Thursday, 19 September 2013

Old fashioned cake (with new fashioned icing)

You may have gathered by now that my preferred recipes have less than 10 ingredients. As soon as I see a huge list of things I have to shop for and weigh and measure, my interest wanes. It helps that my favourite foods are simple dishes with clean flavours..... although I'm not sure how that applies to what I am about to write about. Cake.

I had planned to visit a friend that has been having a tough time lately and, well, cake is known for it's restorative properties:) I also love the idea of cupcakes but am usually disappointed with them when I buy them. Plus it is artistically satisfying to make cute little cakes, so here is a super easy and quick cupcake recipe. I should add it is not MY recipe, it is handwritten on a slip of paper in my recipe folder from who knows when or who and is for a cake, not necessarily cupcakes.

You will need:
 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup milk
125g butter, melted, cooled
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 200C. Combine your flour and sugar in a large bowl, make a well in the centre, add your milk, butter and eggs and stir until just combined. Pop into you patty cases in a muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, checking after 15. This makes 12 large patty cakes (read that as splurging over the top of the patty papers), if you want more elegant cakes, fill the papers a little less and you could get an elegant 16 (also reduce the cooking time a little).

I hated buttercream icing as a kid. I used to go to all those birthday parties will all that amazing thick coloured icing and be disappointed every time. My Nana used to make some kind of modified version that I didn't mind but that is long lost. I don't hate buttercream now ( my tastes have matured you see) but I do believe that the best icings are, in order: cream cheese, chocolate ganache or simple glacé.

Here is my cream cheese icing recipe. Not too buttery, not too sweet:

You will need:
250g cream cheese, softened
50g unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla (will talk about variations later)

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Gradually add icing sugar and beat between additions, you might like to add a little more if you want a stiffer icing. Add your vanilla and beat until combined. I usually pop this back in the fridge for a while before I start icing to make it a little thicker and easier to work with. 

For these cupcakes I separated the mixture into 2 bowls after the icing sugar was added. To one bowl I added a few drops of green colouring and 1/2 tsp vanilla and to the other, pink colouring and 1/2 tsp of rose water. Simple and yum.


  1. oh my gosh a girl after my own heart - I hate complicated recipes with too many ingredients. I hate when you go shopping and have too buy heaps of things for one dish.
    These little cupcakes look delicious - I really need a simple cake recipe in my repertoire - I might try this out on the long weekend.
    Thanks for all your Melbourne tips, I really appreciate it!

  2. I too love simplicity in cooking ... and such perfect little cupcakes. My favourite treat for when I'm feeling under the weather!

  3. A delicious homemade cupcake is one of life's simple treasures. Thanks for linking up with us for Fabulous Foodie Fridays :)


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