Christmas Fruit Cake/ Kerala Plum Cake 2015


Happy new year everyone!

You remember this big Christmas bundt cake I made last year?  This time, I decided to change it up a bit and  bake my fruit cakes in my bundlette pan and make mini bundts. And much to my joy, it turned out really well. So cute and adorable…don’t you think? And perfect for gifting!



This time, I skipped on the figs and apricots, and just used dates, raisins, cherries and prunes. I got about 14 bundlettes out of the recipe and the baking time was 25-30 minutes…you might want to start checking at 20 minutes though, just to be safe.


That’s it for this post…See ya next time guys!



Lemon Drizzle Traybake

Hello everyone, how have you all been? It’s been a while since I have posted something here. The last few months have not been too good for me, and I have become kinda lazy… :(. But hey, I’m back, and here’s something that will really brighten up your day — a delicious lemon traybake with lemon syrup drizzled on top.


This sheet cake is extremely fluffy and moist, and has a slight crunch from the lemon juice- sugar mixture poured on top. It is sweet and tangy, and very fragrant, thanks to the lemon zest incorporated into the batter. The recipe calls for self-rising flour. I rarely use self-rising flour, I just substitute (1 cup all-purpose flour+ 11/2 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp salt) for every 1 cup of self-rising flour called for in the recipe. But since I had some leftover SR flour in my pantry, I decided to use it. The recipe suggests you make the batter in a food processor, but I used my trusty old handmixer to do the work and it worked out just fine.


Delicious eaten as it is, I have a feeling it would be even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…yummm. Try it and let me know, will ya?


Lemon Drizzle Traybake

Recipe source: Gorgeous Cakes by Annie Bell


1 cup unsalted butter, cubed

1 cup sugar

3 medium eggs

2/3 cup milk

1+2/3 cups self-rising flour, sifted

11/2 tsp baking powder, sifted

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

1 cup granulated sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 deg F and butter a 13-by-9 inch baking tray.

Put the butter and sugar in a food processor and beat together until pale and fluffy. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary, then add the milk and whizz until creamy.

Gradually add the flour and baking powder through the funnel with the motor running, then incorporate the lemon zest.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared tray, smoothing the surface, and bake for 30 minutes until golden and shrinking slightly from the sides, or a skewer comes out clean from the center.

Run a knife/spatula around the edge of the tray and prick the cake with a skewer at about 1-inch intervals.

Combine the lemon juice and granulated sugar in a bowl, stirring to evenly distribute it, then spoon over the top of the cake.

Let it cool, allowing the juice to sink into the cake.

The surface should have a lovely crystalline sheen. Cut into whatever size or shape you fancy.

Tres Leches Cake


My husband celebrates his birthday in March, and I get all excited thinking about and planning his birthday cake at least a month early. Usually I decide on the flavor, make the cake, decorate it, and he is happy with whatever it is☺️. This time, though, I thought I’d let him choose the cake he wanted for his big day. And what does he choose? Tres Leches, of course.”. Huh…Tres Leches, the most undecoratable of all cakes?  And here I had this romantic tall layer cake in mind which I would then cover in mint green fondant with gold decorations…hmm😳. Forget fondant, I was pretty sure it would not hold up to buttercream decorations even. And tall layer cake…ya, right!


Tres Leches is one cake I prefer not to make at home. Why, you ask? Because I live in Texas, and all those lovely authentic Mexican restaurants and panaderias (bakeries) here serve amazing Tres Leches cake. And of course, like I mentioned earlier, there is the undecoratability factor when it comes to these cakes. It is just too moist and frail for any decorating, forget stacking and sculpting.

TL8eThis recipe by the Pioneer Woman is a very popular one and is foolproof. I changed it up a bit by adding a bit of cinnamon to the cake batter and a little rum to the soaking syrup. And instead of baking it in a sheet pan, I decided to try my luck and used three 6-inch pans. The recipe specifies using all but 1 cup of the syrup, but I used all of it. See all that yummy puddles of  ooey gooey goodness..mmmmm!


Although the cakes rose well while baking, the sides did shrink once cool. I placed one layer on a plate, poked it with a skewer (works better than a fork) and poured 1/3 of the soaking syrup on top. After waiting for all the syrup to be soaked in, I spread a thin layer of condensed milk on top. I poked the next layer with the skewer before placing it on top of the first layer.  After placing this layer on top, I poured another 1/3 soaking syrup on it. By this time, I knew it could not take another layer on top and I decided to stop with two layers. The cake was chilled in the fridge for a good 4 to 5 hours before decorating it. And since I had absolutely no idea how to decorate it, I simply piped some flowers all over using sweetened whipped cream.

Although quite simple, there is something very sweet and charming about this cake, don’t you think?

Tres Leches Cake

Recipe source: The Pioneer Woman



1 cup all purpose flour

11/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

1/4 tsp salt

5 large eggs

1 cup sugar, divided

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup milk

Soaking syrup:

1 cup evaporated milk

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp. dark rum (optional)


I pint heavy cream

3 tbsp. powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.

Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.

Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.

Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.

Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and rum (if using) in a small pitcher. When the cake is cool, pierce the surface with a skewer several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.

Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.

Spread over the surface of the cake. Chill it in the fridge overnight and serve.

Plum Buckle


The little monkey loves fruits and we always make sure we have a variety of fruits all stocked up in our refrigerator. And sometimes (read ‘most often’), we go overboard and I usually find myself staring at all those overripe fruits and wondering what to do with them before they go bad. Usually most of them end up as fruit smoothies that we make in bulk which lasts us a whole week. But sigh, whatever are you supposed to do with almost 4 pounds of plum, all ready and ripe at the same time? Well, you could make a buckle or two…a yummy plum buckle, that is!


A buckle is a rustic, old-fashioned cake with fruits mixed in and they are usually topped with a cinnamon streusel. The plums can be replaced with blueberries, peaches, apples, pears or whatever seasonal fruits that you have on hand. Here, the slight tartness of the plums along with the sweet cake makes for a very refreshing and tasty flavor profile. Also, the contrast of colors from the baked bright red plums and the light-colored cake makes it a stunner of a cake.


The cake has a texture similar to that of a very moist coffee cake and it smells divine thanks to all that fruit and the cinnamon streusel on top. As good as it is as a simple snack cake, it tastes even better slightly warmed and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…yum! Make sure you push the fruit slices well into the batter, though, since it rises a bit while baking.



Plum Buckle

Recipe source: Williams Sonoma


11/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp

1 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar

2 eggs, at room temp

6 to 8 plums (about 1 pound) halved, pitted and each cut into 4 slices

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pan with vegetable oil spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and coat the paper with more spray.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and the 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and mix well.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Poke the plum slices into the batter, placing them close together. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and the 1 Tbs. sugar and sprinkle over the surface.

Bake until the top is golden, the edges pull away from the pan, and a skewer or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Pound Cake


This has got to be the fluffiest cake I have ever made. But of course, how could it not be? I mean, have you seen all the lovely, wonderful stuff that goes into this beauty of a cake…butter (duh!), cream cheese (aaha!), and a teeny bit of sour cream (sold!). A sprinkle of powdered sugar on top, and you are good to go.


The addition of cream cheese lightens up the pound cake and gives it an ever so slight a tang which I found extremely interesting. So if you are not a big fan of the in-your-face butteriness of pound cakes, definitely give this one a try. I have a feeling you are going to be pleasantly surprised.


The recipe is definitely a keeper, but I had one problem with it…the amount of chocolate chips in it. It calls for a mere 1 cup of chocolate chips, which, for a chocoholic like me, is way too disappointing. If you are more of a vanilla lover than a chocolate one, follow the exact recipe, maybe add more vanilla ( if you like) and you should be very happy. Next time, I would definitely increase the chocolate chips to 11/2 cups; maybe even 2 cups.


Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Recipe source: The Whimsical Bakehouse


2 sticks (I cup, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temp

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temp

11/2 cups sugar

2 tbsp. sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract ( I used 2 tsp)

4 large eggs, at room temp

21/4 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips ( increase to 11/2 if you like more)


Grease and flour a Bundt pan or two 9-inch round pans. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat well at high speed.

Add the sugar and cream at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix well at medium speed.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

On a piece of wax paper, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and beat on low speed until smooth.

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Bundt pan: Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out of the pan. Cool completely.

9-inch pans: Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes on wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out of the pans.

Fifty Shades of Grey Cupcakes with Fondant Toppers

Everyone is talking about Fifty Shades of Grey, aren’t they? I have not read the book nor watched the movie, but I was sure excited when these cupcakes with the toppers were ordered recently for a party. The toppers are all made out of fondant mixed with a little tylose powder. I drew the templates on a piece of cardstock and used that to cut out the neck ties, masks, and handcuffs out of fondant. The book and the keys were made by hand. The toppers were painted in silver food color diluted with a bit of vodka.


Marshmallow Flower Cupcakes

These beautiful cupcakes are decorated with marshmallows and sanding sugar…so pretty, don’t you think? Perfect for birthdays, baby showers, get togethers and in this case, the first Fiesta Friday anniversary at The Novice Gardener, co-hosted by the lovely Nancy@Feasting with Friends and Selma@Selma’s Table. Congratulations Angie, and thank you for creating this awesome platform for us bloggers where we get a chance to share and admire each other’s creations and ideas. Thank you!

Updated: You can see how to make these lovely cupcakes here. Sorry for forgetting to add the link earlier. 😦