Lemon Drop Cupcakes

taken from Better Homes and Gardens

3/4 cups butter
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup limoncello (Italian lemon liqeur) or milk
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp finely shredded lemon peel
1 recipe lemon frosting
1/2 cup lemon drop candies, finely crushed
1 recipe glazed lemon slices

1. Preheat oven to 350 deg.  Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temp for 30 min.  In a medium bowl, stir together baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup combine the 2/3 C milk and the limoncello and set aside.
2. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on med. to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add sugar and lemon peel; beat until combined. Add eggs, one and a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. 3.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups (about 20) filling each about 3/4 full.  Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.  Bake for 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.  Cool cupcakes in pan for 5 min, remove to wire racks, cool completely. 
4.  Up to 1 hour before serving, generously spread or pipe lemon frosting onto cupcakes.  Sprinkle crushed candies over frosted cupcakes.  Top cupcakes with glazed lemon slices.

Allow 1/3 C butter sto stand at room temp. for 30 min.  In a large mixing bowl beat butter, 1/3 C shortening, and 1 tsp vanilla with an electric mixer on med. speed for 30 sec.  Slowly add 2 C powdered sugar, beating well.  Add 2 Tbsp lemon juice.  Gradually beat in 2 C additional powdered sugar.  beat in 1 - 2 Tbsp milk, 1 tsp at a time., until frosting is spreading consistency.  Makes about 2 1/3 C frosting.

Slice two small lemons into 1/4 in - thick slices.  Remove seeds.  Roll slices in sugar to coat well.  Coat an unheated large skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Preheat skillet over med-high heat.  Arrange slices in a single layer in the skillet. Cook for 6-8 min or until sugar dissolves and lemon slices appear to be glazed (do not let them brown), turning once. Transfer to a piece of foil; cool completely.  Roll cooled lemon slices in sugar again before serving.  These slices are edible, if desired.
lemon peel
guest post: IN Baker

Keep Calm and Bake On

I want one of these!!
 For more necklaces like this check out Pretty Whimsical Esty site!!

Pretty Whimsical's Scrabble tile pendants are affordable and trendy. Scrabble tile pendants make fun gifts for teens, friends, moms, teachers and coworkers. These unique necklaces would make lovely party favors or bridesmaids gifts. Scrabble tile pendants can be made into cuff links, rings, pins or key chain fobs, upon request. taken from the pretty whimsical esty page

Keep Calm and Carry On was a poster produced by the British government in 1939 during the beginning of World War II, intended to raise the morale of the British public in the event of invasion. Seeing only limited distribution, it was little known. The poster was rediscovered in 2000 and has been re-issued by a number of private sector companies, and used as the decorative theme for a range of other products. There are only two known surviving examples of the poster outside of government archives. Taken from Wikipedia

Irn Bru Cupcakes

Adapted from Cola Cupcakes by the hummingbird bakery Cake Days

80g unsalted butter, softened
280g golden caster sugar
240g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
100ml + 5 tbsp* Irn Bru
140ml full fat milk
2 large eggs

*I started with 100ml and added more to up the taste, but I think you really do need the syrup for this if you know a pub owner who has Irn Bru on tap you’re in luck!! You’ll only need a tbsp of syrup and 240ml of milk then follow the recipe as stated below.

Pre-heat oven at 190*C and line your muffin tin
I softened the butter in the microwave so some of it was liquid, then I mixed it with the caster sugar, plain flour, baking powder, and salt until it looked like sand.
In a jug I beat the Irn Bru, milk and eggs together.
I then poured about 1/3 of the wet mixture into the dry and beat on low then medium to make a smooth mixture.
Then I poured the rest in and mixed until smooth.
I then baked for 18-20 minutes I rotate half way through because my oven is uneven.
Then I cheated and used pre-made Betty Crocker vanilla icing.

golden tops

the tops were so good I almost didn't put icing on them!
The big question do they taste like Irn Bru. No. See * note above. Although they did not taste of my husband’s favorite soft drink, they did turn out good. They have a nice golden top (see pictures) that’s sort of caramelized and very yummy.
It’s the first time I sort of adapted my own recipe from someone else’s. I originally got the idea from this blog. I might try her recipe some day to see if it tastes more like Irn Bru.
Has anyone else tried baking with soft drinks and if so…What did you try? Did it work out? What would you do differently if anything?
My husband's co-workers loved these!! ;0)

Stinkerdoodles (Snickerdoodles)

My kids lovingly call these cookies "stinkerdoodles". I like these because I often have these ingredients on hand. ~IN Baker

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 deg.
2. Combine butter and sugar.
3. Blend in eggs one at a time.
4. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt in separate bowl.
5. Add flour mixture to the rest a little at at time.
6. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish.
7. Shape dough into 1/4 in balls and roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
8. Bake on a cookie sheet for 9 min. Makes about 2 dozen.

guest post: IN Baker

Chocolate Macaroons

Taken from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
(if you haven't noticed I have a new book!!) 

250g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
25g cocoa powder
4 large egg whites
25g caster sugar

for the ganache filling
90ml (6tbsp) double cream
150g plain chocolate, chopped
45g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter

  1. Pre-heat oven 180*C/gas mark 4 line your baking sheets (I used whoopie pie tins….see pictures)
  2. Sift icing sugar, ground almonds, and cocoa powder.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until half-stiff, then sprinkle over the caster sugar and continue whisking until stiff, but not dry.
  4. Gradually fold in the sifted ingredients
  5. Fit the icing nozzle into the bag, sit it in a tall glass, turn the bag back to form a cuff and fill with the macaroon mixture. Pipe out 5cm rounds and leave to stand for 15 minutes to form a skin. (I don’t have piping bags so I used a Ziploc but was over zealous and didn’t think it through when I filled the small makeshift-piping bag with the batter. So, when I went to squeeze it out it all came out the top!!)
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes: you want them dry on top, but still chewy underneath (I think I baked mine too long as they were too dry)
  7. When cool sandwich with the ganache (which I never made because I couldn’t get mine off the pans without smooshing them so I shoved them all in a Ziploc container)
To make the ganache: heat all the ingredients in a saucepan until the chocolate is just melted. Off the heat, whisk until thick, and when cool spread with a knife on the underside of one macaroon, than stick another macaroon to it.

trying to get them out of the pan...

all the macaroons smooshed in a ziploc container

I scraped up my pan... oops.
This was my first ever attempt at macaroons. Although a few bumps along the way, not using a proper piping bag, pan, and baking too long (I think?) they tasted good! I cut them into chunks like a cake or brownie and smothered in the double cream which was suppose to be for the ganache.

Love Cake - A Baking Song by Rocky and Balls

Here's a little someting for the end of the weekend- A very fun song about loving cake! You can't help but smile!! You can download this song on their website!! They have a limited edition cd too!! They ship anywhere!! You can follow them on facebook or twitter!! I love there song about beards too!!

Here are the lyrics: (taken from youtube)

I'm gonna bake you a love cake
I'm gonna bake you a love cake
I'm gonna put it on a love plate
and serve it up to you

I'm gonna bake you a love cake
I'm gonna bake you a love cake
I'm gonna put it on a love plate
and serve it up to you

I'm gonna mix it in my love bowl
and add a little bit of my soul
I'm gonna put it in your cake hole
I'll serve it up to you

It'll be so moist
It'll taste so good
then you'll feel my love
deep inside of you

I'm gonna fold in a love egg
I'm gonna add a little nutmeg
I'm gonna guarantee you're well fed
now time for some kazoo

I'm gonna cut it with my love knife
I'm gonna cut it til it feels just right
I'm gonna feed it to you all night
there's just enough for two

It'll be so moist
It'll taste so good
then you'll feel my love
deep inside of you

I'm gonna bake you a love cake
I'm gonna bake you a love cake
I'm gonna put it on a love plate
now put it in your mouth!

Healthy Berry Crisp

(serves 4) Using American measurements. 

1.      Coat 4 ramekins with cooking spray. I used a large muffin tin which works just as well.
2.      Mix together the following in a large bowl
a.       2 cups of fresh or frozen berries – I like to use fresh blackberries and blueberries, you can use any you like just NOT strawberries, they do not reduce in the same way as the smaller berries.
b.       2 ½ tsp granulated sugar
c.       2 tsp uncooked instant tapioca. – You may substitute cornstarch, although less healthy
3.      Evenly divide the berry mixture among 4 ramekins
4.      Mix together the following in a separate bowl for the topping
a.       3 Tbsp oats (do not use quick-cook)
b.      2 ½ Tbsp flour
c.       2 ½ Tbsp chopped walnuts
d.      2 Tbsp brown sugar (dark or light)
e.       4 tsp walnut oil (may substitute another type, but this really adds to the flavor)
f.       2 tsp maple syrup
g.       ¼ tsp salt
h.      ¼ tsp cinnamon
5.      Evenly divide topping over the berry mixture
6.      Bake at 350F for about 30 mins – crisps should be browned and bubbling
7.      Serve with a little vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or double cream (UK style).

Hope you enjoy!

“I’m getting married in 5 months (Oh My God 5 months!) so as you can imagine, I’ve been searching for a way to satisfy my sweet tooth and not pop the seams on my already paid off wedding gown. This recipe for individual berry crisps does exactly that."

 ~Sarah Ex-Pat Bride
The Ex-Pat Bride

All done!! Yum!!
Sarah and I met through our British partners! I am impatiently waiting for her to move to the UK so we can do all sorts of fun stuff together!! Like cooking!! Sarah's story, although all her own, isn't too far from mine! Follow her adventures as an Ex-Pat Bride on her blog! Sarah's blog no longer exists 1.2.2016.


These were amazing!! 

They hardly lasted the morning! 

I sent a baker's dozen with my husband to work this morning and everyone was wanting more! 

Snickerdoodles are a favorite of mine. Always have been always will. 

The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days has a recipe too slightly different that I plan to try out sometime. Time for a little comparison! :0) 

Do you have a favorite cookie or biscuit? 

Snickerdoodles tend to be a little more cakey, but all we need to know is that it is delicious!


250g plain flour
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
125g butter, room temperature
100g plus 2 tbsp caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cinnamon

  1. Pre-heat oven 180*C or 350*F or gas mark 4
  2. Combine flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl cream the butter with 100g sugar until light and pale in color
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla
  5. Stir in dry mixture
  6. Mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon together and spread on plate
  7. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls
  8. Roll the dough balls in the sugar and cinnamon
  9. Bake for 15 minutes

notes: taken from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

Fairy Cakes

taken from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

125g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
125g self-raising flour
½ tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk
500g royal icing

  1. Preheat oven to 200*C/Gas Mark 6
  2. Put all the ingredients except for the milk in a food processor
  3. Blitz until smooth
  4. Pulse while adding milk down the funnel (it makes a soft, dropping consistency)
  5. Fill your cases and Bake for 15-20 minutes
  6. Cut off rounded tops for a flat smooth surface
  7. Ice. I bought some pre-made icing packs that came in white, pink, and yellow. But you can really ice these anyway you like.

    cakes and candy
Mini-Baker had lots of fun decorating and eating the decorations.

These are my Harry Potter inspired fairy cakes. I was decorating them and thinking about how excited I was to see the last movie. So, I thought I'd make them all into Horcruxes. No need to be nervous no one was murdered in the making of these fairy cakes! Nor do you need to worry about my soul being split into 7 fairy cakes!
1. Nagini, Voldermort's snake
2. Tom Riddle's Diary. I used a licorice (good n' plenty's) as the Basilisk fang.
3. The Resurrection Stone/Ring
4. This is the Hufflepuff cup. I had this grand idea to make the top look like tea and was going to print off the Hufflepuff coat of arms and put it on the case, but didn't actually make it that far. So, yeah.....
5. Harry's lighting bolt scar
6. The Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw house. It was suppose to be a crown of sorts...
7. The Locket. I just drew it on as I didn't have any candy/sweets that I though would work well.

So, please don't judge these too harshly as it was done on the fly! I think if I had more time and more to work with I could have made them better!! I have a lot of Harry inspired treats I want to make some day! If you like reading and books check out my other blog Pages of the Mind!!

Mango Smoothie

2 Al-Awwal Mangoes
1/2 Muller Light Vanilla yogurt
1/2 apple juice box
handful of crushed ice

Skin and de-seed the mango. Cut along the seed and then slice the meat out or cube it and flip the skin and cut off the cubes. It's going to be blended so it really doesn't matter how you do it.
(I just know the first time I tried cutting up a mango I butchered it.)
Put everything in a blender.
1 large drink or 2 small.

Very Very Good. :0)
My father-in-law brought me some mangoes and I had some yogurt left over and used one of Mini Baker's juice boxes and Wa-La Mango smoothie. It made me feel like I was on an island..... oh wait.... I am on an island. I mean a TROPICAL island. Not the rain drenched one I live on. :0)

Cupcake Wars!!

Cupcake Wars is so much fun to watch!! I watch it every morning, on Food Network UK, during breakfast. The best part is the second challenge when they have to make 3 cupcakes based 50% on flavour and 50% decorations. I love seeing the bakers be so creative under pressure! Check it out!