Honey Vanilla Beehive Cupcakes

Happy Friday! The weekend is finally here and with it some beautiful sunshine and blue skies. The bright cheeriness outside on my way home from work today reminded me of these bright cheery Honey Vanilla Beehive Cupcakes that I had promised to share with you ohhhh about a month ago! Bad me, but I'm doing it now, that's what counts right?
I made these for the Winnie the Pooh baby shower I threw for my sister and her new baby Preston. You can read more about the baby shower, the food and the decorations here if you're interested! People at the shower went nuts for these things! I received compliment after compliment about how good they were, so hopefully you like them too.
Before you ask, no I didn't make the cute little bees on top of them (though you could do it yourself if you have time, patience and are good with fondant) - I bought these little sugar bees from Scoop n' Save in Langley for a super reasonable price (that's also where I found the adorable cupcake wrappers and the food colouring to make my icing that bright!!!).

Honey Vanilla Cupcakes
Minimally adapted from Half Baked - the Cake Blog

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
For the frosting:
  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 4 oz island farms cream cheese (or other cream cheese, softened)
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • yellow food colouring (if desired)
  • yellow sanding sugar
see below next picture for method

  1. For the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking trays with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients -  flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, mix together wet ingredients - buttermilk, honey and vanilla. Set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time mixing until well incorporated. Gradually add the wet and dry ingredients, alternating, starting with and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated (don't overmix though).
  2. Using a medium sized scoop, scoop batter into cupcake liners until 2/3rds full. Bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes or until tops spring back lightly when pressed. Allow cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting
  3. For the frosting - cream butter and cream cheese until combined and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue mixing until fluffy. Mix in honey. Gradually add a few drops of food colouring at a time until you achieve desired colour. Put icing in large piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe swirls of icing onto cooled cupcakes.
  4. Dust cupcakes with sanding sugar and place sugar bees on artistically right before serving.

And that's how you make these lovely cupcakes. One of the keys to making them taste delicious - not sickly sweet, is to use salted butter - the salt cuts the sweetness and balances the flavour perfectly!

Hope you enjoy these little beauties as much as we did! Happy Baking my Friends!


Coconut Almond Bars

Howdy friends! How are you this fine, rainy Wednesday evening? I figured you might need a sweet chocolaty pick-me-up! I know I could. I made these quite a while ago and to be honest just never got around to blogging them. But I was flipping through pictures and noticed I had these lovely little shots my hubby took and I just had to share them with you!

This recipe is from one of my favorite baking books - Back to Baking by Anna Olson! I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Coconut Almond Bars
Minimally adapted from Back to Baking by Anna Olson


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 300 ml tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper so paper comes up the sides.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate in a small pan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Then add egg and vanilla and stir til blended. Add flour and stir. Spread this mixture into the bottom of prepared an and bake for 10 minutes until it loses its shine. Cool while preparing the filling.
  3. For the filling, stir the coconut, almonds, condensed milk, vanilla and salt to combine. Spread over cooled base. Bake 25 minutes until light golden brown. Cool to room temperature before adding the topping.
  4. For the topping, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave on low heat, stirring often.  Pour mixture over cooled filling and spread evenly.
  5. Chill the pan for about 2 hours to set the chocolate. Cut the squares while chilled, but then store and enjoy at room temp. I used a small round biscuit cutter to cut mine into cute little round shapes for a fun way to present them!

These bars have amazing chocolaty flavour, but they are a little on the sweet side! If you don't like super sweet treats, then these probably aren't the bars for you! If however you love a little sugar hit - get on making these right away to cure your mid-week blues!

Happy Baking Friends!


Sage, Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Lasagna

 Hey Friends! Its been a while. This weekend I felt particularly inspired to whip up a new recipe and it was such an amazing recipe, I just couldn't wait to share it with you. I'll pre-warn you - its a lot of work - see the full sink of dishes in the last picture! Since all three of the sauces are made from scratch, its a bit of work. But the results are soooo delicious - well worth the extra work! Save it for a weekend and do it up!

Sage, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Lasagna
Recipe adapted from Meals in Heels by Jennifer Joyce

  • 2 kg butternut squash, seeds removed, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 heads garlic, top 1/4 inch trimmed
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chopped sage leaves, plus 15 whole leaves
  • one package of fresh lasagna pasta sheets
  • 1 cup coarsely grated parmesano reggiano
Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 package mild Italian sausage
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1.2 kg tinned whole roma tomatoes, pureed in a food processor
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Goat Cheese Béchamel
  • 2 1/2 oz butter
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 3 cups 1% milk
  • 100g goat cheese
  1. Preheat oven 400F. Place butternut squash on two baking trays, drizzle over a little oil and season well with salt and pepper. Drizzle garlic with a little oil and season with salt and pepper, wrap in foil and place on tray. Roast for 40 minutes or until the squash and garlic are soft. Remove the foil from garlic and set aside with squash to cool. Reduce heat to 350F.
  2. Heat remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and chopped sage and cook for 8-10 minutes or until softened. Add squash, squeeze the roasted garlic from their skins into the pan, season with salt and pepper and roughly mash. Place in food processor and puree until very smooth. Set aside.
  3. To make the tomato sauce, brown sausage in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes until golden. Add pureed tomato and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cover with lid and let simmer for 40 minutes or until thickened. Set aside.
  4. To make béchamel sauce - melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir continuously wit a whisk for two minutes or until mixture becomes slightly coloured. Pour in milk and whisk quickly until there are no lumps. Continue whisking for another five minutes or until béchamel thickens. Add the cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.
  5. To assemble the lasagna - spread a little tomato sauce over base of 4 litre capacity baking dish (you'll need a fairly big one - you can see mine overflowed a bit when it baked because I didn't have a large enough pan). Cover with a layer of lasagna noodle sheets. Spread over one-third each of béchamel, then mashed pumpkin and tomato sauce. Repeat two more times, finishing with a layer of tomato sauce. Then sprinkle liberally with parmesan (you'll have some extra left over to sprinkle on slices when you serve). Scatter over the whole sage leaves and bake for 40 minutes or until golden. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

And that's that! It is a lovely flavour combination and was a huge hit with my family! I will definitely be making this one again! You can also make it ahead by making your sauces, assembling the lasagna and then refrigerating or freezing until you're ready to bake it. I hope you enjoy!

Happy Cooking my Friends!