Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Choc cornflake slice

This recipe is very simple and only takes 10 mins to put together.  The best part is that you probably have all of these ingredients in your kitchen already.   You can spread it with chocolate icing while the slice is still warm or wait until it cools, then dust with icing sugar - the choice is yours.  I like it both ways but my kids prefer it with icing (of course). The icing is simple to make and only takes 1 min so why not!

It is great to enjoy with a cup of tea or an afternoon snack for the kids.

Amanda xx

Without icing ..

With icing... 


  • 125g butter
  • 2 Tbspn maple or golden syrup
  • 1 ½ cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 Tbspn cocoa
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup brown sugar, loose
  • 1 cup cornflakes

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 160oC. Line a slice tin (18cm x 28cm) with baking paper.

Step 2 - In a large microwave safe bowl, add butter & syrup and microwave for 1 min or until melted together.  Stir to combine.

Step 3 - Add sifted flour & cocoa. 
Step 4 - Add coconut, sugar & cornflakes.  Stir to combine. 

Step 5 - Pour into slice tin & press down firmly. Bake in preheated oven for 20 mins.  

Step 6 - Remove from oven. Refrigerate to set then slice into pieces.  Optional ** while slice is still warm, spread with chocolate icing (see note below).

The easiest chocolate icing for this slice is to mix the following together:
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 Tbspn cocoa
  • 1 Tbspn warm water.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Rainbow cake

This cake is NOT quick & is quite fiddley but I had to share it as the results are AMAZING!! Follow this procedure & you can't go wrong  I made this for my daughters 3rd birthday and she nearly wet her pants when she cut it open. If I am going to be honest, it took me about 3 hrs from start to finish but for special occasions, it is worth it!

This cake features in my eBook 'Kids Party Food' which can be purchased for $5.95.

Amanda xx


• 2 pkts vanilla sponge cake mix + ingredients (eggs, milk, butter)
• Food colouring - red, yellow, green & blue


• 500g butter
• 1 kg icing sugar, sifted
• 3 tsp vanilla essence
• 2 pkts pink musk sticks
• 1 pkt coloured musk sticks
• sprinkles to decorate

Makes cakes

1. Preheat oven to 160 °C. Grease 2 x 20cm round cake tins & line the bases with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl, make up the vanilla cake batter.

3. Separate evenly into 6 bowls (approx 1 cup of batter per bowl) & add colour to each bowl until desired colour is reached. You will need quite lot of colouring to get the bright vibrant colours or the cake might look dull.

4. Pour 1 colour into 1 tin, & another colour into the other tin. Bake in preheated oven for 15 mins. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate the cooked cakes which will make it easier to handle when assembling the cake.

5. Repeat with remaining colours until you have 6 coloured cakes.

Make buttercream

1. In a large bowl, beat butter for 10 mins until pale & creamy. Add icing sugar & vanilla & beat until light & fluffy.

Assemble cake

1. Assemble cake by placing purple layer on the plate. Top with 6 Tbspn of cream & evenly cover the top of the layer. Place blue layer on top & another 6 Tbspn of cream. Evenly cover the top. You may need to use extra cream to prop up the edges if they are sagging. Repeat with remaining layers until the red layer goes on top.

2. Cover the entire cake in a think layer of frosting.

3. Place musk sticks around the cake & top with sprinkles.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Baked chicken salsa

This is perhaps the easiest dinner you will ever make, seriously!!  It almost seems like a non-cooking night when you make this because it only takes 5 mins of your time to prepare. My tip would be to not cut the chicken too thick as it will take longer to cook so keep your breasts reasonably thin - approx 1cm.  It is only a light meal so serve with a side salad & crunchy bread.


  • Spray oil
  • 2-3 large chicken breast fillets 
  • 2 Tbspn taco seasoning
  • 300g jar salsa
  • ½ cup sour cream to serve

Spray a deep ovenproof dish with oil (approx. 20cm x 30cm).

Slice the chicken breasts into half, lengthways to approx. 1cm thick. Place chicken into dish in a single layer.

Sprinkle over taco seasoning.

Pour salsa over the top.  Cover with foil & cook immediately or refrigerate until required. 

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 180oC.  Bake, covered, for 20 mins then uncover & cook for a further 10 mins or until chicken is cooked through.  Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken. 

Serve with sour cream.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Wholemeal, oat & berry muffins

I wanted a lunch box recipe that was healthy, simple and uses ingredients that most of us would have at home.  The end result are these wholemeal, oat & berry muffins.  It only uses one bowl (I love this fact as washing up isn't my favourite thing to do!) and the kids will love them, adults too.

WHOLEMEAL, OAT & BERRY MUFFINS (makes approx 17)

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • ½ cups milk
  • 2 cups self-raising flour (wholemeal or white)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 60g butter, melted
  • ¼ cup frozen berries
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line 2 x 12 muffin pan with cases. 

Step 2 - In a large bowl, add oats & milk.  Let sit for 5 mins.

Step 3 - Add flour & sugar, egg, honey and butter.  Stir until well combined.

Step 4 - Stir through berries.

Step 5 - Fill each muffin case to approx ¾ full. 

Step 6 - Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 mins or until golden.


Monday, 6 October 2014

Novelty cakes - My success & failures

Memories from my childhood include all the novelty cakes that my mum spent hours decorating for my parties which I think is the main reason why I love looking through the old Women's Weekly Kids Cake book.  It brings me back to a time when life was uncomplicated and fun.

Now I am making the same cakes for my own children and realise how long it actually takes to do a novelty cake. A BLOODY LONG TIME!!  I made a racing car for my son's first birthday (from the old Women's Weekly book) and made a total mess of it.  Luckily, my mum was on hand at the time and gave me some great advice "it doesn't matter if you make a mistake - just piece it all together & cover it with icing".   I think the icing was 2 inches thick on this cake.  I was also quite naive and thought I could decorate it on the morning of the party... ha ha!!  Thanks to mum again for insisting that I do it the night before because it took waaaaaaay longer than I thought it would.   The cardboard cut-out still cracks me up when I look at it! I still don't know if you could call this cake a success or a failure as it was a bit of a mess under all that icing...

When my life got busier I started to cheat a little in the cake department. Buying a slab cake was the way to go as it gave me a huge canvas to cut and mould to the shape that I wanted without joining together 4 cakes under a mountain of icing.  I still spend hours decorating them - with lots of love of course!

And the best part is seeing their little faces when they wake up in the morning and peer in the cake box.  It makes it worth the hours bent over the kitchen table sticking on smarties.

My cakes are always much bigger than they need to be - it must be the Italian in me!!

I have attached a few of my favourites which may inspire you (or make you laugh..). Take a look:

I love this cake of 'Bruce the shark from Nemo'.
For some reason I remember it to be better than it looks now but I still love it.  
My littlest man's first birthday cake. 

Hmmm.. I think you can chalk this next one up as a 'failure'.  My daughter wanted a pink pool but it looks more like a blood bath.  I also didn't have enough room in my fridge and stupidly left it out on the bench for a few hours.  When I looked at it again, most of the jelly was melted and it looked like a wreck.  I quickly made some space in the fridge and salvaged the jelly.  Lucky this cake was for our family only!!

This next cake is one that my mum made for my brother when he was young.  The quality of the photo isn't the best but you can see the little babies floating around.  

My family is MAD Hawthorn supporters so of course I had to fit a few Hawks cakes in here.  These are 2 that I have decorated for the men in my family that have turned 60..

When my dad turned 60, I tried to create a cake that was a replica of his newly purchased caravan.  Ummm.. it didn't turn out exactly like I expected but you can kind of tell what it is... can't you?? Not my best effort but the thought was there!

My daughter picked out this next cake for her 4th birthday.  She had been eyeing it off from the original Women's Weekly cake book for a long time and finally she could have it.  She took it to kindy on her first day and it was a hit with all her new friends.  The castle cake held fond childhood memories for me too as my mum made me one very similar that I got to take to kindy and share with my friends a LONG time ago.

Another one from the archives but how cool is this cake?  There was an old woman who lived in a shoe...  I still remember when I saw this cake for the first time and thought how amazing it was that my mum could actually make this!! Especially the pretty garden around the outside but you can't really see that in this pic as it is a bit blurry. Good on you mum!!  

This next cake I made whilst working on my 'Kids Party Food' ebook.  I had never made one before and it took a long time to get perfect but was worth the effort when my daughter cut into it.  Her face just lit up!!

When my step son turned 18, his present was a sky-dive and of course, the cake had to match.  
It was a massive cake and turned out much better than I thought it would.  I didn't have a plan, I just bought a slab cake and started cutting...

My final cake to share is a dragon cake.  I saw a similar picture on google of a dinosaur and turned it into a dragon with wings that I made from cutting out a cloth carry bag and stuck some wooden skewers in them to make them stand up.  My little man and all his friends absolutely loved it.

I have lots more cakes that I haven't added to this blog but I hope you have enjoyed looking at the ones I have included and that it may give you some inspiration if you are in need.