Category Archives: Cupcakes

Lemon Blueberry and Polenta Cakes

This morning I bought a new cake tin and was bursting to use it.  It’s a mini bundt cake pan (how cute!)

These lemon cakes were the first idea I came up with to use my new pan for 2 reasons –  1. we have a pile of lemons to use and 2. I saw this recipe only last week on  Cooking Light which really took my fancy! (Mind you I didn’t make the exact recipe, I played around with it just a little – first I only did 1/2 the quantity, I used wholemeal self raising flour, I cut the sugar down to 1/3 rather than 1/2 cup (all American recipes are too sweet) and of course added some frozen blueberries (YUM!))

One of the things I love about low fat cakes is the simple muffin style way of making them.  Two bowls are needed, one for wet and one for dry ingredients.  The fat most often used is liquid, either oil or melted butter.  Once the wet and dry ingredients have been mixed together separately, the two are combined and gently folded together until only just mixed through.  Over-mixing can develop the gluten in the flour (that’s why you knead dough) which will develop a tough, rough textured muffin or cake in this case!

Although that sounds long and complicated, this type of cake is actually really quick and easy to make.  Much faster than a traditional beat butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, blah blah…. full fat cake, and a lot less mess (well, in my kitchen there is!)

These cakes apart from looking really cute are rather delicious, especially with the polenta which gives them that slight textured crunch which I really like.  I fancied putting a glaze on them to get that lovely drizzled effect running down the bumpy edges, however they don’t need it and are just as delicous naked 🙂

In summer a few fresh blueberries could be added to the centre hole and on the top to really lift presentation.  I tried with a few de-frosted frozen blueberries but they looked a little deflated!

These little cakes could even do as a really light, portion controlled dessert – at only around 130 calories each, I think that is a pretty light dessert option.  Enjoy 🙂

Lemon and blueberry polenta cakes

  • 2/3 cup (100g) wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal/ polenta
  • 1/3 cup  sugar
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1  large egg
  • 1/3  cup  low fat buttermilk (I used ½ low fat milk, ½ low fat natural yoghurt)
  • 30ml (1 ½ tablespoons) olive oil

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.  Spray or brush 8 holes of a 12 hole mini bundt tin with a small amount of oil (alternately use a regular muffin pan, but they will take a little longer to cook)

Combine sifted flour, polenta, sugar, blueberries and lemon zest in a medium sized bowl, mix well to combine ingredients and coat blueberries with flour. Make a well in centre of mixture.

In a smaller bowl, whisk egg, then add buttermilk and oil, whisking well. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring gently until completely combined. Carefully spoon batter into the 8 prepared pans and smooth top. Bake at 170° for 12-14 minutes or until firm to touch. 

Allow to cool in tin for 2-3 minutes before loosening each cake gently around edges with your fingers, then flip tray onto a cooling rack allowing the cakes to pop out of the tin.  Allow to cool almost completely before drizzling with the glaze mixture, or enjoy just as they are!

Optional Icing glaze

  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 3-4 teaspoons lemon juice

Mix together to desired consistency.  Using a teaspoon, drizzle over cooled cakes

Makes 8 cakes @ 52g each

543kJ/129 calories

4g fat, 0.7g saturated fat

18g carbohydrate, 1.8g fibre

With icing glaze

589kJ/140 calories each

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RSPCA Cupcake Day

Monday the 16th August was RSPCA Cupcake day.  People all over Australia were encouraged to bake delicious cupcakes and sell them with all takings going to this fantastic organisation.  So of course I had to get involved, especially since the RSPCA is my number one charity.

Wanting to do something a little special I googled for ideas and found these  little piggies  on the RSPCA cupcake website and pupcakes from a blog called rasperri cupcakes which includes all the steps on how to make them – how easy.  I thought were sooo cute that I had to try making both of them and this is how they turned out…

To make the cupcakes I started with my favorite cupcake and icing recipes from Women’s Weekly

I made the up the decorations for the piggie cakes following the photo from the web.  Added rose colored food dye to the icing and used mostly pink marshmallows for the nose and ears, until I ran out and had to use apricot ones (see below)! I sliced musk sticks to top off the nose and chopped up licorice for the eyes.

For the pup cakes I followed the instructions on raspberri cupcakes, however I used smarties for the eyes instead of choc chips, I added ears (half a marshmallow like the pigs) and instead of fairy floss (where do you buy that stuff??) I used shredded coconut.

Making these cupcakes was a lot of fun and made me feel good that I was contributing to this fantastic organisation, however they did take a long time to decorate, so I won’t be doing them again any time soon (well, at least for a year, until cupcake day next year!)

And they tasted deeeelicious!

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Pumpkin Cupcakes

I originally saw this recipe on Jamie Oliver’s television show ‘Jamie at Home’ and they looked so yummy and easy I just had to try making them.

I do love food with pumpkin in it, but so often you need to cook the pumpkin first, which I usually can’t be bothered with.

When it came time to making these, I couldn’t help myself and cut down slightly on the amount of sugar and oil he used.  They still turned out great!  I have also halved his original recipe as the more I make the more, of course, I would have to eat (and they do taste best fresh).

Everyone at work LOVED them and liked them even more when they found out they were ‘healthy’!!

You can find the original recipe on Jamie Oliver’s website or you can try my version…

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Lime Drizzle

Makes 14 delicious cupcakes

  • 240g butternut pumpkin, skin on (yes, that is correct!), deseeded and roughly chopped (approx 2 cups if you don’t have scales, see photo below)
  • 3/4  cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup wholemeal plain flour
  • ¼ cup pistachios (Jamie used walnuts, but I was out of them so used pistachios which worked well)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

 Glaze:

  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 3 heaped Tablespoons icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.

Line your muffin tins with paper cases.

Whiz the pumpkin in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the sugar, and crack in the eggs. Add the flour, walnuts, cinnamon and olive oil and whiz together until well beaten. You may need to pause the machine at some point to scrape the mix down the sides with a rubber spatula. Try not to overdo it with the mixing – you want to just combine everything and no more.

Fill the paper cases with the cake mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Check to see whether they are cooked properly by sticking a wooden skewer into the middle of one of the cakes – if it comes out clean, they’re done. If it’s a bit sticky, leave them in the oven for a little longer.

When cooked, remove from the oven and leave the cakes to cool on a wire rack.

When cooled, make glaze by adding all the zest to the icing sugar.  Then slowly add lime juice until you have made a soft and slightly running glaze (if too runny it will run right off the cakes!!)  Or of course you can make Jamie’s sour cream frosting, but for me that was just a bit too indulgent!!

 As I have described them, each cup cake comes in at a tiny 140 calories (which is less than 1/2 that of a regular cup cake with icing!)

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