun.

Just having a play around with some left-over icing-in-a-can. Came up with these delicious creations. Used a basic vanilla cupcake recipe and the icing is Wilton’s icing in a can/tube, which I originally found from Milly’s in Ponsonby, but you can probably find it in any baking/cooking shop – I have found it at Total Food Equipment in Napier.

Where are all the cupcakes? Here they all are!

I do love making cupcakes, especially when I experiment with the frosting. These ones were made for my news production peeps and my friend Sam commissioned me to make them for her boyfriend.

Baking is my way of spreading the love. These ones were made with luff and cuddles.

Cupcakes are so easy to make, but the tricky-ness can come when making the icing for the cupcakes. I hope to experiment more with different toppings when I have more time (i.e. when uni is finished in 3 weeks – EEK!)

But the easiest type of frosting to make for cupcakes is butter cream – all you need to do is whip the shit out of the butter then add some icing sugar and then keep whipping. Then once you’ve whipped it a lot, you add whatever flavouring you like. These ones I just added cocoa, to add a rich chocolate flavour. I may attempt a ganaché at some point, where you use melted chocolate instead of cocoa.

Basic Vanilla Buttercake


90g butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar

2 eggs

1 cup (150g) self-raising flour

2 tablespoons of milk


1. Prehead oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Line a 12-hole standard muffin pan with paper cases.

2. Beat butter, extract, sugar, eggs, four, and milk in a small bowl with electric mixer on low speed until ingredients are just combined. Increase speed to medium, beat until mixture is changed to a paler colour.

3. Divide mixture among cases; smooth surface.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes. Turn cakes onto a wire rack to cool.

Butter cream frosting

125g butter, softened

1 1/2 cups (240g) icing sugar

2 tablespoons milk

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

Beat butter in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy; beat in sifted icing sugar and milk, in two batches. Add cocoa powder and stir in.

Using a  knife spread butter cream frosting onto cupcakes.


When baking the cupcakes keep an eye on them and test them by poking them with your finger. When they spring back, they are cooked.

Make sure when you are making the butter cream frosting that you whip it for a long time, you should notice the butter becoming a paler colour. By whipping it a lot it makes it a lot creamier and the icing sugar starts to blend more with the butter. You shouldn’t be able to tell that there is sugar in the frosting, if it has been beaten enough.

Other frosting ideas

Food colourings

Chopped chocolate – a block of Black Forest is good, but you can try anything – Rocky Road, macadamia nut or just plain chocolate.

Leaving the butter cream frosting plain and sprinkling with shaved chocolate or almonds or other types of nuts or you could decorate with silver balls sprinkled on top or 100s and 1000s etc.

Using M&Ms to decorate the top of the cupcakes, once frosting is on or mix the M&Ms in the frosting then decorate cupcakes.

Oreos chopped up in the icing, or the cupcakes or just added on top – gives a cookies and cream flavouring.

If you can’t be bothered making your own frosting, you can buy icing in a can – IT IS THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD. You can buy it from Milly’s cake shop in Auckland.

Crude cupcakes. Basic butter creme frosting with some pink food colouring and silver baubles spelling out crude words for teh lols.
An entire block of black forest chocolate chopped up into a basic butter creme frosting.
Black icing in a can with M&Ms and Oreos for decoration.