A collection of easy and delicious baking recipes. Cakes, cookies, pavlovas, brownies … there is something here for every occasion! Included are birthday cake recipes and gluten-free cake recipes.

Strawberry Shortcake Cakes

strawberry shortcake lindor lindt

These mini Strawberry Shortcake Cakes have a light, fluffy (dairy-free) sponge filled with a mascarpone cream filling and fresh strawberries. A great recipe to enjoy in summer with seasonal strawberries. The following post is sponsored by Lindt & Sprüngli AG, but the content and opinions are my own. As a mother to two young toddlers, my idea of the perfect Mother’s Day would start with a few extra hours in bed, preceded, of course,

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Raspberry Scones with Homemade Clotted Cream

raspberry scones with homemade clotted cream

Light and fluffy raspberry scones which are incredibly easy and quick to make, served with a rich and decadent homemade clotted cream. There is a cosy but bustling café in Zurich called Babu’s Bakery & Coffeehouse which is a delight for anyone with a sweet tooth. As you enter the shop, to the left is a large wooden sideboard with an enticing array of cookies and cakes beautifully displayed on antique cake stands.

Custard Cream Biscuits

custard cream cookies

Soft and buttery Custard Cream Biscuits. These Custard Creams are simply perfect with a cup of tea. Custard Cream Biscuits It was Valentine’s Day recently and, like every Valentine’s Day in the past 10 years, I baked my husband’s favourite Custard Cream Hearts. He frequently asks for these cookies at other times of the year, too, but it seems that by the time I get around to making them again, Valentine’s Day would once

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Vietnamese Meat Pies “Pâté Chaud”

vietnamese meat pies pate chaud pate so

These Vietnamese Meat Pies (also called Bánh Patê Sô) are based on the French Pâté Chaud. They have a delicious pork filling seasoned with fresh Asian herbs and spices, and wrapped in golden puff pastry. Perfect for snacks or a light meal. Meat Pies Growing up in Australia, I ate my fair share of meat pies, especially as the daughter of a baker. Pepper steak pies were my favourite, with a layer of mushy peas under

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Applesauce Cake

A moist and flavourful Applesauce Cake. This apple bundt cake is popular in Switzerland and uses applesauce (or apple purée) to keep the cake moist and tender. Applesauce Cake Recipe Something the Swiss really love is applesauce (also called apple compote or apple purée); so much so, that it is an obligatory side dish to their version of macaroni and cheese. So when I came across a recipe some years ago for a

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Chocolate Chip Sablé Cookies

giant choc chip sable

These Giant Chocolate Chip Sablé Cookies, or French shortbread cookies, are the perfect snack with a glass of milk. Chocolate Chip Sablé Cookies Recipe We recently returned from our annual family retreat to Grindelwald, a small but popular ski resort in the Swiss alps. We have been going there since our son was a mere 1 month old baby, so it was somewhat awakening to accept that, this year, he attended ski school for the

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Vanilla Sponge Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

vanilla cake

This light and fluffy Vanilla Sponge Cake with Mascarpone Frosting is elegant and simple, and the cake itself is dairy-free. Top with any seasonal fruits of your choice, such as strawberries, raspberries, or even a mix of fruits.  Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas celebration and a wonderful start to 2017. What are your New Years’ resolutions?

Chocolate Pavlova with Chestnut Purée

mont blanc pavlova

A Chocolate Pavlova with Chestnut Purée, which is perfect at Christmas or any time of the year! An easy chocolate pavlova recipe which is a delicious twist on a Mont Blanc dessert. A great recipe using sweetened chestnut purée. Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas celebration with your friends, family and loved ones. Christmas in our home today started with a leisurely breakfast … until the children

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Walnut Cake

walnut cake

A delicious and moist Walnut Cake using seasonal walnuts, rum and honey. This simple cake looks stunning baked in a bundt pan. Seasonal Walnuts It is that time of the year again in Switzerland when the Advent is approaching and the children are becoming excited about meeting Samiclaus (the Swiss version of Santa Claus) on St. Nicholas Day on 6 December.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecans & Chocolate

pumpkin spice muffins

These Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecans & Chocolate are a delicious autumnal treat. One sure sign that autumn has arrived in Europe is the welcoming array of pumpkins and squashes at the farmers’ market. That and the fact that ballet flats are not the best choice of shoes anymore, now that the temperatures have taken a sudden dip.

Gooseberry Crumble Cake

gooseberry crumble cake

This Gooseberry Crumble Cake is perfect for highlighting seasonal gooseberries. There is a stand at the farmers’ market which I love and which often only sells two or three different fruits. It occupies a table which is barely more than a metre wide, yet there are always long queues of people waiting eagerly to get their hands on – what I think are – the best cherries and apricots in town.

Cherry Clafoutis

cherry clafoutis

This Cherry Clafoutis is a classic French dessert consisting of fresh cherries baked in a dense custard. You could also use apricots, peaches or blueberries. A Typical Day About three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, we head to the farmers’ market near our home to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. I avoid, as much as possible, going to the supermarket with two tiny tots in tow, but the farmers’ market

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Caramelized Beetroot Tarte Tatin

This Caramlized Beetroot Tarte Tatin is a delicious way of serving beetroots. Most Australians will have some memory of soggy lunchtime sandwiches. When I think of the sandwiches of my childhood, they were most often sliced multigrain bread filled with lettuce, grated carrots, tinned beetroot and a slice of plastic cheese. The beetroot always left a red stain on the bread, on my hands, on my school uniforms. And they almost always made the sandwiches soggy,

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Meyer Lemon Syrup Cake

A delicous and simple recipe for Meyer Lemon Syrup Cake I first came across the Meyer lemon when we were living in the US. I had frequently seen mention of them in American cookbooks and magazines, but I never really paid much attention until I saw them one day at the grocers. I bought them to use in place of normal lemons for a dish later that night, and upon slicing into the

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Dinosaur Cake

dinosaur cake betty crocker

A fun recipe for a Dinosaur Cake using a Sour-Cream Chocolate Cake & Betty Crocker template. Dinosaur Cake This year was the first time my son was really excited about his birthday. And the moment I announced that we would be having a little birthday party for him, he immediately asked for a green dinosaur cake as an hommage to his favourite character, George, from Peppa Pig.

Waffles with Salted Caramel Sauce

Easy to make Waffles with a quick Salted Caramel Sauce. Today was a grey and gloomy day in Zurich, which meant the only reasonable thing to do was to stay indoors and make waffles with salted caramel sauce for lunch. That’s right – lunch. With the rain drizzling outside and temperatures nearing frosty, neither my husband and I were willing to venture outside for provisions. A quick inventory of the fridge and pantry revealed

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Chocolate Coconut Cake

chocolate coconut cake

A delicious Chocolate Coconut Cake worthy of a celebration or a simple afternoon tea. Chocolate Coconut Cake “Why another recipe for chocolate cake?”, you might ask. For nearly a decade now, I thought I had found THE chocolate cake recipe, namely Nigella Lawson’s Sour Cream Chocolate Cake, which has been my faithful go-to chocolate cake recipe for every occasion from birthday parties to moments where I simply felt that chocolate cake was the

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Plum Jelly with Elderflower Chantilly

A delightful Plum Jelly with Elderflower Chantilly, perfect for summer nights. I have a soft spot for jellies and make them more often than my husband would like. In fact, he only recently confessed that he was not so fond of this wibbly wobbly dessert. In his family, they often make fun of British desserts and I recall someone once receiving a packet of jelly crystals at Christmas as a joke. I didn’t

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Salty Honey Pie

Try this utterly addictive Salty Honey Pie recipe from the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. My husband and I recently welcomed our baby daughter into the world, a beautiful bundle of joy who loves to sleep but who is still mastering the art of how to do it well. Some days are better than others, and some nights are better than others.

Galette des Rois with Apples

A twist on a traditional Galette des Rois using hazelnuts and apples. I have always wanted to make a Galette des Rois for the Epiphany and finally plucked up the courage today. In France, it is a cake which is traditionally eaten on 6 January, although some shops and bakeries make the most of this event by selling them up to a few months before the big date. But like any seasonal treat,

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Merry Christmas! My Christmas Feast for 2014

Merry Christmas everyone! It is a rare occasion for us to celebrate Christmas in Zurich, a rather welcome change as it has given me the opportunity to cook on Christmas Day, something which might prompt fear and dread in most people but has instead filled me with glee as the Christmas season started to approach.

Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cookies

Spice up the Christmas cookie jar with these Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cookies. I love baking at this time of the year. With the scent of cakes and bakes heady with cinnamon and ginger wafting from the kitchen, you can really start to feel Christmas in the air. And what better way to kick off the festive season than with a batch of homemade gingerbread cookies?

Madeleines with Lemon Curd

Madeleines with Lemon Curd, a delicious madeleine recipe from Rachel Khoo from The Little Paris Kitchen. Madeleines with Lemon Curd I am rather surprised that it has taken me this long to try this popular madeleine recipe from Rachel Khoo. In my defence, I already had a madeleine recipe to which I have been faithful to for many years, plus I felt that Rachel’s recipe was a bit fiddly for me. And with

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Cheesecake Pots with Plum Compote

Divine Cheesecake Pots with Plum Compote, perfect for entertaining. You may have noticed my sporadic presence online over this summer and I think I must, unfortunately, now call an end to what was nicknamed a “summer break” but was more a sofa-slumped summer due to the soggy weather which prevailed. I kept waiting for the hot summer sun to beckon me into one of my new summer dresses but, much to my husband’s

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Pecan Spice Cake

A deliciously addictive Pecan Spice Cake from Tupperware. Once upon a time, I had a terrible Tupperware addiction. Tupperware simply appealed to the Martha Stewart in me, the part of me which dreamt of cupboards filled with colour-coordinated containers, neatly stacked and labelled so that everything had its own special home.

Cheese Bread

How to make these tasty Cheese Bread rolls from scratch with these step-by-step photos. This recipe uses Parmesan, Gruyère and Cheddar, but you can use any of your favourite cheeses. One of my favourite snacks when I lived in Australia were cheese scrolls from the local bakery. In fact, as a child of parents who ran a busy Vietnamese bakery, I often lived for the moment when the cheese scrolls came fresh out

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Burnt Cream with Prunes

Comforting Burnt Cream with Prunes, quick and easy to make. I think Rachel Khoo has a thing for prunes, and I’m not complaining. As someone who has a general aversion to dried fruit in baking, I make an exception for prunes. Some recipes which I have recently attempted with much success from her latest cookbook, My Little French Kitchen, include the Kugelhopf with Prunes & Armagnac and Custard Tarts with Prunes.

Chocolate Éclairs

How to make Chocolate Éclairs with a chocolate pastry cream filling at home from scratch. Recipe with step-by-step photos. Chocolate Éclairs You may or may not have noticed from my photos on Facebook and Instagram that I have a weakness for éclairs. Chocolate éclairs filled with chocolate cream are my favourite and, oddly enough, my son loves the coffee-flavoured ones!

Custard Tarts with Prunes

These Custard Tarts have a caramelised pastry for extra crunch and sweetness. A big, big thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway to win a copy of Rachel Khoo’s latest cookbook, My Little French Kitchen. The response was fantastic and I loved reading everyone’s entries on their favourite French food. The entries made me realise how far-reaching and popular French food really is; from the simple baguette loaf and famous croissant to

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Blueberry Lemon Cake

A delicious recipe for Blueberry Lemon Cake using crème fraîche, sour cream or natural yoghurt to produce a fluffy and moist cake. Bake it in a bundt tin to make it extra special! Blueberry Lemon Cake Strangely, I have always associated blueberries with muffins. And pancakes. Of course, you can eat them just as they are, as nature intended, but I’m sure most of us are more acquainted with blueberries in cakes and

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Mini Cheesecakes with Passionfruit & Raspberries

These no-bake Mini Cheesecakes with Passionfruit & Raspberries are super easy to make. Each glass is layered with crushed digestive biscuits, a luscious and creamy cheesecake filling, and topped with seasonal fruits. A fancy but simple dessert. This is the ultimate “minimum effort, maximum effect” dessert. Served in little pretty glasses, these deconstructed cheesecakes will fool your guests into thinking that you have been labouring away in the kitchen Top Chef-style when, actually, they

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Mushroom Tarts

These bite-sized Mushroom Tarts have a flavoursome mushroom filling with a golden puff pastry base. They are perfect for entertaining and would delight both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. We are hosting a small cocktail party this weekend or, as they call it in Switzerland, an apéro, where the evening will be fueled by lots of small canapés and finger food. Hubby is rather excited by all of the possible wine pairings and I

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Lemon Curd Tarts

Delightful no-bake Lemon Curd Tarts made with crushed speculoos or digestive biscuits and topped with a homemade lemon curd. A simple but spectacular looking dessert! When I think of lemon tarts, I think of the French classic, tarte au citron. However, the following recipe happens to be inspired by the lemon curd of the English kitchen. A lemon tart is traditionally made with a shortcrust pastry base and filled with a tart lemon custard, and which

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Lemon Drizzle Friands

Recipe for Lemon Drizzle Friands with step-by-step photos. Friands are similar to the French financiers and are made with ground almonds and egg whites for a light and fluffy cake.  Leaving Australia It has been roughly seven years since I made the bold decision to quit my job in Australia, electing to become unemployed and to take a chance at life on the other side of the world. At the time, it was one of

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Lamington Madeleines

These Lamington Madeleines (or Madelamingtons) are a cute Australian twist on a French classic. Light and fluffy madeleines dipped in chocolate and then sprinkled with coconut. Recipe with step-by-step photos. Lamington Madeleine As an Australian married to a Frenchman, could there be a more perfect cake to represent the union of our two cultures than the madelamington, a French madeleine dressed up as an Australian lamington? No, I didn’t come up with this

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Christmas Cupcakes to Celebrate Baby’s First Christmas

My husband and I are delighted to announce the arrival of our first child, a healthy and bouncing little boy, in late November. He has inherited his mother’s love for sleep and eating, except, of course, his mother has been doing little of either in recent weeks 😉 In preparation for his arrival, I had lined up several posts in readiness for publishing on this blog in the coming months, but pregnancy is

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Fruit Loaf

fruit loaf

Fruit Loaf recipe with step-by-step photos. This easy and delicious Fruit Loaf is perfect at breakfast, whether served warm or toasted. A great base recipe and you can add different types of dried fruits and spices. Fruit Loaf Growing up in Australia, a typical breakfast for me before heading to school was either a bowl of Weetbix, some toast smeared with butter and Vegemite, or some toasted fruit bread with a generous slather

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Tomboy Cake

I recently offered to help out at a kid’s birthday party and somehow ended up with the task of making the actual birthday cake. My first thought was to make Nigella Lawson’s Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake, a simple two-tiered chocolate cake covered in a thick, chocolate frosting with maybe some (shop-bought) sugar flowers for decoration. Simple. I had made this cake many times before and knew it to be a very reliable recipe.

Lemon Syrup Cake

Step-by-step photos on how to make a bright and zesty Lemon Syrup Cake which is moist and bursting with lemon flavour. This easy lemon cake recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson. MasterChef Australia Having been glued to the screen the last few months watching MasterChef Australia, I’m not sure if I should be relieved or depressed that the show is now finished. What am I going to do with all of this time now??

Apple Crumble Cake

A delicious Apple Crumble Cake which combines the best of both worlds – a comforting apple crumble with a tender apple cake. Apple Cake We go through a lot of apples in our home. I am the first to admit that they are not the most exotic fruit, but they are available year round and it is hard to dispute the convenience of having apples in the fruit bowl.

Tahini Cookies

tahini almond cookies

These delicious Tahini Cookies are a perfect way to use up a tub of tahini! Recipe with step-by-step photos. Tahini Cookies I was first introduced to these Tahini Cookies by my work colleagues who travelled frequently to Israel to visit their friends and family.

Chicken Curry Puffs

A simple recipe for baked Chicken Curry Puffs. Curry Puffs A visit to most Chinese restaurants will reveal curry puffs on the appetiser menu and I always have a soft spot for anything wrapped in pastry. I could sometimes quite happily forego the main dish and just sit down to a huge serving of curry puffs!

Chocolate Chip Chouquettes

A delicious recipe for Chocolate Chip Chouquettes, adapted from David Lebovitz. While working in the outer suburbs of Chicago in the last few years, I often found myself at a Barnes & Noble or Borders bookstore during lunch, not only because I have a fondness for bookshops but mostly because I discovered that living and working in Switzerland had had a big influence on my lunch-time eating habits. Unlike the Australians and Americans

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Bacon and Cheese Savoury Cake

A delicious Bacon and Cheese Savoury Cake, or a no-yeast savoury bread, which is perfect for serving alongside soups or on picnics. Delicious served warm or cold. I love savoury cakes and this particular recipe is a firm favourite of mine. Given my New Year’s resolution to cook more vegetarian food, this has frequently been in the form of vegetable soups. After several days of eating rich food like Swedish Meatballs or Boeuf

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Rhubarb Compote

Rhubarb compote, or stewed rhubarb, is perfect for serving at breakfast with a dollop of yoghurt, or baked in a crumble for a delicious dessert. Rhubarb Compote (Stewed Rhubarb) I always look forward to seeing the vivid pink of the forced rhubarb at this time of the year, its season generally lasting from January to March in the northern hemisphere. After this time, the more common rhubarb can be found in abundance with

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Gooey Chocolate Cakes with Nutella

Easy to make Gooey Chocolate Cakes filled with Nutella and raspberries, perfect served warm or cold. Gooey Chocolate Cakes with Nutella I have a weak spot for any recipe which contains Nutella. Although it is a welcome comfort just on its own, spoon directly in the tub, I find it equally irresistible in baked goods. Take the Madeleines with Nutella, as an example.

Custard Cream Hearts

custard cream hearts

Having had a frantic past couple of days, I had to re-prioritise a few things in order to squeeze in a spot of last minute Valentine’s Day baking for hubby. On my list of things to do today, Valentine’s Day sat up there with “Advise on price sensitivity of Project X”. For a day which only comes around once a year, I didn’t want to miss out on the festivities, even if I

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Cheesy Hearts

Cheesy Hearts, the perfect savoury biscuits for Valentine’s Day. I often approach Valentine’s Day with mixed emotions. Once upon a time, when I was a singleton, I would stay sofa-bound at home in front of the telly, à la Bridget Jones. But instead of wailing to Céline Dion on the karaoke machine, I would watch back-to-back murder mysteries, stuffing my face with all of my favourite junk foods, thinking all the while how

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