Sunday, 15 December 2013

Candy Cane Swirled Festive Fudge...and the Christmas baking begins!

 So how is it the 15th December and we're only just getting around to talking about Christmas?! Craziness! I am all about festive overloads! but this year has just been crazy busy and sadly Christmas baking has taken a backseat.  If you find yourself in the same situation, this is a great little no bake recipe to have up your sleeve because it is sooo easy to throw together and is a total crowd pleaser!

 It is also a good cheats version of fudge...using only melted chocolate mixed in with condensed milk - how can you go wrong with that! So a milk chocolate layer of fudge goes down first, with a white chocolate layer spread on top (with liberal amounts of crushed candy canes mixed in) because in my opinion it's not a Christmas bake unless peppermint is involved! You swirl the two together, and sprinkle with whole chunks of candy cane! 

What you get is a smooth creamy chocolatey fudge with hints of peppermint and crunch coming through from the candy canes! A delight for the eyes...and the tastebuds! 

and if you want to give it out as gifts as I did, it goes beautifully in these super cute festive bags...complete with pegs and tags! My mom sent me these in a package and I couldn't get over how awesome they were! 

Candy Cane Swirled Festive Fudge:
Makes 28 chunks

300g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
1 (397g) can condensed milk
400g white chocolate
1 (397g) can condensed milk
3/4 cup crushed candy canes (about 10 candy canes unwrapped and zapped in a blender)
 extra chopped up candy canes for sprinkling on top

Line your 11x7" pan with parchment paper, and lightly grease it with butter.
 Break up your milk and dark chocolate into pieces, and place it in a heatproof bowl above a pan of boiling water.  Stir until melted.  Once completely melted, stir in the can of condensed milk.
Spread the chocolate fudge over the bottom of your pan.

Break up your white chocolate into pieces, and place in a heatproof bowl above a pan of boiling water,  Whilst it is melting, unwrap your 10 candy canes and blitz them in a food processor/blender until they are completely crushed.  Once chocolate is melted, stir in the can of condensed milk.
Remove from the heat and stir in the crushed candy canes.

Spread over the milk chocolate fudge layer.  Using a knife swirl the two fudges together to create a marbled effect, by dragging the knife in 'S' patterns through the fudge.
Finish, by chopping up candy cane chunks and sprinkling them on top.

Refrigerate for around an hour or longer.

Eat and enjoy! 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

New Job Snickers Cupcakes!


I recently got a new job! I had been temping for a month as a receptionist for an oil company, and they asked me if I was interested in the job permanently - I told them I definitely was! but then had to explain my situation, because I wasn't showing back then! so I explained how I was pregnant and due Feb 4th! They had some other candidates to interview alongside me, and so the tense wait began! I'm clearly not the best prospect in the world as in 8 weeks time I'll be heading off on maternity leave! but through some definite answered prayers I was offered the job! At 6 months pregnant...I took that as quite an achievement! I decided some baking was in order to celebrate! and since I work in an office with 40 men and 2 women I tried to think of the manliest cupcakes I could bake! I decided snickers would be a good place to start and these cupcakes were born! 

A moist chocolate sponge with a snickers slither baked in the middle, filled with caramel, topped with a caramel frosting, broken up pieces of snickers and nuts and a drizzle of chocolate! To say they went down well is an understatement! I'm not sure there were any left past 10.30am! and I thought I was the only one with a big enough sweet tooth to eat cupcakes for breakfast! 

All day long my inbox pinged with emails coming through from all the different engineers thanking me for the cakes! Here is a selection of my favourite comments... 

"Were you in the cupcake business before working here? That is some serious cupcake equipment you have left on the filing cabinet! and the cupcakes are darn good!" Paul the engineer

"Congratulations! Mary Berry would be proud of that tray." Chris the engineer

"Wowzers!!  Those cakes are shamazing!!! You should sell them."  Colin the engineer

"Gemma… the muffins are DE-licious. That’s what heaven must taste like." Sundeep the engineer, who I had a little chat with to educate him on the difference between a muffin and a cupcake, haha!

I have now created quite a stir in the office and there's lots of pressure for more baking to come their way!  They kept asking me when I was going to bring in snickers cupcakes again, and then someone asked me if I could bake other things besides snickers I emailed them a link to the recipe index on here and now it's all the office talks about! I don't really think they understand the blogging thing so it's referred to as 'the list'...and it's doing the rounds! People are requesting bakes left, right and centre...first it was my blueberry and banana bread, then the chocolate malt layer cake and now someone has even asked me to make a Christmas cake for their mom...which is quite a task! 

I'm thinking when I eventually go on maternity leave, I could probably just make a living driving by my work once a week and doing a baking drop off! haha

Snickers Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting:
Makes 24 regular and 18 mini cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes:

1 box devil's food cake mix
1 small package Jello instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips
18 mini Snickers bars (you'll need about 27 to 30 total)

Caramel Frosting:

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
4 cups powdered sugar
9 to 12 mini Snickers
1/4 cup salted peanuts

1/4 cup melted milk chocolate, for drizzling

Line cupcake pan with cases and preheat oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F.

In a large bowl mix together all ingredients, except Snickers. Spoon or pour cupcake batter into cupcake pan. Stuff one mini Snickers in each cupcake case, using a spatula to make sure the Snickers is covered with cupcake batter.

Bake regular sized cupcakes for about 23 to 28 minutes and mini's for 12-15 minutes.  Test that the tops bounce back when pressed with a finger, since sticking a toothpick or knife into the middle of the cake will result in a gooey Snickers mess!

Cool in the cupcake pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Make the frosting by mixing brown sugar, butter and milk in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Once butter melts, increase heat to medium high and let boil for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar.

Leave frosting to sit in the bowl for about 5-10 minutes and it will thicken enough for you to pipe it.
Crumble 9 to 12 mini Snickers in blender or food processor.  Also, blitz salted peanuts so they resemble a fine crumb.

Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and top with the crumbled mixture of Snickers and nuts. 
Melt milk chocolate in microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals, and then drizzle over the top.

Eat and enjoy!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Oreo Overload Nanaimo Bars

So a few weekends ago we went to Leeds to celebrate the baby blessing of my adorable new nephew (more to come on that in another blog post). Aren't his eyebrows the most adorable thing you've ever seen?! How I love this cute pie!!

We did what the Jones family do best when we get together...and we ate alot! We headed over to the Kirkstall Abbey Farmers Market which I was delighted about because I do love a good farmer's market, and this was a really good one! with lots of super tasty stalls in a very picturesque setting. 

I was super excited to come across this Nanaimo Bar lady. As many of you may know Nanaimo Bars are a Canadian speciality..hailing from the town of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island that I was lucky enough to visit during our time spent over there! Traditional Nanaimo Bars consist of a chocolate biscuit, coconut and nut crumb layer, covered in a layer of custard and topped with chocolate. However, whilst I was living in Vancouver I got to try a few other varieties like mint, coconut and raspberry...but these were usually few and far between with the traditional Nanaimo Bar being featured most prominently. So when I saw the Nananimo Lady and all her variations she was offering I was spoilt for choice! We picked up a traditional, peanut butter and oreo flavour bar to sample and they were seriously delish! Like better than any Nanaimo Bar we'd ever eaten in Canada!! I pondered what to bake up for our Canadian Thanksgiving feast at the beginning of the month, I knew I'd have to pay homage to the Nanaimo Bar but give it a Nanaimo Bar lady twist! and my Oreo Overload Nanaimo Bar was born! 

I decided, like always, to go all out so there were crushed Oreos in the biscuit base, crushed Oreos in the vanilla pudding layer (which you can use as an alternative to custard) and crushed Oreos in the chocolate layer too! Byron declared these the best Nanaimo Bars he'd ever tasted, and it made being away from Canada this year that little bit easier to drown our sorrows with the sugary goodness of our dessert! is hard being back, really hard. Look at what we were doing last thanksgiving weekend - hiking to beautiful beautiful Garibaldi Provincial Park... 

Eating our thanksgiving feast with awesome friends (rather than on our lonesome this time around!)

 and biking the sea wall around Stanley Park and enjoying the amazing colours of fall!


 It's a struggle to experience life after Vancouver! but hopefully one day in the not so distant future we will be back in that beautiful city! For now, I'll bake Nanaimo Bars and pretend I'm still there...ignorance is bliss :)

Oreo Overload Nanaimo Bars:
Makes 15
Adapted from King Arthur Flour


1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 large egg
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup white chocolate chunks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup nice biscuit crumbs
1 1/2 cups crushed oreo crumbs


1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups icing sugar
1/8 tsp coconut extract (or 1/2 tsp vanilla for all you crazies who don't like coconut)
2 tbsp instant vanilla pudding mix (just the powder)
2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
1 cup crushed oreo crumbs


3/4 cup dark chocolate
1/4 cup milk chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
4/5 broken oreo cookies to decorate 

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F.
Line a 7"x11" tin with parchment paper.  

For the crust: Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat at medium speed until combined.
Press the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove the tin from the oven and set it aside to cool.

For the filling: In a medium sized mixed bowl, combine the butter, 1 cup of the sugar and the coconut extract, beating until smooth. 

In a small bowl, combine the instant vanilla pudding mix with the milk, stirring until thick and smooth.  

Add the pudding mix to the butter/sugar mix and stir to combine.

Add the remaining sugar, and beat until the filling is smooth.  Stir in the crushed oreo crumbs.  Spread it over the cooled crust, cover and refrigerate until chilled.  

For the ganache: Combine both chocolates and cream in a saucepan.  Heat until the cream is steaming.  Stir until smooth.  

Spread the ganache onto the bars.  Place random broken pieces of oreo on top of the ganache.  Refrigerate until the chocolate is set.  

Cut into small bars or rectangles to serve.

Eat and enjoy!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Peanut Butter, Oreo, Nutella & Banana Cream Pie!

 A few weeks ago we had the American missionaries from our church over for dinner.  As well as cooking them up some Enchiladas (since Americans always complain about the lack of Mexican in this country) I also wanted to bake them something to remind them of home. 

I knew it had to involve peanut butter, and cream pies always scream America to me so I remembered a peanut butter pie recipe I had come across ages ago.  When trying to find it again, I came across this version which seemed even better to me because it involved an Oreo crust AND Nutella!! 

So it's pretty much all my favourite ingredients in a pie!

 Everything tastes better with an Oreo's a fact! Recently, I've even been baking up magic bars using Oreo crusts since sadly I no longer have easy access to graham crackers now we're back on this side of the pond!

 Next time I would probably even spread a more generous amount of Nutella on the bottom of the pie because I'm so obsessed with the stuff! The filling is the creamiest dreamiest stuff you can imagine, due to the cream cheese and the condensed milk inside it, and I like to top mine off with some straight up cream as well just to balance out all the sweetness.

It is the pie that dreams are made of! Bake one up today, you and your dinner guests will not be disappointed!

Peanut Butter, Oreo, Nutella & Banana Cream Pie:
Makes 1 (9 inch) pie

225g (8 ozs) Oreo cookies 
57g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
113g (4 ozs) Nutella spread
240ml (1 cup) double cream
225g (8 ozs) cream cheese
256g (1 cup) creamy peanut butter
130g (1 cup) icing sugar
1 (397g/14 ozs) can condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large banana
1/4 cup melted Nutella
Sprinkling of chocolate Flake

Crush the Oreos in a food processor until you have fine crumbs.  Stir in the melted butter until combined and press the mixture in the bottom of your tart tin and up the sides if desired.

In a heatproof bowl, warm the Nutella in the microwave in 30 second intervals until runny.  Pour it over the bottom of the cookie crust and spread it out to the edges using the back of a spoon.  Place the crust in the fridge to chill.

Pour the double cream into the stand mixer bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form.  Store in the fridge until ready to use.  Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in the mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the icing sugar.  Add the condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice.  Increase speed to medium and beat until everything is combined and the filling is smooth.  Using a large spatula, stir 1/3 of the whipped cream from the fridge into the filling mixture.  

Slice the banana thinly and arrange the slices on top of the Nutella crust.  Pour the peanut butter filling over the banana slices.  Smooth out with a spatula.  Spoon the remaining cream on top of the filling.  Warm the Nutella 'til it melts in the microwave and drizzle over the top of the pie.  If you want to be super neat use a piping bag, if your piping bag supply has run out like mine had just flick it using a knife (I sort of liked the rustic look of this way!) Crumble up Flake and sprinkle it over the top.

Place in the freezer for 3 hours or overnight before serving.

Eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Happy National Cupcake Week! Here's an International Cupcake Round Up!

So, it's National Cupcake Week! and of course we need to talk about it! I love the fact there's a whole week devoted to my favourite baked treats of all time! I thought a good way to celebrate was to take a trip down memory lane about all the cupcakes I've eaten in the past 6 months, which includes cupcakes from Canada, America, England and Scotland!!

Are you ready? When we headed to A Wee Cupcakery on Vancouver Island there was only one purpose for our visit.  We were in the town of Nanaimo, and if that sounds familiar to you it's because it's where the delicious Nanaimo Bar hails from! So we had swung into Nanaimo to do the Nanaimo Bar Trail...which is essentially like a pub crawl except you are going to bakery after ice cream shop after cupcakery in search of Nanaimo related goodies! So I was more than a little heartbroken by the fact that when we arrived at A Wee Cupcakery they were all sold out of Nanaimo Bar cupcakes! I consoled myself by getting this chocolate coconut concotion instead because if you know me at all anything with coconut gets the thumbs up from me! We wandered down to the harbour and enjoyed it there.  It was moist and delicious, and may not have been the Nanaimo flavour we were hoping for but it was pretty good all the same! 

The next day we drove to Victoria and had a serious day of foodie fun! which involved macarons, root beer floats, double thick shakes, tacos, pulled pork, the best french toast I've ever eaten in my life...and of course cupcakes! Yeah, my mom and sister were in town and we sure know how to pack in the calories! 

We paid Ooh La La Cupcakes a visit on the recommendation of my friend Cassie who said she had got the best cupcake she had ever eaten there! and knowing that Cassie has as high standards as I do when it comes to cupcakes, I knew it was going to be worth checking out! 

We were greeted by a super pretty shop inside, and don't you just love the little Eiffel Tower name holders!

You better believe I went for the 'Triple Bypass' flavour over there on the far left.  How could I pass that up!

They had a cute little seating area with fancy chandeliers so we made ourselves comfy to prepare ourselves for the sugar coma! because a triple bypass should not be taken lightly! 

It was a rich brownie cake with a caramel filling, topped with caramel buttercream and drizzled in more caramel and topped with Skor bar which we don't have here in the UK but is sort of like Dime Bar.  It was so fudgy and delicious, and even though I'm not usually a huge caramel fan I was converted! The mint choc and chocolate cupcakes also went down well! 

It was a hit for Vancouver Island's cupcake offerings!

Back in July we kicked off our 3 week West Coast road trip, travelling all the way from Vancouver down to San Diego.  I knew that when we hit Portland, I wanted to swing by Cupcake Jones.  Not only because my maiden name is Jones, but also because check out their board for flavours...

When have you ever come across a cupcakery in the UK which has salted caramel, raspberry truffle, berry cobbler, coconut lemon, s'mores, strawberry lemonade, blueberries n cream, strawberry shortcake and root beer float as some of their flavours on offer? The answer is you haven't! because North America out trumps every UK cupcakery I've ever been to with their inventive and expansive ranges of flavours! and having tried over 30 UK cupcakeries/cupcake companies I feel I'm fairly experienced to make that call! but if you think there is somewhere I've missed that has wildly inventive flavours then please let me know! 

Their cupcakes are lined up on baking trays, fresh out of the oven...waiting for you to try their deliciousness!

and the front cabinet is just a display cabinet of cakes where every cake is cross sectioned so you can see what's inside! because another reason I love Cupcake Jones is that every one of their cupcakes comes with a filling! Hands up who loves filling? I do, I do! 

So of course I had to go with 'Coco Cabana' which was a toasted coconut cake, filled with a toasted coconut pastry cream and topped with coconut cream cheese frosting and fresh coconut on top! You just can't get more coconutty than that! and Byron went for peanut butter because you can't tear that boy away from his love of peanut butter and chocolate! 

I have never eaten such a huge cupcake before! There was just no lady like way to eat these beasts! but it really didn't matter that I was getting cake and frosting all over my face as we strolled the streets of Portland because it was one of the tastiest and most flavoursome cupcakes I've ever had! We also picked up a Cupcake Jones onesie for our the future cupcake loving addition to our family! It's so cute! 

Venturing further down the coast we arrived in San Fran for another two days of sugar overload fun! Literally my only complaint about San Francisco was that it had faaaaar too much delicious food for us to possibly consume in 2 days! So we will have to make our way back there at a later date! 

We headed to Kara's Cupcakes on Ghiradelli Square...which is a dangerous location because inevitably we ended up stuffing our faces in Ghiradelli too - well it would have been rude not to! 

They also had a great variety of flavours...I was stuck with the hardest decision of my life when the s'mores flavour and key lime pie flavour were placed right beside each other! How to choose?! 

Key Lime Pie won because it may just be my fave dessert alongside cupcakes, and Byron went for a chocolate chocolate combo with a San Francisco Giants topper on since we were going to be going to our first ever baseball game that night to see them so he was getting in the mood! 

I posed excitedly with my bag, and saved them safely 'til later when we were experiencing a food lull! 

We climbed up this beastly hill to get this amazing view over the city! and decided sitting on top of a pile of rocks on top of this hill was the perfect time to indulge in our cupcakes! Byron's was amazing, his chocolate frosting was so rich and creamy and delicious! Sadly it all went horribly wrong with my Key Lime Pie cupcake because aside from the graham cracker base and the key lime filling it was just a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting! A serious no no in my book, and to make matters worse it tasted so strongly of almond so they must have used almond extract and if there's one thing I hate more than using vanilla cupcakes instead of the correct flavour's the taste of almond! I may have sulked more than a little that I'd carried that cake around all day long and finally at the top of this long climb I was rewarded with something I had to throw away! Fortunately, Byron was the dutiful husband and shared his choc cupcake with me! 

After a let down in San Fran, things started to pick up the further South we went! We were strolling around in Malibu one day looking for somewhere that did free wifi so we could check in with our families when all of a sudden Byron said 'Hey, there's Crumbs - aren't those the cupcakes you love so much'! Well yes they are! Remember when my best friend brought me some from New York when she visited us in the Caribbean.  Well I had totally forgotten that Crumbs had expanded from the East Coast to the West Coast and so I was stunned when Byron spotted the Crumbs sign! I didn't get my hopes up, because I thought it could have been a different company called Crumbs but sure enough when we rounded the corner I saw the words Bake Shop attached to their logo and did a little happy dance! 

We arrived with 5 minutes until they closed, lucky or what! I'm so grateful for an observant husband! I would have never spotted it and I would have missed out for sure! Since it was the end of the day, their cabinet was nearly empty and there were just a few left.  

We opted for the brownie because who can turn down a brownie cake, filled with fudge, topped with more fudge and drizzled with brownie chunks! The staff were so lovely and were very excited to hear how much I love their cupcakes and that we came all the way from England! They were asking us all about our road trip and telling us how jealous they were! You just don't get the service in the UK that you do in North America, you're always guaranteed a good chat over there! 

As usual we'd already been pigging out that morning so we saved the cupcake for later in the day.  Whilst Byron surfed, I sat pregnant on the beach and watched...and indulged in my cupcake (somehow I think I got the better deal!) haha. It was just as delicious as I had remembered and certainly was more delicious due to the fact it was such a surprise to stumble upon it! 

A few days later we found ourselves in L.A.  Of course I couldn't leave California without trying Sprinkles out.  After all they are the 'Original' cupcake bakery, as they've been baking up solely cupcakes since 2005.  I was slightly worried they were going to be overrated the way that Hummingbird is here in the UK - they have the biggest name and biggest brand, but their flavours and textures of their cupcakes are severely lacking.  

Fortunately that wasn't the case! They had a pretty decent flavour selection, not as inventive as other places but certainly more than the standard vanilla, chocolate, red velvet etc..

We had to try a gender reveal cupcake just for fun! We picked one with a little baby bottle on top! 

I loved their surfboard and palm tree transfers on the windows, just to remind you what state you were in! 

Of course I had to go for a coconut cupcake as well, this one was belgian chocolate cake topped with coconut cream cheese frosting.  It was super delish! and we adored the creamy silky chocolate frosting on the gender reveal cupcake...

and according to Sprinkles, we are having a girl! Check back here in February to see if they were right! 

Driving on down the coast, we arrived in Newport Beach and found out that not only did they have a Sprinkles Cupcakes but they also had one of the newly opened Sprinkles Ice Cream places so we just had to give it a try! 

The decisions you had to make inside were overwhelming!!! Ice cream swirled with chunks of cupcake in a homemade red velvet waffle cone, a cupcake milkshake, a cupcake sundae with ice cream sandwiched between a cut open cupcake or a sprinkles sandwich - ice cream of your choosing sandwiched between two homemade cookies! Seriously! I wanted everything on that menu! 

In the end we opted for an ice cream sandwich.  We picked their vanilla bean ice cream in between a chocolate chip cookie on one side and a double chocolate cookie with white chips on the other.  This was one of the dreamiest things I ate on our whole trip! The cookies were so soft and gooey and the flavour of the vanilla bean ice cream was to die for! I would go back to California tomorrow if only to eat one of these! Well done Sprinkles, Well done! 

Also in Newport Beach, we strolled past Casey's Cupcakes at Fashion Island.  I loved the pink stripes on the outside of the shop! 

She had a great selection of flavours, but by this time we'd eaten so much we had to pass for once! but just letting you know it's there if you ever find yourself roadtripping in Cali and in search of cupcakes! 

Our last cupcake stop Stateside was in my favourite city, San Diego.  We happened to be there during Comic-Con and so in between the crazy crowds of people dressed up in crazy costumes we were handed out a flyer advertising Heavenly Cupcake, which was just a few streets down from us.  

I went for my old classic of an Oreo cupcake and Byron went for peanut butter! We ate them later that night in bed and it was the perfect sweet treat to end our trip with! 

Once back in the UK, we headed straight to Leeds where we got to visit my 3 day old baby nephew! He was born the day we arrived back into Heathrow (15 days I think he was waiting for his aunt and uncle to get back in the same country before he made his appearance!)

I was very excited when my sister told us she was going to take us to The Sunshine Bakery in Chapel Allerton as a celebration of our baby news! She has been going there for years and always raves to me about their amazing cupcakes that are made with fresh fruit purees and mascarpone frostings.  The head baker and owner has worked in Michelin star restaurants, and uses French recipes and pastry techniques and not only that but he won first prize for the best cupcakes in the UK in a previous National Cupcake week! 

So to say I had huge expectations was an understatement! 

So I was rather confused when I asked the girl serving me to tell me what was in the pina colada coconut and she responded with 'let me find out' and then returned to tell me it was pineapple and coconut. Ummm, obviously! I was wanting to hear about the fresh fruit puree in the batter and whether the frosting was made with coconut milk or what the combinations in the cake were.  So she went away again and told me it was a pineapple cake with coconut frosting.  That seemed like it was as good as it was going to get so I ordered it and we took a seat in the lovely courtyard area outside.  I wasn't sure why I had fresh raspberries on top of a pineapple and coconut cupcake, I like all the components of a cupcake to represent the flavours inside so I thought that was random.  However that wasn't the only problem.  The problem was the cupcake tasted like vanilla, there was no hint of pineapple in it at all and the frosting just tasted like cream.  I can detect even the slightest hint of coconut being the coconut obsessive I am and I couldn't taste any.  It was a well made good tasting cupcake if it was just mean to be vanilla, with cream and raspberries on top but for a pina colada it was way off the mark.  

Fortunately their brownies saved the day! My brother in law had a Kinder Bueno one and we also tried their Double Decker brownie which was heavenly!

Sadly though for a place which has won awards for cupcakes, their cupcakes were seriously lacking.

It was my nephew's first trip out the house! I love that we took him to a cupcakery! Clearly he was as impressed as I was and slept the whole way through! It is worth mentioning that the savoury food we ate there for lunch was amazing and so I'd say it's definitely worth visiting for lunch and a brownie but I personally can't recommend the cupcakes! 

So lastly, we end this international tour of cupcakeries here in Scotland.  I discovered that Humble Pie Bakery is just a 10 minute drive down the road from me in the village of Bothwell so I was pretty excited to check it out! 

We happened to go during their annual Scarecrow festival! So their scarecrow offering was Mary Berry popping out of a cupcake which I thought was very funny!

They had a good selection, with Oreos and Snickers and Maltesers on top it was a bit more inventive than usual.  

Byron went for the chocolate orange which was a chocolate cupcake with chocolate orange frosting.  I had a mars and malteser cupcake that had malteser chunks in the batter and a caramel filling topped with chocolate frosting and a slice of mars and half a whole malteser on top.  

They were pretty standard for me, and maybe they're good as far as Scotland's standards go but I fear I've been spoilt by all the yumminess I've tried abroad! 

I'm not going to give up my search of good cupcakes in Scotland though so feel free to hit me with some of your best recommendations! Until then I'm pondering this week during national cupcake week on how we can raise our standard of cupcakes so that we can ever be able to compete with what's on offer across the pond! 


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