Honey Bubble Bars

Warning: these are addictive. I’m usually pretty good at being able to restrain myself from eating copious amounts of the things I bake. But these were a bit of an exception. Super sweet, crunchy and with just the right amount of coconut, I couldn’t stop at one. And there must be something about the honey-vanilla combo, because  MAN the flavour was amazing! To top it all off, the recipe was super, super simple, used only 7 ingredients, had no baking time, took only 10 minutes to make and I dirtied only 3 dishes! So what is there to stop you making these right now? Absolutely nothing!!

Extra note: these are the perfect alternative to Kelloggs LCM bars but this without the nasty additives. Other copy-cat LCM recipes (or 'rice krispie treats' usually contain marshmallows, which I am still keen to try in the future, but for the time being, I’m sticking with this recipe.

Honey Bubble Bars (Rice Bubble 'LCM' Slice)


110g butter, chopped
100g sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tsp vanilla
150g rice bubbles
60g dessicated coconut
Handful of choc-chips (optional, you could also try sprinkles, m&m's, chopped nuts etc)


Line a baking tin with non-stick baking paper (I used a 23cm square tin/approx 9x9inch)

In a medium saucepan, combine butter, sugar and honey. Stir over medium-high heat until melted and sugar is dissolved. Stir in the vanilla.

Transfer butter mixture to a mixing bowl, then gently stir in the rice bubbles and coconut until thoroughly combined. Press mixture into prepared baking tin, press chocolate chips on top if desired (you could always drizzle melted chocolate on top instead!) then refrigerate until firm.

Cut into slices and serve!

Makes about 16-20 slices. Store in an air-tight container.

Source: Adapted from here (this recipe is also known as Little Thermomix Munchies - LTM's. While I did use my thermomix, I adapted the recipe so everyone can try it!)

Iced Cinnamon Rolls

 If you think bread smells good while baking, you are going to love it when you make these. The whole house is filled with a gorgeous 'sugar n spice' aroma. And these definitely taste just as good as they smell. These are the definition of feel-good food: soft cinnamon rolls slathered with a sticky, gooey, sweet and thick sugary glaze. But be warned, it is very, very hard to stop at just one!

Iced Cinnamon Rolls


1 7g (1/4 oz) package ( or 2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
120mls  warm water (40-46°C/105-115°F)
65g plus  1/2 teaspoon sugar, divided
120mls warm milk (40-46°C/105-115°F)
75g  melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
440-500g plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted

100g melted butter
140g white sugar plus extra to sprinkle on greased baking tray
1 1/2 tablespoons (about 10-11g) ground cinnamon

75g melted butter
200g icing (confectioner’s/powdered) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
30-60mls hot water


In a small bowl, dissolve the extra ½ teaspoon of sugar in the warm water. Add the yeast, stirring until combined. Set aside for about 10 minutes, or until bubbly and foamy (note: if your yeast mixture does not foam, your yeast has expired!).

Meanwhile, mix together warm milk, remaining 65g of sugar, melted butter, salt and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or whatever mixer you have). Mix on a low speed until combined, then add the yeast mixture. Add about half the flour (approx. 220g) beating on a low speed (so the flour doesn’t fly everywhere!) until combined and smooth. Add the rest of the flour, a little at a time, until you have a slightly stiff, sticky dough (note: you may not need all the remaining flour).

Transfer dough to a well floured surface (I used my pastry mat), and knead for around 5-6 minutes, being careful not to over-knead. (You could probably use your dough hook instead, it’s up to you). Place dough in a buttered bowl and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour or so).

Meanwhile, mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Grease/butter a large baking pan (23 x 33cm/ 13in x 9in) and sprinkle with extra sugar (I ended up just lining the tin with some non-stick baking paper).

Once dough has risen, punch down, and let rest for another 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a large empty surface and form into a rough rectangle shape. Then roll out into a large, flat rectangle, about 5-6mm (1/4in) thick. Spread dough with the melted butter, and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture until covered.

Roll up the dough lengthwise, gently but firmly (this is to avoid the rolls coming apart, losing the filling or becoming misshapen). Cut dough into slices about 2.5cm thick (1in). (Note: I use cotton, or un-flavoured dental floss to slice the rolls– wrap around the two index fingers of each hand, then slide under the bottom of the rolled dough, then pull evenly upwards – see here for more info!)

Place slices into the greased pan (leaving room for each to rise) and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 45mins or so),

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Bake the rolls for about 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Spread with the icing straight away, or when cooled.

To make the icing, combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Gradually add the hot water until you reach your desired consistency. (I prefer a thick icing that I can spread onto the tops of the rolls when they come out of the oven – the icing smooths out and becomes drippy, sticky and gorgeous!)

Best eaten on the day they are made, but can be stored in an air-tight container for about 2 days (you can warm them up in the microwave to enjoy them warm again).
Makes about 12-16 rolls.

Source: Adapted from Everyday Home Cook - also see here for a fabulous step-by-step picture tutorial.

Caramel 'Butterbeer' Cupcakes

So I have to admit, I have never read Harry Potter, or seen the movies. However, when Butterbeer related recipes started flooding foodgawker, I was curious. Not really having any sort of clue what the heck Butterbeer was, I browsed a heap of these posts, and decided I definitely wanted to try them out. What is really interesting is that all the butterbeer cupcake recipes require cream soda. Now 99% of all cream soda I have ever seen is the pink, raspberry kind. (Of course, the week later I found the non-pink , non-raspberry version!) But that didn't stop me from baking these Harry Potter inspired 'Butterbeer Cupcakes'. The fizzy (soft drink) adds a beautiful lightness to the cake, which has a soft butterscotch-y caramel flavour. And due to the absence of 'butter flavouring', and butterscotch chips in Australia, I used ghee as a replacement for the butter flavouring (which I have no idea whether it added to the flavour or not) and then made a batch of caramel sauce to substitute for the caramel ganache.

 Overall these were a fabulous success as a delicious cupcake, and while I can't tell you if they actually have a butterbeer flavour, I can tell you that they now officially are my go-to special caramel cupcake recipe :)

Caramel Butterbeer Cupcakes

240g plain flour 
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
115g butter, softened 
100g white sugar
100g dark brown sugar, packed (I used normal brown sugar with a small spoonful of molasses)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring (I used a spoonful of ghee - clarified butter - instead)120mls buttermilk 
120mls cream soda (I had to use the pink kind, which still worked)

Caramel Sauce
300mls thickened cream
250g brown sugar
60g butter, chopped
1 tsp vanilla

Caramel Buttercream
115g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp butter flavouring ( I used a spoonful of ghee)
450g icing (confectioners) sugar
55mls Caramel Syrup (or as desired)
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to  180°C (350°F). Line two small cupcake/muffin tins with cases. Whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until pale. Gradually add sugar and cream until combined and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each. Add vanilla and butter flavouring (or ghee) and beat until smooth. 

Add the buttermilk, cream soda then flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating between each, and beating after each addition until just combined. (i.e. start with 1/3 buttermilk, mix, 1/3 cream soda, mix, then 1/3 flour mixture, and mix. Repeat 2 more times.) 

Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake for approx. 12-15 minutes or until tops spring back when touched, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let tins stand for one minute then transfer cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce. Combine the sugar, cream, vanilla and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it comes to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to a bowl/container and refrigerate until thickened up.

Next, make the caramel buttercream. In a large bowl, beat butter until pale. Gradually add icing sugar, alternating with the caramel sauce, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add the vanilla, beating until combined, and the icing is smooth and creamy. (More or less caramel can be added to bring frosting to desired consistency).

To assemble: transfer caramel sauce to a squeeze bottle with small round tip. Insert tip into the center of each cupcake and apply a little pressure to 'fill' the cupcake with some sauce. 
 Transfer frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes using desired tip (I used a medium plain, round tip), or spread onto cupcakes using spatula. Drizzle caramel sauce on top if desired.

Makes approx. 18-24 cupcakes using small cupcake tin. Store in an air-tight container. Best consumed within 2-3 days.

Source: Adapted from Amy Bites

Mini Peanut Butter Pies & A Reminder

One of the amazing things about the internet is the way it connects people. About 3 weeks ago, there was an enormous outpouring of love in the food blogging community for Jennifer Perillo from In Jennie's Kitchen, whose husband Mikey suddenly passed away. She asks us to celebrate his life and the loved ones in our own lives by making a peanut butter pie on the second Friday of August. While I didn't make these exactly on that date, it is never too late to celebrate those you love, whether by baking or not. All too often we get caught up in the daily routines of life and forget to take a moment to enjoy being with our family and friends. So here is my 'Pie for Mikey' and a reminder to cherish the people around you!

These mini pies are made with sweet shortcrust pastry , filled with a creamy natural peanut butter filling, topped with whipped cream and a chocolate spider (or 'haystack'). They are very rich so are excellent in this bite size form and perfect for sharing.

Mini Peanut Butter Pies
Pastry Cases
180g plain flour
40g sugar
150g butter
approx. 50mls cold/iced water (around 2-3 tablespoons as a rough guide)

500mls thickened cream
250g cream cheese, softened
140g peanut butter (I used natural)
70g icing sugar, sifted

300mls thickened cream
100g fried noodles (I used Changs)
220g chocolate/chocolate melts (I used milk, but you can use whatever you like)
55g peanut butter (around 2-2.5 tablespoons)


To make the pastry: place the flour sugar and butter in a food processor. Process until the mixture becomes similar in texture to fine breadcrumbs. With motor running, gradually add the iced water until a smooth and well combined dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface (I use a pastry mat), and knead lightly. If the mixture is too moist then knead in a little more flour. Roll the dough into a ball then cover with plastic wrap, and place into the fridge for about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate spider/haystack topping. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Melt together the peanut butter and chocolate in a microwave/on a stovetop until runny and smooth. Carefully fold in the fried noodles until they are fully covered with the chocolate mixture. Drop small teaspoonfuls of mixture onto the lined tins to form little 'spiders' or 'haystacks'. Transfer trays to the fridge and refrigerate until firm.

Next, Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a mini (or whatever size you prefer)  muffin/cupcake tin with butter.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface (or between two sheets of baking paper) to about 4mm (a bit over 1/8 inches) thick (or as desired). Cut circles of dough to fit your baking tins using round cookie cutters (you may have to experiment with a couple cutter sizes to get an ideal fit). Gently push the pastry circles into the tins. 

Once the tins are filled, cut out small squares/circles of non-stick baking paper and place on top of the pastry circles. Fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice/beans and blind bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove the weights then return to the oven for a further 7-10 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and light-golden brown. Remove from the oven and stand for 2-3 minutes. Carefully remove pastry cases from the tins and place on a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, whip the 850ml cream (300ml + 550ml) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip to desired consistency (I whipped mine to medium peaks - not too stiff and still a little soft). Transfer to another bowl and set aside in the fridge.

Next, make the filling. Using the same bowl and whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and icing sugar on medium-high until combined, smooth and aerated. Fold in about 550-600g of the whipped cream until smooth and combined. Transfer filling to a large piping bag fitted with the tip/nozzle of your choice ( I chose a large fluted tip). Carefully swirl the mixure into the cooled pastry cases until filled as desired. Top with a dollop of the remaining whipped cream, and a chocolate spider/haystack.

Makes about 25 mini pies depending on the size of tin used.

Store refrigerated in an air-tight container. Best consumed within 3 days.

Sources: Pastry adapted from Donna Hay Modern Classics Book 2, filling adapted from Ezra Pound Cake, chocolate spiders adapted from Changs.