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Archive for the ‘muffins’ Category

Velvety Chocolate Cupcakes

Miss Emma left the Shock crew at the start of the month so for her last day I made her some cupcakes & decided to make my first attempt at tweaking the Nigella Red Velvet Cupcake recipe where i swapped the red food colouring for some dark chocolate chips. I also made more mixture than I did the first time so there would be more to go around (below recipe is 1 ½ times my previous post).


  • 375g plain flour
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 x 15ml T cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g soft unsalted butter
  • 300g castor sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 260ml buttermilk
  • 1 ½ tsp cider vinegar or other vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 170°C and line two muffin trays with paper cases
  2. Combine the flour, chocolate chips, cocoa, baking powder and bicarb in a bowl
  3. In another bowl, cream the butter, and sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract
  5. While still beating, add one spoonful of dried ingredients, then one egg, followed by some more dried ingredients, then the other egg, followed by the rest of the dried ingredients
  6. Beat together the buttermilk and vinegar
  7. Fold into creamed mixture
  8. Spoon the batter evenly into the cases
  9. Bake for 20 mins or until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched
  10. Transfer to a wire tack to cool down completely before decorating

* because I had extra mixture, I made one tray of standard muffin sized cupcakes, then one tray of mini cupcakes. To bake the mini cupcakes, I reduced the temperature down to 160°C and baked them for about 10-15 mins.

buttery cream cheese icing


  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 125g soft unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice

 Beat all of the above ingredients together until smooth then pipe onto the cupcakes.

Pirate Pumpkin Muffins

For the last few years at work we’ve supported the RSPCA cupcake day. Last year I jumped on board the baking team but I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to make until I came across these awesome pirate cupcake cups with pirate flags at cake deco (www.cakedeco.com.au – their website’s pretty average but their store just off Flinders Street is amazing… I can spend a whole arvo in there!).

I thought the perfect thing to go in these was my mum’s golden pumpkin muffins (cos we all know pirates love gold!). These muffins also remind me of home and my mum who is the most amazing cook that not only taught me everything she knows but she also gave me the passion for baking (thanks mum xx). Not only do they taste super yum but they make the whole house smell so homely.


  • 2 C self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 ½ C brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 100g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C cooked, mashed pumpkins


  1. 1 Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 12 x 1/3-cup capacity muffin pan. Alternatively, line holes with paper cases.
  2. Combine the first 7 dry ingredients into a large bowl. Toss with a fork to combine thoroughly. Make a well in the centre.
  3. In another bowl, warm the butter until melted, add the eggs and beat well. Stir in the mashed pumpkin. Add to the dry mixture and fold together without overmixing.
  4. Put about ¼ cup of the mixture into each muffin cup
  5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown and they spring back when pressed in the centre. Stand in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Tip – sprinkle some brown sugar on top of each muffin before baking for a delicious crunchy top

Usually you can just serve these with butter but to make these piratey to go with the cups and flags, I mixed some cinnamon into butter then piped it onto the muffin in a cross – to mark the treasure, arrrgh!