Candy Cane and Gingerbread Cheesecake Stuffed Cookies

Christmas Candy Cane Gingerbread Cheesecake Stuffed Cookies
Welcome to December! Christmas season is definitely in full swing now. I am not one of those people who gets super extra around Christmas time (I am yet to set up my tiny little Christmas tree) but I do really love making festive recipes.

In the past, I have left Christmas baking to the last minute, but this year I am hoping to share quite a few delicious recipes with you! I’m feeling excited and inspired… and you know how much I love an edible homemade gift!

Christmas Candy Cane Gingerbread Cheesecake Stuffed Cookies
And now onto the cookies! Believe me when I say these cookies are crowd pleasers. The original Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Stuffed Cookies have fans on at least three continents, and have sort of become my signature. They say you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ingredients to make these cookies, and that’s pretty darn close.

These two versions are a small adaptation to make them feel festive and Christmassy. They are absolutely perfect for sharing with friends or giving as gifts. One has a candy cane cheesecake centre, because who doesn’t love the combination of peppermint and chocolate?!

Christmas Candy Cane Gingerbread Cheesecake Stuffed Cookies
For the other variation, I used crushed Pfeffernüsse (German gingerbread holiday cookies) and ginger for a lovely warm spiced filling. You can find these at Aldi around this time of year, or maybe try making your own? I would be hard pressed to pick a favourite because I really love them both. You could of course get creative with the filling too – maybe a fruit mince cheesecake? Or a salted caramel or red velvet version would be nice too.

The best thing about this recipe is that it’s super easy. You don’t need a mixer or a rolling pin, or piping bags or any other special equipment, and take less than 15 minutes to bake! They also seem to stay fresh and soft for quite a long time, so you can make them in advance. The only trick is to chill the dough and cheesecake filling for a while so they are easier to work with, especially because here in the southern hemisphere, our Christmas falls over summer.

Christmas Candy Cane Gingerbread Cheesecake Stuffed Cookies
I absolutely love homemade edible gifts. I think they are a really nice way to show your friends and family that you care and have taken the time to create something, put it in a cellophane bag and tie it with a ribbon. There are so many options that would suit any skillset, so you don’t need to be a Master Chef. It’s also a fantastic thing to get kids involved in doing, especially over the holidays.

Related Post: Chocolate Spice Gingerbread

Christmas Candy Cane Gingerbread Cheesecake Stuffed Cookies

Candy Cane and Gingerbread Cheesecake Stuffed Cookies

A delicious Christmas version of my famous crowd-pleasing Cheesecake Stuffed Cookie recipe, made with candy canes and Pfeffernüsse (German gingerbread cookies).

Course Cookies
Keyword Christmas, Cookies
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 cookies


Cheesecake Filling

  • 125 g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 candy canes, crushed, plus extra to sprinkle on top
  • 4-6 Pfeffernüsse cookies, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger


  • 1/2 cup (110g) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (350g) light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (55g) cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
  • Fleur de sel, to sprinkle


  1. To make the cheesecake filling, mix the cream cheese, caster sugar and vanilla together until well combined.
  2. Divide the mixture in half, into separate bowls. Gently mix the crushed candy canes into one bowl. Gently mix the crushed Pfeffernüsse and ground ginger into the other bowl.

  3. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Take tablespoons of the chilled filling and shape into 6 x 3cm round patties for each flavour, about 1cm thick. Place back into the fridge until ready to use.

  4. Line two baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). 

  5. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Take off the heat and stir in the brown sugar and eggs. Then add the cocoa, salt and baking powder and stir until well combined. Add the flour and stir until no floury patches are left. Place the mixture into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm slightly and make shaping the cookies easier.

  6. Take 1 heaped tablespoon of dough and flatten into a 5cm circle on the baking tray. They should be just larger than your cheesecake pattie. Place the cheesecake disc on top.

  7. Top with a flattened tablespoon of dough, and seal the edges. Repeat until you have twelve cookies. Sprinkle the tops of the Ginger cookies with fleur de sel and bake for 8-12 minutes. When baked and still warm, sprinkle the top of the Candy Cane cookies with a little crushed candy cane.

Blueberry Crumble Cake

Blueberry Crumble Cake
Today’s recipe is one that I have loved for years – Blueberry Crumble Cake. I first made it on the blog in 2010 and have baked it several more times over the years. But looking at the really old photo made me cringe a little, and I wanted to update it and share here it again. Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to eat cake.

In the original post, I talked about the things I loved to cook the most – from slow cooked meats simmered for hours to make a rich ragu to seasonal fruit desserts. In that respect not much has changed in 8 years. I’ve made both in the last week alone!

Blueberry Crumble Cake
I still get excited when the seasons change and I see the first peaches or cherries, figs or pears at the markets. I feel inspired about the dishes I can create with them in the limited time they are around each year.

And of course, I still love this crumble cake recipe because it is super versatile. It’s the perfect vehicle for whatever fruit you have on hand – fresh or frozen, or maybe even a little overripe.

Blueberry Crumble Cake
I’ve made this crumble cake many times, changing up the fruit in the filling to things like raspberries, sliced peaches or rhubarb. There are so many options for delicious variations. It always turns out great and your kitchen smells incredible as it is baking – bonus!

The cake itself is super simple – a few pantry staples come together to form a lovely soft cake. I feel like you can get away with experimenting with spices and flavourings in the cake. Spices like ginger and cardamom to fresh lemon zest to finely ground tea (like these cookies) or a splash of bourbon. I love having recipes that I can adapt to any mood or the ingredients I have on hand.

Blueberry Crumble Cake
This time I kept it simple with a little cinnamon and a handful of pecans chopped and scattered through the crumble. Perfect for springtime – a little bit cozy, but summery too.

The combination of buttery cake, juicy jam-like baked fruit and crunchy crumble topping just can’t be beat. It’s an easy to make, homely dessert. A lovely alternative to an afternoon tea cake, or even just to snack on.

This cake has accompanied me to many picnics because it’s easy to transport and definitely a crowd pleaser.

Blueberry Crumble Cake
Serve just as it is – warm or room temperature, with a generous dusting of icing sugar. Or take it to the next level with a big scoop of ice cream or a dollop of double cream and some fresh blueberries on the side. Of course, I’d recommend the latter.

Related Post: Healthy Berry, Coconut & Quinoa Crumble

Blueberry Crumble Cake

Blueberry Crumble Cake

A delicious Blueberry Crumble Cake, that is perfect for afternoon tea and picnics. Adapt the versatile recipe to use your favourite seasonal fruits!

Course Cake, Dessert
Keyword Cakes, Spring, Summer
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 9


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 55 g butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup pouring cream
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries


  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 55 g butter softened
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a 20 x 20cm (8 x 8 inch) pan. Cream together the sugar, butter, egg and vanilla extract.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In another bowl or jug, combine milk and cream. Add flour mixture to the butter in thirds, alternating with milk, starting and ending with flour. Pour batter into the pan. Top with blueberries.

  3. To make the crumble topping, combine the sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter. Rub butter into the mixture with your fingertips, and then add the pecans and combine. Sprinkle over cake batter. 

  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes until crumble is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the baking tin for 10 minutes before cutting into slices.

Simple Dinners 22 / Pork Meatball Banh Mi Salad Bowls

Pork Meatball Banh Mi Salad Bowl
They say you eat with your eyes first, and this colourful Pork Meatball Banh Mi Salad Bowl just lights up my soul. Just look at those colours! It’s zero exaggeration to say I would happily eat it over and over every day and not get tired of it.

I’ve always loved salads like this with lots of colour and crunch, but prior to #bowlsofinstagram I didn’t care what they looked like. It may sound weird, but these days I actually love spending a few extra minutes making my salads and smoothie bowls look pretty, even if I’m not taking a photo of it for the ‘Gram or sharing it with anyone else. I’ve found a great pleasure in putting together a pretty, colourful meal just for me.


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Quick Vietnamese Pickles are so delicious and easy to make.

A post shared by Lisa (@spicyicecream) on

I grew up in an area of Sydney with a large Vietnamese population, and it has long been one of my favourite cuisines. I remember the scent of coriander on the bus as the girl in front of me ate her pork banh mi. As a kid, ham and cheese sandwiches were usually made on fresh Vietnamese rolls from the local bakery. I crave pho as comfort food just as much as I crave Mum’s spaghetti bolognese.

Last year I travelled to Vietnam for the first time, after it had been on my bucket list for years! The food in Saigon was hands down the highlight. I love the fresh, vibrant flavours of this cuisine, the crazy energy of the markets and the care and pride that goes into every dish. I wanted to capture some of that in this salad. It’s not necessarily traditional, but it is very delicious.

Pork Meatball Banh Mi Salad Bowl
This dish consists of pork meatballs with plenty of fresh ginger and coriander, homemade daikon and carrot pickle, vermicelli noodles and my spin on satay sauce using almond butter. The salad is a rainbow of colour with red cabbage, radish, cucumber, avocado and chilli. It’s topped with loads of fresh herbs and chilli.

There’s a lot going on in this bowl, but the flavours are wonderfully balanced with freshness, acidity from the pickles and heat from the chilli. With so many different textural elements, it is really a joy to eat and no two bites are the same.

Pork Meatball Banh Mi Salad Bowl
Of course, as with most of my recipes, feel free to take this and make it your own. Perhaps replace the meatballs with grilled chicken, salmon or prawns. Try grilled marinated tempeh or grilled firm tofu (and omit fish sauce) for a vegan Banh Mi Salad. I’m not vegan, but I think that would be freakin delicious. Add a scattering of roasted peanuts or fried shallots on top for extra crunch. Or change up the dressing from my ‘Satay-ish’ sauce to a more traditional Nuoc Cham.

But whatever you do, please give the pickles a try! They could not be more simple, especially if you have a julienne tool. They really take the dish up to the next level. If you’re anything like me, you will want to eat this salad over and over, making it a perfect Simple Dinner.

Related Post: Spicy Pork and Tahini Noodles

Pork Meatball Banh Mi Salad Bowl

Pork Meatball Banh Mi Salad Bowl

Pork Meatball Bahn Mi Salad Bowl is a delicious and colourful simple dinner inspired by the classic Vietnamese sandwich. The homemade pickles are simple to make and take this dish to another level. 

Course Main Course
Keyword Healthy Recipes, Pickles, Simple Dinners
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4


Banh Mi Pickles

  • 1 daikon white radish
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

Pork Meatballs

  • 500 g pork mince, free range if possible
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated on a microplane
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
  • Coriander, chopped
  • Salt & pepper

Satay-ish Sauce

  • 2-3 heaped tablespoons almond butter (or tahini or peanut butter if you prefer)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • Chilli, finely chopped, optional
  • Hot water

Build your Bowl

  • 1 packet vermicelli noodles
  • Red cabbage
  • 2 Avocadoes
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 4 Radishes
  • Bahn Mi Pickles (recipe above)
  • Lime
  • Chilli
  • Fresh herbs of your choice (I used mint and coriander)
  • Black sesame seeds, optional


  1. To make the Bahn Mi Pickles, sterilise 1-2 jars depending on their size. I do this by filling my kitchen sink with boiling water and submerging the jars and lids for 5 minutes and then drying them in a low oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are completely dry. You can also use your dishwasher on its highest setting.
  2. Peel and cut up the daikon and carrots julienne (thin strips like matchsticks). Combine the water, sugar, salt and rice wine vinegar and stir to combine until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Pack the vegetable matchsticks as vertically as possible into your jars, and top up with the pickling liquid. Seal the jars and set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using, but they are best after a day. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  3. To make the meatballs, place the ingredients into a bowl and combine with your hands. Wet your hands and roll into balls. Cook in batches if necessary, in a medium frypan over medium heat until browned and cooked through.
  4. To make the satay-ish sauce, stir together the almond butter, lime juice soy sauce, fish sauce and chilli if using. Add 1 tablespoon of hot water at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
  5. To assemble your bowls, finely chop your vegetables (red cabbage, cucumber, radishes, chilli etc) and herbs. Halve the avocados, thinly slice the flesh and carefully scoop out with a large spoon. Prepare the noodles according to packet instructions - mine said to soak in boiling water for 5 minutes and then drain.
  6. Place the chopped vegetables, avocado, vermicelli noodles, your homemade pickles and the cooked meatballs into serving bowls. Scatter with herbs, chilli, black sesame seeds and lime wedges for garnish. Serve the sauce on the side or drizzle over the top.
  7. If you’re making this for a dinner party, you could have all the ingredients prepped in the centre of the table and each person can build their own bowl.

Blueberry Acai Smoothie & Chia Parfait

Blueberry Acai Smoothie & Chia Parfait
Happy Tuesday! Today I am bringing you a nice simple recipe for a healthy breakfast that I have been absolutely loving lately. Why choose between Chia Pudding and an Acai Bowl when you can combine them together! And so the Blueberry Acai Chia Smoothie Parfait was born. The name is a bit of a mouthful – or should I say a spoonful – and it’s totally delicious.

I first shared this on my Instagram stories a few weeks ago, but I’ve made it quite a few times since then. I think this will be a favourite during the summer months, so I wanted to share it here on the blog too.

I love starting my day with a smoothie, and I’ve shared a few of my favourites here on the blog before. It’s a great way to pack in some vitamins first thing in the morning. I definitely notice an improvement in my energy levels when I have them for breakfast. This green smoothie is my favourite when mangoes are in season. Although I must say, there’s a much wider selection of frozen fruit available now, which are just perfect for throwing into smoothies and mean you can add your favourite fruit all year round.

Blueberry Acai Smoothie & Chia Parfait
This smoothie parfait feels a little more festive and it definitely kept me feeling more satisfied for longer. I put this down to the added chia pudding, which has protein, fibre and omega-3 fats. They also contain calcium, which is great as this recipe is completely vegan and has no dairy.

Acai is another ‘superfood’ that has definitely hit the mainstream in the last few years. Colourful and Insta-worthy acai bowls and smoothies are on the menu of cafes everywhere in Sydney. You can buy frozen acai puree or in powder form, which makes it very easy to have at home.

Blueberry Acai Smoothie & Chia Parfait
It’s deep purple in colour, thanks to a plant compound called anthocyanin which has antioxidant effects. Other foods like blueberries, black beans, pomegranates, grapes (even wine!) and cherries are also high in this beneficial compound. But instead of getting caught up in unproven health claims of particular foods, I think eating as many colourful fruits and vegetables as possible is the best and most delicious way to maximise your daily intake of vitamins and minerals.

The chia pudding is best when it’s prepped in advance, so this makes life way easier in the morning. Your breakfast prep is already half done! I find it most convenient to always have frozen bananas and blueberries on hand because I use them in many of my smoothies.

Blueberry Acai Smoothie & Chia Parfait
You can top off your Chia Smoothie Parfait with any fruit you like – extra fresh banana or blueberries, passionfruit, kiwi fruit and strawberries. I also like to change up the crunchy topping day to day, from homemade granola to cacao nibs or buckinis or coconut. You can add a drizzle of nut butter or honey if the mood strikes. Or add some edible flowers if you want to snap an Instagram photo 😉  It’s really up to you to make it your own and adapt it to your taste.

It makes me extremely happy to dip in my spoon and taste a little bit of everything, combined with the different textures of my chosen toppings each day. It’s a great breakfast that you could even pack into jars or containers and take on the go.

Related Post: Blueberry Chia Jam and Coconut Chia Pudding

Blueberry Acai Smoothie & Chia Parfait

Blueberry Acai Smoothie & Chia Parfait

A delicious and healthy breakfast that combines two of my favourite things - an Acai Bowl and Chia Pudding. Perfect for prepping in advance and taking on the go.

Course Breakfast
Keyword Breakfast, Healthy Recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 2


Chia Pudding

  • 1 cup coconut & almond milk (or your favourite plant milk)
  • 1 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons acai powder

Blueberry Acai Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder of your choice (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon acai powder
  • 1 cup coconut & almond milk (or your favourite plant milk)

Toppings (your choice)

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Banana
  • Granola
  • Buckinis
  • Coconut
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Edible Flowers


  1. To make the chia pudding, in a bowl or jar, mix together the coconut & almond milk, chia seeds, rice malt syrup and vanilla extract. Set aside for 15 minutes, stir again and refrigerated for a few hours or overnight. When pudding has thickened, stir in the acai powder.
  2. To make the smoothie, combine the frozen blueberries, banana, protein powder (if using), almond butter, acai powder and coconut & almond milk in your NutriBullet or high-powered blender. Blend well until fully combined.
  3. To assemble the parfait, layer the chia pudding in glasses or jars and spoon the blueberry acai smoothie over the top. Top with your favourite fruit and toppings such as berries, kiwi fruit, papaya, buckinis, granola, coconut, edible flowers etc.
  4. I used fresh blueberries, sliced banana, strawberries, coconut flakes and fresh mint leaves for mine.

Roasted Strawberry Paloma

Roasted Strawberry Paloma
It has been a hot minute since I’ve shared a cocktail recipe here! Honestly, I haven’t been drinking very much this year, I just haven’t really felt like it. At times it’s made me wonder – have I accidentally gone totally sober now?? But as we get into spring weather and warmer days here in Sydney, my thoughts have turned to creating fun cocktails. I love to approach this in the same way as I would create a new recipe. I love to use fresh, seasonal ingredients and put a little twist on a classic.

Roasted Strawberry Paloma
A Paloma is a tequila based cocktail, very popular in Mexico. It is usually some combination of tequila blanco and grapefruit soda. I had never tried it before, but loved how zesty and refreshing it sounded. When I was researching the history of this drink, I was surprised and inspired to find that it has so many modern interpretations.

Creative folks have added different flavours to their Palomas (honey, chilli and herbs for example) and fruits from pomegranate to blackberry and watermelon. However, everyone recommended fresh grapefruit juice as the star ingredient, rather than a grapefruit soda. Sounds perfect to me!

Roasted Strawberry Paloma
Tequila is not a spirit I often reach for, so that made it all the more surprising how much I loved this drink. And in news that surprised the heck out of me, high end tequila also has numerous health benefits. Obviously I mean when enjoyed in moderation, because excessive amounts of alcohol will have the opposite effect on your body!

But tequila blanco has been proven to be prebiotic and probiotic, aid in digestion, and the mollecular structure of the agavin (sugar in the tequila) can help to regulate insulin and aid in weight loss. I now feel totally justified in indulging in the occasional tequila cocktail when the mood strikes, and hopefully I can forget my bad tequila memories!

Roasted Strawberry Paloma
I wanted my Paloma to use roasted strawberries. I can’t imagine a spring without strawberries. They are definitely among my top favourite fruits, and are loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols. I go through several punnets a week during this time of year because they are so delicious and affordable.

Roasting them for as little as 15 minutes just intensifies their beautiful flavour, and also produces a sweet syrup – so you don’t have to make a simple syrup as some other recipes use! Win win! Roasted strawberries are great to have in the fridge as a topping for yoghurt and granola for breakfast or almost any kind of dessert, from ice cream to chocolate cake to panna cotta.

Roasted Strawberry Paloma
If you live in Australia, you would know about the recent incidents, where a sewing needle was found deliberately put into a strawberry. This sparked a massive recall around the country and countless tons of stock were dumped. Of course, this hurts our farmers and is terrible from a food waste perspective. I love the movement that has sprung up to Buy, Cut & Eat Strawberries and support the farmers who work so hard to produce the fresh food that we often take for granted.

Roasted Strawberry Paloma
This Roasted Strawberry Paloma is seriously easy to make. First, the strawberries are muddled in the bottom of the glass, and then basically everything else is just stirred together. Add some ice and top with soda or ginger beer. The result is a delicious drink that is like spring in a glass. The pink salt rim is definitely optional but it definitely adds an extra little zing of flavour when combined with the sweet, citrussy drink. 

Related Post: Pomegranate Gin Smash

Roasted Strawberry Paloma

Roasted Strawberry Paloma

A delicious tequila cocktail, using seasonal roasted strawberries which is just perfect for spring!

Course Drinks
Keyword Cocktails
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 servings


  • 200 g strawberries, sliced in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
  • Pink salt, optional
  • 1 ruby grapefruit, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 60 ml tequila (I used Jose Cuervo Silver)
  • Ginger beer or soda to top up
  • Ice
  • Strawberries, extra, sliced for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place cut strawberries into a baking dish and scatter with raw sugar. Roast for 20 minutes, until strawberries are softened and have released some juice. Set aside to cool.

  2. Dip the rims of your glasses in lime juice or water and press into the pink salt evenly to coat the rim. This is optional, but it definitely does add something to the drink.

  3. To make the cocktail, place about half of the strawberries and some of the syrup in the bottom of each glass and muddle.

  4. Add the grapefruit and lime juices, and the tequila evenly between each glass and stir to combine. Add some ice and top up with ginger beer. Add extra sliced strawberries, for garnish if desired.

Recipe Notes

If you prefer, you can strain out the muddled strawberries and add fresh, sliced strawberries. 

Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies

Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies
This time five years ago, I had just got back from a 3 week solo trip to America and I was sorely missing my own kitchen. The first thing I baked when I got home were Chocolate Chip Cookies, with a twist – some rosemary infused sugar gave the cookies a lovely herbaceous vibe and the flavour was incredible. Cookies are what comfort food dreams are made of, and I feel like always a great way to ease back in to your kitchen when you’ve been away for a while.

I haven’t done much baking in the last few months. Baking is definitely my happy place so I’m looking forward to just playing around in the kitchen to get my mojo back! This recipe has been on my ‘to make’ list for literally years, and I can’t believe it’s taken this long because I just knew the combination would be delicious. Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oooh yes. I am a massive fan of tea and T2’s French Earl Grey has been a consistent fave since my early days of blogging, both to drink and also to use in baking. I’ve used it in everything from ice cream to bread and butter pudding and I’m sure I will continue to do so long into the future. It has such a lovely floral scent from the bergamot and pretty petals. I left the box on my bookshelf the other day and I could smell it like the most delicious air freshener.

Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have been making the New York Times famous chocolate chip cookies for years, but I couldn’t be bothered waiting overnight before I baked them. This time around I decided to try Donna Hay’s classic recipe. Is anyone else a tiny bit crushed that the magazine has ceased production? 😭

I really liked the recipe, it was simple and easy to follow (although a stand mixer would have made the process a little easier) and allowed me to add the earl grey flavour in two different ways. I warmed the milk and infused it with the tea, and also added some finely ground tea to the dough to intensify the flavour.

Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies
I was so happy with how they came out. The cookies were the perfect combination of slightly crisp around the outside but still had a lovely chewy texture in the middle and more than enough chocolate chips. The tea flavour in the uncooked mixture was definitely more noticeable than after they were baked, but I did love the subtle hint of somethingsomething that made it different from your average cookie. I used 2 tablespoons of ground tea, but feel free to add a little more if you want a stronger flavour!

Of course, I enjoyed these with a cup of tea, and then shared them with some of my fellow tea obsessed friends who loved them equally as much.

Related Post: Lemon & Earl Grey Ice Cream Float

Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies

Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies

A delicious classic cookie with an interesting floral twist - and of course, perfect with a cup of tea!

Course Dessert
Keyword Cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 18 cookies


  • 2 teaspoons French Earl Grey tea (I used T2)
  • 2 tablespoons French Earl Grey tea (extra)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 200 g cold unsalted butter, chopped
  • 175 g brown sugar
  • 165 g white granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 300 g plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 300 g dark chocolate chips or chunks, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).

  2. Heat the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds or until warm. Add 2 teaspoons of French Earl Grey tea and allow to infuse for at least 10 minutes, and then strain out the tea leaves.

  3. Using a coffee/spice grinder (or I used the milling blade in my Nutribullet) process the 2 tablespoons of tea to form a fine powder. Set aside.

  4. Place the butter, brown sugar and white sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed and beat until pale and creamy, scraping down the bowl with a spatula when necessary.

  5. Add the infused milk and egg, and beat for another 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt and ground tea and beat until combined.

  6. Add the chocolate and stir. Roll heaped tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper. Leave space between the balls of cookie dough because they will expand and spread in the oven.

  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring onto wire racks to cool.

Recipe Notes

I made mine in 3 batches, with 6 at a time, but if baking more than one tray at a time, switch around their shelf positions to ensure they cook evenly.

Adapted from Donna Hay


Fig Crumble Tart with Honey Whipped Ricotta

Fig Crumble Tart with Honey Whipped Ricotta
It was Spicyicecream’s 11th birthday the other day. That completely blows my mind. My blogging efforts have been a less frequent in recent years due to #freelancelife that can get a little hectic sometimes, but I still love coming here to share my favourite new recipes.

My own archives are kind of like browsing through my favourite cookbook – even though some of the old photos make me cringe! I refer back to them over and over when I want to revisit an old favourite, or when I want to adapt them into something new. When I started this blog I was a 19 year old student who could barely make muffins, but I had a passion for photography and was so excited to learn about baking, try new techniques and experiment with ingredients and flavour combinations. 

This has turned into a love of cooking that will absolutely be with me for life, a curiosity for learning about different cuisines, and a passion for making things from scratch, from cake to kim chi. For me, baking is still a wonderful blend of science and magic, and kneading dough is often all I need to relieve stress on a bad day.

These are the recipes that taught me almost everything I know about cooking. These are the recipes I loved so much and was so excited about that I naturally wanted to share.  In a nutshell, I know they work… and they definitely taste good!

Fig Crumble Tart with Honey Whipped Ricotta
But I find it really hard to stick to a written recipe, even if it’s my own! I am always making little tweaks to pretty much everything I try to cook. I view a recipe as more of a starting point or a source of inspiration to put your own spin on the dish. So today I’m sharing one for a Fig Galette Tart that first appeared on the blog in 2011.

With this version of the Fig Tart I decided to and add some texture with a buttery crumble scattered over the top, which was delicious. In the original recipe, the honey sweetened ricotta went underneath the fruit but this time I’ve whipped it up and served it on the side for a creamy accompaniment that pairs perfectly with the warm fruit and buttery pastry. I love this kind of free-form tart, as unfussy as they come, but oh so delicious. 

Fig Crumble Tart with Honey Whipped Ricotta

Fig Crumble Tart with Honey Whipped Ricotta

A delicious Fig Crumble Tart served with Honey Whipped Ricotta, inspired by a recipe that I first posted on my blog in 2011. I love this kind of dessert!

Course Dessert
Keyword Pies & Tarts
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people



  • 2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
  • 3 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 150 g unsalted butter, cold
  • 4 tablespoons iced water

Filling & Crumble

  • 6 figs, sliced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 55 g butter, softened
  • 1 egg, whisked

Honey Whipped Ricotta

  • 100 g smooth ricotta
  • 2 teaspoons honey, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. To make the pastry, place flour, caster sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the iced water and process until the mixture starts to form a dough. Knead lightly on a floured work surface until dough just holds together. Divide into 2 discs and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). To make the crumble, combine the sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter. Rub butter into the mixture with your fingertips until crumbly clusters form.

  3. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick round shape. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the crumble mixture and then layer the sliced figs on top. Fold in the sides of the pastry, brush with egg and scatter with remaining crumble. Bake for 20-30 minutes until pastry is golden and figs are tender.

  4. While the tart is baking, whisk the ricotta together with the honey and vanilla and set aside. Serve tart in slices with a generous dollop of honey whipped ricotta and an extra drizzle of honey.

Simple Dinners 21 / Cauliflower Pizza with Roasted Pumpkin and Prosciutto

Simple Dinners - Cauliflower Pizza with Roasted Pumpkin
There must be millions of recipes for quick and easy meals online and in the dozens of cookbooks and food magazines, but the midweek dinner is still a massive pain point for most people. Even those of us who love to cook often struggle with organising meal prep or grocery shopping in advance – this requires a level of logistical prowess I just don’t seem to have. Most days require a dash to the supermarket for last minute dinner ingredients.

Sometimes it is just easier to order takeaway, but when trying to keep things healthy or on budget, cooking at home is definitely the better option on both counts. I also take cooking dinner as an opportunity to wind down from my day and a chance to chat to my housemate as we both chop vegetables or stir something on the stove.

Simple Dinners - Cauliflower Pizza with Roasted Pumpkin
I love to make healthier versions of classic takeout dishes, which are perfect for when you want a treat to satisfy your craving but also the satisfaction of having made it yourself and knowing that it’s way healthier than the greasy version from your local down the street.

I appreciate the freedom to adapt the recipe however you like, and modify them for specific dietary requirements, or just whatever ingredients you have in the fridge. I’ve perfected burrito bowls, burgers and green curry, but I’m still tweaking my beef rendang.

Simple Dinners - Cauliflower Pizza with Roasted Pumpkin
Today’s recipe is a healthy option for pizza that uses cauliflower and almond meal in the base instead of the usual white flour and yeast. It’s low carb and doesn’t need any rising time or kneading! I was really surprised how quickly it came together in the food processor.

You can use any of your favourite toppings, but I have made a version with rosemary roasted pumpkin, prosciutto and mozzarella which was absolutely delicious. I absolutely loved how they came out and I see this being added to my list of favourites.

Simple Dinners - Cauliflower Pizza with Roasted Pumpkin
The texture wasn’t exactly the same as a normal pizza, but it didn’t have a noticeable taste of cauliflower. The one thing I would do differently next time is use a pizza stone to bake the bases to see if it could make them more crispy.

I think they would also freeze well, so you have an extra base ready to go the next time you get home from work hungry and want a quick and easy dinner!

Simple Dinners - Cauliflower Pizza with Roasted Pumpkin

Cauliflower Pizza with Roasted Pumpkin and Prosciutto

Low Carb, Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust topped with delicious Roasted Pumpkin and Prosciutto. Can easily be made vegetarian too!

Course Main Course
Keyword Healthy Recipes, Simple Dinners
Servings 4 people


  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin squash, cut into 1cm cubes
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh bocconcini balls
  • Prosciutto
  • Basil leaves

Cauliflower Base (makes 2)

  • 600 g cauliflower florets, roughly chopped
  • 90 g almond meal
  • 50 g grated parmesan
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Toss the pumpkin cubes with rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for about 30 minutes until soft and cooked through.
  2. To make the cauliflower pizza bases, line some pizza trays or pizza stones with non-stick baking paper. Blitz the cauliflower in a food processor, in batches if necessary until it has a fine texture like bread crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl and stir the almond meal, parmesan, eggs, salt and pepper together until a soft dough forms. Press into rounds on the prepared trays and bake for about 30 minutes until golden and crisp.
  3. To make the pizza, grate parmesan over the warm pizza base, and scatter with the roasted pumpkin. Return to the oven for about 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and pumpkin is crispy. To serve, top with torn bocconcini balls, prosciutto, basil leaves, and a little more salt and pepper. Cut into slices and serve immediately.

Mini Choc Malt Marbled Bundt Cakes

Mini Chocolate Malt Marbled Bundt Cakes
I had so many ideas for great Easter recipes this year, but in the last few weeks time completely got away from me. So I’m hopping (get it?) in here very quickly with a few days to go before Easter. If you need a quick and easy homemade dessert, I’ve got your back!

I was recently decluttering my photography props and baking stuff, and found these bundt tins which I’ve only used once before. Immediately I started brainstorming flavour combos for my mini bundt cakes, but returned to a well known classic – one of my very favourites – choc malt.

Mini Chocolate Malt Marbled Bundt Cakes
I have always loved the combination of chocolate and malt. As a kid, I used to put Milo on top of everything from ice cream to cereal. A few years ago I made a No Churn Malt Ice Cream that is still on high rotation (I actually made it last weekend – it’s my guy’s favourite). A bag of Maltesers is still one of my favourite movie snacks. And when I’m feeling particularly daring, I test the limits of my lactose intolerance with a malted milkshake from Big Daddy’s. Worth it.

Mini Chocolate Malt Marbled Bundt Cakes
So I’ve used those delicious flavours marbled together in these lovely mini bundt cakes, drizzled with homemade chocolate sauce and topped with yet more crushed up Maltesers. The cake itself comes together really easily and quickly. You start by making one basic cake batter, and then split it in half to add the cocoa and malt powder for the two different flavours. They are then swirled together in the cake tins for that lovely marbled look. The malt flavour is more subtle in the final baked cake than it was in the raw batter, so you can add a little extra if you like.

Mini Chocolate Malt Marbled Bundt Cakes
I think they came out looking so cute! They are perfect for Easter gifting, or you could make the recipe into one large cake to share with your family and friends. I hope that you all have a wonderful extra long weekend! I’ll be back next week with a healthy recipe just in case you need to get back on track after overindulging over the Easter season!

Related Post: Mini Lemon Sugar Bundt Cakes

Mini Chocolate Malt Marbled Bundt Cakes

Mini Chocolate Malt Marbled Bundt Cakes
2.75 from 4 votes

Mini Choc Malt Marbled Bundt Cakes

Mini Choc Malt Marbled Bundt Cakes, a delicious, quick and easy Easter dessert. My two favourite flavours swirled together in one little cake!

Course Dessert
Keyword Cakes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 mini cakes


  • 150 g butter
  • 220 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 375 g self-raising flour
  • 250 ml almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons malted milk powder (or more if you like)
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 100 g milk chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
  • Crushed Maltesers, to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease your mini bundt tins or large bundt tin well with non-stick baking spray. Beat butter and caster sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
  2. Fold in self-raising flour and milk. Divide mixture in half, in 2 separate bowls. Stir in cocoa powder to one portion, and the malted milk powder into the other one and mix well to combine. Alternately spoon the mixtures into the pan and swirl together with a skewer or chopstick to marble.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. 

  4. To make the glaze, melt the dark and milk chocolate with the butter in a double boiler or in 20 second bursts in the microwave. Spoon the glaze over the cake to serve and scatter with crushed Maltesers. If possible, decorate the cake just prior to serving.

Papaya Fruit Boats with Grain Free Granola

Papaya Boats with Grain Free Granola
Once upon a time, I used to make granola every week or two for a quick and convenient homemade breakfast… but it’s been quite a long while since my last batch. Today I’ve made a low carb, gluten-free, grain-free and vegan version of my favourite granola, filled with lots of delicious and healthy nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes that will start your day without a sugar rush and the inevitable mid-morning crash.

Making this brought back memories – I loved the process of roughly chopping up the nuts, heating the honey and oil, stirring everything together, and breaking up the golden crunchy clusters as it cooled. But the best thing was the amazing smell that came from my oven and wafted through my apartment as it cooked – I had really missed that!

Papaya Boats with Grain Free Granola
This grain free granola is so tasty – I have other 5 people and counting telling me how delicious it is! I’ve been eating it on it’s own, with some coconut yoghurt or almond milk, and sprinkled on top of green smoothies or smoothie bowls. But if you want to get a little extra at breakfast time, I have something special for you… Papaya coconut yoghurt boats!

I’ve seen this yummy idea on Instagram and in a few Sydney cafes and wanted to try it myself. The papaya seeds are scooped out and the fruit itself is used as a bowl for whatever delicious toppings you like – yoghurt, chia pudding, banana ‘nicecream’ or a smoothie, and whatever fruit is currently in season. Papayas are loaded with nutrients and health benefits – especially for immunity and digestion – making this breakfast healthy, delicious, and actually really fun to eat!

Papaya Boats with Grain Free Granola
At the moment, I’m making the most of the last of summer berries and figs – all my favourite things. I made it again on another day with sliced banana, fresh passionfruit and mango. Both times, the homemade grain free granola sprinkled over the top gave it a great crunch. I love how colourful and inviting they look – in a perfect world I’d eat this for breakfast every single day.

While I don’t label myself as following any kind of diet, I know that I feel much better when I’m eating lower carbs and less dairy. Coconut yoghurt is a favourite of mine because it doesn’t leave me feeling bloated, and you only need a little bit to be satisfied because it’s so creamy and thick. I definitely have to experiment with making it from scratch at home, because damn girl, it’s expensive!

Papaya Boats with Grain Free Granola
Of course like any of my posts, this is just a starting point and you can tweak the granola recipe to include any of your favourite nuts and seeds. You could even add some dried fruits like goji berries, sultanas or dried blueberries after it has baked and cooled. I’d love to try a version with cacao nibs and pistachios thrown in. The options are endless to truly make it your own and suitable for your own tastes and dietary requirements.

Related Post: Anti-Hayfever Smoothie (another delicious papaya recipe!)

Papaya Boats with Grain Free Granola

Papaya Fruit Boats with Grain Free Granola

Papaya Fruit Boats topped with coconut yoghurt, seasonal fruit and grain free granola. A delicious, colourful and super healthy breakfast idea!

Course Breakfast
Keyword Healthy Recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 people


Grain Free Granola

  • 200 g almonds
  • 50 g pecans
  • 60 g cashews
  • 75 g sunflower seeds
  • 90 g pepitas
  • 160 g coconut flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup rice malt syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Papaya Fruit Boats

  • 1 papaya,
  • 500 g coconut yoghurt
  • 2 figs, sliced
  • Handful of raspberries and blueberries
  • Fresh baby herbs or edible flowers, optional
  • Grain free granola (recipe above)


  1. To make the grain free granola, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line 2 trays with non-stick baking paper. 

  2. Roughly chop the almonds, pecans and cashews and place into a bowl. Add the sunflower seeds, pepitas, coconut flakes and cinnamon and stir to combine.

  3. Roughly chop the almonds, pecans and cashews and place into a bowl. Add the sunflower seeds, pepitas, coconut flakes and cinnamon and stir to combine.

  4. To make the papaya fruit boats, cut the papaya in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Fill the centres with coconut yoghurt. Top with your favourite fresh fruits, I’ve used sliced figs, raspberries and blueberries here. Scatter with grain free granola and fresh baby herbs or edible flowers if you like.