CUPCAKE Bonanza! Basic,  Dairy free, Banana, GF cupcakes

This photo is the banana cupcake. 

This recipe is my “go to” cupcake recipe:

Cupcake Recipe 

125g butter

1 teaspoon vanilla 

3/4 cup sugar 

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups SR flour 

1/2 cup milk 

Mix until just combined,  bake in moderate oven about 12 minutes (until just starting to brown and skewer comes out clean).

I fill about 2/3 of each pan.

For extra fun add a teaspoon or so of coloured sprinkles at the last moment and barely mix through by hand (or the colours will bleed out).  

Dairy Free version

125g nuttlex spread

1 teaspoon vanilla 

3/4 cup sugar 

1 eggs

1 1/2 cups SR flour 

270ml coconut milk 

Mix until just combined,  bake in moderate oven about 12 minutes (until just starting to brown and skewer comes out clean).

I fill about 2/3 of each pan.

I reduced the egg as one guest is only just starting to eat egg. 

They must have been nice as I didn’t even get to ice them before they were all eaten! 

Banana cupcakes 

125g butter

1 teaspoon vanilla 

3/4 cup sugar 

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups SR flour 

1/2 cup milk 

Throw 2 soft bananas into the mix. 

Mix until just combined,  bake in moderate oven about 12 minutes (until just starting to brown and skewer comes out clean).

I fill about 2/3 of each pan.

GF cupcakes 

I have made the standard recipe using GF SR flour with successful results. I prefer white wings GF flour.
Not sure if you could make the dairy free version GF also. I suspect it would work.  Although adding banana… Might push it too far. 

Custard recipe for lazy people


You know my white sauce?  Concept is adaptable to custard.

2 tablespoons of custard powder

4 tablespoons powdered milk

1 tablespoon of sugar (or less to taste)

2 cups boiling water

Mix in 4 cup measuring jug suited to the microwave. 

Microwave 1 minute on high. Mix for about 30 seconds and watch it transform before your eyes  Done! 

  • If you’ve over done the water cook longer. 
  • If it’s too thick,  add a little water. 

Told you it was easy. 

Toddler Vitamin C smorgasbord lunch

Toddlers are often picky beasts.
What they loved yesterday may be rejected the next day.  Smorgasbord style lunches work well as there are smaller quantities of (hopefully) favoured foods.

Today I’ve offered lots of vitamin C rich foods as we’re sick here and it’s a cold rainy winter day.  I’ve included a serve of dairy, a carb and protein with ham and her beloved cocktail Frankfurts.

This type of lunch is highly recommended for packed lunches.  Cocktail sized bite sized pieces allow quick eating for on the go children. 

Other suggestions include sultanas, boiled egg,  slices of apple or pear,  orange or mandarine segments,  a handful of seeds or nuts (for older children-substitute a nut butter for younger children), left over roasted vegetables sliced or diced, cucumber,  snowpeas,  capsicum slices,  carrot and change up with a variety of breads including wraps,  crackers or even left over pasta pieces. 

15 minute pizza dough

I’m going to review this recipe.

I had been busy attaching flowers to her meadow fairy jumper and realised it was ten to six!  Ooops.  So much for making pizza from scratch…or so I thought! 

This recipe promised a 10-15 minute rise and by golly it delivered.  We’d finished eating just after 7.

By far the easiest dough I’ve made from scratch. 

Pros: very very quick, cooked evenly,  puffy texture,  enough for one pizza base. I tried the suggestion on comments and added Italian herbs to the dough which was yummy. 

Cons: slight yeasty flavour compared to a longer rise dough but not badly enough to reject it. 

Tonights toppings: chicken,  olives,  red capsicum, onion and an entire avocado. Cheese of course! 

You can see the texture below. It was firm enough to hold up the toppings but not so firm you needed a chisel to cut it. 

Toddler pasta dinner in a hurry

That night when you suddenly realise they’re super tired and they need to go to bed before they fall asleep without food. 
This pasta “go to” meal is a quick dish I’ve made many times with variations over the years for all four of my children. 

Pasta part 

  • Water for boiling
  • Pasta (make however much you need,  1 cup is my suggestion for 4 generous child serves.  (Other noodles such as penne,  shells and spirals all work,  macaroni is just quicker I find).
  • 1 egg per child (optional) 
  • 1/2 carrot cut into small dices (you can use small diced pumpkin about the size of an icecube, parsnip finely diced,  sweet potato icecube sized dices)

Start by bringing the water to boil with an egg per child in the water (optional- but remember you can use the egg as a ready to eat snack the next day). Add macaroni noodles. 

As you bring the pasta and water to the boil quickly dice up half a carrot,  add to boiling water. Cook pasta as directed on the pasta packet.  Around 10 -12 minutes is typical.

If you’re very time poor add frozen mixed veggies to the pasta and skip the veggies in the next section,  add them to the boiling pasta water in the last 4 minutes. 

Cheese sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons diced red capsicum 
  • 1 stalk diced celery

Other veggies that work at this part of the recipe include finely diced zucchini, finely diced squash)
Yes,  everything is diced this is quicker to cook and children are less likely to pick it out.

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 

Throw the butter,  diced onion, capsicum and celery into a large glass measuring jug which is microwave suitable.  Cook on high for 4 minutes. 

Mix in:

  • 3  tablespoons plain flour 
  • 4 tablespoons powdered milk 

It will look lumpy and disgusting. Stay with me….  

  • Cocktail Frankfurts (if you want meat but don’t have Frankfurts add diced ham or a tin a tuna to the cheese sauce) 
  • Corn kernels tinned or frozen (amount to suit your palette) eg 1/4 cup. Alternatives or additions at this part of the recipe include frozen peas,  spinach, herbs,  snow peas sliced smaller, frozen beans 

Check the pasta is pretty well ready.  If you want cocktail Frankfurts add to the boiling water for a few minutes.  Like …2 minutes…or at least before they burst open.  Also add the corn now.

Now the trick… 
Drain a little water from the pasta into the cheese sauce jug… Stirring… Add more until the sauce is as thick as a thick custard.*

 (*if you’re very time pressed,  add the cheese while it’s “too thick” so the cheese melts,  then make up to desired thickness using cold water to cool the sauce).  

Now add:

  • Grated cheese 1/2 cup (I freeze pre grated cheese for quick availability) 

Now use a pasta server to take out your egg/s. Set aside. (If you’re very time pressed run pasta and veggies under cold water to cool it down.) Drain off any excess liquid.  Add the sauce to the pan and mix through. 

Put the eggs into the jug (don’t stress about the sauce it’s on the shell!)  add cold water.  Shell and dice if using or set aside for another meal. 

“Style” your meal.  My toddler likes olives as her garnish. I added the quarter egg pieces and the Frankfurts.

This was her verdict “yummy”.