The Easter holidays are here, and that means I can make an abundance of Hot Cross Buns. We love eating Hot Cross Buns in our house. My hubby and I love the traditional fruit ones. The kids love the choc chip variety. But whatever delicious bun it is, we love smothering them with a thick layer of butter.
If you don’t know what a Hot Cross Bun is, it is a spiced sweet bun made with sultanas or raisins and is marked with a cross on the top. Traditionally it is eaten on Good Friday but they do start to appear in stores as early as January. You can read more about the tradition of a Hot Cross Bun here. We do resist the temptation and don’t buy them until it is closer to Easter. It is hard, but they are worth the wait.
I love a good cupcake. They are the best when they are soft and fluffy, not too dry and just the right crumb texture. Sometimes I like a cupcake without icing on top but when it has the perfect icing and a sprinkling of a little decoration, they are a special treat.
Most weekends I always bake a batch of cupcakes. I enjoy testing new recipes and making sure that a cupcakes result is a perfect little patty pan full of goodness.
With Easter just around the corner, I thought a special little cupcake would be a lovely baking treat to celebrate the joys of Easter.
I came up with a light and moist vanilla cupcake with a special surprise inside.
As the school day comes to an end, and the kids have endured a hot day at school, I always like to make them a cold drink to cool them down.
A slushie is one drink that they enjoy and most of the time I use apple juice as a base. But when I attended the Bloggers BBQ I came upon another alternative that I could use and it sounded much healthier.
Can you smell this amazing cinnamon sweet bread? If only there were a scratch n sniff screen.
This yummy treat is Monkey Bread.
I made this for my kids during the school holidays.
Have you had Monkey Bread before? It is balls of dough smothered in a brown butter sauce and cinnamon sugar then after it has been baked you cover it in a sweet, sticky vanilla glaze. It’s delicious, gooey and oh so good!
You need to prepare the dough for this recipe the day before, and you put it in the fridge. Overnight it rises in the fridge so in the morning you just need to roll the dough into little balls.
3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream (or milk for a less creamy texture)
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir it around a bit and let it sit for about 2 minutes. Add the milk, melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes (using a dough hook if you have a stand mixer or using a hand mixer). By hand add enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. About 5 cups total.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Do not over-knead, which will yield a tough, chewy bread. The dough is ready when it is smooth and when you can poke it with a finger and it springs back. Form dough into a smooth ball and place into a large greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. I greased the bowl with cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Make the coating: melt ½ cup of butter in a small bowl. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon together in another small bowl. Set aside. You will use the rest of the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla later.
Spray a 10-12 cup bundt pan with cooking spray. I used a large baking tin and lined it with baking paper. Set aside. Punch the cold dough down very gently to allow the air bubbles to release. Pull apart pieces and roll into balls, about 1.25 inches in diameter. You will need 40-45 balls total, so be modest with their size. Dip each ball, one by one, in the melted butter and then generously roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat them. You may need more cinnamon-sugar depending how heavy you coat each ball. Arrange them in the bundt pan as you go. Cover the pan and allow dough balls to rise again for about 45 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 180°C/150°C fan forced. Melt the remaining ¼ cup of butter and whisk in the brown sugar and vanilla until combined. Pour the buttery mixture over the dough balls in the bundt pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cover loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly. Cool for 5-10 minutes and invert onto a large serving plate.
Top with the glaze. Simply whisk all of the glaze ingredients together and pour over the bread. You may either cut the bread into generous slices or let everyone pick off the gooey pieces themselves. Monkey bread tastes best served on the same day, but will stay fresh for 3 days if stored covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
So what do you think of this yummy gooey warm goodness?
My kids were hanging around the kitchen waiting for the Monkey Bread to cool so I could drizzle it with the glaze. You just want to make sure the Monkey Bread has cooled slightly as you don’t want the glaze to melt.
Monkey Bread is a pull apart of sticky bites of goodness. We devoured this warm, and we found it was best eaten on the day. And just a little warning: there might be some licking of sticky fingers.
I think these French Toast Bites have to be one of my favourite breakfasts at the moment. They are simple to make and just use a few ingredients. I used a loaf of home-made bread that I had baked the day before. I cut it into nice thick slices and then into bite size pieces. You cover them in an egg and milk mix then brown in a frying pan. Once cooked they get covered in a sugar and cinnamon mix. The first two bites didn’t make it to the plate as I had to test them!
A loaf of bread ( I used my day old home-made bread. I cut about 4 thick slices then cut them into bite size pieces)
3 large eggs
¼ - ⅓ cup of milk
1-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
Cinnamon and sugar mix
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup sugar
Slice your bread into 1 - 1.5 inch slices. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and ¼ cup of milk until combined. The mixture should be of a thick consistency. Pour in a shallow dish or plate, whichever is easiest for you.
On another plate, mix together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Soak the bread slices in the mixture for about 2 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a frying pan. Place however many slices of bread that fit the pan and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Melt more butter in skillet pan for the next batch, if needed.
Once each French bite is cooked, you can then transfer to the sugar mix and coat until covered. Then place onto a serving plate.
Serve immediately with butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, and/or fruit.
The kids had maple syrup and icing sugar on theirs while I added some fruit to mine. After everyone had finished breakfast, there were a few left, so I just left them out on a plate and every time we went by the plate one of us grabbed another one. They were very nice just on their own without any toppings.
I am going to be making these again soon, and I will take some more photos to show you how easy they are to prepare. I was short of photos for this yummy recipe as the school holidays was full of sleep ins and late breakfasts. The kids were very hungry the day these were made, and they asked “do you have to take photos, we are hungry!”
My kids love pancakes. If they could, they would have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A while ago when it was Pancake Tuesday, I made pancakes for dinner, and we had all the trimmings. The kids thought that was ace and have since requested when can we have that again!
I am always on the look out for a yummy pancake recipe. I have tried a few and have even tried putting together my own recipe. I know when the pancakes haven’t turned out as the kids will tell me that they weren’t that good, or they were better than the last pancakes I made. They are very good at telling me yay or nay. I have my own taste testers!
I came upon this recipe while looking on Pinterest and decided to give this one a go. Well, the pancakes turned out great. They were fluffy and soft. They rose quite well and tasted really good. We like our pancakes fluffy and to have a bit of height. The kids said that these were the best pancakes that I have made so far.
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl and mix well to combine.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs and milk together with a whisk. Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix until combined but do not overmix.
Then slowly pour in the melted butter and gently mix in.
The batter should still have lumps.
Heat a pan over medium-low heat and add ⅓ cup batter. Cook pancake 2-3 minutes on first side, until edges look slightly dry and bubbles begin to form on top. Flip the pancake and cook another 1-2 minutes.
Serve with maple syrup, some fresh fruit or whatever you fancy!
I love baking, it brings joy to my kids, my family and myself. The pleasure of making something for someone else and seeing them enjoy it makes me happy.
I have been baking ever since I can remember. I loved helping mum in the kitchen. We made lots of wonderful recipes together and always had something yummy for our lunchboxes. In high school, I chose the cooking class and loved it. I have always wanted to create my own recipes. And until recently I started to do so. The recipe today is one of my creations, and I am really happy with how it turned out. I made this Apple and Cinnamon cake on Sunday for our afternoon tea. My cake testing team sat down, and I sliced each of them a piece and waited for their review. They loved it! They all went back for a second slice. So, today I am going to share with you my own Apple and Cinnamon Cake recipe, enjoy!
The cake was a success! It was light and moist. There is a slight cinnamon taste which we loved. If you want a stronger cinnamon taste then you can add some more. The apple on top with the raw sugar was yummy. The kids even enjoyed the topping when sometimes they don’t want anything on top. The cake was really nice warm too. The leftover slices were still nice and moist the next day so a plus for the kid’s lunch boxes.
I hope you enjoy baking this cake as much as I did.