Celebrations | Vanilla Cake with Brownie Fudge Centre & Vanilla Ombre Cake Frosting

It is baby season amongst my friends, and I love it.

I am surrounded by the most gorgeous, happiest babies and I am absolutely enjoying being the dedicated “Auntie” to not one, not two, not even three babies. Last count, there are about 7 little munchkins in our circle of friends, with one coming very very soon.

With kids means celebrations. Baby showers, births, christening, birthdays. Being around these munchkins literally makes me feel young inside and out – and I am loving it. In the current hostile climate that we live in, being around children shifts my mindset to that of simple happiness and innocence.

This Vanilla Cake with a Brownie Fudge Centre & Vanilla Ombre Cake Frosting was a request from my friends whose son was christened last month. Of course I had to go OTT with the brownie centre because I can, and my love affair with bunting topping hasn’t died down. Plus, I discovered this fantastic baker and cake topper maker from Etsy – Sugar Creations by Sera – who made the cute elephant topper in record time. Thank you Sera for your promptness & for helping me patch up poor little Dumbo who needed some minor surgery after losing a few pieces in transit.

I used this White Cake Recipe from my previous post – http://sugarlace.com/2014/06/white-cake-with-ombre-buttercream-double-row-bunting/.

The baby elephant topper from Sugar Creations by Sera.

And the remaining batter, I made into 12 cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting with animal toppings for the little ones.

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Bionade Organic Softdrink & an Afternoon Tea Baby Shower

We’re blessed with beautiful friends who are expecting some equally beautiful babies. I’m surrounded by amazing mothers and mums-to-be, while already being an “Auntie” to a few little kiddies. So this particular afternoon tea baby shower, I pulled out the cupcakes and the flowers and the organic softdrinks to cater for a few of our girlfriends and their little ones.

I was also ecstatic to have been given some Bionade bottled drinks, which went down really well for the ladies who are pregnant and breastfeeding. Since the drinks are non-alcoholic, organic, and really, really delicious, they were the perfect drinks to serve for our chosen “audience”.

Plus, I was running the Nike She Runs 10 km run that night, so alcohol was a definite no-no for me.

My favourite hands down are the Ginger Orange and the Lychee (ok, I’m a fan of lychee martinis, so this was a great alternative).

BIONADE is:

• 100% certified organic in both raw materials and production
• On average 60% lower in calories and sugar than other soft drinks
• Gluten free, vegan & vegetarian friendly
• Non-alcoholic – the perfect drink for kids and family
• Free from colourants, preservatives, artificial flavours or other nasties typically found in other brands on the market
• Delicious, refreshing and thirst quenching
• Available in 5 delicious flavours: Lychee, Elderberry, Herbs, Orange & Ginger AND the brand new Cola flavour being launched end of March.

 

Now that I’ve finished my run, I’m now thinking of maybe mixing the Lychee drink with some vodka and vermouth and make my own cocktail. Yes? Watch this space!

Thanks to Digivizer and Bionade for the amazing samples that I got to share with a bunch of pretty awesome girlfriends.

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter & Chocolate Buttercream

Peanut Butter Frosting

These babies were a hit at a recent bake sale I organised for my workplace, to raise funds for the Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan appeal (through Philippine Red Cross). Thank you so much everyone for your generosity – you are truly inspiring!

Sweet, salty, peanut-buttery goodness with some dark, dark chocolate.

What do you know – you can have your (cup)cake, and help the lives of the survivors of the typhoon.

Hope you all had a fantastic, productive, helpful weekend!

For a list of some charity fundraising events in and around Sydney, go to the Haiyan Relief Effort website here: http://haiyanreliefeffort.tumblr.com/fundraising

Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter and chocolate buttercream
Adapted from Bakerella’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Makes approximately 16 cupcakes

Cupcake:1 1/2 cups plain flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup boiling water

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175 deg C. Line a baking tray with muffin liners.
  2. In a bowl, mix eggs, oil, milk, sugar and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Mix well.
  4. Add the water from a recently boiled kettle and mix well. The mix will be very watery.
  5. Divide evenly on to the cupcake liners.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool in a rack.
  7. Ice with prepared peanut butter and chocolate buttercream (I put 2 buttercream in 1 piping bag to create a 2 tone effect).
  8. Top with a chocolate chip cookie!

Peanut butter buttercream:
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth)
125g butter, softened
4 tbsp icing sugar

  1. In mixer, mix the peanut butter until soft. Add the butter and mix to combine.
  2. Add the icing sugar, 1 tbsp at a time.
  3. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before piping on to prepared cupcakes.

Chocolate buttercream:
2 tbsp cocoa powder
125g butter, softened
4 tbsp icing sugar

  1. In mixer, cream the butter until soft.
  2. Add the icing sugar, 1 tbsp at a time.
  3. Add the cocoa powder, 1 tbsp at a time.
  4. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before piping on to prepared cupcakes.

For more information about where to donate:

The Peter Project 2 http://www.nvcfoundation-ph.org/projects/the-peter-project/

Philippine Red Cross http://www.redcross.org.ph/

Save the Children https://donate.savethechildren.org.au/typhoon

Haiyan Relief Effort http://haiyanreliefeffort.tumblr.com/

 

 

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