Cakes, Cakes and more Cakes

Hokay - on this page is going to be a list of tips and things I've picked up from making zillions of cakes.  Be aware that I'm no chef, my highest cooking qualification is having done the Specialty Cooking short course twice in grade 10. I did it twice not because I failed it, but because I enjoyed it so much. I did 3 terms of cake decorating in Sydney to get me skilled up in the decorating side of things which is by far the most fun.

On with the cakes... 



Recipe Index:

Chocolate Mudcake
Vanilla Cupcake Recipe
Chocolate Cupcakes
Coffee Cream Icing
Rosewater Icing
Rich Chocolate and Orange Moose
White Chocolate Mudcake
Vanilla Butter Icing

 My Mudcake Recipe

This was actually passed on to me from Paula who makes a fantastic mud-cake.  It originally comes out of the Family Circle "Making Beautiful Cakes" magazine style recipe book which I thoroughly recommend as it has lots of good stuff in it. In fact borrowed it from Paula for so long that she ended up buying herself another copy.

  • 250g butter
  • 250g dark chocolate (good quality)
  • 2 tbs instant coffee powder (note: I only use about 1 tbs otherwise it tastes a bit bitter)
  • 150g sr flour
  • 150g pl flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 550 g sugar (!) it's a lot!!
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 125ml buttermilk (supermarket has this)

  1. Preheat oven to 160. Line a cake tin with baking paper
  2. Put butter, chocolate and coffe in a pan with 185mil of water. Stir over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Sift flours, cocoa and bicarb into a large bowl. Stir in sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the combined eggs, oil and buttermilk and using a large metal spoon, stir to start incorporating the dry ingredeints. Gradually stir in the melted chocolate mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 & 3/4 hours.  Test the centre with a skewer - it can appear slightly wet - remove teh cake from the oven unless the centre looks raw.  Leave the cake in the tin until it is completly cold then turn out and wrap with plastic wrap.

My Trusty Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

This is out of the 1989 Womens Weekly Cakes and Slices cookbook. I've found that the results are better if you use really good quality vanilla escence, but if
you are making them for kids I wouldn't bother as they wouldn't appreciate the yummy vanilla flavour anyway - they are only going to lick off the icing and leave the rest in your shoe.

  • 125g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla esc. (good quality)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour
  • 1/2 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 180.
  2. Cream butter, essence and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time
  4. Stir in half the sifited flour and half the milk, then the remaining flour and milk
  5. Put into you cup cake thingys and bake for 15-25 mins depending on your oven!


Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

The thing I like about this chocolate cupcake recipe is that it doesn't require real chocolate but they taste as good as if it were used. To make a fantastic choc-mint variation, buy some cheapo after dinner mints from the supermarket. Save 1/2 and chop the other 1/2 into little bits and put in the mixture. Then ice with peppermint butter cream (regular icing with peppermint escence) and top with a shard or 1/2 of the saved mint.  It's my biggest seller.

  •  170g butter
  •  2 cups sugar
  •  3 eggs
  •  2 cups flour
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  3/4 cup cocoa
  •  1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  •  1-1/2 cups milk

  1. Preheat oven to 185.
  2. Cream butter, add sugar and bear until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time
  4. Add a third of the dry ingredients and a third of the milk and beat. Continue, alternating between dray and wet and finishing with teh dry.
  5. Put into you cup cake thingys - 3/4 full and bake for 15-25 mins depending on your oven!


Coffee Cream Icing

This is a real coffee flavoured creamy icing -not a butter cream at all - it is a bit of work but it is reallly good. Don't skimp on the beating, it makes all the difference as it suddenly turns into this light coloured creamy icing.

  •  2 tsp instant expresso powder
  •  1/4 cup water
  •  85g castor sugar
  •  2 egg yolks
  •  100g butter

  1. Stir together coffe and 1 extra tbsp of water until  dissolved
  2. Bring sugar and 1/4 cup of water to boil in a small heavy saucepan. Stir until the sugar is dissolved
  3. Boil, without stirring for around 3 minutes, or if you have a toffee thermometer, 238 degrees - BEFORE it goes toffee coloured!
  4. While sugar boils, beat yolks in a bowl at medium speed for 1 minute.
  5. Add hot syrup to yolks in a slow stream, beating. Then add coffee mixture and beat until completely cool - 3-5 minutes
  6. Beat in butter, small bits at a time, until thickened and smooth.


Rosewater Marshmallowy Icing

This is great on old fashioned vanilla flavoured cupcakes. The recipe makes heaps of icing.

  •  1 cup castor sugar
  •  1/4 cup water
  •  1/4 tsp cream of tartor
  •  1 tsp rosewater essence
  •  3 eggwhites

  1. Place sugar, water, tartar and rosewater into a saucepan and stir over high heat until sugar is dissolved
  2. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and boil for 3 minutes (before it goes toffee coloured!)
  3. Meanwhile, beat eggwhites until soft peaks form, with teh beaters still on, gradually addd hte sugar mixture and beat until thick and glossy
  4. Stir in food colouring if desired.

 Rich Chocolate and Orange Mousse

  •  4 eggs - room temp - seperated
  • 30 ml contreau
  • 1tbs castor sugar
  • 250ml thickened cream
  1. melt chocolate, used wooden spoon to stir in egg yolks
  2. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks. Add sugar and whisk until thick and glossy. Use a large metal spoon to fold a spoonful of egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining egg white mixture until evenly combined
  3. Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Use a large metal spoon to fold the cream into the chocolate mixture until evenly combined.
  4. Spoon into dishes or whatever - cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 2 hours until chilled or lightly set.


 White Chocolate Mudcake - these make great cupcakes too especially when iced with vanilla flavoured butter icing. yum.

  • 250g butter
  • 150g white chocolate
  • 2 cups castor sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cups SR flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs

Stir while melting together the butter, chocolate, castor sugar and milk.  take off heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.  In meantime sift flour into a bowl.   Pour in the chocolate mixture, lightly beaten eggs and vanilla all at once and beat with a mixer until smooth. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl as the flour can get a bit lumpy and stuck to the sides.  Try not to overmix though - just mix until it looks lump-free.

Pour into an 8inch cake tin, or into cupcake cases and back at 160 degrees.

Vanilla Butter Icing

The key to this is to use good quality vanilla essence - the extract type, not the imitation vanilla essence type - it makes a world of difference.  Now I have to admit I don't actually use a recipe for this, I just go by eye.  So I'll just have to describe this - it's not any different to any other butter icing recipe I guess - just use the good vanilla essence! Oh - I also use a mix master - so I can just really let it beat and beat for that super creamy texture.

  • Butter - say 150g?
  • Soft Icing Sugar
  • Little bit of warm milk (a table spoon or so)
  • Vanilla Essence (did I mention that this should be the good stuff?)

Beat butter and vanilla until it's really soft and creamy, Add enough icing sugar so that it just starts to look like there's too much in there. Add the milk which should soften it up a bit, then add more icing sugar until it's the perfect spreadable consistancy - um - a bit firmer than whipped cream. 


 Brownies out of Better Homes and Gardens. Very popular at sporting events!


  • 250g butter
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • 2 tbs cocoa 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g dark chocolate – chopped



1.       Preheat oven to 180c. Line base and sides of a 30 x 20cm rectangular tin with baking powder. Melt butter in a medium heavy –based pan over a low heat. Add sugar and stir to combine.

2.        Set pan aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Add egg and vanilla, and stir to combine. Add flour, cocoa and chocolate. Stir to combine.

3.       Spoon mixture into prepared tin and smooth top. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Stand tin on a wire rack to cool. Dust with extra cocoa and cut into squares to serve.