Eggless Banana Muffins

Moist eggless banana muffins with a hint of spice and a surprisingly crunchy nutty crumble topping.

Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cooking time -25 minutes
Makes 12 muffins


For muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Brazil nuts (can use any nut of choice)
2 tablespoons apple sauce (or 1 egg)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas mashed
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For Topping:

2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped Brazil nuts
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
25 grams butter chilled


For muffin batter:

1. Preheat oven to 175C (350 degrees) and line the muffin pan with cases.
2. Mix sugar, salt, oil and apple sauce until well blended. Add mashed banana and chopped nuts. Mix well.
3. Sieve the flour with the bicarbonate of soda 2 times.
4. Gently fold in the wet ingredients into the dry with a metal spoon, Do not over mix.
5. Spoon batter into muffin cases about 3/4 full.

For crumble topping:

6. In a separate bowl add the flour and butter from topping ingredients. Gently using tips of your finger rub the butter into the flour to form a breadcrumb type mixture.
7. Gently stir in the sugar, cinnamon and nuts.
8. Sprinkle this crumble topping over the muffins and bake in oven for approx 25 minutes. Muffins are ready when a skewer inserted in them comes out clean.
9. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Christmas Cake Pops (Eggless)

Delectable little Christmas pudding shaped cakes on sticks, coated in chocolate and edible decorations.

Preparation time – 2 hours
Cooking time- 30 minutes
Chilling time – 45 minutes
Makes 18

For Cake
420 grams / 14 oz Plain flour
240 grams / 8 oz Sugar
60 grams / 2oz Cocoa
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Baking powder
½ teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
75 ml Sunflower oil
1 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
250 ml Water
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
For Butter cream
60 grams / 2oz   Unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
240 grams / 8oz Icing sugar
For Decoration
Cake pop sticks
Ready to roll Fondant icing in white, red and green
240 grams / 8 oz Milk chocolate  candy melts

1. Preheat oven to 180 º C / 350 º F.
2. Grease a 10 inch x 15 inch baking tray and keep aside
3. In a large mixing bowl sieve together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the sugar to the flour.
4. In jug add the oil, water, vinegar and vanilla and mix together.
5. Make a well in the flour and gradually add the wet ingredients.
6. Gently fold the mixture taking care not to over mix.
7. Pour the batter in to greased baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Check if cake is done by inserting a skewer in the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is ready.
8. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool.
9. Remove the cake from baking tray and cut off the crusts from all four sides. Cut the cake into  small pieces and put it  into a food processor and whizz to form crumbs. Transfer the cake crumbs to a large mixing bowl.
10. In a mixer add the butter, vanilla and icing sugar and whip the butter cream till smooth and creamy.
11. Add half the butter cream to the cake crumb mixture and mix well to form dough like consistency. (Reserve remaining butter cream for future use)
12. Divide the mixture into 18 parts and roll each part into a ball. Place the cake balls onto a baking tray.
13. Melt a  small handful of the chocolate candy melts in the microwave. Dip approximately 1 cm of each of the lolly stick into the melted chocolate and push it into the ball of rolled cake, repeat for remaining balls to form lollipops.
14. Place the cake pops into the freezer for 30 minutes to set.

To make decoration:
15. On a flat surface dust with icing sugar and roll out the white fondant to approximately 2mm thickness. Using a 1 inch flower shaped cookie cutter cut out 18 flowers.
16. Roll out the green Icing and using a holly leaf cutter cut out 36 holly leaves.
17. Pinch the red fondant icing into small red balls the size of peppercorns and keep aside
18. Melt the remaining chocolate melts in the microwave.
19. Remove the frozen cake pops from the freezer and in turn dip each pop into the melted chocolate. Tap the cake pops gently to remove any access chocolate and leave to set up right. (Push the chocolate dipped cake pops into a block of polystyrene to keep them up right whilst chocolate is setting.) Repeat for all cake pops and once they are all coated place in refrigerator for chocolate to set for 5 minutes.
20.  Once chocolate is set, decorate the cake pops. Wet the back surface of the white fondant flower and place it on top of the cake pop. Wet the back surface of the holy leaves and place two opposite each other on top of the white flower, finally wet the centre of the two holly leaves and place three red fondant berries. Repeat for remaining cake pops.
21. Leave the decoration to set before eating.