Cake Fanatic

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Christmas Cupcakes

Posted on by cakefanatic

so, the big day is fast approaching. 6 days worth of advent calender chocolates down and I am really starting to get into the festive spirit. So in this vein, I have found these gorgeously xmasy cupcakes online, the mincemeat, nutmeg and brandy combo is to die for! 🙂

115g butter, softened
230g caster sugar
2tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
230g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
3 eggs, large
140g mincemeat
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tsp brandy, optional

3 oz/85g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp Cointreau, or preferred liqueur, or brandy

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 4
  2. In a large roomy baking bowl, place the butter and sugar and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste or extract and stir.
  3. One by one add the eggs beating really well after each addition.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Fold into the butter-sugar in three parts, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Finally stir in the mincemeat, spices and brandy if using.
  6. Place cupcake cases into a muffin tin. Fill each case 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown and well risen. Cool on a wire rack before icing.
  7. To make the icing: Combine the Cointreau or liqueur with the icing sugar Drizzle over the top of each cupcake and serve.

Deliciously Christmasy, Thanks to for the Fab recipe!

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Nutmeg Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted on by cakefanatic

Nutmeg is a fabulously christmasy flavour and when combined with lemon cream cheese frosting it is simply magical! Enjoy…

170g plain flour
50g whole wheat flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground or 1/4 tsp freshly grated
1 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
75g unsalted butter, softened
70ml apple sauce
225g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
60ml yogurt, buttermilk or kefir (I tend to substitute buttermilk for sour cream)
1 cup ripe bananas, smashed (from about 2 bananas)
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and grated

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 4. Line a muffin pan with cupcake holders.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients & and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla, then beat the eggs in one at a time. Fold in the yoghurt, followed by the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Fold in the bananas and apples. Fill each cupcake cup about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, checking every couple of minutes afterwards, until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  5. For the frosting: With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar.
  7. Stir in the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.Frost each cooled cupcake with a butter knife or piped through a frosting bag and grate a dusting of fresh nutmeg over the tops.

Yummy! Big thanks to Mother Earth News for the recipe.

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Chocolate Marble Cake With Butter Cream Icing

Posted on by cakefanatic

My lovely friend, Miss Charlie Burley, very kindly gave me this recipe after teasing me with the delicious looking cake she baked for her very lucky boyfriend this week. It is from the Le Crueset recipe collection and it smelt devine. 🙂

Marble Cake

225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
125ml sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
300g self–raising flour, sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
60g baking chocolate chips

Butter cream Icing –
250g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
600g icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk

To Decorate –
Approx 2 x boxes of maltesers (or more if like me you eat as you go along…)


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C/Gas Mark 2. Grease and dust the inside of the pot with flour.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat together the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract and gradually add this mixture to the creamed mixture, beating well between additions.
  3. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the sifted flour a little at a time. When all the flour has been added, transfer one quarter of the mixture to another bowl.
  4. Fold the cocoa powder and chocolate chips into the smaller amount of mixture.
  5. Put half the vanilla mixture into the pot and level the surface. Add the chocolate mixture in 3 large spoonfuls, spacing them apart. Spread the remaining vanilla mixture on top.
  6. Using a knife, make 3 or 4 wide swirling movements to create the marbling effect; do not make many more swirls, or the definition of the marble will be reduced.
  7. Level the top of the mixture and make a small dip about 5 cm (2 inches) wide in the middle to help keep the cake top level while it rises as it bakes. The lid is not used.
  8. Bake the cake just below the middle of the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours until the top is golden brown and just firm to the touch. When the cake is baked through, a turkey skewer or cocktail stick inserted into the middle will come out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the pot for at least 15 minutes before un-moulding it on to a cake cooling rack. Cool thoroughly before icing.
  9. For The Icing – In a large bowl, cream together the butter and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, a quarter at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.
  10. Once Iced, add maltesers to the edges of the cake.


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Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Posted on by cakefanatic

I found this recipe, that frankly has to be shared, on the amazing (and my new favourite) blog – Definitely a girl after my own heart, the images of this particular cake are too amazing not to share. The recipe is fairly complex, but for a show stopping pudding, or when you just want to show off, this is perfection. 🙂

Serves 12 – 14

2 x 225g tubs cream cheese, at room temperature
150g granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
80ml sour cream
80ml heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Red Velvet Cake:
275g plain flour
340g granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
350ml vegetable oil
235ml buttermilk (I use sour cream if I cannot find this)
2 x 30ml bottles red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting:
275g icing sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
2 x 225g tubs cream cheese, at room temperature
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat oven to 160 degrees C/Gas mark 3. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven.
  2. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil.
  3. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn’t seep into the pan).
  4. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese – blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy.
  5. Mix in sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition.
  7. Finally, mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven.
  9. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan (it will fill the pan surrounding the cheesecake). Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan.
  10. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly.
  11. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.
  12. Prepare the cake layers: Preheat oven to 160 degrees C/Gas Mark 3. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour).
  13. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally.
  14. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
  15. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely.
  16. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat icing sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy (do not overbeat).
  17. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment.
  18. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers.
  19. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.
  20. Frost the cake: Apply a crumb coat layer to the cake – use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Be sure to wipe off your spatula each time you are about to dip it back into the bowl to get more frosting (this way you won’t be transferring any red crumbs into the bowl of frosting). Don’t worry at this point about the crumbs being visible in the frosting on the cake. When your cake has a thin layer of frosting all over it, place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to “set” the frosting.
  21. Once the first layer of frosting is set, apply the 2nd layer. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. Because you applied a crumb-coat layer, you shouldn’t have any red crumbs floating around in the final frosting layer. Decorate, as desired.Keep this cake refrigerated.

Whilst at first it seems labour intensive, I like the fact it can be built up in stages. I just have to keep looking at that picture to inspire me to make it!!

Source: (cake & frosting portions of the recipe from Piece of Cake, inspired by the red velvet cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory and by a version of this cake made by Erin’s Food Files )


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German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Posted on by cakefanatic

I have never heard of German sandwich cake before and I feel like I have been missing out! I love coconut, pecans and, most of al chocolate, so how I have missed this one I am not sure. I intend to make up for lost time though by attempting these heavenly looking sandwich cookie versions of the traditional cake…

Makes 2 dozen cookies

60g cocoa powder
330g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp salt
225g unsalted butter
400g demerara sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
180ml milk

For the filling:
Two tins sweetened condensed milk
225g unsweetened shredded coconut
200g finely chopped toasted pecans


  1. Heat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a second large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture, stirring to combine. Add the milk, scraping the bowl to ensure even mixing. Add the second half of the flour mixture, again scraping the bowl.
  5. Working in batches, drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each for spreading. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Allow to cool on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. For the filling: In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the sweetened condensed milk and the coconut. Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to pull away from the pan and will hold a line when you drag your spoon through it, 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  7. Place the pecans in a shallow bowl or pie pan. Spread a spoonful of the coconut mixture onto the flat side of one cooled cookie. Top with another cookie, flat side down, to form a sandwich. Roll the edges of the sandwich cookie in the chopped pecans.
  8. Store in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper.

Thanks so much to Tulsa World for opening my eyes to this delicious treat!

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Paint Your Own Cookies

Posted on by cakefanatic

I just had to share this fab idea for cookies – with the school holidays fast approaching, what a fun way to spend an afternoon with the kids. Plus at the end of it everyone gets cookies!

What you will need:
Cookie dough (home made or shop-bought)
Egg yolks
Food colouring – colours of your choice!
Sugar sprinkles (optional)
Cookie cutters
Small paint brushes

  1. Begin by preparing the paints. In a small bowl (one for each colour), place one egg yolk and a few drops of food colouring of choice. Mix well. Repeat for each colour. Set aside.
  2. Make dough, roll out cookies and cut. Now paint. Be sure to use a separate brush for each colour or you may end up with a lot of brown cookies 🙂
  3. When finished painting all of your cookies, bake according to recipe directions.

And voilà – it really is that simple!

Thanks to for the great idea!

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Best Christmas Cupcake Toppings

Posted on by cakefanatic

So, you have decided on the flavour of your cupcakes, got a tried and tested recipe sorted and they are baked, smell delicious and they are ready to eat… But how to ice them? In preparation for the school Christmas fayre next week, where parents will be competing to see who can do the best cakes, I have been looking for some of the most simple yet most effective Xmas toppings… Feast your eyes on this lot!


Check out this guy – just 2 marshmallows with a minstrel on top, but kids will love this!



Really Gorgeous and decadent looking Xmas trees, from the Martha Stewart collection – lots of frosting, but what an effect!



The popular green Xmas trees from a previous blog – so simple, yet crazily effective.



Reindeer cookie and pretzel cupcakes – super simple yet the pretzels are a genius addition, I love the mix of salty and sweet, but if it is not your thing, remove before eating!



Or stars always make a great topping, these are so cute.



Happy Baking!




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Christmas Pudding Cupcakes

Posted on by cakefanatic

Now I am the first to admit I am not the biggest fan of Christmas pudding the traditional way. After a huge dinner the last thing I want is a heavy pud. Also by that time of the day, the thought of anything brandy soaked on top of the bucks fizz and wine that has been consumed throughout the day fills me with dread… So these are a perfect alternative. And they have chocolate in! Thanks again to the Good Food Channel. 🙂

50g dark chocolate , in chunks
140g butter , plus extra for greasing
100ml soured cream
3 eggs , lightly beaten
140g self-raising flour
140g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
85g dried sour cherries , plus a few extra to decorate

For Decoration:
250g icing sugar , sifted
1 tsp custard powder, sifted
12 small bay leaves

  1. Heat oven to 170oC/gas mark 5. Butter a non-stick 12-hole muffin tin, and stick two criss-crossing strips of baking parchment in each hole.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter over a low heat. Cool a little, then stir in the soured cream and eggs.
  3. Mix the flour, sugar, almonds, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl. Pour in the chocolate and stir until smooth, then stir in the cherries. Spoon into the muffin holes so they are 3⁄4 full.
  4. Bake for 20 mins. Cool in the tins. Can now be frozen in plastic bags for 3 months.
  5. To decorate: Mix the icing sugar and custard powder with 2 tbsp water to make a thick icing. Remove the muffins from the tins and cool on a rack. Cut off any rounded tops, stand upside-down on the rack, then spoon icing over. Leave to set, then top with bay leaves and cherries.

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Chocolate Beer Cake

Posted on by cakefanatic

This is one of my favourite Delia recipes and is my boyfriends choice every birthday – “but dont you want to try something new?” I ask every year. And I always get the same reply – “why would I want anything else when this cake includes my two favourite things – Beer & Chocolate??”…

So I should share it, the way to a man’s heart is truly through his stomach… Enjoy!

50g cocoa powder
200ml stout
110g very soft butter
275g dark soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
175g plain flour
Âź teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:
110g icing sugar, sifted
50g very soft butter
2 tablespoons stout
110g dark chocolate (50-55% cocoa solids)
25g walnut pieces, finely chopped

To decorate:
8 walnut halves
cocoa powder, for dusting

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180°C.
  2. Grease 2 x 8-inch (20cm) sponge tins, 4cm deep. Line the bases with lightly greased baking parchment.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar, beating together thoroughly for 3 – 4 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  6. Weigh the cocoa and put it in a separate bowl, gradually stirring the stout into it. Now carefully and lightly fold into the egg mixture small quantities of the sifted flour alternately with the cocoa-stout liquid.
  7. When fully incorporated, divide the cake mixture equally between the two tins and level out.
  8. Bake the sponges in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes. The cakes should be flat on top and feel springy and will have shrunk slightly from the side of the tin. Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool further, carefully stripping off the base papers.
  9. To make the icing: beat the icing sugar and butter together until blended, then gradually add the stout, making sure it is thoroughly mixed in after each addition.
  10. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Then, when it’s melted, remove the bowl from the water, and carefully fold the chocolate into the icing mixture.
  11. To make the icing, beat the icing sugar and butter together until blended, then gradually add the stout, making sure it is thoroughly mixed in after each addition. Now melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Then, when it’s melted, remove the bowl from the water, and carefully fold the chocolate into the icing mixture.
  12. Now remove a third of the icing to a separate bowl and stir in the chopped walnuts. After all the icing has cooled to a spreadable consistency, sandwich the cake with the walnut icing. Then spread the remaining two-thirds of the icing on top of the cake, using a palette knife. Next, dust the walnut halves with cocoa powder and arrange on top of the cake.

Seriously, although the picture looks good, it can in no way describe how yummy this cake is!

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2 Minute Chocolate Salted Caramel Mug Cake

Posted on by cakefanatic

So I know what I am making for my lunch – check out my favourite of a heap of incredibly simple yet frankly obscene in their deliciousness recipes from the fab Babble Blog, Family Kitchen.

Makes 1 mug cake

4 tablespoons plain flour
4 tablespoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg – beaten
3 tablespoons skimmed milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 salted caramels

  1. Into a small bowl add: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, egg, milk, and vegetable oil. Mix to combine.
  2. Pour mixture into a regular sized coffee mug. Drop caramels into centre of mixture one at a time.
  3. Microwave on high for one minute and 30 seconds. If needed, microwave on high for up to an additional 30 seconds.

Seriously – a blog worth checking out, my only problem is knowing which one to go for next… 🙂

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