Oriental Flair - Ramadan Cupcakes

In the spirit of Ramadan, I will make this a short post - this is not my recipe, I borrowed it from somewhere on the net, and now that I am posting it I can't for the life of me find it again and give credit where it's due (so if this is your recipe I am sorry)...but enough of that, here's the recipe and it's gooooood :)

Tea Rose Cupcakes

90 g butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup self raising flour (or plain flour plus 1 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1 1/4 tsp salt)
2 tbs milk
2 eggs
6-8 tsp jam of your choice (I used mixed berry, go for rose jam if you want to be extra authentic)

125 g softened butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 tbs rose water (I added more to taste)
Few drops of red food colour (results in pink icing)


  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees and line tin with cupcake cases.
  2. Beat butter, flour, sugar, vanilla and milk in a food processor until it resembles bread crumbs. 
  3. Add the eggs and beat until pale on a medium to high speed.
  4. Put a spoonful of the mixture in each of the cases ensuring the bases are covered.
  5. Add ½ a teaspoon of jam to each.
  6. Top the cupcakes with the remainder of the mixture.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked.
  8. To make the butter cream beat the butter until pale. 
  9. Add the icing sugar and rose water.
  10. Decorate with butter cream and top with decorations.
    Ramadan Love x

100 Cupcakes

Choco-Banana with Nutella Buttercream - AKA my breakfast.

Yesterday was the big day and after spending about four days in the kitchen  and telling the boys to find sustenance elsewhere, I managed to make just over 100 cupcakes. Chocolate with chocolate frosting, chocolate-banana with Nutella frosting and Apple, pear & cinnamon muffins (In a bid to offer a healthy option which surprisingly didn't go down too well - although saying that I haven't got any left).

Taste Testing Lubna - Note ecstatic look on face :)

Most people just wanted to indulge in a classic chocolate or vanilla cupcake with lashings of frosting and sprinkly bits on top - which is just how it should be!

My friend managed to make 350, extremely tasty, very pretty cupcakes in a wide range of flavours - which is pretty damn good for one lady in her own kitchen!

I had a brilliant time making, baking and selling the cupcakes and meeting new people and would definitely do it again.

Super Excited!

I am. A friend and I were at a very nice event over the weekend chatting about cupcakes (as you do) when she mentioned she will be selling hers for the first time ever at a charity event - she'll be making 500 cupcakes all by herself! I asked if she needed any help and she said yes! So in a couple of weeks I will be taking on a cupcake challenge of mammoth proportions - and that's what is getting me jumping-up-and-down excited.

If there's one thing I like more than baking it's researching what I'm going to bake, thinking about what I am going to bake and then of course eating what I have already baked...that's what I am doing now except for the eating part. Right now I am deciding which cupcakes I'll be making and how in hell will I make around 250 cupcakes with one muffin pan :)

The challenge begins...

The Bread Experiment

The smell of freshly baked bread is instant happiness for me, and back in the day when I was young and naive I imagined that one day my home would be filled with that same satisfying scent every morning. Of course that never happened - until today.

I finally found the time and energy to give the most basic of loaves a try using the following recipe from BBC Good Food. I chose it mainly because it has 'easy' in the title and because it lists olive oil and honey amongst its ingredients - a combination I find attractive when it comes to bread.

It's so easy I even had time to dance with my three-month-old in the kitchen to the sounds of the Flashback Cafe, and then pick up my 6 year old from school (while it was rising).

The inside of my oven.

The result was aroma-filled, tasty and texturous.

Bread in Four Easy Steps

500g wholewheat or white flour
2 1/2 tsp fast-action dried yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey

1. Put flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and mix together with your hands. Stir 300ml hand-hot water with the oil and honey, then mix into the dry ingredients to make a soft dough.

2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 mins, until it no longer feels sticky - sprinkle with a little more flour if needed.

3. Grease a loaf tin with oil and put the dough in, pressing it down to even it out. Put in a large plastic food bag and leave to rise for 1 hr, until the dough has risen to fill the tin and it no longer springs back when you press it with your finger.

4. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Make a few slashes across the top of the loaf with a sharp knife, and bake for 30-35 mins until the loaf is risen and golden. Tip it out onto a cooling rack and tap the base of the bread to check it is cooked. It should sound hollow. Leave to cool.

Easy Like a Friday Morning

From a very nice lady's Kitchen in the Rockies to my humble abode in Cairo - I give you Cinnamon Bun Bread on a Friday morning, for breakfast - Oh Yes!

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm milk (blast in microwave for 20 seconds)
3 tbs oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
Salt ( I used 1/4 tsp)

3 tbs butter at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of ground cardamom (I didn't have any)

For the icing, mix:
1 cup icing sugar
1-2 tbs milk

  • Lightly grease a square 8x8 pan (I overdid this and got a bit of an oily base - plus I only had a round pan)
  • Combine flour, sugar, salt in a bowl
  • Dissolve yeast in the warm milk in a jug
  • Stir milk mixture, oil, vanilla and egg into flour mixture
  • Mix until very smooth
  • Pour into pan and let it rest for 15 minutes
  • Mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until all the butter is incorporated into the sugar and is crumbly (Did this with my hands)
  • Sprinkle evenly over the dough and press the mixture down 
  • Place into a cold oven - then set to 350 F (I used 180 C)
  • Bake 30 minutes - is done when centre springy to touch and edges are browned
  • Cool for at least 30 mins before drizzling the icing onto the bread
  • Serve warm with a big smile :)

Orange Almond Yogurt Cake

It's been a while. Since my last post many things have happened here in Cairo - not least A REVOLUTION!

Oh yeah and I had a baby :) But that doesn't mean that I haven't been baking - in fact I discovered that I bake more when things are getting stressy... such as that very scary night mid-revolution when the police withdrew from the city - but those are details for another post that involves rice pudding.

Speaking of baby-having, here's a pic of what I mad the day before I went into hospital which doesn't count as a recipe since I used a cake mix, whipped up some cream and added a luscious strawberry on top.

Then came Valentines Day, and I was skint! So I decided, the way to a man's heart must be through his stomach - especially my husband’s - so I lovingly baked a batch of chocolate cupcakes, or Love Cakes as they came to be known. Again using a recipe from my favourite baking site Joy of Baking (JoB) - they came out quite cute looking, especially considering that I was too lazy to make a frosting and decided to decorate them using a stencil and icing sugar instead - although as far as chocolate cupcakes go I have a sneaking suspicion that a better tasting recipe can be found - the search is on. (Sorry JoB.)

In another exciting cookery update (that sounds quite scary) I got a new cookbook freshly delivered by Amazon in the post, mid-revolution, which makes me feel quite proud of the Egyptian Postal Service! The book is by the domestic goddess herself - Nigella Lawson and is called Nigella Kitchen, needless to say I have been studying it heavily at every opportunity i.e. between feedings and nappy changings and doings of 6-yr old homework, only raising my head from its pages momentarily to complain about hubby's excessive laptop use.

From this I made two types of muffin - Chocolate Banana and Apple Cinnamon, both of which were extremely tasty and eaten immediately, hence why there are no pictures. A batch of Everyday Brownies also went down a treat - smothered in vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce no less.

Most recently however, and in another one of my compulsive 'must bake at 10 o'clock at night' fits - I tried a recipe I found on the Smitten Kitchen blog for Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake, which I adapted till the cows came home, and until it evolved into Orange Almond Yogurt Cake, I had a lot of oranges calling out to me from the fruit bowl. I also ran out of flour midway - so I threw some cornmeal in and am really glad I did.

This I highly recommend:

1 cup flour
0.5 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp Maldon sea salt (or ¼ tsp of normal salt)
1 cup vanilla yogurt (I used a single package of yogurt)
0.75 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp grated orange zest
0.5 tsp almond extract
0.5 cup oil

To make icing: Mix icing sugar with freshly squeezed orange juice to preferred consistency.

Follow cooking instructions for Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake OR as follows: 
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (about 180 C). Grease loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, zest, almond extract and oil.
  • Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Meanwhile, mix icing sugar with orange juice until you get a paste of the consistency you prefer which you can pour or spread over the cake once its done.
  • Allow it to cool first in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping onto a cooling rack.

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