Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 11)

For the orange cupcakes

215g gluten-free plain flour • 133g caster sugar • 1.5tsp gluten-free baking powder • 1 pinch salt • 62.5g butter • 190ml orange juice • 62.5ml vegetable oil • 1/2tsp orange essence • 1 egg • 3 drops yellow food gel • 2 drops red food gel

For the orange frosting

150g butter • 300g icing sugar • 2tbsp orange juice • 2 drops orange essence • 2 drops yellow food gel • 1 drop red food gel •

To decorate

11tsp chocolate fudge ganache • 55 chocolate chips • 11 modelling chocolate hearts (plus gold edible dust)

To make the orange cupcakes…

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160ºC and line a baking tray with cupcake cases
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  • Add the wet ingredients and mix well with a hand mixer
  • Use an ice cream scoop to transfer 2 scoops of the batter into each cupcake case
  • Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, then leave to cool whilst you prepare the frosting

To make the frosting…

  • Whisk the butter with a hand mixer for 5 minutes
  • Add the icing sugar in quarters and whisk until smooth
  • Add the orange essence, orange juice and food gels

To decorate…

  • Take use the tip of a wide round piping nozzle to take the core out of each cupcake
  • Fill the centre of each cupcake with ready-made chocolate fudge ganache
  • Pipe a double swirl of orange frosting on each cupcake with a star tipped nozzle
  • Put 5 chocolate chips in the space inside the frosting swirl
  • Roll out the modelling chocolate, cut out 11 hearts and brush gold edible dust on the hearts using a stencil
  • Place the hearts on the cupcakes, forming a roof over the frosting and chocolate chips

Swiss Meringue Macarons

For the macaron cookies (recipe makes 20):

150g ground almonds

150g icing sugar

55g egg whites (1st portion)

150g caster sugar

55g egg whites (2nd portion)

3 drops yellow food gel

For the Swiss meringue filling:

50g egg whites

62.5g caster sugar

225g butter

1tsp vanilla extract

1 drop yellow food gel

Preparation tips

  • Buy a candy thermometer
  • Leave the egg whites in the fridge over night to liquidise and let them reach room temperature before using them
  • Take out the butter hours before use so it’s extra soft

To make the macaron cookies…

  • Combine the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor, adding only half of each ingredient at a time, then transfer to a large mixing bowl
  • Add the 1st portion of egg whites, mix well and set aside with cling film covering the bowl
  • Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan on a medium-high heat, using a candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature
  • When the syrup reaches 115ºC, whisk the 2nd portion of egg whites in a stand mixer on a high speed
  • When the syrup reaches 118ºC, pour it over the egg whites very slowly as they continue to whisk
  • After 3 minutes more of whisking, add the yellow food gel, and whisk for another 3 minutes
  • Fold one spatula of the meringue into the almond mixture, then add the rest of the meringue and mix thoroughly (use the spatula to go around the bowl and through the mixture)
  • When the batter falls off the spatula in a ribbon and disappears into the mixture after 10 seconds, it’s ready to pipe
  • Put the mixture into a piping bag with a round tip and pipe small circles onto a tray covered with baking paper (leave ample space between each cookie)
  • Tap the tray on the work surface twice on each side to eliminate air bubbles
  • Leave the cookies to develop a skin for 30 minutes (you’ll know they’re ready when they’re dry to the touch)
  • Heat the oven to 160ºC and bake the macaron cookies for 10-12 minutes, then leave to cool

To make the Swiss meringue filling…

  • Whisk together the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until the syrup is warm and the sugar is completely dissolved
  • Transfer the syrup to a stand mixer and whisk for 10 minutes, gradually increasing the speed from low to medium-high
  • Add the softened butter in small chunks, followed by the vanilla essence and yellow food gel, then whisk for another 5 minutes
  • Use a star tipped piping nozzle to pipe a swirl on the underside of one macaron cookie, then place another cookie on top to make a sandwich

Salted Caramel Cupcakes


Ingredients (makes 17 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes 

  • 225g plain flour
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp spice mix
  • 1tsp ginger
  • 50g honey
  • 115g golden syrup
  • 50ml cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 80ml orange juice

To decorate

  • 250g Sugar and Crumbs salted caramel icing sugar
  • 50g regular icing sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 1 pack Renshaw dark brown, chocolate flavoured fondant
  • gold edible dust
  • edible glitter

Special equipment needed

  • Fondant decorating stencils
  • Paintbrush
  • Scone cutter
  • Star piping nozzle
  • Palette knife



  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC and line a baking tray with cupcake cases
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, caster sugar and spices
  3. Add the honey, golden syrup, cooking oil and eggs
  4. In a small bowl, stir the bicarbonate of soda into the orange juice (it will fizz), then add this to the main batter and beat well
  5. Fill the cupcake cases with 2 ice cream scoops of batter and put in the oven for 20 minutes (until they look golden brown and feel springy on top)
  6. Let the cupcakes cool on a rack while you prepare the frosting
  7. For the frosting, cream the butter until fluffy and gradually sift in the icing sugars
  8. Add 2tbsp milk to make the frosting light and smooth, and cream the ingredients with an electric mixer for several minutes for the best results
  9. Pipe the frosting in a ring on top of each cupcake, dragging the piping nozzle inwards to complete the circle
  10. On a clean and dry surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out the fondant to the thickness of a £1 coin and use a scone cutter to cut out 1 disc for each cupcake
  11. Line up your discs and cover them with a stencil, pressing it firmly into place on the fondant
  12. Paint the gold edible dust onto the discs, being careful not to move the stencil out of position
  13. Carefully lift the stencil off the discs and use a palette knife to place one on the centre of each cupcake
  14. Sprinkle some edible glitter on top of the cupcakes for an extra sparkle!

Marble Monogram Cookies

In need of some sugar and spice? Treat yo’self to these aromatic gingerbread-esque cookies. They’re quick and easy to make, and are great as homemade, personalised gifts this winter. Will you save these as late-night snacks with a cup of tea, or gift them to a friend with pumpkin spice withdrawal symptoms?

Ingredients (makes about 20 discs):IMG_0353.JPG

  • 175g plain flour (plus extra to roll)
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 85g light brown soft sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup or honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 2 colours of fondant
  • icing sugar to roll
  • gold piping gel
  • glitter to decorate


  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C 
  • Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, ginger, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and sugar) in a large mixing bowl
  • Add the wet ingredients (golden syrup or honey, vanilla essence and egg) to the mixture and combine well
  • Soften the butter in the microwave and use your finger tips to rub the butter into the mixture as best as you can – you’re aiming for a squishy crumb-like consistency
  • Use your hands to gather the crumbs in the mixing bowl and pack together to form a dough
  • Dust a surface and rolling pin with flour, then roll the dough out to the thickness of a £1 coin
  • Use a round cutter to cut out discs of the dough and place on a lined baking tray
  • Bake for 10 minutes and check, but they’ll likely need an extra 2 minutes (they should be golden brown in colour and shouldn’t be rock hard – they’ll harden as they cool)
  • Warm up the fondant in your hands to soften it – use 2 shades of the same colour
  • Roll the two colours into sausage shapes and twist them together before rolling them out (on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar) to create a marble effect
  • Use the same cutter to cut out discs of the marble fondant
  • Make a simple icing to glue the fondant discs to the cookie discs (add a drop of water to some icing sugar) when the cookies have cooled
  • Use gold piping gel to monogram your cookies – if you have a fine nib you can probably do 2 initials on each cookie, but I could only fit 1 letter on each
  • Dust your monogram cookies with glitter (obviously)

Drip & Drizzle Gingerbread

Jackson Pollock at work

Jackson Pollock at work

The artist Jackson Pollock was an influential figure in the abstract expressionist movement. He was born on 28th January 1912, and to honour him on his would-be birthday, I have designed ‘Drip & Drizzle Gingerbread’. The bold decorating colours and splattering I used for the glaze are imitations of his painting technique. This recipe is adapted from Dan and Phil’s ‘Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Cookies’ Halloween Baking video tutorial. I know gingerbread and pumpkin spice are flavours typically associated with autumn and Halloween, but the rich taste and aroma of these cookies are enough to warm me up and put a smile on my face this winter!

Ingredients (makes about 200 small cookies!)

665g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1½ tsp ground ginger
225g unsalted butter
395g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
115ml dark molasses (treacle)

To decorate: about 50g icing sugar, a few drops of water, coloured food dyes and coloured fondant


Part 1 – preparing the dough

  • Create a flour mixture by combining the following dry ingredients in a mixing bowl: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger
  • Cream the butter and sugar in a separate bowl until light and fluffy 
  • Add the eggs, vanilla and molasses to the creamed mixture
  • Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture until a dough is formed
  • Split the dough in half and form large discs with both sections
  • Wrap the discs in cling film and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours to chill

Part 2 – baking the cookies IMG_9246

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C
  • Take out the desired amount of dough – either keep the rest in the fridge (for up to 3 days) or in the freezer until your next baking adventure
  • Sprinkle a clean surface and large rolling pin with spare plain flour
  • Roll out the dough and cut 1/4 inch thick shapes with cookie cutters
  • Place the cookies on a baking sheet (leave enough space for them to spread out in the oven)
  • Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes (the cookies will set completely when taken out of the oven so do not wait for them to harden in the oven, otherwise they will be rock solid!)
  • Leave on a cooling rack whilst you prepare the decorations

IMG_9250Part 3 – decorating the cookies

  • Sprinkle a clean surface and a small rolling pin with icing sugar and roll out coloured fondant of your choice
  • Cut out shapes using the same cookie cutters that you used for the cookies themselves (the fondant should be about the same thickness as a £1 coin)
  • Set the fondant shapes to one side and prepare the icing glaze (this dries out quickly so should be done last)
  • Put a few teaspoons of icing sugar into a small bowl and add a drop of water, then mix
  • If the paste is not fluid enough, add a couple more drops of water (you can keep adding water or icing sugar to thin out or thicken the glaze until it reaches your desired consistency)
  • Add coloured food dye to the glaze
  • Take a teaspoon and add a small dollop of glaze on top of each cookie (to act as glue) before placing a fondant shape directly on top
  • Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze on top of the fondant – I lined mine up on the counter and used large sweeping strokes to do this
  • If you have 2 different coloured fondants and food dyes, you can make 2 batches of fondant shapes and glazes and use the opposite coloured glaze on the fondant (this works best with opposite colours, i.e. blue/orange, yellow/purple, red/green)

Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes

I made these delicious cupcakes to celebrate my birthday, and they went down a treat! The Nesquik powder and Party Rings make me feel so nostalgic and it’s so exciting to be able to combine them in a fun dessert. The best part is that they actually taste of a strawberry milkshake! Make sure to use colourful cupcake cases and a generous serving of frosting! Enjoy 🙂



On another occasion, I used the left-over strawberry milkshake frosting to decorate vanilla cupcakes and dyed the frosting blue to match the cupcake cases.

For the batter:

430g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

265g granulated sugar

375ml milk

125ml vegetable oil

125g butter

2 tbsp strawberry yoghurt

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 eggs

200g strawberry Nesquik powder

For the frosting:

200g butter

400g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

120g strawberry Nesquik powder


1 pack of ‘Party Rings’ to decorate

Strawberry jam as a filling


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
  • Cream the butter and sugar together, then add to the dry ingredients
  • Combine all the other wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl, then add to the other mixture
  • Spoon the batter into cupcake cases
  • Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes
  • When the cupcakes have cooled, use a sharp knife to cut the core out of each cupcake and fill the hole with a spoonful of strawberry jam
  • To make the frosting, cream the butter, icing sugar, vanilla essence, food colouring and Nesquik
  • Pipe onto each cupcake and half-submerge a Party Ring biscuit inside the frosting before it has set


Gluten-Free Honey Cupcakes

IMG_8014On Rosh Hashanah, the
Jewish new year, it is customary to dip apple in honey and wish friends and family a ‘sweet’ new year. Honey cake is also
very popular at this time of year as it incorporates this symbolic ingredient. I decided to use a simple honey cake recipe for cupcakes to give as gifts to loved ones for the new year. I can safely say that they are absolutely delicious and will make sweet treats for Rosh Hashanah (the warm spices also give them an autumnal feel so will be perfect for the coming months).

Ingredients (makes 18)

For the cake batter:

2 eggs

150g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 cup boiling water

200g golden syrup

1/2 cup sunflower oil

300g Dove’s Farm gluten-free self raising flour

2 heaped tsp cinnamon

3 heaped tsp ginger

1 tsp mixed spice

For the frosting/decoration:

250g margarine

500g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tbsp mixed spices

2 tbsp water

1 Crunchie bar or any other chocolate-covered honeycomb

gold decorative sprinkles

How to make the cake batter:

  • IMG_0001Preheat the oven to 160°C
  • Beat the caster sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl
  • Add the sunflower oil and vanilla essence
  • Sift the dry ingredients (flour, spices and bicarb) into a separate bowl
  • Add the boiling water to the syrup in a separate container and stir them until they have dissolved together (if you don’t have enough golden syrup, feel free to compensate with honey or a butterscotch syrup)
  • Add the flour mixture and syrup mixture alternately to the bowl with the other wet ingredients
  • Use an ice cream scoop to put the cake batter into cupcake cases as is a very sloppy mixture (2 scoops for regular cupcake cases or 3 scoops for larger cases – like the brown paper ones in my photos)
  • Put the cupcakes in the oven for 20 minutes and then check to see whether they need to stay in for a few extra minutes (they should be a golden brown colour, spongy and moist – do not over-bake!)

How to make the frosting and decorate the cupcakes:

  • IMG_8008Soften the margarine and cream until smooth
  • Add the icing sugar and mix together until smooth
  • Add the vanilla essence and spices (you can change the quantity of spices depending on personal preference – I’d suggest tasting as you go along until you’re happy)
  • If the frosting is too stiff, add tablespoons of water and mix again until you have your desired consistency
  • Put the Crunchie (or honeycomb) into a ziplock bag and crush it with the end of a rolling pin – you want a range of different sized chunks and lots of crumbs, too
  • Pipe a swirl of frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle the honeycomb crumbs/chunks on top before the frosting sets
  • Alternatively, use gold coloured decorative sprinkles to complement the earthy toned honey cake and spiced frosting

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have enjoyed baking these honey cupcakes! I shall definitely be serving them again next Rosh Hashanah 🙂 Shana Tova to all my Jewish blog followers!