Gentlemen's Cupcakes Take 2 (Happy cake day Liam)

Honey whiskey cupcakes

My previous attempt at whiskey cupcakes was a hit and Liam requested these for his birthday morning tea at work. So here's how they turned out after making a few refinements.
honey whiskey cupcakes with syrup

Making the cakes:

Once again I used a basic buttermilk vanilla cupcake batter with a few tablespoons of whiskey. This time instead of single malt I went for something a bit sweeter.

Making the frosting:

For frosting I used my usual cream-cheese vanilla frosting with some honey whiskey to taste. For my second attempt I had some pinspiration and added a syrup using a recipe from creative-culinary. I think the syrup was a success.

Say cheesecake (Happy birthday Liam!)

Continental (no-bake) vanilla cheesecake

It's my husbands birthday this week so this will be the first of a few cakes for the various festivities. For this cake Liam requested a continental cheesecake. He loves vanilla and prefers simple decoration.

Easy vanilla cheesecake

Making the cake:

I used this Martha Stewart recipe, substituting plain Digestive biscuits for the Graham Crackers (as these are hard to source in Australia). It turned out well, the biscuit base (and sides) were a bit uneven so this is something I will try and improve next time.


I used whole fresh strawberries (with the tops cut off) around the edges of the cake, with lightly whipped cream (with a little icing sugar for sweetness) spooned into the centre. For the chocolate finish I used a peeler to make shards from a block of Lindt milk chocolate.

fresh strawberry edging with whipped cream in the centre

Chocolate-on-chocolate (thanks & farewell April)

Chocolate buttermilk layer cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting

I love this cake recipe, it is decadent but the cream cheese frosting balances the sweetness of the cake perfectly - a perfect choice to say thank you to the lovely April who finished up at work this week.

Completed, frosted cake

Making the cake and frosting:

I used this Donna Hay recipe, but doubled the recipe as I had 20cm(ish) cake tins and just kept to two layers . In the past I have made the cake four layers (as per the recipe) however I needed to transport the cake in to work and more height = less stability and high chance of disaster!

step-by-step assembly and frosting

I used white chocolate writing fudge and some sugar flowers (pre-made) for decoration (my cake writing skills need a little work!).

Here is a pic (from a previous bake) with the four layers (it is super hard to slice the cakes evenly if anyone has tips on how to do this better I would love to hear from you!):

chocolate layer cake

Whiskey Swirls - the Gentleman's Cupcake (Happy birthday Mick!)

Whiskey Cupcakes

These were an experiment in making 'manly' cupcakes. My husband (a self proclaimed whiskey connoisseur) gave these a tick of tasty approval.

Whiskey cupcakes

Making the cake:

These cakes are a simple vanilla cupcake batter with the following modifications: buttermilk (instead of milk), four tablespoons of Glenfiddich 12 y/o single malt whiskey.

Making the frosting:

The frosting is a simple vanilla cream cheese frosting with an added teaspoon of Glenfiddich. I added a little yellow food colouring (but I only lightly stirred it through so that when piped it would give a slight swirl effect - I don't think it was that successful). The cupcakes are completed with a sprinkle of grated white chocolate.

Thomas the Tank Engine Cupcake Train (Happy birthday Zac!)

Thomas the Tank Engine Cupcake Train

This was a lot of fun to make, thankfully I had help with putting together the train tracks and icing the cakes. It was inspired by a picture of a similar set up a friend found online.

Thomas the Tank Engine Cupcake Train - finished product

Making the display elements:

The train is displayed on a wooden board, covered in a grass mat (this is something I already had) you could also use a tray covered in desiccated coconut (coloured with green colouring). The train tracks are made from black felt, attached with double sided tape. You could use liquorice for an edible version.

Making the cake:

The cupcakes are just a simple vanilla cupcake batter recipe. I made 30 cakes, but you could do more or less depending on the size of the party/display.

vanilla cupcakes

Making the frosting:

I frosted half the cakes in a basic vanilla cream cheese frosting (I like cream cheese frosting because it holds its shape well when piped, but isn't too sweet). The other half were frosted in sour cream chocolate frosting (basically melting chocolate with sour cream and butter and adding in icing mixture). The chocolate frosting tasted great but the texture needs further work (just like my chocolate skills!). You can decorate with anything tasty/pretty on hand.

vanilla cream cheese frosted cupcakes
chocolate sour cream frosted cupcakes

Making the train carriages:

While I baked and frosted the cupcakes the day before, I made the carriages on the morning of the party so the biscuits wouldn't be stale. The carriages are held together with icing (icing mixture and water) with Orio biscuits for wheels, lattice biscuits for carriage base and  cream wafter biscuits (cut to size) to support cart bases to rest on the board. Once the carriages are assembled the icing needs time to dry (in a cool room, but not refrigerated) before the carriages hold together (relatively) strongly.

Putting it all together:

This creation needed to be assembled after transport. Once on location the Thomas toy is placed on the board, along with the carriages. The frosted cakes are then placed on the carriages and "Happy Birthday' candles added.

ready for transport