Archives for posts with tag: vanilla

George celebrated her 30th birthday on Tuesday and to mark the occasion, she threw a huge party and no birthday party is complete unless there are cupcakes involved.

Wanting to set a challenge, I decided to test a new recipe. This one was out of my trusty Home Bake cookbook. Everything I have made from this book has been incredible, the cupcakes were no exception. (Eric Lanlard is a genius)

The room was decorated in purple and silver, so I created vanilla cupcakes with purple frosting in purple and silver cases.

And thankfully, the cakes were a hit with the guests, too!

Happy birthday, George! 30 is a great year.


I was asked by a work colleague to create some cupcakes for her sister in law’s baby shower. The guest of honor knew she was having a girl, so pink was the theme for these delicious treats.

I made half of the order chocolate and the other half vanilla, both topped with vanilla frosting in different shades of pink. Thanks to the colour testing, I knew that the “Claret” shade would help create just the right tones.

The tiny feet made these just that bit more special. I couldn’t resist.

It’s that time of year where cupids and hearts are everywhere you look… Valentines’ Day.  I have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day.  I love the idea of it – all shiny, happy and lovey-dovey.  I’m a fan of red and heart shaped things too.  I hate it because my expectations are seldom met.  I do hope for a card or something, though (hint, hint).

Men feel that it’s just a gimmicky “Hallmark” holiday, but it didn’t start out that way.  According to Wikipedia (and they are never wrong…heh), “St Valentine’s Day, named after a Christian martyr, was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD” and goes on to say “The first recorded association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer.”  So there you have it, fellas! It’s history.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day and my fondness for things red and heart shaped, I decided to make Valentine’s cupcakes.  I recently purchased a new cookbook and wanted to give it a spin.  I went for the American Vanilla Cupcake out of Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache by Harry Eastwood of Cook Yourself Thin.  It’s only appropriate being that I’m American.

Instead of using butter as the fat in this recipe, she uses zucchini (or courgettes depending on where you live).  I love zucchini bread so I thought, hey… why not!

The cake batter didn’t seem to be much different from the usual cupcake batter.

After they came out of the oven, a little munchkin was instantly hovering wanting to try the latest creation.

The texture was really nice. Just like a cupcake that used butter.  The outside was a bit chewy, but I think the oven was a bit hot and I probably could have reduced the time slightly.  They reminded me a bit of angel food cake, and that is not a bad thing!  I will definitely be trying more recipes from Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache. Boy, I could use a manicure…

**Since it’s all things hearts, here’s a photo of the cherry crumble in heart shaped baking dishes. We were able to enjoy them once the oven was fixed. YUM!**

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