Yesterday I baked cupcakes for which the Afrikaans word is kolwyntjies (pronouncing it like col-vane-kiss might sound close). I got a real simple recipe at, made the basic batter and then had fun.

I cannot recall the last time I baked cupcakes, so even though I knew it should be relatively simple I was nervous. I guess I am always a bit nervous when I am making something new.

I picked up, the day before I made the cupcakes, some blue and pink food coloring to add to my tiny collection of food color, a packet of cocoa, and a couple of candy bars. The packet of M&M’s disappeared between arriving home Friday afternoon and the time I started baking.

The recipe yielded about 30 cupcakes of varying sizes (and shapes), so I had a lot of batter to play with. I divided it into about three equal amounts and experimented from there on. Into the first batter I mixed some chocolate food coloring and scooped it into the cups, adding a bit of chocolate bar into each cup. The next batter became electric blue and was kept pretty simple. Except for two into which I scooped some peanut butter as a surprise. Into the last batter I mixed in cocoa powder and peanut butter and in a few I dropped chopped pieces from a Sneaker’s bar. Notice in the picture on the right that I finally bought a hand mixer. Loving it. Now I just need mixing bowls.

It took a while to bake all the cupcakes in our tiny oven. After they cooled I decorated them with a really simple milk and powdered sugar frosting.

The shocking pink and electric blue one’s I called queercakes, after the bunch of cupcakes my friend Christel and Alexander baked for a friend’s birthday last year which looked quite similar (you can see the peanut butter in the queercake in the first picture). The peanut butter one’s each got a cashew on top of the icing and some of them come with a yummy surprise in the center. The chocolate one’s look quite plain but they all have a candy bar surprise inside. Delightful!

– Alexander took most of the pictures in this entry. My favorite is the one of the giraffe overlooking the candy bar surprise cupcakes. –