“Cakespiration” pt.I

Cookies & Cream Oreo cupcakes

The finished product: Cookies & Cream Oreo cupcakes

Perfect for satisfying the sweet tooth

As I inspire my readers to get acquainted with the mixing bowl and whisk, I also plan to share where my cakespiration stems from (Cake + Inspiration= Cakespiration). As part of my appreciation for my fellow cake lovers I’m starting a new blog-series called ‘cakespiration’, in which I hope to get you all viewing the cake tin as half full!

This week I want to draw your attention to one of my top three favourite baking shows- ‘Cupcake Wars.’ I discovered this show a year ago while surfing the cooking channels. This fiery battle of the cupcakes is a baking competition in which professional bakers (most of which own their own Cupcakery or Bakery) compete to be the caterer for various Hollywood events. For the most part, the bakers benefit because their Cupcakery/Bakery gains recognition among the celebrity circuit; but for the viewer, it’s an hour of pure baking anarchy!

The bakers are set a number of challenges and a contender gets knocked out at each round until the winner stands victorious. In one particular episode the opening challenge was to create a breakfast cupcake, it sounds simple enough until you hear what ingredients were provided: bacon, black pudding, cinnamon, fruits and tea bags! Only a baking magician could turn black pudding and bacon into a cake. That is exactly what these people are, pure baking genius. Bakers are given between 30-45mins to create a cupcake with impeccable presentation and of course a mouth-watering taste too.

What these bakers create is nothing short of amazing, and a standard that I crave to obtain. However, I must admit that after watching the show for the past year I have adopted a little kitchen hysteria! I recently took on the challenge of catering for a Youth Christmas party and I appointed my sister as assistant baker. It got to a point where she had to tell me to stop and calm down because we wren’t on Cupcake Wars! Needless to say, I threatened to fire her!

If you’re not a baking addict I can be certain that even the sceptical among you will get a kick out of Cupcake Wars. And for those of you who are joint at the hip to your recipe books, prepare to be amazed, inspired, and lured into my world of cake addiction.

Love & Cupcakes,

Tracey xoxo


You can’t buy their Love… But you can bake them Cake!

Marbled Chocolate Mud Cakes: gifts of love I baked for my colleagues.

Marbled Chocolate Mud cakes (Keep an eye on the 'Recipes page' for the how-to)

Have you ever struggled to find the ‘perfect gift’ for someone? There’s no denying we have all been there- birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, just-because-gifts; they can all be a pain in the derriere, especially when you don’t know exactly what the person loves. The key to providing a jaw-dropping gift lies in your listening and visual skills. What is the person passionate about, and where do their hobbies lie? If you pay enough attention to these things then you’ll have no problem whatsoever. I always thought I was the master of gifts, sensei if you wish, well that was until one particular friend knocked me off the top spot!

It was last year on my birthday that I received a new revelation of gift-giving: I was handed a sparkly gift bag with a picture of a giant cupcake on. I grinned from ear to ear and peeped inside the bag to see a lavishly scented, hand-crafted, cupcake-shaped candle. But wait, she didn’t stop there, the biggest and best birthday gift- two gift wrapped bags containing freshly baked, rich, and nutty chocolate brownies. OMW! (Oh My Word) If ever you were blessed with the gift of these brownies you would know the utmost joy I felt that day…

You can’t gobble down these brownies in 2mins, no, no, no. These brownies are so moreish that you can’t help but nibble them, just so that they last that little while longer. The top was flakey and the inside so soft, it felt as though it were melting on my tongue. Rest assured these ‘Killer Brownies’ are not the gooey kind but baked to perfection. And the finely chopped nuts, oooh they were just the right amount of crunch that was needed. (There’s no denying that was one of my best gifts that day, and I had obtained some pretty awesome gifts. ) It was that particular gift, from that very special person which spurred me on to bake my way to people’s hearts ; )

But isn’t this a gift only females would appreciate you ask? No, everyone loves cake, yes everyone. There’s a saying that goes, ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.’ Follow up any hearty meal with a freshly baked treat, or present a bag full of cake-shaped-sin and they’ll be singing your praises all day! So dust off those recipe books and whip yourself into action because I have a feeling that it’s going to be a cupcakingly delicious year.

Love & Cupcakes,

Tracey xoxo


Never Judge a Cake by its Cover

Welcome to 2012 fellow cake followers! We’re just three days into the new year and I’m super eager to bring some ‘cakespiration’ to you ; )…

There’s nothing I love more than the sweet, crisp smell of freshly baked goodies wafting through the hallways of my home. The excitement of knowing that a golden-coloured sponge cake awaits my tastebuds, or perhaps a rich and buttery apple crumble, is almost too much glee to contain. But what if I were to offer you ‘garden cakes’ with your mug of tea or coffee? Carrot cake sounds normal enough, but would you be willing to try beetroot cupcakes, or a slice of courgette cake? I have a feeling that some of you may be putting your foot down at carrot cake. But wait, it’s a new year, aren’t you willing to try something new?

Hear me out, I recently went to visit relatives and my Aunt, who is a fantastic baker, offered me the very same ‘garden cakes’ that I told you about. Naturally a look of horror swept over my face as I imagined the taste of soggy courgettes embedded in a cake, but I was reassured that I wouldn’t be able to taste the veg, and they were only used to keep the cake moist. When it comes to food I like to think that I’ll try anything once- so I did. One of each…

Lo and behold, it was pretty darn good! Both the courgette and beetroot cakes were so soft they broke in my palm. They weren’t too rich, neither were they tasteless. My tastebuds and my stomach were happily lapping up this new cuisine and I have to admit that I had judged a cake by its cover. I can’t say that I’m reformed and delivered from the chocolatey goodness of a marble cake, or devilishly tasty brownies, but at least I can now eat a cake and count it as one of my five a day ; ) Moral of the story: Never judge a cake by its cover.

Viva la vegetables!

Love & Cupcakes,

Tracey xoxo

Garden cakes

Beetroot cupcakes. Courgette cakes. Carrot cake. Mince pies.

Are you tempted now?