Tag Archives: icing

Crazy Bun

5 Feb

This is also known as ‘Boston Bun’ in New Zealand.  Don’t be put off by the hot pink icing ( my hand slipped when I was adding the food colouring) this is a yummy bun.  The reason why I call this bun crazy is because it contains no egg, butter or yeast.  It also contains a vegetable, yes, a vegetable.  So when I think I have no ingredients to bake I can always make this.  Magic!


1 cup mashed potato

¾ cup sugar

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 cup milk

1 cup dried fruit (raisins, currants, dried apricots, dried cranberries or a mixture)


Oven:  Preheat to 180.C


Make sure the mashed spud is cold and smooth.  You may want to put it through a sieve to get rid of any lumps.  Beat the spud and sugar together until it goes sort of liquidy.  Then add the sifted dry ingredients, the milk and finally the fruit.  divide the mixture into two and place into two round tins.  ( Do not be tempted to put all of the mixture into one tin they will turn out too heavy, these buns are designed to be shallow.)

Bake for 30mins.  When they are golden brown on top they are ready.  Leave them in the tins for a few minutes then lay them onto a wire cooling rack.  When cool, lavishly top them with the icing.


55 g butter

2 cups icing

1-2 Tbsp milk

½ cup desiccated coconut

Warm the milk up a bit and beat into the butter and icing sugar.  Mix until smooth and just right. (not too runny, not too thick) I also add in the coconut to the icing or you can use the coconut to press on top of the icing.  The choice is yours. You also have the choice of pink or white icing, I think I will stick to the white icing after my hot pink disaster of last time!


These buns will seem a bit flat but I promise they are fine like that.  It is all about getting the right ratio of bun and icing.  Also, if you have been extra good at the gym this week you can also cut the bun in half and spread with butter. Go on, I know you want to.

Adapted from:

I had tried a few different recipes but the best one came from Alexa Johnston’s book ‘A second helping, more from ladies a plate’ Which is a fabulous book where she sources recipes from old school NZ cookery books.  So originally this recipe came from the 1981 Catholic Women’s League, Dunedin Diocese Cookbook, contributed by Dorothy Lavelle.



28 Jan

I have not met a person that does not love these little cakes. They are so fun to make!


125g butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ cup milk

Oven: preheat to 190.C


Get out your electric hand beaters and cream butter, vanilla and sugar until pale in colour, light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.   Sift baking powder and flour together.  Fold into creamed mixture.  Stir in milk.

Place 12 patty cases into a muffin tin and evenly fill with the mixture.

Bake for 15 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly touched.

Basic icing:

  • Knob of butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar (approx)
  • hot water
  • flavouring/ colouring

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 water if it is too thick or more icing sugar if too watery.

For Chocolate icing add a Tablespoon of cocoa and a few drops of vanilla essense.

For Citrus icing use the citrus juice instead of the water and grate in some rind to give more flvour and add flecks of colour.

For Raspberry icing add a drop of red food coloring and a drop of raspberry essence


These are so fun and easy to make.  I often whip up a batch to take to a friends place as adults love them just as much as the kids.  They are also a great little fundraising idea for cake stalls as they sell very well.

As this is a vanilla cupcake, I take the opportunity to use a variety of flavoured icings.  I mostly use lemon, raspberry and chocolate.  Then I decorate them with a variety of sprinkles.  I am starting to get a rather large collection of sprinkles.  Yesterday I bought a packet of red, white and pink mini hearts, which will be great for my valentines day cupcakes.

Adapted from: Edmonds Cookery Book

Train Birthday Cake

28 Jan


I had great fun making this cake for my son’s first birthday.  I cake I used was my Dads Banana cake recipe and also the Chocolate Guiness cake.  The design came from the 1970’s Womans Weekly Birthday book.  This train cake is on the front cover.  If you are a kiwi kid of the 80’s you will know what I am talking about.

Tropical Banana Cake

4 Sep

This is a very dense cake that is moist and full of fruit.  In fact this cake started the morning tea cake club at QMC (my husbands old work place) All the woman raved about how great a cake it was and how wonderful it was that my husband could bake so well.  Yes, well, I seem to remember that I baked that cake for him, but he was quite happy taking all of the credit for it. Hmmm.  I also served this recently at a brunch at our place on a lazy public holiday.  A large number of people went for a slice of cake ahead of bacon and pancakes. This is unheard of! So it must be good.


  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 230g crushed pineapple pieces
  • 2 cups over ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)

Oven: preheat to 180.C


Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl.  Mix until just combined.

Pour mixture into a greased cake tin.

Bake for 1 hour or until an inserted skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake.

Cream cheese Icing:

100g cream cheese

2 cups icing sugar

grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

Soften cream cheese slightly in the microwave, add in icing sugar and lemon rind.  Slowly add in just enough lemon juice until the icing is smooth and a spreadable consistency.


I am usually too lazy to sift dry ingredients but I do sift baking soda.  I just hate it when you bite into a bit of cake and you get a lump of baking soda. Yuck! So make sure you do so in this recipe.  This is just a really nice change from your normal banana cake.  It is also a great way to use up bananas and pineappleEspecially as in Singapore we buy pineapple very cheaply.  I must say that canned crushed pineapple is probably best in this recipe but it you can chop the fresh pineapple up really fine it will be just as good. I hate to go on but I have to let you know that the sultanas go really plump and juicy in this cake.  Yum!

Adapted from: Lesley Turner of Queenstown in Sugar and Spice with Jo Seagar.

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