Vanilla cupcakes (Magnolia Bakery)

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I realised something this afternoon – it’s been almost three months since we got back from America and I am yet to try out some of the baking gadgets and recipe books I collected throughout the journey. What a waste! So I decide to set things straight and try something from the only recipe book I picked up during the trip – The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook.

Since they’re famous for their cupcakes, it wasn’t hard to pick what I would be making – while the cookbook is packed with cake, biscuits, slice and pie recipes I just had to try a cupcake recipe first. I’ve already told you about the wonderful cupcakes we picked up from Magnolia Bakery in New York, but here’s a recap: they were light, fluffy, flavoursome and delicious. Exactly what you want in a cupcake, right?

Apparently, Magnolia Bakery’s most popular cupcakes are their classic vanilla with pink buttercream icing and sprinkles – sounds good to me! I dug out some bright pink cupcake liners, pink food colouring and confetti sprinkles and got to work.

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Peanut butter squares

Happy Friday!

If you’re a peanut butter fan you are going to love today’s Fast Friday recipe – delicious, quick and easy peanut butter squares. Remember the peanut butter bites I shared last year? Well this recipe is almost identical, except you don’t have to bother rolling anything! I was given this recipe by a good friend and am so excited to share it with you – I’m sure it will become a quick favourite with you too.
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Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

Somehow I don’t think many of you will have a case of ‘the Mondays’ this morning – it’s Easter Monday so you’ve probably had a sleep in, leisurely breakfast and an Easter egg or two to get the day off to a good start (I know I have!) But to make your day even brighter – or give you something to read with morning tea – here are five of my favourite things this week.

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Hot cross suprise cupcakes

Happy Easter Sunday everyone! I hope you’re having a wonderful long weekend and that you got totally spoilt by the Easter bunny (I certainly did!)

One of my favourite things about blogging is the people you meet – whether it’s other bloggers or readers, I always love finding a note in my inbox from someone new. There are some wonderful bloggers out there, and I was lucky enough to become friends with one of them through a mutual love (read: obsession) of baking – the lovely Lydia of Lydia Bakes.

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of working with Lydia on something a bit special – an Easter collaboration post! After coming up with the idea of doing a cupcake version of the classic hot cross bun, we worked together on every part of the process – from conception and design to baking and decorating. And if you ask me, the result is pretty spectacular.

We came up with Hot Cross Surprise cupcakes – a fluffy, spiced cupcake (packed with chocolate chips instead of raisins), topped with a smear of buttercream icing and half a hollow Easter egg iced with a royal icing cross.

The special part? When you crack open the egg treats tumble out, just like the old fashioned Easter eggs!

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Chocolate & caramel Easter egg cheesecake

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I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t really feel like autumn at the moment – we still have a fan going all night long, the days are still boiling and our house still gets so hot that it feels like we’re in the tropics (less the sandy beaches and cocktails). Some days it feels like autumn might be making an appearance, but then it vanishes as quickly as it came.

In this kind of weather, cheesecakes are the perfect sweet treat. Not only do you not have to touch the oven (assuming you make a bake-less variety), but the finished dessert is cool and refreshing – exactly what you want on a warm evening. Perfection.

With Easter on the horizon I decided to make an Easter-y version of a chocolate cheesecake, packing it with some of Kevin’s favourite eggs – mini caramel ones! Imagine a chocolate base (good enough to eat by itself) topped with a rich and fluffy cheesecake stuffed with caramel egg pieces, finished with a layer of dark chocolate ganache and garnished with a halo of caramel eggs. Sounds good, right?

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Raspberry & white chocolate shortcake

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Ingredients

  • 200g butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ½ cup white chocolate drops
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a square cake pan with baking paper
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well.
  3. Fold in flour and baking powder until well combined.
  4. Press 2/3 of shortbread mixture into the base of the tin. Spoon raspberries and chocolate over the base. Sprinkle remaining shortbread mixture on top, pressing gently.
  5. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until lightly golden. Serve cooled.