Tag Archives: featured

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

Whole Orange Muffins

27 Aug

Tasty tasty tasty!  It seems a bit strange but you use the whole orange in this recipe but the flavour is divine, they are so moist and yum yum yummy.  You really do need a food processor for this recipe.


  • 1 Orange
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk or orange juice
  • 100g melted butter
  • 1 ½ plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup of dried cranberries
  • ½ cup walnuts (optional)

Oven: preheat to 200.C


Cut up the whole orange into small chunks and place into the food processor with the sugar. Blitz until the orange is finely chopped.  Add the melted butter, milk and egg and process until combined.

Place the dry ingredients into the food processor and sprinkle in the dried cranberries. Pulse mixture carefully until just combined.

Spoon mixture into muffin tin and cook for 12-15 mins or until slightly browned and they spring back when you touch the centre.


These are great straight from the tin still warm.  They are also great to freeze and use as a lunchbox filler. (they will be defrosted by morning tea time).  If you don’t have any dried cranberries you can use sultanas, I love the big juicy golden ones.  You can also add walnuts to give a bit of texture but I tend to double the amount of dried fruit instead.  Also, make sure you take out any pips from the oranges they may be a bit bitter.

Adapted from: My cookbook, It has taken me a lot of attempts to get this recipe just the way I like it. Originally I got the ideas from a couple of NZ bakers, Jo Seagar and Alison Holst and from a recipe on a sheet of newspaper that I found when I unwrapped some glasses when we moved from NZ to Singapore.

No Bake Citrus Slice

9 Aug

No need for an oven and extremely easy to make. I like to make a huge batch of the so that I can keep some in the freezer.  So feel free to half the recipe if you don’t want quite so much. This is an extremely versatile recipe you can use any citrus fruit. I always use lemon because I love that intense sweet sour lemon zingy flavour but you can use orange, lime or a combination of all three.  My Mum even makes a coffee version which is also very nice.


  • 200g butter
  • 1 can (400g) of sweetened condensed milk
  • grated rind of 1 lemon (or 2 if you really want)
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • 500g biscuit crumbs (2 packets)


Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in condensed milk.  Add rind and coconut.  Mix well.  In a big bowl, smash up biscuits up using a whatever you have on hand.  I usually use a full tin can or a heavy cup.  You could use a food processor for this but I find that it makes the crumbs too fine.  I like to have a bit of texture, so I leave some bigger bits.  Add the crumbs to the mixture and spread evenly into a paper lined slice tin. Cover with a thick layer of icing.

Citrus 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.


I love being creative with this recipe.  I love to use a variety of biscuit crumbs.  I usually use digestive biscuits because I can buy them in bulk (a 1 kg bag of broken biscuits) from a local baking shop.  However, when I made these in NZ I usually used malt biscuits which give a nice flavour and they make the slice a nice rich brown colour.  Oh…I just remembered that I also used gingernut biscuits which give a crunchy texture and the lemon and ginger flavours go really well together. Yum!  Just to let you know that the other reason that I double this mixture is because I always end up throwing away the 1/2 tin of condensed milk that I never end up using.  It is such a waste, so I just make heaps and freeze it as it freezes really well. (actually, it is really nice to eat straight from the freezer, especially on a hot day)

Adapted from: My Mum’s Cookbook  Thanks Mum!

Chocolate, Fruit and Nut Slice

9 Aug

This really is, a one pot wonder.  It is so fast to make, I often whip up this slice to take to work meetings.  I find that people are a lot happier in meetings when they eat some home baking. My husband starts a new job this week and he is having lots of meetings so I think they will benefit from this scrummy slice.


  • 150g butter
  • 2 Tbsp golden syrup
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup sultanas (or any dried fruit)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or any nuts)

Oven: Set to 150.C


Melt the butter in a large saucepan then add the golden syrup.  Add all of the dry ingredients into the saucepan and mix well.  Press mixture into a paper lined slice tin.

Bake for 15 mins or until the top looks matt.  It will still look a bit shiny if it hasn’t cooked long enough.  Let cool then ice with chocolate icing.

Chocolate Icing:

  • 3 Tbsp cocoa
  • knob of butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • drop of vanilla essence (to taste)
  • hot water

Mix together with enough hot water to make a smooth icing.  Do not be afraid to add more water if too thick or more icing sugar if too watery.


Use whatever size slice tin that you have.  The bigger the tin the thinner the slice.  If you want a think slice, use a smaller tin, it is up to you.  This slice is a great way to use up any dried fruit or nuts that you have sitting in the pantry.  I have used everything from almonds, brazil nuts, to dried cherries, currants, dried blueberries, dried cranberries and a combination of them all.

Adapted from: Sugar and Spice with Jo Seagar