Valentine’s day usually slips by me unnoticed each year. My time is so valuableand with 8 children at home, I have to choose my party styling endeavours very carefully.Valentine’s Day comes hot on the heels of our wedding anniversary and just before our first birthday of the year, so I have conceded that I simply must let this love fest go. This year however, I was in for a pleasant surprise when some ladies in our church wanted to have a Valentine’s day party. I couldn’t possibly let an opportunity like this pass me by, so it was with reluctance and hesitation (not!) that I asked if they would like me to put together a small dessert table. I had less than a week to throw a few things together and bake like crazy for our sweet little vintage Valentine’s Day celebration. I enjoyed it so much that I think I might just have to squeeze it into my yearly party planning schedule.
Last week I was delighted to be a part of organising a romantic afternoon tea for a special young couple who were getting engaged. The groom- to- be enlisted my help in setting up a pretty tea table out in a wooded grove where he surprised his sweet girl and asked for her hand in marriage. As you may notice from the photos, the location was actually an old historical cemetery – not the first place you would imagine proposing to your girlfriend! But this grove was beautiful. It was a private, shady hideaway that oozed charm and character. The requested colour was yellow, with a distinctly vintage feel. The bride-to-be loves chocolate and peanut butter, and so the afternoon tea was a simple affair, with my own Chunky Monkey cupcakes, chips and dip (her favourite snack food), and peanut butter chocolate. Perhaps the most exciting element of the table was the placement of the engagement ring. I have an old silver dish with a lid that slides over the top. I tied the gorgeous ring with yellow string and laid it on a bed of crocheted doilies to be discovered by the lovely lady. It was all very romantic. For the props, I strung a few of my handmade doily hoops from the trees, along with some old timber frames and a yellow fabric garland. Other vintage props were scattered around the setting.
The stage is set. Stay tuned to see what happens next!!
Rum cupcakes. Chocolate rum cupcakes with rum caramel sauce. The mere mention of the name makes your mouth water. You will love these. Anyone with a penchant for alcohol in their cakes, and even those who don’t, will not be able to resist these grown up blokey cupcakes. Perfect for the man in your life. Enjoy xx
Rum cupcakes with rum caramel sauce
A decadent after dinner cupcake with a delicious dose of rum to satisfy the man in your life!
Welcome to the new look Mama Bear’s Kitchen. I am bursting with excitement to show you around my amazingly gorgeous, dear little blog. I made the big leap from Blogger to WordPress and while I am still finding my way around it all, I am jumping up and down with pure joy!!! I feel like I have been let loose in a cupcake shop! My incredible web designer Amanda, from Amanda Fuller Designs, has been the most marvellous, patient, understanding creator who has taken my scrambled ideas and turned them into a technical reality. She is fantastic. (Don’t you just love my slideshow!?) She has worked very hard to not only give me a visually appealing pretty blog, but now it will be sooo much easier for you all to navigate your way around it , follow me and most importantly leave comments and say hello! I know that many of you have had difficulty in the past leaving feedback for me. NO more!!! It is now easy peasy to leave a comment at the end of each post. Can I just say right now that I LOVE hearing from you and encourage you to drop me a line…You will make my day!! x
Of course I had to celebrate my new gorgeousness with cake. Pretty pastel vanilla bean party cupcakes were the order of the day. Nothing fancy, but a little bit of sweet indulgence to say ‘Hooray!’
There are lots of new improved features on my blog. The RECIPE INDEX is easier to navigate, with a print friendly option to save recipes. Be patient with me here, as I am spending many hours rewriting all of my recipes to put into this new format and they aren’t quite finished yet. All of my posts have a feature photo for easy access and you will find all of my vintage parties under the CELEBRATIONS tab. My beloved BABY SHOWERS are also listed on a tab at the top. If you want to get to know me better, meet my family and hear a little of my story, click on the MEET ANNA tab.
It is now super easy to follow my latest blog posts with an email subscription, or you can check out my latest Facebook post, Instagram pic or favourite things on Pinterest. Follow me on Bloglovin, or leave a message on the easy to fill out form on the CONTACT tab. Too easy! Now that I have a HOME page, remember to click on the ‘BLOG’ tab up the top to see my latest blog post and to follow my blog feed.
While Amanda has been a busy little bee creating my special happy place, I have been very busy baking, styling and snapping up all sorts of glorious cakes and sweet little dessert tables. Now that the new look Mama Bear’s Kitchen is up and running, I look forward to sharing them all with you. Thanks again for taking the time to look at my blog. It is such a sweet place for me to share a little bit of my life and all of my baking and vintage styling loves. Stay in touch and say hello. I would love to hear from you.
I am very excited about sharing my Woodland Christmas table with you. Our family celebrated together in late November before our oldest three left for missions. Months ago I decided on this whimsical theme and began searching for moss table runners, tree slices, berries and gold deer topped mason jars..(which I could NOT find anywhere on the web or in the shops until last week!!) Not to worry, I found some christmas decorations and spray painted them gold before gluing them onto mason jars.
I particularly love the personalised tiny tree slice name tags with moss I found on Etsy. My mother spent days boiling up an incredible christmas pudding, while I made a very rough and rustic spicy gingerbread cake with caramel peanut butter frosting and ganache. The guest favours were scrumptious nougat christmas puddings that my mother brought.
My son made all the dinner which was an orange glazed baked ham, honey maple roasted vegetables and greens. There happened to be a large hay stack near our table, (awaiting use as mulch in our garden), which served as the perfect prop for my timber pallet table.
We set up our long timber dining table outside under the tree to enjoy the summer sunshine with our family and hopefully create some special Christmas memories for our young children.
Nutty caramel cupcakes studded with roasted peanuts and chunks of Snickers bars…topped lavishly with caramel cream cheese frosting, more nuts, chocolate and a final drizzle of sweet, sticky caramel..
These cupcakes are not for the fainthearted.
But ohh…they are good.
Trust me on this.
Snickers Cupcake Recipe
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Line two muffin tins with cupcake papers. Recipe makes 18.
* Two eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup canola or vegetable oil.
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 cup warm water
* 2 cups plain flour
* 1 teaspoon bi carb soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 3/4 cups castor sugar
* 1 packet of 12 mini bite size snickers bars, roughly chopped
* Approx 1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
* In a medium bowl,using a hand whisk, combine eggs, extract, oil and whisk well.
* Add sour cream and whisk until well combined.
* Add warm water.
* In a separate bowl, sift flour, bi card soda, baking powder and sugar. Whisk to combine.
* Divide chopped Snickers bars in half, reserving some to add to the frosting. Do the same with the peanuts. Carefully stir in chopped Snickers bars and peanuts to the flour mix.
* Slowly pour wet mixture into the dry mix. Whisk until well combined. Use a spatula to ensure it is all mixed through.
* Spoon mixture into prepared cupcake papers, until each is about a third full.
* Using a teaspoon, drizzle a spoon full of caramel on the top of each cupcake.
* Bake for 18 – 20 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool before adding caramel frosting and extra goodies.
Caramel cream cheese Frosting Recipe
* 125g salted butter, softened
* 125g cream cheese, chilled
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* Approx 4 cups Icing sugar
* Dashings of cream
* Approx 1/4 cup caramel sauce
* Wilton Icing Whitener if you want your frosting to be white! I use this all the time. It takes the buttery colour out of your icing,giving you a more pure colour.
* In an electric mixer on medium, beat butter until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes.
* Add cream cheese and mix for another 2 minutes until well combined.
* Add Vanilla extract.
* Turn mixer down to low and slowly add icing sugar, a little at a time. Add dashings of cream as needed to keep it moist.
*Add Icing whitener if using.
* Slowly pour in caramel sauce, being careful not to make the frosting too runny. Add more icing sugar as needed.
Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and pile on the rest of the Snickers bars and peanuts. Generously drizzle the rest of the caramel sauce over the top…
Make a strong coffee, sit down and dig in. These are decadent!
Enjoy every bite! x
Caramel sauce Recipe
* Put 1 cup of brown sugar and 4 tblsp of butter in a small saucepan on low heat. Stir well.
* Add 1/2 cup pure pouring cream and keep stirring until slightly thickened, or about 5 minutes.
* Use caramel to spoon onto uncooked cupcakes, add to frosting and then to drizzle over finished cupcakes.
*Note. You may wish to put caramel in a small glass jar in the fridge to cool. When you want to use it, take it out of the fridge and place jar in a small saucepan with about an inch of water in the bottom. Stir caramel until it has become runny.
(Or you could use a microwave. I don’t have one, so I never think of that! )
You can tell someone has serious cupcake obsession when those scrumptious little delights become your babies.
It’s true. I spent every spare minute in the holidays lovingly tending to my dear sweet sugar flowers, ensuring every petal was painted, every pearl in place, caressing each delicate flower like a newborn babe. (Of course it had nothing to do with the fact that my baby is two and a half and my maternal instincts may be craving that insatiable longing to hold another warm, snuggly newborn of my own…)
These, my friends, are my babies!!
I admit I was showing some symptoms of OCD, as I fiercely guarded my precious babies all week….from wandering little fingers of the other wee babes in my household, who were curious to see what was possessing their Mama Bear and why she was huddled over the kitchen bench so intensely with cataclysmic warnings not to touch!! Believe me, this was no small task. My goal was to produce thirty delicate sugar babies flowers (plus spares for inevitable breakages), all in tact and ready to (reluctantly) hand over to my client by Friday. Of course, my life being what it is…well…my life, also included sick vomiting children, visitors and a multitude of needy children on holidays.
A master juggling act.
I was delighted to make these pretty cupcakes for an engagement celebration dinner. The only instruction was pink and white. I was on a mission. I knew exactly what flowers I wanted to make. They needed to be exquisitely pretty, delicate, completely opulent and seriously gorgeous with a hint of shabby vintage…LOVE..
What can I say? I just love everything about this cake. It is so simple.
The moose and bunting…….perfect.
My son Jesse faithfully assisted his pedantic mother trudge through snake infested bushland, scrimp under razor sharp barb wire fences, all carefully balancing my precious cake, props, blueberries, wooden stands and camera. Gotta love that.
This was a chocolate layer cake with cream cheese frosting and dark chocolate ganache.
Listen to the music and take a walk in the woods with me. x