Sugar free coconut flour muffins [+RECIPE]

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So I have another confession to make. I very very rarely eat what I bake. Believe me, it isn’t the easiest task to bake loads and maintain a low-carb diet. So sometimes I get inspired and bake for myself too.

I had been looking at coconut flour and coconut oil recipes for a while as a healthier substitute to good old flour and butte but wasn’t able to get my hands on coconut flour around here. And while I was in Vienna last week I had no chance to visit any awesome bakeries but brought back a whole kilo of coconut flour – happy days!

I chose an easy recipe for sugar free muffins which involved coconut flour and made a test batch last night. Kitchen smelled fab but… They looked nothing like the ones on the picture… See here for yourselves and compare to mine:

My sugar free, coconut oil, coconut flour and fresh cherry muffin

My sugar free, coconut oil, coconut flour and fresh cherry muffin

They did taste nice, but didn’t rise as much as expected and they were a tad too sweet for me. This could be because I changed a few things from the original recipe: I didn’t wait for the eggs to warm up completely; I used powdered Stevia (maybe the liquid sweetener works better for consistency); I replaced the melted butter for coconut oil – also not sure if this affected its fluffiness. And also I used cherries which probably have a higher water content than raspberries and blueberries. My experiments with coconut flour continue till I find the perfect recipes!

You can find the recipe I used on the link above but I will type it out for you here too with the changes I made. Please do shar your results if you decide to make it!

Sugar free, coconut oil, coconut flour and fresh cherry muffins
(makes 6)


  • 3 eggs (room temperature – important)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup powdered Stevia (or a little less if you like me don’t like overly sweet cakes)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2-5 Tablespoons water (see below)
  • ½ cup pitted and chopped cherries



Heat oven to 180° C. Line a muffin tin with 6 muffin cases – before that add a sprinkle of rice under the cases  in the tin (this will ensure that the cases don’t get too wet/soggy as it allows for air under).

1) Whisk the eggs until whites and yolks are well-mixed. Add in the coconut oil little by little while continuing to whisk. Add salt and vanilla and mix until combined. .

2) Mix the remaining dry ingredients — coconut flour, baking powder, and sweetener.

3) Mix the dry and wet ingredients together. Now whisk in water, one tablespoon at a time. The coconut flour will absorb the liquid from the wet ingredients like crazy. You want to get it to a consistency that will hold up the cherries, but not be too thick.

4) Mix the cherries with a spoon of the flour so they don’t fall to the bottom. Gently add them to the batter and divide among 6 muffin cases. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until just turning golden on top. I had to bake mine for about 22 mins as the cherries added extra moisture.

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Whoopie pies – whoop whoop!

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Is it a cake? Is it a cookie? Is is a pie? It is all of the above! It’s also pretty close to pure awesomeness.

This weekend I had a play date with a puppy so I simply *had to* bake. Not for the puppy, of course, but for his owners, who refer to my baked goods as (and I quote): ‘little pieces of Heaven’. Looking for something simple, yet effective, I stumbled across Jemma’s newest recipe online – Whoopie Pie Smiles. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! May I say, they came out perfect and took some time to make but were very easy. Have a look yourself:

Personal remarks: I doubled the recipe which produced 36 discs or 18 Whoopie Pies. I think otherwise it produces too little and it’s not worth the effort! My recommendation is to print 2 pages with 6 identical circles and place these underneath your baking parchment in the tin. Then pipe on those circles. Or try and be SuperMan and pipe exactly the same circles without a pattern.

I also used the store-bought Marshmallow Fluff – do not recommend it. I am not sure if it was the heat or the humidity or simply the texture of the fluff, but while it looked perfect for the first 10 minutes or so, some of my smiles ‘drooled’ quite a lot, which is to say the frosting leaked out and also it didn’t hold well enough for me to stack them in a tupperware.

Lessons learned: Next time, I will definitely make the frosting myself. And I am not sure if I will go for marshmallow, I think peanut butter buttercream will taste incredible in those and will also hold better. And I may lose the teeth. While they look pretty awesome, it did take me a while to stick all those tiny mallows on.

I am at the airport travelling to Vienna as I type so there may be a few days of no baking and subsequently no posts, unless I stumble across a bakery worth a report from far lands. Bis bald!

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Last weekend was full of baking and experimenting! And it was great (until the moment when my lower back decided I have abused it enough and left me rather crippled for most of Sunday but that was OK as I did really need a break)!!!

Our Scout group was holding a fundraising cake stall on Saturday morning so I prepared around 3 dozen of individual cookie bags and another 3 dozen of vanilla cupcakes with rainbow frosting. Ok, rainbow frosting was the plan, at least. What I didn’t take into account is that a) temperatures have been rather high around here for early summer (we’re talking 28 degrees Celsius) and b) no air-con in the kitchen. So the buttercream melted from the time I mixed it till the moment I spooned it into the piping bags. So they looked more psychedelic than rainbow but… it happens! I am still pretty proud as we were able to collect plenty of money for the Scout group. And don’t they still look pretty?

bake sale cookies and cupcakes

That same evening we were holding another fundraising event in a local wine shop & tasting room and I had set my mind on making wine-spiked cupcakes seeing as it was going to be adult only. The guys from My Wines had been kind enough to provide me with a bottle of mocha coffee flavoured wine – yum!

The cupcakes came out beautifully moist and rich and I topped them up with my favorite Hummingbird Bakery cream cheese frosting and little wine bottles made of fondant. What a treat after drinking plenty of vino! Recipe below.

red wine cupcakes

Red Wine Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (makes approx. 24)

Recipe taken from: Butter me up, Brooklyn (aside from frosting)

For the cupcakes:

  • 260g plain flour
  • 100g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 170g softened butter
  • 300g brown sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 355ml red wine (if you use a chocolate wine, reduce the sugar, otherwise you risk them being too sweet)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • red food coloring (optional)


For the frosting (by the Hummingbird Bakery):

  • 600g icing sugar, sifted (I normally put less as I don’t like the icing too sweet)
  • 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 250g cream cheese, cold


To make the cupcakes:
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl (I use my standing mixer’s one) beat butter and both sugars together until smooth (if using a standing mixer, use the paddle attachment). Add eggs and beat to combine, then add red wine and vanilla and beat until incorporated. At this stage, it will look weird but don’t worry, the dry ingredients will make it smooth again. Add these in several additions, being careful not to over mix. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners until they are 2/3 full.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for five minutes or so in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


To make the frosting:
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed (it will look like crumbs).

Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mins. Careful not to overbeat as it can turn runny quite quickly.

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I’ve just popped the second and final batch of strawberry and white chocolate cupcakes in the oven and am contemplating a midnight-ish run to the supermarket (yes, it will be nearly 10pm by the time cupcakes are done, and yes, I am crazy but a supermarket kind of nearby now works till 12am so who am I to not take advantage of these new working hours, especially if I so thoughtfully forgot to buy the cheese for the frosting). And while the magic is happening in the oven and because I don’t want my dear readers to get diabetes from only reading my blog, I thought I’d share the result and recipe for my first (savory) attempt for scones. The recipe is courtesy of a Marks & Spencer’s baking cookbook and if you are lucky to have tried the Marks & Spencer’s food, you will know they know what they’re doing!

Feta & olive scones


  • 400g self raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 85g butter at room temperature (+extra for greasing – optional)
  • 40g pitted black olives, chopped
  • 40g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
  • 85g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 200ml milk + extra for glazing

First preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius. If you have a baking sheet, grease it with a little butter. If not, line a tray with baking parchment (no need to grease it) – I used the parchment and it works just fine.

Then sift the flour and salt in a large bowl. Now prepare to get messy: You need to add the soft butter to the flour and mix with your hands until it all looks like crumbs. The add the olives, feta cheese and tomatoes and mix it all.

Start adding the milk, a little at a time, while kneading the dough. Your hands would be pretty sticky at this point, so pre-measure it (or call someone, if available, to help) in order to avoid having to wash your hands a million times. You need to have a soft (and not too sticky) dough at the end so knead until then.

Roll out until you have a 3 cm thick sheet of dough – don’t worry, it won’t be all nice and smooth. Cut with round cutters or if you cannot be bothered like me, in squares, about 5-6 cm wide. Brush with milk, put on tray/baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

Serve warm with butter!

Feta & olive scones

Not bad for a first attempt at scones, eh? Also confirmed by the speed with which these (plus a few more) disappeared!

UPDATE: Don’t you just hate it when you go grocery shopping with a game plan, aka shopping list, with the (apparently false) security that you won’t forget anything because you have a list only to get home, start baking and realize you didn’t put everything you need on the list???

Also, clearly I am the last person to get the memo that said supermarket no longer works till midnight. Or was there no memo for going back to 10pm closing time despite them heavily advertising the new working hours? I guess I will never know. But fact is, I just walked nearly 40 minutes to it and back, crossed a rather windy runway twice and came back without Philadelphia cream cheese.

On a different note, the petrol stations in Gibraltar which open after 10pm have an extensive selection of butter (I counted 5 different types in only one of them), it seems, but do not stock any cream cheese.

Buttercream frosting it is then. *Sigh*

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After a stressful day at work and an intense gym class, all I could do to relax was bake. I didn’t fancy cupcakes or cake though, neither could I really be bothered with biscuits, plus going to the supermarket for extra ingredients seemed like such a mission. But I came across a recipe for a 4-ingredient Nutella brownie. YUM!

I must admit, I did add a 5th ingredient (yummy peanut butter) and the brownies didn’t come out as sweet as they should but I learned from my mistakes so I will share the recipe so you can have fresh brownies with minimum effort in minimum time.

peanut butter and Nutella brownies

Easy peanut butter and Nutella brownies

Makes 12 cupcake-sized brownies


  • 1 cup of Nutella (I didn’t have any and used baking chocolate spread but it turned out not to be sweet enough so I recommend using Nutella or adding some extra sugar)
  • 1,5 tsp peanut butter (you can omit it as it wasn’t in the original recipe)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of flour
  • A handful of mixed chopped nuts or walnuts to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a mixing bowl, whisk the Nutella, peanut butter and eggs. If your Nutella (or chocolate spread) is too firm, warm up in the microwave for a few seconds. Add the flour and mix well. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases (or if you have an oil spray, spray the tin and don’t use the cases) and fill with a generous teaspoon of the mixture. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until they start cracking lightly and the tops have set. Don’t over-bake as the brownies will be too dry (forget that a toothpick should come out clean – in the case of brownies it should come sticky!).

Leave to cool for a while and enjoy!

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Courgettes have recently become my favorite vegetable to add to cake. Sorry, carrots! But since I’ve made mine award-wining cake way too many times since December, I wanted to try something new. Here I present a recipe for a lush chocolate courgette cake – this time the courgettes are rather unnoticeable taste-wise but they give the chocolate cake the extra bit of moisture any cake needs. Yum! Here we go…

Chocolate courgette cake with cream cheese filling


  • 4 eggs
  • 250g plain flour
  • 375g caster sugar
  • 350ml vegetable oil
  • 350g grated courgette
  • 65g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 100g mixed chopped nuts (or almonds or hazelnuts – according to preference)

In a deep bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda & powder, salt, cocoa and cinnamon. Mix well until it is all blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs lightly. Add to dry mix together with the oil and whisk everything together. If the dough is too thick, you can add a little hot water but I left it thick as the courgettes add plenty of moisture afterwards. Grate the courgette and add it to the chocolate mix. Stir in the chopped nuts. Butter and flour the sides of a 9-inch cake tin, butter and line the bottom of it. If you like, you can bake the 2 layers of the cake in 2 tins: just split mix in 2 but I like to bake one and cut it into 2 slices.

Bake in a preheated oven to 180 degrees Celsius for about an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

To decorate:
Split cake in two. Prepare THIS cream cheese frosting. Spread plenty between layers and ice the cake with the rest. Decorate as desired.

Behold the finished product:

chocolate courgette cake

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Strawberries have started popping up at the supermarket – joy! Especially for the converted cake eater I share most of my life with (besides when I am in the kitchen when he knows well he is to leave me alone!). Now, when we first started dating, he would never eat cake but would demolish any quantity of chocolate chip cookies you are stupid enough to give him access to. Whether the smells coming out of the oven have enticed him over time or my constant requests to try this and that and tell me if he likes it have changed his mind, I don’t know. But recently he has started voluntarily eating cake. Not all types, of course, but as he says: baby steps.

Seeing as it was his birthday yesterday (and his work colleagues had ‘gently’ hinted they are expecting cake, those greedy chops!), on Saturday I asked him what he’d like me to bake it. It didn’t even take 3 seconds for him to decide he wants his favorite strawberry and white chocolate cupcakes. I owe the recipe for the base to the Marks & Spencers book Sensational cupcakes. The addition of the strawberries and chocolate was a lucky hunch which has proven to be a success. I did two batches of the batter – one I transformed into a Giant, and the other turned into actual cupcakes. So behold, first a picture of the finished Giant which birthday boy took to work, and then the recipe!

giant strawberries and white chocolate cupcake

Light strawberries and white chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

For the batter (makes either 1 Giant or 24 cupcakes):

  • 60 ml whole milk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 225 g plain flour
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (or if you, like me, are never able to find it, skip it)
  • 190 g unsalted butter, softened (or if you, like me, forget to leave it at room temperature, melt it slightly in the microwave)
  • + approx. 300 g fresh strawberries (or cherries work as well but are more of a pain to pit) & 100 g white chocolate chip cookies

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 200-250 g of full-fat Philadelphia cheese (NB: At room temperature. The longer it sits out of the fridge, the better. Not 2 weeks though, please!)
  • 40 g butter
  • Icing sugar to taste (I don’t like overly sweet frosting so normally put around 100 g but up to you)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (fan oven: 150 degrees) or gas mark 3 1/2.

Mix the milk, egg whites and vanilla together in a medium sized bowl till fluffy and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients to blend. Add the butter to the dry ingredients (I prefer to melt it before as it makes it easier, especially in winter when room temperature is significantly lower) and half the beaten eggs. Mix slowly till everything is moist, then beat vigorously for 1 minute. Add the remaining eggs and beat again. Add chocolate and strawberries. TIP: Gently cover the chopped strawberries with a little flour – this will keep them from sinking to the bottom. Spoon the batter into cupcake cases which you have put in your cupcake tray (or fill kind of equally in a Giant cupcake mold which you have first buttered then sprinkled with flour) – you would need to fill the cases 3/4 as these won’t rise as much as others. Bake cupcakes 25-30 mins or Giant cupcake about an hour or even sligthly more, till they are golden and a skewer comes out clean.

strawberries and white chocolate cake


While the cakes are in the oven, beat the cream cheese on a high speed till smooth yet fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add vanilla extract and beat for a bit again. Then put the mixer speed down and slowly add icing sugar until the mixture has the proper frosting consistency (or you think one more sugar dust and you risk diabetes). Leave in fridge for at least 40 mins to set.

Once the cakes have cooled down, take the frosting out of the fridge and decorate. Voilà!

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Recently I was killing time at a train station in London when I saw a stand with Millie’s cookies. I am not the biggest cookie fan (you have probably guessed that I am more of a cupcake girl!) but I strolled over to check out what they had on offer.

Of course, my attention was grabbed by the cookie cupcakes and I bought one for the journey to the airport. Little did I know that they won’t be cookie flavoured cupcakes but would actually be made entirely of cookie dough! It was a revelation – soft, chewy, with a rich lovely chocolate buttercream on top and in the shape of a cupcake!

And finally I have decided to attempt the cookie cupcakes this weekend for the little cake picnic I am throwing this Sunday. I am, of course, using one of Martha Stewart’s recipes. Wish me luck – I will share the results afterwards (and even pictures if they come out looking presentable).

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Welcome to Cupcakes & Unicorns!

If you don’t like either of the above, please close the page now to avoid disappointment.
If you like at least one of them, you should be fine!

In my personal online space you will be able to read about my adventures as a wanna-be baker, find recipes and pictures of cakes, cupcakes and cookies I have made and hopefully have fun doing so.


P.S. Meet The Giant! One of my favourite cakes so far: chocolate and almond giant cupcake, filled with whipped cream and blackberry jam, topped with chocolate fudge frosting.

giant cupcake cake

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