Winnie the Pooh Donuts

"Life is a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved."

Winnie the Pooh was a large part of my childhood, and as much as I loved it back then, a new found appreciation for the characters and stories grew as I got older. For me, revisiting childhood favourites is always an eye-opening experience, whether it is discovering new lessons on life and friendship, or finding traits of yourself in some of your favourite characters. 

Taking inspiration from the adorable Disney Tsum Tsum range, I created some unbearably cute baked cake donuts in reminiscence of those times. 

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BAKED LEMON DONUTS
Makes 12 medium donuts

Ingredients

  • 140g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 TBS lemon rind
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup self raising flour

    Lemon Icing
  •  2 1/3 cup icing sugar
  •  2 TBS milk
  • 2 - 3 TBS lemon juice
  • Gel food colouring

    Decorations
  • Almonds
  • Compound chocolate
  • Fondant
  • Gel food colouring
  • Black royal icing
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Directions
1. To make the donuts: Pre-heat oven to 175ºC fan forced. Sift the flour and set aside.

2. Whisk the egg, yoghurt, milk and vanilla in a bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, then add lemon rind. On low speed, gradually add in the wet ingredients and the flour, alternating each time.

3. Grease donut pans with non stick spray or oil. Transfer batter into piping bag and cut the tip off. Fill donut pans 2/3 of the way full, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Transfer onto wire rack and cool completely before decorating.

4. To make the Icing: Combine sifted icing sugar, milk and lemon juice in a bowl, and whisk until smooth. Using gel food colouring, dye icing into yellow, orange, baby pink and purple. These colours will be the base coat of the donuts. With the leftover icing, create small portions of hot pink, red and beige for the extra detailing; then place them in piping bags. 

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Winnie the Pooh
1.  Dip the pointy end of the almonds in melted chocolate, then stick into the donuts for the ears.
2. When the chocolate has dried, dip into the yellow icing, shaking off any excess. Leave on wire rack to set.
3. Pipe on a dripping effect  with red icing on the bottom section of the donut. Add sprinkles if desired.
4. Add on eye and nose details with royal icing.

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Tigger
1. Dip the pointy end of the almonds in melted chocolate, then stick into the donuts for the ears.
2. When the chocolate has dried, dip into the orange icing. 
3. Roll out yellow fondant, and cut out shapes for the eyes, ears, and nose areas. You can use a thick straw, small fondant cutters, or cut them freehand. Stick them onto the donut.
4. Pipe on eyes, nose, whiskers and stripes with royal icing.

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Piglet
1. Dip the wide end of the almonds in melted chocolate, then stick into the donuts for the ears.
2. When the chocolate has dried, dip into baby pink icing and leave on wire rack to set. 
3. Pipe on ears, nose, and the dripping effect onto the donut with hot pink icing. Add sprinkles if desired.
4. Pipe on eyes and eyebrows with black royal icing.

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Eeyore
1. Dip the pointy corner of the almonds in melted chocolate, then stick into the donuts for the ears.
2. When the chocolate has dried, dip into the purple icing, and leave on wire rack to set.
3. Pipe on ear details with hot pink icing, and beige for the nose section. Cut out the hair details with black fondant, then stick onto the top of the donut.
4. Roll out hot pink fondant, and using a small heart shapes cutter and a small straw, make a bow and place onto the bottom half of the donut. Add on the stitching, eye and nose details with black royal icing. 

Piglet: “How do you spell love?” Pooh: “You don’t spell it, you feel it.”

Piglet: “How do you spell love?”
Pooh: “You don’t spell it, you feel it.”

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“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

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Which Winnie the Pooh character would you be? Let me know in the comments below!

Lots of love,
Vickie x

 

Ama-sting Honey Shortbread Cookies

The first time I made these honeycomb shortbread cookies was over 2 years ago, not long after I began documenting my baking journey on Instagram. Despite the simplicity, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are still one of my favourite creations to date, which is why I want to share the recipe with you all! For someone who usually isn’t a fan of honey, let me assure you - these are worth the buzz. 

HONEY SHORTBREAD COOKIES
Makes 40 small cookies

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 165g butter (at room temperature)
  •  1/4 cup brown sugar
  •  1 Tablespoon honey

    Royal Icing
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Pavlova Magic/meringue powder
  • 5+ Tablespoons hot water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (or any other flavouring)
  • Yellow gel food colouring

Directions
1. To make cookies: Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then add honey until just combined. Gradually add in flour and beat on low until dough forms and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Form dough into a disc, and wrap in cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour. 

2. When the dough has chilled, preheat oven to 175ºC and line baking trays with parchment paper. Lightly sprinkle clean surface with flour, and roll out cookie dough to approximately 3/4cm in thickness. Using a small hexagon cookie cutter, cut dough to resemble honeycomb. Place in freezer to chill for 10 minutes before baking.
Optional: You can also cut out mini bee cookies for decoration. Alternatively, store bought or homemade royal icing bees work just as well.

3. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or when edges begin to brown. This will be dependant on size and thickness of cookies, so keep an eye out! Leave them on the tray until warm to touch, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating. 

4. To decorate: While the cookies are cooling, start on the royal icing. Mix the meringue powder and hot water in a large bowl on low speed until the powder has dissolved. Gradually add the icing sugar, and mix on low until combined; then add the flavouring. Beat on medium speed for around 5 minutes, or when the icing is thick and extremely white in colour. 

5. Divide the royal icing into 3 bowls, and dye them 3 different shades of yellow. You may need to add more water for a thinner consistency. Have a look at this guide by Sweet Sugar Belle for more information on icing consistency. Transfer icing into piping bags, then carefully outline and flood the cookies one at a time. Use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles or smooth out icing if necessary. Enjoy them as they are, or leave them out to dry overnight for the royal icing to completely set!

Lots of honey coated love,
Vickie xo

Nice Buns: Totoro Week Round-up!

So Totoro week has come to an end, and I couldn’t let this week go by without baking one more Totoro themed goody! I woke up bright and early this morning to whip up these soft, fluffy and adorable pull-apart buns - inspired by Bento Monsters of course. With a few adaptions here and there, I don't think they turned out too bad for a first attempt! They truly were just what I kneaded to complete the week ;)

I eliminated the sugar from the original recipe, adding honey and matcha instead! If you're in need of some high quality matcha, head on over here

To make the Susuwatari, I simply dyed the leftover dough black. The eyes are made from white fondant, and the details are all piped on with royal icing. 

The fun doesn’t stop here! Check out these links from some dedicated Totoro lovers:

Totoro-lly irresistible buns, black sesame toffee cookies AND pumpkin whoopie pies (say whaaaatt) from Totoro Queen Steph

Whimsical cookies by one of my favourites Lyndsay!

Syliva made these PEARFECT little pies

Kaitlin’s apple pie + the cutest TOTORONUTS from last year!

This Totoro katsudon by Emily is making me salivate

Matcha love,
Vickie x

Totoro-lly kawaii cake pops

It’s Totoro Week! If you’ve been following along on my Instagram journey, you’ll know I have quite an obsession with Hayao Miyazaki’s film My Neighbour Totoro. It was one of my favourites as a child, and still is to this day. Created by my talented Instagram friends: Steph (I am a Food Blog) + Lyndsay (Coco Cake Land), Totoro Week (which is totoro-lly legit) falls on the last week of October. It's pretty much an excuse to make Totoro themed food, and I'm not complaining!

Given my (slight) obsession, it only seemed fitting to make something Totoro related for my first tutorial on this website. Hopefully these cuties will whisk you away! 

TOTORO CAKE POPSICLES
Makes 8 cake pops

Ingredients

  • 600g crumbed cake
  • Frosting or ganache
  • Almonds (for the ears)
  • 400g white chocolate melts 
  • Black oil based food colouring
  • White + green fondant
  • Black cookie/royal icing
  • Popsicle sticks

Method
1. To make cake pops: Using store bought or homemade cake (I used my favourite white chocolate mud), crumb with a mixer or food processor. Add in frosting or ganache, one small spoonful at a time. The amount needed will be dependant on the moistness of the cake. With the right amount of frosting, the mixture should come together when forming a ball, but shouldn’t be too wet.

2. When the mixture is ready, it is time to mould the pops. You can either use a mini popsicle mould, or shape them by hand. Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and then chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. Alternatively, you can put them in the freezer for 15 - 20 minutes to speed up the process. Be mindful that the cake pops should be firm, but not frozen. This will ensure the chocolate won’t crack after dipping!

3. To decorate: Place the chocolate melts in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time until completely melted. Ensure the bowl is deep enough for the cake pops to submerge in the chocolate when dipping. Add black oil based colouring one drop at a time, stirring until you’ve reached your desired colour. You may be required to add shortening or vegetable oil to thin out the chocolate in order to make the dipping process easier. 

4. Taking a few cake pops out of the fridge at a time, dip the end of the popsicle sticks in chocolate, then slowly push into the cake pops. Repeat this process with the almonds ears. When both have set, dip the pops into the melted grey chocolate, gently tapping your wrist to allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Place on baking tray to dry.

5. Roll and cut out white fondant for the eyes and belly. I used a jumbo straw for the eyes, and a small circle cookie cuter (with the end cut off) for the belly.  Stick on cake pops using melted chocolate as the ‘glue’. Place black and grey icing into piping bags with a small tip cut off, then pipe on finer details such as the face and belly features.

6. Roll out the green fondant, and either hand cut or use a mini leaf fondant cutter to make the leaf for Totoro’s head. Stick on cake pop with a bit of melted chocolate.

One at a time, dip popsicle sticks into melted chocolate, then insert into cake pop. Do the same with the almonds for the ears and allow to dry.

One at a time, dip popsicle sticks into melted chocolate, then insert into cake pop. Do the same with the almonds for the ears and allow to dry.

Dip the cake pops in grey melted chocolate, tapping your wrist gently to allow the excess chocolate to drip off. When the chocolate coat is completely dry, roll and cut out white fondant for the eyes and belly. Stick them onto the cake pop with melted chocolate. 

Dip the cake pops in grey melted chocolate, tapping your wrist gently to allow the excess chocolate to drip off. When the chocolate coat is completely dry, roll and cut out white fondant for the eyes and belly. Stick them onto the cake pop with melted chocolate. 

Pipe on the smaller details such as the face + belly features with royal icing. Top off with a mini fondant leaf. 

Pipe on the smaller details such as the face + belly features with royal icing. Top off with a mini fondant leaf. 

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Thanks for sticking around until the end ;)

Lots of love and popkissles,
Vickie x

Looking Sharp

Aloe world!
I thought I would kick off this blog with one of my favourite cookie creations from this year. For those of you who aren't aware, I've been writing guest posts over at Brit + Co for the last few months. Included is the how-to for these vanilla bean cacti cookies, which may just prickle your fancy!

CactusCookies
Print by Honey and the Hive.

As this blog unfolds, I hope to inspire some of you along the way, and make you smile a little! 
Now don’t be a prick, share the cookie love ;) Head on over here for the full tutorial.

Lots of suc-cute-lent love,
Vickie x