Buttery Butterfly Cakes


Butterfly 2012

There have been very few butterflies this year so far… the long cold spring? The torrential rain in May and June? In any case I decided to make my own in cake form a couple of weeks ago! Why we don’t have these more often I do not know. These fairy/butterfly cakes are mixed up in an instant, light and delicious, and versatile too. You could use jam or lemon curd instead of butter cream. Add a few chocolate chips for fun. Or put some sprinkles on after they’re assembled.

Butterfly Cakes


Cake batter

  • 125g (1 stick and 1 tbsp) soft butter
  • 125g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 175g (1 2/5 cups)SR flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsps milk or cream

Butter cream

  • 100g (4/5 cup) icing sugar
  • 50g (1/2 stick) soft butter

Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F) and prepare 12 muffin cases. Beat the butter until creamy and then add the sugar and beat until incorporated. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then sift in the flour, salt and baking powder and fold in gently. Finally stir in a little milk or cream to get a nice “dropping” consistency. Fill 12 muffin cases, and bake for 15-20 minutes.

When cool, cut out the tops so that you have a disc of cake you can then halve. Don’t make the indentations too deep. Mix the icing sugar and butter together until creamy – I do this by hand. Then fill the tops and place the two halves of the disc on top “the wrong way round” and at a slight angle to form a butterfly.




Binocular Man

A friend asked me recently what that funny wooden structure is in my Tuesday at Two photos, and said “It looks like gallows!”TuesdayView25thJune

Oh dear!


Let me explain!

This is my Binocular Man!


He was built by my Dad and my Man of Many Talents at my request, almost 6 years ago, inspired by the binocular men I saw at the Country Park near my parents’ home. (Take a look here)

And I love him.


I love the way he spends all his time gazing across my garden towards the hills in the distance. I often do the same when the buzzards circle overhead, or the woodpeckers settle on the lawn to dig for ants…

I’m glad I cleared up this matter, in case anyone else out there was wondering…. 😉

Tuesday at Two (25th June)

After the heat of last week we are enjoying some cool and damp weather…


(Just in case you’re wondering, that orange thing dangling from the tree in the distance is our picnic mat, strung up to keep it dry!)


Perhaps you can see, beyond the goat’s beard, that the first day lilies are opening. I love this orange – so summery! A visitor to my garden once told me she hated them – I felt affronted! (She was not a gardener herself…)


Last week I showed you my rock plant, which Annette tells me is Sempervivum tectorum. (Thanks Annette!) This is what it looked like on the 18th…


And this photo was taken yesterday – see how it’s developing! The flowers haven’t quite opened yet, but I’ll keep you posted!


This was also taken yesterday – the last poppy flower… they have been beautiful as always, but now it’s time for the roses, lavender and red valerian to take over.


Have a good week everyone. Happy gardening!

Lavender Lemon Syrup

The lavender has just started opening this week. I have already made my Lavender Ice Cream, as it tastes best when the flowers are still actually in bud, just showing a little colour. (I also experimented with adding chopped pieces of white chocolate to one batch! 😉 Not bad, but prefer the original.)


In the recent heatwave I fancied a cooling drink, so I made this delicious syrup to add to mineral water. With just a hint of lavender, and the lovely citrus tang, it really is very refreshing.


Very simple to make – simply bring 100ml (1/2 cup) water to the boil, add 100g (1/2 cup) sugar and the juice of one lemon and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and add about 20 sprigs of organic lavender. Leave to infuse for about 30 minutes, or longer if you’d like a stronger lavender note. When cool, remove the lavender, fill into a clean bottle and store in the fridge. Serve diluted (to taste) with sparkling or still water, ice cubes and a fancy straw! 😉

Or, if you happen to have some fresh strawberries, a spoonful drizzled over them works wonders too.



Do you use lavender in the kitchen?

A Month of Peonies

Over the past few weeks the peonies have been beautiful. First the bright frilly pinkish red ones in the middle of May…


Then the simpler pink one, a couple of weeks later…


… and now the big fluffy perfumed white ones, tightly closed…


…just opening…


… and in full glory!


Can you smell them? The whole garden is bathed in peony fragrance, and the house too since some of them had to be cut. (They get so top heavy despite staking.)

The last one to open is a new one to my garden, the only one I thought I could name… it has, however, no resemblance to its label! Still, it’s very pretty. It might possibly be “Bowl of Cream”. It is standing up to the heat extremely well, and also has a lovely perfume.


Do you have a favourite fragrance in your garden?

Tuesday at Two (18th June)

Over 32°C (90°F) in the shade… 


… much too hot for walking around the garden! Sadly the peonies are drooping and won’t last long. But I have taken some indoors and will post a few photos soon.

Christina at Creating my own garden of the Hesperides is joining me today, to show her slope on Tuesdays. So take a look at her lovely post, here.

Any ideas of the correct name for this rock plant?


Some kind of Sempervivum I assume? I’m hoping it will flower this year.

I’m now going to chill out! Have a good week everyone!