Archive | October, 2011

Banana Birthday Cake

26 Oct

A very special young lady named Frieda turned 2 recently and I was very lucky to be able to make her a birthday cake.  It was a green number two with some wild animals on top.  I used my Dad’s banana cake recipe for the cake.  It is very easy to whip up and is always a crowd pleaser.


125g butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups mashed banana (about 4 bananas)

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp hot milk

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

Oven:  Preheat to 180.C


Cream butter and sugar until pale in colour, light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add mashed banana and mix thoroughly.  Stir soda into hot milk (which I just heat up in the microwave) and add to creamed mixture. Sift flour and baking powder.  Fold into mixture. Place mixture into cake tin.

Bake for 45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.  Leave uniced or ice with Chocolate, lemon or passionfruit icing.

Lemon icing:

  • Knob of butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar (approx)
  • citrus juice
  • grated Citrus rind (the yellow flecks look pretty in the icing)

Mix together until it forms a smooth icing.  If you want a thick layer of icing you will need to add more icing sugar.  Do not be afraid to add more juice if it is too thick or more icing sugar if too watery.


A great way to use up those old bananas in the fruit bowl.  I just throw them straight into the freezer when they start to be past their best.  They do go black when they are frozen but don’t worry they are perfectly fine.  Just leave them on a plate to defrost and squeeze them out of the skin when you need them.

My Dad is well known for his banana cake.  He would make it often, and everybody loves it.  Thanks Dad.

Adapted from: My Dad

Best Ever Blueberry Muffins!

13 Oct

These muffins are really good.  For some reason they always turn out better than I would expect??? I always buy blueberries when they are on special and keep them in the freezer so I can whip up a batch of these muffins whenever I want.


  • 2 cups plain flour (or 1 plain flour and 1 wholemeal flour)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½  tsp salt
  • ¾  cup sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½  cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Cinnamon sugar:

  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Oven: preheat to 220.C


In a large bowl place the first 5 ingredients.  In another bowl warm the butter until just melted, then add the milk and egg.  Then quickly beat together.   (the reason that you do not want to have the butter too hot is that you do not want to scramble the egg when you add it in)

Place the dry mixture and the blueberries into the bowl with the liquids.  Gently mix until just combined.  Do not over mix!!  Place mixture into muffin tray and sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the muffins before you place them in the oven.  I am usually very generous with my sprinkling as I like the texture the sugar gives to the top of the muffin.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.  If you use frozen berries they make take a few minutes longer.


I usually do not like ‘white’ muffins so I usually use wholemeal flour in my muffins recipes.  However for some reason these are really nice, it may be because of the cinnamon. When I did put wholemeal flour in this recipe it was a disaster.  All of the blueberries sunk to the bottom of the muffin tin and they where hard as rocks.  I think that the wholemeal flour that I got here in Singapore is a lot denser than the type I have used back in NZ.  So I am on the lookout for some good quality wholemeal flour, I may go and look at the organic shops.

Adapted from:  My Cookbook which I think came from my Mums cookbook which probably came from some great Kiwi Cook in NZ.

Chocolate Guinness Cake

1 Oct

Don’t worry about any other chocolate cake recipes.  This is the only one you will ever need.  It is definitely the cake they serve up in Heaven. Convinced? Good, now go and make it!


  • 250ml Guinness
  • 250g Butter
  • 80g Cocoa
  • 400g Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • ¾  Cup Buttermilk
  • 280g Plain Flour
  • 2tsp Baking soda
  • ½ tsp Baking powder


  • 50g Softened Butter
  • 300g Icing sugar
  • 125g Cream cheese

Oven: preheat to 1.70.C  Then line a 23cm round cake tin with baking paper.  I just line the base of the tin by cutting a circle out of baking paper.


Place the Guinness and the butter into a saucepan and gently heat until the butter is melted.  Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cocoa and sugar in to the warm liquid. In a small bowl mix together the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk, then add to the mixture in the pan.

Sift together the remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Get you hand held electric beaters ready. (or if you are lucky enough to have a cake mixer use that with the paddle attachment.)  Pour in the contents of the pan and beat on the lowest speed and only until the mixture is all combined and has no lumpy bits.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.


Using your electric beaters, mix the softened butter and icing sugar together until it forms a crumbly type mixture.  Then on  a low speed add in the cream cheese and then increase the speed to make a light and fluffy icing.

When the cake is cool spread on the icing.  You should have enough icing to cover the whole cake, top and sides.  I like a thick icing so I just dumped it on the top of the cake.  You can even dust the icing with cocoa to give it a nice touch.  If you do this, make sure you use a sieve as you do not want large lumps of cocoa, just a light dusting.


This cake was AMAZING!!!!  So moist, rich and chocolatey.  My Husband thinks that it would be even better cut through the middle and filled with raspberries and fresh cream or cherries, much like a black forest Gateaux.   This cake is a big cake and it would be easy to turn it into a layercake and fill it with all sorts of creamy goodness.  The cream cheese icing goes well with this cake.

Adapted from: Cake Days Recipes to make everyday special by The Hummingbird Bakery.  It is their second book and it is a must buy book!