sense and sensibility: rum and vanilla bundt cake

I’m 26 this year. There. I’ve said it. 4 more years to the big 3-0. Sometimes, I think that alone ought to account for a sliver of sensibility in moi.


That will never happen. I’m still pretty daft and my life’s full of contradiction. I love giving myself advise I never follow, count my blessings while whining and I’ll always end up buying stuff in pink when I’ve confessed my undying affection towards white. That’s me, and according to daddy, that’s being a woman.

rum-flavoured vanilla bundt cake

And this recipe? Another rendition of my inconsistencies in beliefs.

Alcohol and me. We’ve got a love-hate relationship going on.

I don’t drink, nor am I allowed to. And I because I don’t, I enjoy preaching about the vices of alcohol and the evil things they do to people’s brain and liver. Though, on the other hand, I’m completely helpless when it comes to using that dash of alcohol in baked goods. You can’t say no to the whiff of mild sugary sweetness paired with a good dose of vanilla.

rum-flavored vanilla bundt cake

Rum & Vanilla Bundt Cake


  1. 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar
  5. 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  6. 3 large eggs
  7. 1/3 cup full cream milk
  8. 1 1/2 tsp imitation rum flavor
  9. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Brush bundt cake pan with melted butter and flour. Invert pan and tap off excess flour.
  2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until incorporated.
  4. Whisk in vanilla, milk and rum flavor.
  5. Add in dry mixture from before slowly, in small additions. Resulting batter will be thick and silky.
  6. Fold in butter.
  7. Pour batter into cake pan. Bake for approx. 40 min or until cake passes the toothpick test.

Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan via Annie’s Eats.

rum-flavoured vanilla bundt cake

I love the sweetness that comes out slowly as you chew, and the subtle aftertaste of rum that lingers after each bite.

This cake makes me want to purchase some real vanilla beans.

And I still don’t like alcohol. Believe it.


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my first cupcake order

I haven’t really comprehend the situation. Doesn’t really matter that it’s a done deal, and the cupcakes are probably ingested by now.

I still can’t get over the fact that someone actually wanted to pay for my cupcakes.

Huda, my sweet colleague-cum-friend, placed an order for a couple of celebratory anniversary cupcakes. She wasn’t to be aware of my disgraceful out-of-oven success rate, or (if edible) how terribly ugly my naked cupcakes are. I’d gladly whip up some chocolate cupcakes for her for free (because she’s totally sweet), but she insisted on paying for them. So well, that basically meant that I’ve got to keep my fingers crossed.

It’s rather stressful to step up from *edible to *delectable given my history of inconsistencies when it comes to baking.

Huda's anniversary cupcakes

Hershey’s ‘Perfectly Chocolate’ Chocolate Cake


  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  4. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1 cup milk
  9. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  10. 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  11. 1 cup boiling water

Makes approx 30 cupcakes.


  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Whisk all dry ingredients together.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients (except water) and whisk well for approx 2 min with a mixer (medium speed).
  4. Stir in boiling water. Batter will be thin.
  5. Divide batter into prepared muffin pans and bake at 180C for 20 min.

Hershey’s ‘Perfectly Chocolate’ Chocolate Frosting


  1. 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  2. 2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  3. 3 cups powdered sugar
  4. 1/3 cup milk
  5. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Makes 2 cups frosting


  1. Melt butter.
  2. Stir in cocoa.
  3. Whisk in powdered sugar and milk alternately, beating to desired consistency. Add more milk if required.
  4. Stir in vanilla.

*I added 1 tsp of instant coffee powder to the milk. I suppose that makes it mocha instead.

I adore the above recipe. That’s the 2nd chocolate recipe I’ve tried for Huda’s anniversary cupcakes. It’s such a breeze to put-together and wash up after. The 1st batch (from ‘Easy Cupcakes’) wasn’t too great but I think it’s me rather than the recipe.

So, happy anniversary!

There’s something so contagiously blissful about people in love.

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princess cupcakes

It’s Lyd’s birthday and she requested for real cupcakes instead of the squiggly looking thing I drew on her scraps of paper. I obliged. I can’t turn down any excuse to bake. Not even when I can offhandedly list 100 or so things that occupy a higher priority right now (or I’d find myself with a ruined future and a lifetime of I-told-you-so’s).

Baking. My kryptonite.

So, just as Superman has his red underpants for luck in those tricky situations, I have cake mix!

Lyd's birthday cupcakes

You may think that professionals who deal with lives and state-of-the-art medical equipments are more than capable of throwing together cupcakes from a box of cake mix. Well, most of them are. Just not this one. I made some blunders along the way.

Sacrificing one of my tragically over-baked, almost burnt cupcakes.

Lyd's birthday cupcakes

You see, Lyd specifically wanted gorgeous princess-y cupcakes. And she love pink. I didn’t have time for anything fancy but I don’t want to be too sloppy either, especially since it’s a request from the birthday girl. That provides me with the perfect excuse to jazz things up with a bit of food coloring (I’m beginning to think that my life is built around excuses). I’m normally a little cautious adding artificial chemicals into edibles.

And with a whole reckless lot of frosting

I give you…

Lyd's birthday cupcakes

Lyd’s Princess Cupcakes!

Hope she likes them.

On a side note, I think I make better cupcakes from cake mix than from scratch. I’m not crazy about the taste (I’m never crazy about white cakes) but I adore the fluffiness with their perfect domes and smooth surfaces.

This is depressing.

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the days I forgot to be thankful

quotations - thankful

Sometimes (or in full honesty, more frequent than I’d care to admit), I forget how blessed I am.

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cupcakes and life

You can never have too many cupcakes in life. Life, with all it’s ups and downs, calls for a serving of cupcakes. These simple endearing treats complete every celebration, with enough calories to soothe all your worries and more than adequate endorphins to ward off depression.

birthday cupcakes

All I’m saying is: I baked cupcakes last Saturday. Just because.

Just because it’s mummy’s birthday and I wanted to tell her that I’m thankful for her, and sorry for being such a disappointing idiot at times. Because I’m done with TOEFL and that calls for a celebration, although I could have done better if I wasn’t such a procrastinator (hindsight is such a pain). Because Sunday marks the end of Chinese New Year (which makes it convenient to pawn off goodies), and because life has rendered me a little lost.

birthday cupcakes

Chocolate chip cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. Simple treats resulting from a whole lot of ‘just because-s’. Recipe courtesy of Karen.

These cupcakes are not overly sweet, just buttery, dense and well, egg-y. Moist? Yeah.

Chocolate ChipĀ  (butter) Cupcakes


  1. 200g butter
  2. 200g white sugar
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 1 tsp (teaspoon) pure vanilla extract
  5. 200g self-raising flour
  6. approx 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

(Makes 10 regular-sized cupcakes)


  1. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.
  2. Beat in eggs, on at a time. Continue whisking with mixer until incorporated.
  3. Add vanilla extract to mixture.
  4. Fold in flour.
  5. Add chocolate chips. Fold in gently.
  6. Divide batter equally into prepared muffin/cupcake cases.
  7. Bake in preheated oven at 180C for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

birthday cupcakes

Love like you’ve never been hurt and dance like no one is watching.

– Randall G Leighton

Chocolate Frosting


  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 2/3 cup cocoa
  3. 3 cups powdered sugar
  4. 1/3 cup milk
  5. 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

(makes approx 2cups)


  1. Melt butter.
  2. Stir in Cocoa.
  3. Beat in sugar in batches, alternating with milk.
  4. Add vanilla.
  5. Continue beating to desired consistency. Add more milk if required.

(recipe from the Leslie Sarna)

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in love

With those mitten-clad hands.

The tiny kicking feet.

His small red lips.

And the head of soft fine hair.

Oh, and did I mention his double eyelids?

Meet the latest addition to the family: Baby Caleb – The one month old darling, my adorable nephew.


I’m in love.

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and here we go again.

I ought to stop changing webbies and blogskins just to satisfy my reluctance to do anything purposeful. Yup I know. It drives everyone crazy. I’m done with livejournal, fiddled with blogger and well, it’s hello wordpress for now. I love blogger well enough, but the lack of categories frustrates me so! I’ve OCD and I’m fickle. I’ll admit that straight off.

Don’t judge me.

P.S. While you’re at that, try not to strangle me. Much appreciated.

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