Sunbeam Cupcake Acadamy

** Advertorial **

It’s back to School with the Sunbeam Academy

Good Food and Wine Show is coming to Brisbane this weekend! (Nov 4-6) and with it, comes the highly popular Sunbeam acadamy.

Jump into the Sunbeam Kitchen and get your hands dirty in one of the delicious, hands-on classes while testing out Sunbeam’s latest innovative products.

Learn how to perfect the skills of professional cupcake baking and decorating at the Cupcake Making class or master the art of making espresso and texturing milk at a Home Barista Skills class


$35 – Cupcake Decorating

$30 – Coffee School

Please note – this cost does not include entry into the show. A Celebrity Theatre ticket will need to be purchased also to gain entry into the show.

Book tickets at the cupcake academy link –

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Choc Coffee Triple Layer Cake

I’ve been thinking about layer cakes a lot recently, with billowing clouds of fresh cream sandwiched between layers of sponge positively dripping with caramel sauce a particular favourite.

But then I came across multi-coloured layer cakes which presented a new, even better focus. I researched rainbow cakes, Neapolitan cakes, pink blush offerings that were all so very beautiful, but all owed their towering beauty to quite a lot of food colouring.

This got me thinking about natural colours and the idea for a choc, coffee, vanilla creation came into focus. But on investigating further, I soon realised that most recipes call upon three different cakes to be made.

Now the thought of spending a beautiful sunny Sunday whisking and beating and baking three separate cakes really did seem like far too much of a hassle and so a far more simplified version which required only one batter split into three was created.

Not on is it then easy to prepare but the layers bake in just ten minutes and bake flat so there is no cake dome to cut and flatten.

Nice and easy, job done and the results…not too shabby.


150g butter

15g vanilla

145g sugar

150g (3 large) eggs

200g self-raising flour

150ml cream

30g instant coffee

50g cocoa


250g butter

200g icing sugar

90ml milk heated and mixed with 15g instant coffee then cooled

130g dark cooking chocolate melted and cooled


Firstly prep three 20cm round pans by lining with baking paper – it will make the method a lot easier later on.

1, Start by whisking the butter, vanilla and sugar together until pale and fluffy then add in the eggs and mix well.

2, Next sift in the flour then divide the mix into three equal portions, (if following the recipe that will be about 200g each).

3, Heat the cream then divide it also into three – mix the instant coffee into one, the cocoa into the next and leave the third plain.

4, Mix one amount of liquid into each batter portion and mix. This will give you a chocolate batter, one of coffee and one of vanilla.

5, Spoon into the pans and spread across the base (it will be pretty thin).

6, Bake all three at 160°C fan forced for just 10 minutes then let cool.

7, Meanwhile, make the icing by beating the butter and sugar together until white.

8, Slowly add in the milk and beat well between each addition.

9, Start layering the cake together by placing the chocolate layer on the bottom, then spreading over a little of the icing before adding the coffee layer. Ice again then top with the vanilla cake.

10, Next, mix the cooled chocolate through the remainder of the icing and spread around the sides and top of the cake to finish.

This wonderfully moist cake would technically keep for a few days but I’m not really sure as it didn’t last 24 hours in our house. The only alteration I’d make for next time would be to perhaps use a swiss meringue icing instead, as with all the extra icing between the layers it did end up a little sweet for our taste (eg. you couldn’t comfortably eat two large slices in a row).





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Mocha Custard Creams

All the family has arrived which brings with it a definite change in routine. Breakfast, lunch and indeed afternoon tea are all now sit down affairs, as much for the logistics of feeding the masses as for the opportunity to stop, catch up and mull over memories past.

With that comes a need for vastly increased food stocks, (for us, namely pasta, prosciutto and green, green olive oil) along with plenty of delicious sweet treats.

So along with lemon tarts and an orange cake, we felt the need for something bite-sized, sinful and ultimately very chocolatey.

Cue these super-easy, one bowl biscuits that can be whipped up in no time and come with plenty of variations. Try throwing in half a cup of finely chopped walnuts, some glace cherries or flavouring the ganache with your favourite liqueur.

Also, these tasty morsels are made on custard powder which provides an almost shortbread-like crumb that works just so well to create a crisp yet crumbly biscuit. Topped with an indulgent choc/coffee ganache, they are (unfortunately) most moreish and perfect for eating with coffee for morning tea, after dinner or as a mid-afternoon pick-me up.  

250g butter

70g icing sugar

260g plan flour

70g custard powder

40g cocoa powder

1, Start by creaming the butter and icing sugar together until creamy.

2, Then add in all the sifted ingredients and mix.

3, Roll into balls, place on a tray and flatten then bake at 180°C for 12-15 mins.


To ice, mix 125g butter with 125g dark cooking chocolate and melt gently. Add in 45ml (one short black) coffee then let cool until it’s of a spreadable consistency.

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Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

I never really got Oreos. They were so huge in American pop culture that when they first arrived in Australia we all went a bit crazy, but to be honest they just didn’t deliver the super dreamy, creamy über chocolate hit I was expecting. Perhaps it was a case of massively overblown expectations but give me a Tim Tam any day.

So when the cookies and cream flavoured cupcake started doing the rounds, there wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm in the Australasian Baker test kitchen and any potential recipes always got filed away somewhere near the vegie soup ones (as opposed to the triple choc fudge layer cake options).

However this week we thought we’d give them a crack and needless to say, we once again kicked ourselves for missing out for so long on these incredibly moist, indulgent cakes.

Originally we played around with the idea of a chocolate cake base but decided that it detracted too much from the biscuits themselves and the whole concept of ‘cookies and cream’. So instead we went with a vanilla base that was loaded full of biscuit pieces and made on cream instead of milk for added flair. The icing too is cream based so doesn’t keep as long as buttercream but really adds a subtle flavour profile that just works sooooo well when packed full of biscuit crumbs.


115g butter

10g vanilla

110g sugar (½ cup)

2 eggs

130g SR flour

90mls pure cream

2 packets chocolate cream biscuits (around 300g)


375ml pure whipping cream

120g cream cheese

45g icing sugar (3 tbsn)

10g vanilla

10 extra biscuits, crumbed

To decorate: mini oreos – look cool but not essential


 1, Take six of the chocolate cream biscuits and twist them apart, placing one half in each of 12 baking cups. Break the rest into large chunks and set aside.

2, Next, cream the butter, vanilla and sugar together in a stand mixer.

3, Slowly add the eggs while beating on low.

4, Sift the flour, then add it in several additions alternating with the cream and stir to combine.

5, Then stir in the biscuit chunks.

6, The mix will be quite thick at this point so divide it evenly between the 12 baking cups (about 2/3 full) then firmly hit the tray a few times on the benchtop to settle the mix.

7, Bake for 15-17 minutes at 180C.

For the icing, whip the cream cheese until soft then add the cream, sifted sugar and vanilla and whip together until stiff peaks form. Stir in the biscuit crumbs and pipe onto cakes.



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Middle Eastern Flat Breads

We’d spent the morning making spicy, flavourful Merguez sausages by hand, an undertaking that was as satisfying as it was rewarding and one we decided that we should do far more often.

As they lay on the bench all trussed in neat little bunches (not as hard as it seems thanks to a few U-Tube videos) we decided that our handiwork was too good not to share and so invited round a few friends for an impromptu lunch.

This meant some good bread was needed and these little flat breads proved just the thing. With their shiny golden crust, soft white crumb and just a smattering of cumin they hinted at the exotic spices of the sausages but in no way overwhelmed or overpowered, leaving the tasty little meaty morsels to star.

As the bread finished off in the oven, we threw a little fresh salad, some Greek yoghurt and our sausages onto a platter then headed out to sit under the trees.

Cue a few cold bevvies, some relaxed tunes and our late lunch in the sunshine was what all meals should be made of.



840g white flour

25g salt

30g cumin, ground

15g yeast

30g honey

525g warm milk

Egg to glaze

Mix flour, salt, yeast and cumin then add honey and enough milk to form a soft dough.

First Rise: Work the dough for ten minutes then leave to rise until double in size.

Knock back then divide into 12 portions, roll each portion out then flatten to about 2cm thick. Brush with egg. 

Second Rise: 20 minutes

Bake: 220 Celcius for 15-20 minutes

Yield: 12 pieces


Comments { 3 }

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