vanilla musk mini cupcakes

Everyone loves red velvet cupcakes right? Well what if you created something that looked like red velvet but tasted like something else delicious?
I’d been wanting to play around with colouring cakes since I made red velvet cupcakes and thought this would be a fun idea.
The frosting was flavoured with musk essence and the cupcakes are vanilla. You can flavour the cupcake batter if you wish but I find when you’re baking something the flavour fades, whereas it stays fresh and vibrant in frosting – this is a helpful thing to remember when making macaroons too, I always flavour the filling rather than the macaroon shells. But you can have a play around and do whatever works best for you.
So when I put these little beauties down, I got the reaction I wanted, “Are these red velvet?”
As everyone tucked in, they looked at me in surprise as they tasted the musk and were expecting a red velvet flavour.
It’s nice to surprise people with your cooking, that’s something I’ve learnt while watching endless cooking shows on television. Cooking elevates the senses, why not throw a tasty spanner in the works?


90g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
190g vegetable shortening
400g icing sugar
40ml water
musk essence
pink food colouring

Preheat the oven to 180°C and place 24 mini patty cases into a cupcake tin.
Put the butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour, milk and vanilla essence into a bowl and mix with an electric beater until ingredients are well combined. Add in some food colouring until you get the desired colour.
Spoon the batter into the patty cases and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Turn the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool.
To make the buttercream frosting, cream the vegetable shortening with an electric mixer until it becomes light and white, then add the sifted icing sugar, water and musk essence to taste. Mix until well combined.
Pipe the buttercream frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate.

Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea


Every year my office holds a fundraiser for the Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea and naturally it’s something I look forward to.
Since my mum bought a silicone mold with teapots, teacups and cupcakes I have been planning these cupcakes as I thought they would be perfect. I’ve also been wanting to make coloured cupcakes for ages, similar to red velvet but in vanilla.
So last night I started experimenting and I’m absolutely thrilled with the end result. Although my first batch of cupcakes were a little ugly, the second batch were beauties.
The buttercream frosting is flavoured with musk essence and coloured with Rose Wilton dye. I also used the same colour for the cupcakes, but used a lot more so the colour wouldn’t fade when cooked.
When making the fondant decorations, I dusted the molds with a bit of icing sugar so the fondant wouldn’t stick, then left them in a container with the lid slightly ajar to dry. I made them a few days ago to give them ample drying time.



Cancer council

afternoon teal to raise money for ovarian cancer research


The other day, I organised a fundraiser at work to raise money for the Australian Ovarian Cancer Foundation.
February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and the colour is teal – coincidentally my favourite colour.
I baked some caramel cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and decorated with teal pretties.
We raised $75 for the cause – not bad for a first effort.

90g softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
375g caramel – store bought
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
Vanilla buttercream frosting (200g vegetable shortening or butter, 500g icing sugar, 40ml water, vanilla essence)
Preheat oven 180°C and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with patty cases.
Beat the butter, vanilla extract, caramel, eggs and flour in a bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. The mixture should become thick and glossy.
Spoon the mixture into the patty cases and cook in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Take the cupcakes out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream frosting.
Whip the vegetable shortening or butter, icing sugar, water and vanilla essence until fluffy and well combined.
Spoon the icing into the piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cakes. Then decorate!