Lychee cupcakes

Litchi chinensis gives life to a highly demanded tropical fruit throughout the centuries since, guess what, Chinese emperors and other wealthy people kinda liked it.

The lychee tree can be as high as 12 metres and the seeds are toxic… so I can imagine more than one servant on top of a tree thinking about how to sneak a seed or two and get rid of the annoying imperial fondness…


Lychee Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes.
For the cupcakes
  • 150 g butter
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 lychees in light syrup

Preheat the oven to 160 °C fan. Beat the butter and caster sugar until fluffy, mix in the vanilla and eggs and finally the flour until combined, but don’t overmix! Take 12 lychees and blot them dry with a paper napkin. Place 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin, fill them 1/3, place one lychee in each cupcake case and cover the lychee with more batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

For the frosting
  • 100 g butter
  • 200 g powder sugar
  • 1 tbsp of the lychee light syrup
  • Americolor deep pink & lemon yellow soft gel paste
Beat together the butter, lychee juice, and powder sugar with an electric mixer, adding the sugar and light syrup in small portions. Beat for another 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add a couple of drops of each soft gel paste to the buttercream and blend with palette knife. Finally pipe the frosting on top of cooled cupcakes with an open star piping nozzle.
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Espresso Cupcakes

Paul Erdos was convinced a mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems, I am positive a biochemist is just a coffee receptor that triggers a signalling cascade ending in a western blot response.
People never laugh until they have had their coffee (even great actors). If it weren’t for it, most of them would not have identifiable personalities. And obviously, the powers of a man‘s mind are directly proportioned to the quantity of coffee he drinks.
Therefore, starting the Monday morning with liquid coffee in combination with solid coffee can only lead to a good week!
 Espresso Cupcakes

Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream

For the Espresso Chocolate Cake

Makes 12

  • 115 g softened butter
  • 80 g brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 120 g self rising flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 60 g melted dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 180 °C fan and line a 12-hole cupcake tray with paper cases. Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water. Combine the flour, cocoa and instant espresso in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Cream together the butter, sugar, and melted chocolate with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add flour mixture, alternating with milk, until the batter is smooth, but without overmixing.

Divide the batter into the cupcake cases and bake until a toothpick comes out clean (14-18 minutes). Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting them.

Espresso Buttercream

  • 110 g softened butter
  • 150 g powder sugar (to start with)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp instant espresso powder mixed in 1 tbsp water

Beat butter on medium high until pale. Slowly add the powder sugar, beating. Once fully incorporated, add the vanilla and espresso paste and mix thoroughly.

Check the consistency of the buttercream: if it does not hold its shape, add more powdered sugar a little at a time.

Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes (for the roses I used a closed star tip) and sprinkle with cocoa powder for decoration.

Espresso Cupcakes

Buttercream Ombré Rose Cake

The saddest thing about living abroad is missing the family and friends little events and get-togethers. Today I am missing my lovely little sister’s birthday, but here is our contribution to the party.

Happy Birthday Sis!!

Happy Birthday Sis

Buttercream Rose Cake

Take 3 layers of your favourite cake, food colouring in your sister’s favourite shade, 250 g butter, 500 g icing sugar, some vanilla, a hand-held electric mixer, a pipping bag, a rotating stand and some free time ahead to follow the step-by-step advice of one of the most inspirational cake decorators online.

Lavender Ombre Buttercream P1100654

Buttercream Rose CakeButtercream Rose Cake

Hidden Batman Cake

Baking mad has a lovely recipe for a hidden heart cake. So cute and sweet.

I happen to have a batman cookie cutter, so I thought about about a slightly different hidden surprise.


This cake takes a while, because it’s two cakes in one, really… but it is so much fun.

Hidden Batman Cake

For the Batmans: chocolate sponge

  • 3 eggs
  • 175 g butter
  • 175 g golden caster sugar
  • 150 g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 35 g cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Black food colouring

Preheat the oven at 180 °C and line a 1 kg loaf tin. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs (add some flour if it starts to curdle) and vanilla. Fold in sifted flour, cocoa powder and baking powder, together with the milk.

Now slowly mix in black food colouring until you are happy with the shade (or until you finish the bottle, I so need to buy decent food colouring…). Transfer to the tin and bake until a skewer comes out clean (45-50 minutes).

Let the loaf cool and then make the batmans: cut the cake into 3 cm thick slices and stamp out batmans using a cookie cutter.

Chocolate Sponge Batmans

For the yellow sponge

  • 3 eggs
  • 175 g butter
  • 175 g golden caster sugar
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Yellow food colouring

Grease and line the tin again. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs (add some flour if it starts to curdle) and vanilla. Fold in sifted flour and baking powder. Mix in yellow food colouring until you are happy with the shade (again, or until you finish the bottle).

Now assemble the surprise cake: add yellow sponge mixture at the bottom of the tin until 3 cm deep. Pack the batmans tightly together in a row and place them in the centre of the loaf tin on top of the layer of yellow sponge. Leave a gap at each end.

Hidden Batmans

Spoon the rest of the yellow sponge mixture over the batmans, ensuring they are covered. Bake at 180 °C until a skewer comes out clean (45-50 minutes).


For the totally awesome chocolate buttercream (new favourite)

  • 40 g 70 % (Valor) chocolate
  • 75 g butter
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp milk

Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water and let it cool slightly. Beat the icing sugar into the softened butter, add the vanilla. Mix in the chocolate and milk.

Once the cake is cold, decorate with the buttercream and some yellow sprinkles.