Tag Archives: Variation

New Year’s Eve Cupcakes

These are modified red velvet cupcakes in fireworks colours! Well, they are the closest I could get to fireworks-inspired cupcakes in a limited amount of time. Mini M&Ms sit on top of cream cheese frosting.
I immediately made a new friend when I arrived at the NYE party carrying these – she was maybe six years old and followed me everywhere until I opened the box.

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Christmas Cupcakes

I have many cupcakes in need of a home in my kitchen at the moment. Anyone want a few?


Lately Katie’s Kitchen hasn’t seen any new recipes – just a few old(ish) faithfuls – banana crumb muffins, sweet potato pie and white chocolate cupcakes. Looking forward to new recipes for 2009!

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Pink Velvet Cupcakes with Pink Cream Cheese Frosting

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Koala Cupcakes

Seven poor little un-iced white chocolate mud cupcakes sitting in a container feeling unpretty. What to do? Turn them in to koalas of course! The directions are in the current issue of New Idea magazine, but the basics are grey buttercream frosting, coconut, marshmallows, black jelly beans and brown mini M&Ms.


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Wholemeal Banana Muffins

Anytime you can pack some extra goodness and fibre into a sweet treat, without affecting the taste too much I say hooray! These are Banana Crumb Muffins without the crumb topping, made with wholemeal plain flour. As always, I added some cinnamon to the batter. The wholemeal flour changed the taste and texture of the muffin only very slightly. I used four small-medium overripe bananas.

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St Patrick’s Day Green Velvet Cupcakes

No, I’m not Irish, I just love any excuse to bake! Would you eat green velvet cake?


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Low-fat Brownies

Low fat and brownies are words usually not used in the same sentence. But sometimes you need a treat that isn’t too naughty! I modified the chocolate brownie recipe from The Australian Women’s Weekly Low-Fat Food for Life. Instead of using low-fat dairy-free spread, I used regular salt-reduced butter. Overall, the brownies weren’t bad for a reduced-fat dessert. They lacked the true fudgey texture of a brownie but had a similar chocolate taste. The choc chips tended to settle at the bottom of the pan, so the bottom of the brownie was the most chocolatey part. I used a 20cm x 30cm baking tray; a smaller tray, as the recipe calls for, would result in thicker brownies.



Chocolate Brownie
Adapted from: The Australian Women’s Weekly Low-Fat Food for Life cookbook 

2 eggs
1/3  cup
(40g) firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
(I omitted this)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon olive oil
40g low-fat dairy-free spread, melted
(I used butter)
1/4 cup (40g) wholemeal self-raising flour (I used white SR flour)
1/4 cup (45g) dark-chocolate choc bits

Preheat oven to moderate. Grease and line a 19cm-square pan.

Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick and creamy.

Blend coffee (if you are using it) and cocoa with the water and oil in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in melted spread or melted butter.

Fold cocoa mixture into egg mixture; fold in sifted flour and choc bits.

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until brownie is firm to touch. (Don’t overcook! You will lose any fudgeyness by baking the mixture too long. Twenty minutes in the oven was fine for my brownies.)

Stand 30 minutes, then serve. Makes 16.

If brownies are prepared according to the directions without my alterations the nutritional information according to the recipe book is:

Per brownie:

303KJ/73 cal
3.8g fat
0.6g sat fat
0.2g fibre
4.7g carbohydrates
Medium GI

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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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Brownie Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

To cure my craving for chocolate, I made cupcakes using my favourite brownie recipe today. The recipe is from Donna Hay Modern Classics, Book 2. Take a look inside the book here. Most recipes I’ve made from the book have been succesful with after adjustments.

The brownie recipe is always a winner. I usually bake it for 40-45 minutes, instead of the suggested 50 minutes, in a shallow slice tin. Watch the brownies carefully as they cook! If you overcook them, the fudginess will disappear. I have found the best results with the mixture come from using the cheapest dark cooking chocolate I know of – Black and Gold. I’m sure that goes against every rule in the book but it works! I plan to experiment some more with chocolate brands. I’m not yet convinced that brand names are better quality (taste, texture etc) for every cooking ingredient.


This is the first time I have made them as cupcakes. The mixture made roughly 24 smallish cakes in about 25 minutes at 160 degrees C. I filled the cupcake tray to at least 3/4 full as the brownie mixture does not rise as much as a cake does.


To please the recipients, I topped them off with cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese isn’t my cup of tea, so I left some plain. The frosting mixture generously iced about 12-15 of the cupcakes.


Chocolate Brownie
From: Modern Classics, Book 2 by Donna Hay

200g/7 oz dark (couverture) chocolate, chopped
250g/8 oz butter, chopped
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/4 cups plain/all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsuis/320 degrees Farenheit.

Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

Place the sugar, eggs, cocoa, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into a 20 cm/8 in square slice tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 50 minutes or until set. (I bake it for about 40 minutes, or until a cake tester/skewer comes out slightly wet) Cool slightly in tin. Cut into slices. Serve warm or cold.

Makes 16 slices.


Cream Cheese Frosting
From: Modern Classics, Book 2 by Donna Hay

250 g/8 oz softened cream cheese
1/3 cup icing/confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Process softened cream cheese in a food processor until smooth. (I use electric beaters)

Add icing sugar and lemon juice and process until smooth. (The lemon juice is optional, add it if you like a tart taste)



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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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