Thursday, March 4, 2010


Carnival Cupcakes

This is a really easy, all in together mixture that makes light golden cakes that are firm enough to decorate, makes a tin full.

1 1/3 cups self-raising flour
A pinch of salt
100gr soft butter
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 dessertspoon of lemon juice
Grated zest of lemon
Dash of milk

Pre heat oven to 190°c.
Line mini muffin pans with paper patty cases.
Combine all the main ingredients together in a bowl and beat until absolutely smooth - about 1-2 minutes.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pans and bake for 15 -20 mins or until well risen and golden.
When cool, combine the glace icing ingredients, using only as much water as you need to make a spreadable icing. Ice the top of each cup cake with icing and decorate as desired.

Press a smartie or other coloured sweet into the glace icing.
Sprinkle with hundreds and thousands and silver balls.
Sprinkle with decorator shapes – available in supermarkets and cake decorating shops
Make a thick butter icing, from 175 g icing sugar and 25 g soft butter beaten together, colour and flavour as desired and roll out between two sheets of non stick baking paper, refrigerate till firm then cut out shapes and designs using cutters, stick on with a dab of glace icing (alternatively you could buy a pack of ready made fondant icing from the supermarket and use instead.)

Butterfly cakes
When cool take a knife and cut a cone shape out of the top of each cake and fill the cavity with lemon curd or jam. Cut the little cone of cake in half and place it at angles on top of the lemon curd like butterfly wings then dust with icing sugar.

Dana's Chocolate Cupcakes

You know this recipe already, but you might not know that it makes great cupcakes
We believe this recipe is now one of the most frequently made recipes in the country. When people bring their cook books to dg cooking classes for me to sign, the page with Dana’s chocolate cake is always the most splattered and tattered, I even had a lady tell me she made it for the Sultan of Brunei’s household while doing a stint as their cook! It cuts neatly and freezes well too.

Preheat oven to 180°C

1 2/3 cups flour
1½ cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda – yes baking soda! (see cooks tips)
1 tsp salt
1½ cups of trim milk
100 g melted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Pour into the prepared patty cake cases and bake until firm and springy, this will depend on the size of the cases but probably at least 20 minutes.

Classic Chocolate Frosting
250 g icing sugar
100 g butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
milk to mix

Place butter and dry ingredients in processor, pulse to combine then add a dash of milk and pulse again, continue until you achieve a soft spreadable icing then add vanilla.

Cook's Tips

We get so many emails from people who believe we have mistakenly said baking soda when we mean baking powder. Some have been so sure they have made it with baking powder.

Why use baking soda not baking powder?
Both baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents added to baked goods before cooking to produce carbon dioxide and cause them to 'rise'. Baking powder contains baking soda, but the two substances are used under different conditions.
Baking Soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. When combined with moisture and an acidic ingredient (e.g. yogurt, chocolate, cocoa, buttermilk, honey), the resulting chemical reaction produces bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand under oven temperatures, causing baked goods to rise. The reaction begins immediately upon mixing the ingredients, so you need to bake recipes that call for baking soda immediately, or else they will fall flat!


If you find your cupcakes come out a bit “wonky” on top, here are some suggestions to help produce lovely rounded ones

Cupcakes overflow while baking – try only filling your baking cup ¾ fill.

Cupcakes crack on the top – your oven may be too hot

Cupcakes are uneven on top – eg higher on the left hand side – this may be caused by the fan in your fan-forced oven pushing the mixture as it rises, some batters are very delicate (gluten free for example) – try turning off the fan and cooking them on the classic bake setting.

Rolled Icing

The white cup cakes show stamped icing – to achieve this effect we used Pettince ready-made icing which we rolled, cut to size using cookie cutters and stamped. We used a a stamp sheet as well from a cake decorating specialist supplier – this is a silicone sheet with a pattern – ours is all circles, impressed on it. You simply place the sheet on to the icing and roll with a rolling pin.
We also used wooden stamps from Trade Aid for the pretty paisley pattern.

We used pink food colouring in a variety of strengths for both the butter cream icing and for colouring the rolled icing, and we also used glace icing on some of the cup cakes.
If you don’t have any flower cutters you can purchase ready-made icing flowers and edible glitters etc from cake decorating suppliers

Making your own Icing

Glace icing

1 cup icing sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice or a drop or two of artificial colour and flavour such as raspberry or peppermint

Butter Cream icing

100 g unsalted butter
175 g icing sugar
Flavour and colour as required
Beat the butter until it is light and fluffy then add the icing sugar a little at a time beating well until it is all incorporated. The finished butter cream will be stiffer than whipped cream but a light and pale so can easily be coloured.


  1. Hi Sophie. I love the dana's Recipe .I have used it for years. My Daughter has an egg allery and so recently I made Danas using Orgran Egg replacer and the result was brilliant. A little bit denser than usaul but still fabulous my food critic 12 year old said it was better than normal. So There you go. I'm really happy because now I don't have to make two recipes one for her and one for us. Yay!

  2. Thanks for the tips about uneven cup cakes_ i made a load of red velvet ones yesterday and they did come out higher on one side than the other- I tried to cut the tops off to level as I would with a bigger cake but when I then tried to cover with rolled fondant it looked AWFUL! Really uneven and amateurish!! Your theory makes sense so I will switch off the fan!! Thanks

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