Russian Season


Russian, Eastern European and international cuisine brought to you by a mother and a daughter

Large Cupcakes For Little Ivanka

Lemon Cupcakes for Ivanka

Ivanka has turned 6 months old! It feels like it was a week ago that we brought her home from the hospital, and yet it feels like she’s been here always. The first two and the most exhausting months have simply disappeared from my memory. I know there have been sleepless nights and tears and exhaustion, but I don’t really remember all that.  As we all know, that’s how a woman’s brain is designed. It erases all negative memories connected to giving birth and raising a child.

Ivanka's little foot

Ivanka has changed so much from a tiny orange-skinned creature to a lively baby interested in everything. She wants to touch our books, drink our tea, taste our food, and of course her biggest dream is to play with the notebooks, mobile phones, and electric cords. The sports programme is prevailing at the moment: she is more interested in learning to crawl and trying to stand up than to learn pronouncing new sounds… what she does love though is to spit with a loud bubbling “ppp” sound - she can do that for hours… *sigh* hope she will make us happy with some more advanced sounds soon!

Ivanka's clothes

To celebrate Ivanka’s little anniversary, I made some cupcakes. Well, strictly speaking these were muffins topped with cream cheese and whipped cream and they were too large to be called cupcakes, but anyway. Cakes, mini cakes, large cupcakes, whatever - I am proud that I have managed to bake and decorate them:) They are not as neat and beautiful as what I’d like them to be, but I believe they’re quite okay for a busy Mom :) I’ve never been a perfectionist, after all.


I adapted the recipe for lemon muffins from here and topped them with cream cheese that I whipped with some maple syrup. I had baked these muffins before and I loved how well buttermilk and lemon paired, not to mention how fluffy the batter was thanks to the combination of acid and baking soda. For the other sort of cakes, I used the same proportions, incorporating some whole wheat flour, frozen sour cherries, cinnamon, and nutmeg. For some reason I love the combination of nutmeg and cherries. These muffins/cupcakes came out more moist and dense, with a pleasant homely flavour of whole wheat. I decorated them with cherry-flavoured whipped cream and coloured sugar hearts… I hope Ivanka liked them even though she couldn’t eat them! :)

Ivanka's clothes

Lemon Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing
Adapted from And Now For Something Completely Delicious
Makes 12 cupcakes


- For the cakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
100g margarine, melted and cooled
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
- For the icing:
400g cream cheese
6 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 bag cream stabilizer

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a mixing bowl, rub sugar with lemon zest, then add flour, vanilla sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir well.

In another bowl, combine eggs, margarine, buttermilk, and lemon juice.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until combined.

Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pan and bake for 25 minutes.

To make the icing, combine cream cheese, maple syrup, and whipping cream stabilizer and beat with a mixer.

Lemon Cupcakes for Ivanka

Lemon Cupcakes for Ivanka

Sour Cherry Cupcakes with Whipped Cream
Makes 12 cupcakes


- For the cakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
400 g frozen sour cherries, thawed
2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
80g margarine, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
- For the icing:
200 ml whipping cream
3 tbsp sugar
1 bag (8g) whipping cream stabilizer
3 tbsp juice from the cherries
1 tbsp cherry liqueur

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

In another bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk, and margarine.

Gently squeeze  juice from the cherries (or else the cakes will be soggy) and reserve 3 tablespoons juice for the icing. Discard the rest of juice.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, fold in cherries and stir with a fork until combined.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out slightly wet yet clean.

To make the icing, combine all ingredients and beat with a mixer.

Decorate with your favourite sprinkles.

Sour Cherry Cupcakes for Ivanka

Sour Cherry Cupcakes for Ivanka

Sour Cherry Cupcakes for Ivanka

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29 Responses

  1. Yeah, it’s funny how you can hardly remember anymore how your life was before they were born… strange ;)

  2. Amanda says:

    What is cream stabilizer? Does it help whipped cream hold its shape and not melt as easily? It’d be great to get some - I love to eat whipped cream during the summer, but it melts sooo easily from the heat.

    Happy half birthday to her! Those cupcakes look gorgeous.

    • Alina says:

      Amanda, yes whipped cream stabilizer helps whipped cream set more quickly, hold its shape, and sit in the refrigerator for a longer time (say, overnight). I usually buy Dr Oetker Sahnesteif.
      Oh I just can’t imagine anything melting from the heat right now :D we’re still wearing coats here :-(
      Thank you for your comment! ^_^

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