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Happy New Year!

1 Jan

Welcome January 1st 2012!


I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year! Christmas here was a quiet affair spent eating too much food and having afew too many drinks with good friends. As our families are all the way over in the UK, the day wouldnt be complete without crazy Skype conversations with them (with the 8 hour time difference, they were waaaaayyyy ahead on the merriment!)

Noms !

And no Christmas day would be complete without some baking. Taking some time off from cupcakes, and knowing the amount of dinner that would be consumed, dessert consisted of Christmas sugar cookies, Traditional English Mince Pies and the most amazing Ginger snaps (lovingly made by my awesome friend)

So now to 2012…….

After taking a break over the festive period, I have lots planned for the next year. There may be afew changes to this blog in the coming weeks and months (ones I have been planning for awhile, but will now finally get round too), and alot more baking!

I also decided this year to try and take the 365 Days Project over on Flickr, so you can follow me here (I forsee alot of cupcake and kitty pictures)

So what is instore for your 2012? Whatever it may be, I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous start to the year!


Vote for me!!! Christmas Cake Pops

14 Dec

So here is my shameless plug!

As many of you know, I am a massive fan of KC Bakes.  This last Halloween, Kim decided to run a Halloween Cake Pop Competition on Facebook for all Cake Poppers out their to Showcase their talents.  And what a talented bunch they are:

Beckaboo’s Cakes
Pop.O.Licious Cake Pops
Simply Sweet Cake Pops

So due to this success, Kim is running a Holiday Cake Pop Contest, and my Pops are an entry!

These Pops mean alot to me – as they went towards the Bake Sale at The Irvine Animal Care Center ‘Home for the Holidays’ Adoption Event.  As an update for those who read my previous post – the event itself raised over $10,000, the Bake Sale made up just under $2,500 of that figure!!  A big THANK YOU to anyone who attended the event or made a donation.

So back to the Cake Pops – and my shameless plug.  I am asking all you amazing blog readers, if you like my work, to follow this link to Facebook and vote for my Pops! You simply need to ‘Like’ photo in the album.  I’m really proud of how these pops came out – and would love the extra support!

Also while you are there – check out the other amazingly talent Pop makers, you never know, you may even find one from your local area!

My #ClearAmerican Cupcake Experiment

11 Dec



It’s the one big American supermarket known the world over, yet despite living in the US for nearly 2 years, this weekend was only the second time I have ever set foot in a Walmart. On a Saturday? In December? Yes I think I may be slightly crazy. This was all for a good reason though. To find and try this:


Clear American Water is a brand I had heard a lot about but had never tried, as they are only sold exclusively in Walmart, and sadly I don’t live as close to a Walmart as I would like. I have always been a fan of Flavoured Sparkling Waters, as I really struggle to get enough water during the day and find plain water really boring. After being introduced to Clear American via friends, I was amazed at the variety of flavours offered, and a bottle is ZERO calories!

So one busy Saturday afternoon in Walmart, I came up with a great idea. Could I use one of these flavours in a new Cupcake recipe?

Well the short answer was YES!

Black Cherry isn’t the most typical flavor for Christmas Baking, but for me it always reminds me of the winter season and Christmas time. Every year I would remember the amazing Black Forest Gateau’s as part of the Christmas day deserts, and this was always my favourite!

BlackCherry, Pomegranate Blueberry Acai Cupcakes!

Makes 24 Cupcakes

(adapted from My Baking Addiction)

  • 1 pack Chocolate Cake mix (my favourite to use in Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge)

  • 1 pack of instant chocolate pudding mix

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 4 eggs at room temp lightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup Pomegranate Blueberry Acai Clear American Water

  • 24 Maraschino Cherries


  • 1/2 C unsalted butter (for stiffer frosting, use Shortening instead)

  • 1lb of Powdered Sugar

  • 5 tbsp liquid from a jar of Maraschino Cherries

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tbsp Pomegranate Blueberry Acai Clear American Water

  • 24 Maraschino Cherries

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    2. In a large bowl, mix together cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and Clear American Water until well combined

    3. Line 24 cupcake liners into a cupcake tin, and evenly distribute the mixture between them. Roughly each liner should be 2/3rds full.

    4. Gently push a Maraschino Cherry into the center of the batter, making sure that the mixture completely covers the cherry.

    5. Bake for approx 22-25 minutes. You should be able to insert a toothpick into the cake and it come out clean.

    6. Leave Cupcakes to cool for about an hour on a wire rack.

For the Frosting

  1. Whisk together butter/shortening and powdered sugar for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is well combined and looks like frosting.

  2. Add in Cherry Liquid, Vanilla and American Clear Water, and mix for a further 2 mins, until combined

  3. Pipe Frosting onto the Cupcakes and top with a Maraschino Cherry.

When I initially planned out this recipe, I had planned on using the Clear American Wild Cherry flavor, to get a fully cherry effect on these cupcakes, however I was unfortunate in the fact my local Walmart had run out of stock. So to improvise, I decided to opt for the Pomegranate Blueberry Acai flavor. However, in this swap, I think it added a unique flavour to the cakes. The cupcakes had a subtle hint of Pomegranate, which complemented the cherry frosting without ruining the two flavours.

The hubby liked them too! When asked for his opinion, he said the flavour reminded him of a Bakewell Tart.

I would definelty like to try the recipe again with the Wild Cherry flavour in the future, so I am keeping an eye on my local Walmart! Also I will definetly heading back to try some of the other flavours for general use, as the Pomegranate Blueberry Acai was a refreshing compliment to the cupcake!

You can find out more about Clear American Water, and a lot of great recipes using it at their website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, which is a vendor for Cott Beverages Inc., the manufacturer of Clear American® brand beverages. However all opinions expressed and recipes developed are my own, and you can Follow Collective Bias on Twitter (@CollectiveBias). #collectivebias#CBias

Happy Thanksgiving!

24 Nov

An English girl hosting a Thanksgiving dinner? Why Not! Thats how I will be spending my day today!

Its that time of year when we should all remember the things we should be thankful for. This year, I have afew special mentions, mainly people, that I am thankful to have in my life:

  • My amazing hubby! AKA the taste tester of all my crazy kitchen adventures! He also ridiculouly tolerant of my kicking him out of the kitchen and baking into the small hours.

  • My amazing Friends and Family. Moving around so much has meant some of them are round the corner, and some are thousands of miles away – but whenever I see them, it feels like the last time I saw them was minutes earlier. My Aunty also thinks my cupcakes look better than some of the ones on ‘The Great British Bake-Off’ !

  • My Twitter Friends – A special Thanks to @KCbakes and @startupprincess for the amazing Start Up chats every Wednesday afternoon! Its provided alot of great and insightful information

  • My two little monsters – They drive me crazy but I would have them any other way!

Its such a hard life, isnt it?

So back to Thanksgiving. Or in our case this year, Friends-giving! With our families being so far away, and Thanksgiving not being celebrated outside of the US this week, we are having a ‘Friends-giving’ dinner!

(NB:This post was written last night, as today will be spent cooking, alot of eating and maybe some drinking with Friends.

Dinner will be the full all-American deal, with Turkey and all the trimmings.

Hopefully this years Turkey will look just as good as this!

Then we get onto my favourite thing – Desserts! I may have gone alittle over board! But Thanksgiving is only once a year right?!

On Tuesday I completed my final Wilton Class, so I already had one desert down! So 1 Gluten Free Chocolate Cake – done!

Next was something I have never actually made before, but I have always wanted to try, Apple Pie. Later in the week I will post up the recipe for this particular pie, but I was happy with the outcome – if I do say so myself!

Finally, It wouldn’t be desert without the classic Cupcake! To give them abit of a Autumn/Fall theme to them, I turned to my copy of Hello Cupcake! for inspiration, and it did not let me down! Volia – Chocolate flavoured -Pumpkin themed Cupcakes!

I just hope everyone has room for these after dinner! I will let you know how they go, as so far they are just tempting me from the other side of my kitchen!

So to all my readers, I hope you have had a great day, and you have plenty to be Thankful for this Holiday season! Thank you for sticking with me!