Banana & Pecan Cupcakes

I know bananas are still pretty expensive right now. But if you happen to have a couple of well ripened bananas lying around, why not put them to good use in this lovely recipe.

Cakes

225g plain flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 bananas
115g butter, roughly chopped and softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 tablespoons sour cream
55g pecans, chopped

Lemon Icing

135g butter, roughly chopped and softened
2 ½ cups icing sugar
juice of ½ a lemon
25g pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 190C.  Line a 12 1/3 cup capacity muffin tray with paper cases.

Sift flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together into a mixing bowl, then set aside. Peel and roughly chop the bananas into a small bowl, mash with a fork and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in mashed banana and sour cream with a wooden spoon.

Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour mixture and chopped pecans.  Spoon a heaped tablespoon of mixture into each of the prepared paper cases.

Bake cupcakes in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool

Lemon Icing:

Beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Sift icing sugar over the top and add lemon juice. Beat until combined.

Spread icing on top of each cupcake and sprinkle with finely chopped pecans before serving.

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Blueberry & Lemon Syrup Cake

I do have a fondness for fruit in my baking. There are just so many flavour combinations to be made. This lemon syrup cake dotted with whole blueberries makes a lovely dessert. The warm lemony cake is nice and soft and sweet with the syrup soaked all through it.

225g butter, softened
225g raw caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
250g self raising flour, sifted
1 lemon, zested & juiced
25g almond meal
200g frozen blueberries

LEMON SYRUP
2 lemons, juiced
115g raw caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs until combined. Beat in the  lemon zest.

Fold through the sifted flour and almond meal with just enough lemon juice to give it a dropping consistency.

Fold 3/4 of the blueberries through the cake batter and then spoon it into the prepared tin. Smooth the surface and scatter the remaining berries on top.

Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour, until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Meanwhile, prepare the syrup: Add lemon juice and sugar into a small bowl and mix together. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick it all over with a skewer and pour over the lemon mixture.

Allow the syrup time to soak into the cake. Remove the cake from the tin just before serving, while it’s still warm. Cut the cake into squares to serve.

Cherry & Citrus Muffins

These little muffins are delicately fruity, with lemon and orange flavours and a crunchy top made from flaked almonds and sugar.  Each bite contains a burst of whole cherry which is just wonderfull, if you’re a fan of cherries like I am.

2¼ cups self raising flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup olive oil
½ cup milk
¼ cup sour cream
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1 orange, zested & juiced
½ cup caster sugar
300g frozen cherries

TOPPING

¼ cup flaked almonds
¼ cup caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole 1/3 cup muffin pan with paper cases.

Sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, milk, sour cream, zests, juices and sugar.

Tip cherries into flour and toss gently to coat.

Pour the egg mixture into the flour and cherry mixture and stir until combined.

Fill paper cases about 3/4 full of cake batter. Combine almonds and extra sugar in a small bowl, then spoon a little over each muffin.

Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes, until golden and tops spring back when gently pressed. Allow to cool in pan for 1 minute, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.