Tag Archives: Gluten-free

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink-coloured Vanilla Buttercream

Today I made another recipe from The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook. This is the first cupcake from the book I haven’t liked. The cake itself is quite moist, dark but not heavy. That part I liked.


The recipe calls for three tablespoons of instant coffee and the coffee flavour comes through too much for my liking. Cake taster number two – my husband – loved them however. I’m not a coffee drinker so I may be more sensitive to the taste of coffee. I may try the recipe again, next time without the coffee. Yet again, I ended up with about 48 cupcakes. I prefer this chocolate cupcake recipe even though it’s a lighter, less rich cake. I did use gluten-free flour as these cupcakes are to be for Leonie in celebration of the arrival of her first baby, a daughter named Lily. I will decorate some in pretty pink colours for Leonie later on, meanwhile I had a chance to play with my piping bag and tip number 96.


I have a fair way to go with my cake decorating, but it’s fun so far! This is vanilla buttercream icing, with Queen “Pillar Box Red” food colouring and a hint of Queen “Black” food colouring.



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Jo’s Pumpkin Damper

This recipe was given to me by my good friend Leonie’s mum, Jo. It’s simple but so yummy! In fact, I think my dad is in love with this more than anything I have ever baked (although he has never disliked anything I’ve made). The mixture can be cooked in a loaf tin, on a baking tray or in a muffin tray (my favourite) for pumpkin cupcakes.

The recipe requires butternut pumpkin, which is known as butternut squash in other parts of the world. I don’t think it needs anything on top, but I may experiment with a topping another time. Leonie tells me it’s great with butter!

The consistency of the damper is cake-like, and the taste is not too sweet and not too savoury — Perfect for afternoon tea. It’s also gluten-free friendly when you use gluten-free, self-raising flour.

 Thank you Jo for the recipe!


Jo’s Pumpkin Damper

1/2 cup sugar (whichever type you like — I use castor)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine (I use unsalted/salt-reduced butter)
1 cup mashed butternut pumpkin/squash, cooled
2 eggs, beaten with a fork
2 cups self-raising flour
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/355 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix sugar and butter with a fork until creamy.

Add mashed pumpkin, stir through. Add beaten eggs.

Fold in flour, a little at a time.

Add a pinch of salt.

Pour into a loaf tin or cupcake tray.

Bake 30 minutes in a loaf tin or baking tray or 15 minutes in cupcake/muffin tray.


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Carrot Cupcakes

I made these for my friend Leonie’s baby shower. I didn’t use my usual, foolproof old recipe; I tried something different — “Church Picnic Carrot Cupcakes” from The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook. To make them Leonie-friendly, I used gluten-free, self-raising flour. I really couldn’t tell, taste-wise, once they were cooked. The recipe handled the gluten-free flour well, so I definitely recommend it in that respect. The flavour was strongly influenced by the orange and lemon rind, even though I used half the recommended amount. The cinnamon taste wasn’t as strong. Like the cookbook says, a nice cupcake if you are after something not so sweet.


The recipe says it makes 24 cupcakes; I ended up with 48! I think you would need more of a Texas-sized pan or muffin pan to get only 24 cupcakes. I froze half the cakes and will update on how they survived.


 I iced them with vanilla buttercream frosting, instead of cream cheese as suggested. The “carrots” I made with fondant. They were my first venture into playing with icing. Once I have some more tools, I can really have fun with it! I used fondant made by Orchard. Click here to see the Orchard range.



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