Quick Cupcakes

My oldest daughter is almost at the end of her first year of pre-school (she is 3,5 years old) and of course, the school indicated that they would have a little fair to raise some money and of course celebrate the year together… asking parents to assist in some way or another. The best that I could offer was to bake something.

I had seen an interesting “Traybake” recipe in the May 2019 issue of the BBC Good Food Magazine… and on closer inspection, realized that it was essentially a basic cake mixture which I would then make but bake as individual cupcakes.

WINNER.. I just hope that those 3-4 year olds have a discerning palate like me, as these were fantastic and light!


150g butter
150g sugar
3 eggs
150g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

  • Cream butter together with the sugar
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition
  • Sift the flour and fold into the mixture along with the vanilla essence
  • Divide mixture into 12 greased papercups
  • Bake at 180C for 15 minutes


Lilicup Cupcakes in Brussels

Maternity leave can leave a mom starting to experience “cabin fever”… whereby going to the post office or doing grocery shopping suddenly becomes the highlight of your week – because you actually get to leave the house (and spend more than 2minutes running through the shower) – so you can imagine my excitement (and absolute dread) of leaving the house to meet up with a few of the prenatal group mums & their tots.

The original plan was to enjoy a pastel de nata (or more) with a cuppa at Forcado – but sadly, they were closed the day before a public holiday – so we walked 2 streets over to Lilicup cupcake shop & café.

lilicup 5

Now most places would see 3 mums with 3 strollers & 4 little babies and want to lock the door and pretend to be closed – but these ladies actually smiled at us as we parked the strollers along the side of one wall and started to order cupcakes and refreshments. Maybe because the café was empty… and maybe because they felt sorry for us? Whatever the reason – I was grateful! Truly grateful… it was warm inside and hungry – not only for something sweet, but also for “mum” advice chats!

lilicup 2

The venue is small – but super cute – white on white with fresh flowers on each table – at the front of the shop with a counter showcasing the most delicious range of cupcakes. Cupcakes with names that have you drooling and wishing you hadn’t eaten breakfast and wondering why you didn’t visit when you were pregnant and actually had a valid reason to “eat for two” 🙂

lilicup 3

Yes people – each of these logos is a cupcake flavour… Mmm

I opted for the Tiramisu cupcake and mini violette cupcake… both were soft, light and delicious… (I could have eaten half a dozen!)

lilicup 4

Would I go back? Hell yes… with or without Little Miss (although the likelihood is “with”) in the next few weeks while I still have weekdays at home! Plus I feel the need to work my way through the whole flavour offering 🙂

lilicup 1

PS – did I mention that you can buy cupcakes there and take them home? A definite winner!! If you haven’t been… GO!


address: 65 rue de Page, 1050, Ixelles, Brussels, BELGIUM

telephone: +32 2 538 0268

website: http://www.lilicup.com

Open: Tuesday to Saturday 10h00-18h30

Hidden Christmas Tree cupcakes (Secret Recipe Club)

It is that time of the month again… the first monday of the month … which also means that it is Secret Recipe Club’s Group A reveal day!


I was graced with Searching for Dessert (perfect name, eh?) as my chosen blog for the month …  a former pastry chef with a Le Cordon Bleu College bachelor’s degree in Culinary Management… I was impressed (seriously impressed!). Not only is Shannon an ace in the kitchen – but she is also wife & mother (to 2 furry & 2 non-furry children :))  – and I automatically love people who love food, cooking and animals as much as I do!

searching for dessert header

I was blown away by the recipes on her blog… and um-ed & ah-ed over 2 in particular… Her hidden Christmas tree cupcakes & her cheesestraws – with HIM’s immense enjoyment in eating anything sweet – the cupcakes won out!

I “attempted” to use green food colouring to make the trees – but once baked… they in no way resembled the gorgeous green that Shannon had managed… therefore I decided that I loved the idea of a “retro” Christmas tree (as you do)… and we all know someone who owns one of THOSE Christmas trees… right?

why should a tree be green... right???

why should a tree be green… right???

I also opted to use a basic cupcake recipe – instead of a box-mix option… but I did use ready-made frosting (aka icing) and LOADS of sprinkles (aka “hundreds & thousands”)

cupcakes 8

Hidden Christmas Tree Cupcakes

cupcakes 6

110g butter at room temperature
110g caster sugar
2 eggs
110g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
food colouring

cupcakes 5

  • Beat together butter & sugar
  • Add 1 eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition
  • Sift in the flour & baking powder & using a metal spoon, fold into mixture
  • Place 1/3 of the mixture into another bowl & add the food colouring – mixing well to get an even shade
  • Pour onto a piece of greased baking paper on a baking tray, add sprinkles &
  • Bake for 10min at 180C
  • remove from oven & use 3 (or 4) different sized rings to cut your tree pieces out (I used one cutter the size of the base of the cupcake tray, and the other 2 were just about using what I had in the kitchen – with the smallest piece being made from cake decorating tips… but you can use whatever you can find!)
  • cupcakes 4
  • Stack in your greased cupcake casings
  • cupcakes 3
  • I added red food colouring to the rest of my cupcake batter (to make sure that there was sufficient deviation in colour between the 2 areas)
  • Pour rest of cupcake mixture around the “trees” leaving the top still visible
  • cupcakes 2
  • Bake for 17-19minutes at 180C
  • Decorate…..
  • cupcakes 1

Printable recipe



Linking to the HOST


Rooibos Tea and Chocolate Cupcakes

A fellow blogger *My Love Affair with Cape Town* has been receiving boxes of wine and food goodies from a company called Ooh! Box whereby Members can receive a *GOODIE* box delivered to their door every month (in South Africa) to the value of R500 but at the discounted rate of R295 (41% savings!).

The Selections contain everything from Wine to Olive oils to Balsamic Vinegars, Coffees, Teas, Chocolates… etc… And her 2nd box arrived earlier in June… read about it here.

Now, I wasn’t in town (in fact – I wasn’t even on the same continent) in order to see or enjoy the contents… BUT I did pick up on the fact that the box also contained 2 recipes…one of which had me 110% intrigued! Rooibos Chocolate Cupcakes – hello!

This is a recipe from food Editor Carmen Niehaus – who has been providing sources of food inspiration for YOU and Huisgenoot magazines since 1989 (and to top it off – is also filling the shoes of decor editor – plus has published more than 20 cookbooks!) SA’s very own Nigella, ne?

So I decided to spoil my colleagues and whip up  a batch of these … plus I was hoping to bribe them to vote for me… AND introduce these European heathens to the joy that is Rooibos Tea (aka Bush Tea or Red Bush tea)! Which we all know has the most amazing health benefits (acts against nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems). PLUS two rooibos flavonoids, quercetin and luteolin have been known to have cancer fighting qualities… so come on, pour yourself a cuppa 🙂

Rooibos Chocolate Cupcakes

with icing

2 Rooibos Tea bags

4 extra large eggs (separated)

450ml flour

250ml (1cup) boiling water

375ml (1.5cups) sugar

15ml (1Tablespoon) baking powder

125ml (0.5cup) cocoa

125ml (0.5cup) oil

2ml salt

5ml (1teaspoon) vanilla essence)

  1. Add Teabags to boiling water and infuse until STRONG. Remove bags
  2. Add cocoa to tea & mix to form a paste
  3. Beat Egg yolks and sugar. Then add oil, vanilla essence and cocoa paste and blend
  4. Sift dry ingredients into egg misture and blend
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold in

    ready to pop into the oven


  1. Place in greased paper cups and bake at 180C for 15minutes

    before icing


Decorating cupcakes at Lilliput Bo… can I please have a tiara and pair of fairy wings cos I feel like a princess??

At last years ISB International Day… I got the chance to meet the Baker an Owner behind the Lilliput Bo cupcake empire! She had a stall right next to the Australian stall (which I might add had some very nice wines… although no match on the SA version… hee hee)… and after sampling one of her buttercream topped delights… I happily filled in a questionnaire on whether I would be interested in a cupcake workshop… Hell, yes… if I can scoff a few more of these!!

come to me.....

But time seemed to fly by and it has almost been a year and I never actually got around to signing up for one of her workshops.. *hangs head in shame*… BUT when I recently got an email asking if I was interested in a *Wild Animal Modelling workshop* (think cupcakes icing here people… not elephants and lions pulling their best Kate Moss “hand on hip/chin in the air/I don’t care” pose)… I was once again hooked on the idea!

too cute to eat? I think not....

So … my little bithday is coming up shortly (27th of May… diarise it, people)… and I think that as a *to max, from max* gift… I am going to sign myself up (along with some of my brussels besties) for one of the cupcake decorating workshops!!! (Normal cost is 120Euro’s and the workshop is from 10h00-16h00 on weekends or 09h00-15h00 on weekdays AND you get to take home a box of AT LEAST 12 of these treasures – plus the knowledge on how to do it yourself!)

aren't the frogs cute??? still going to eat it, though

DONE!!! And I promise to upload pic’s of my own creations AS SOON as I finish the course!!! (As long as I remember to pick up the camera before I start popping these pleasures into my mouth… reminder to self)

Lilliput Bo Cupcakes – Rue de la Concorde 55, 1050, Brussels

Telephone: +32 484 180 148


Cupcakes from heaven…

M has made these cupcakes on numerous occasions including our Mad Hatters Tea Party (and I even begged her to make a batch for my 30th Birthday because I adore them SO much)…  they are light and fluffy and topped with the most phenomenal buttercream icing (or as she would call it *frosting*).

nom nom nom

The Joy of these little mounds of heaven is that I can easily shove more than one down my gullet and not feel *heavy* (my pants might feel tight… but at least I don’t feel like I have swallowed a bowling ball! 🙂 Now how is that for logic????)

The recipe comes from one of M’s favourite baking blogs called www.joyofbaking.com and fortunately offers both american and Metric measurements (hallelujah – because I wasn’t planning on doing the conversions!)


1/2 cup (113g) butter (at room temperature)

2/3 cup (130g) granulated white sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

zest of 1 large lemon

1 1/2 cups (195g) flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup (60ml) Milk

Buttercream *frosting* (aka icing)

2 cups  (230g) icing sugar – sifted

1/2 (113g) Butter – at room temperature

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 Tablespoon milk (or light cream)

Food colour (if you wanna make your icing/frosting a bright colour)

1. Preheat oven to 177 degrees C (or 350 F) & line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy – adding eggs one at a time – beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract and lemon zest (this can be done with either a hand or electric mixer)

3. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt

4.  With mixer on a low speed, add the dry mixture and the milk – in 3 additions (beginning and ending with the flour)

5. Fill the muffin cups and bake for 17-20min

6. Once entirely cooled – you can ice these babies by creaming butter until smooth, add vanilla extract and then reduce speed of mixer to slow to add sugar and milk. (add food colouring if desired)

AND BAM… you have these  little heaven-sent mouthfuls of happiness!! GUARANTEED