The Party Emporium

Cult cakes: Miss Bunting’s version of Black Star Pastry’s Watermelon & Strawberry cake

Cult cakes: Miss Bunting’s version of Black Star Pastry’s Watermelon & Strawberry cake

Rumoured to be the most instagrammed cake in the world,  Sydney’s Black Star Pastry’s Watermelon & Strawberry cake was one instance where I wanted to have my cake AND eat it. Problem is, I don’t live in Sydney. So when my husbands’ family decided to put on a baby shower breakfast for me, I thought this would be the perfect time to see if I could knock up a homemade version that had the same sentiment, but possibly not the same look and taste. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to find out for real, but for now I was chuffed to find a cake with watermelon  and strawberries in it, I mean, basically it’s a breakfast fruit salad in cake form, right?

Black Star Pastry's cult Watermelon and Strawberry cake.

Black Star Pastry’s cult Watermelon and Strawberry cake.

Not that I can take all the credit though – I’m certainly taking the easy option by using store bought sponge (quelle horreur!) and I’ve actually combined two recipes to create this one here. Firstly, Delicious have a Watermelon & Rose layer cake, which is very similar, but doesn’t have the Almond Dacquoise layer that the Black Star Pastry has. So for this, we’ve borrowed from the King of Desserts himself, Adriano Zumbo and altered his Hazelnut Dacquoise recipe, found here.

Finally, this cake uses rosewater – which I adore, but it is a polarising flavour for many. I couldn’t track down any rose petals and would normally get the ones from Pariya – so here I used some from my garden as I know we don’t used pesticides on them! I also added pomegranate from my garden too, as they suit the middle eastern influence and I just adore their jewel ruby red colour, though mine are a rose colour.


For the Almond Dacquoise: 

  • 150g roast almonds
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 200g egg whites (approx 6 big eggs or 8 small ones)
  • 50g caster sugar

For the rest of the cake: 

  • 1/2 a seedless watermelon
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) rosewater
  • 1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
  • 500g punnet strawberries, halved
  • 600ml thickened cream
  • Unfilled sponge cake – I used the 450g rectangular version from Coles.
  • Approx. 15 seedless grapes, halved
  • Slivered pistachios and rose petals to serve.
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional) to serve


For the Almond Dacquoise: 

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. (160°C fan-forced)
  2. Line a large tray with baking paper –  I used 2 lamington trays the same size as the sponge cake.
  3. Finely grind almonds with the icing sugar. (If your almonds aren’t roasted, simply pop them in the oven for 15 minutes)
  4. To make the meringue, place the egg whites and a pinch of caster sugar in the bowl of a food mixer. Beat, on medium speed, until frothy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, one-third at a time. Let each amount clear before adding the next. Continue mixing on medium speed for a stronger and more developed meringue.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and gently fold in the nuts and sugar mixture until just combined. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Your dacquoise must be crisp on the outside, and soft and moist on the inside.
  6. Remove from the oven, and set aside to cool completely. Gently remove each of the meringues from the baking paper.
 For the rest of the cake: 
  1. Slice your watermelon into 1cm slices . Arrange on a wire rack in a single layer, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon rosewater and 2 tablespoons sugar, then stand for 30 minutes for flavours to infuse. Pat dry.
  2. Combine strawberries with 1 tablespoon of rosewater in a bowl then stand for 15 minutes to infuse.
  3. Whisk the cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with electric beaters until thickened. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon rosewater and whisk until soft peaks.
  4. If using the Coles rectangular sponge, carefully slice the cake halves in half again, horizontally. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and sprinkle with a little extra rosewater. Spread over one-third of the cream, then using one of the other sponges as a size guide, trim your almond dacquoise to sit on top of the sponge layer.  Repeat layers, then top with a final layer of cake and cream. Press grapes and strawberries into the cream, then garnish with pistachios, dried rose petals and pomegranate seeds.
 This cake looks so much more complicated than it actually is – and it’s a real showstopper! If you were making for a party, get ahead of the game and make the almond dacquoise the night before and chop up your strawberries, watermelon, grapes and even whip your cream and keep it cool. All you need to do then is assemble close to serving!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

As if time doesn’t feel like it’s moving faster year on year, having Easter in March this year is only compounding matters! Still, it’s a time of year to slow down and reflect – and here at Bunting HQ, we’re feeling the need for mindfulness to deal with the hectic fullness of our day to day. As such, Easter for us is a relatively low-key affair this year. On the agenda? Sleep-ins, long lunches and tackling the ever-growing magazine stash piling up bedside. As such, for our Easter lunch this year, we’ve gone super-simple with a 10 second DIY – which is so cute, it will totally look like you invested a whole lot-more time thinking about what to create. Simply toast 120g of slivered almonds, melt 375g milk chocolate over a bain marie, and throw in some toasted, shredded coconut if you can be bothered. Mix well in a bowl and spoon dollops onto a greaseproof lined tray, creating a small well in the centre with a teaspoon and cool in the fridge until set. Grab some mini-eggs and voila – Easter cuteness in 10. Enjoy and Happy Easter. xx


The ten minute teacake

The ten minute teacake

Otherwise known as ‘oh crap, I’ve got guests here in an hour’, this is a recipe for those that count greek yoghurt and frozen blueberries as pantry staples. I rarely cook with cream – ironically only really for baking – as I find  Greek yoghurt a good substitute for cooking and always have a tub of the good stuff, and I am never without frozen berries. Though now I religiously check for the country of origin….! I found this recipe some time ago via Julia’s Album and have tweaked it slightly for an Australian baker. I love it because it seriously takes 10 minutes to chuck together before putting in the oven for 30 minutes. The Greek yoghurt gives it a beautiful, moist texture and it’s not overly ‘sweet’.


  • 1 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 60 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar (preferably caster)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1 cup blueberries – fresh or frozen


Preheat the oven to 190°. Mix the butter and sugar in your Kitchenaid, mixer or handheld beater until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and egg, mix until pale and creamy.

In another bowl, sift your flour, baking powder and salt together, then tip half into the butter and sugar mixture. Mix together slowly, add half the yoghurt, mix again and repeat with the remaining flour mix and yoghurt. You can do this step by hand – try not to over mix or you’ll knock the air out.

Pour / scoop into a lined, greased springform tin (around 20cm – it’s not a big cake or one that will rise that high) and then pour over your cup of frozen berries, lightly pressing them in.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 190° (this will depend on your oven). It should be a lovely golden colour and a skewer will come out clean. Stand to cool before removing from the tin.



Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) a.k.a. easiest recipe in the world

Dutch Butter Cake (Boterkoek) a.k.a. easiest recipe in the world

I recently stumbled across the recipe on Pinterest the other day and a bunch of childhood  memories came flooding back. It’s called Boterkoek – basically a Dutch Butter Cake and let’s just say it does what it says on the tin. The beauty of this one is you literally only need 4 ingredients – kitchen staples – so it’s that perfect recipe to keep up your sleeve when you have unexpected guests arriving in 30 minutes. This is rich and decadent – but I’m a big believer in everything in moderation and I also believe in ‘if you’re going to do it, do it right’. So with that, we went the whole hog with the richest French Butter we could find! You’ll also find other recipes around with almond meal and eggs and so on – but we love this one for the simplicity. Yes it’s not exactly slimming, but a small slice of this with an espresso and its pretty much like having shortbread with your coffee….heaven in a slice.

The original recipe can be found over here, but we’ve converted it to metric for you here. Enjoy! (And then go for a run…)


  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose plain flour
  • 250g (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup (150 grams) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Line an 20cm x 20cm pan with baking paper.
  2. Melt the butter and mix it with the flour, sugar, and salt until just combined. Don’t overmix. Press into the bottom of prepared pan.
  3. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes until the edges just start to turn golden. The middle may still be gooey, but the cake is definitely done at this point. Allow to cool completely before removing foil from pan and cutting into squares.

That’s it! Seriously!

If using salted butter, just omit the salt from this recipe.



Donna Hay’s Chocolate & Pretzel Cake will change your life.

Donna Hay’s Chocolate & Pretzel Cake will change your life.

Ahh, Easter. That time of year when you gorge yourself on all manner of chocolate goodness, and then swear you’ll never touch the stuff for at least 24 hours. When you’ve recovered from over-indulging (after all, dark chocolate is good for you…), you’ll want to try this recipe – and chances are, you’ve got most of the ingredients already. This one of those recipes you are likely to bust out time and time again – it’s a super simple crowd-pleaser with wow-factor, from that doyenne of all things tasty – Donna Hay. It is quite literally the best thing you’ll put in your mouth.


Pick up a copy of this month’s Chocolate special issue – but this is the one recipe you really need in your life. Find it on her website here or read it below. Trust us on this one.


  • 115g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 450g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • ¼ cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 1 cup (50g) mini pretzels





Chip chop & make choc chips!

Chip chop & make choc chips!

We can hardly file these under ‘recipes’, but they were so simple and yummy we just HAD to share! Simply take one packet of plain salted chips – crinkle cut looks better for these and dip in quality melted dark chocolate melted using the bain-marie method. Leave to set on a sheet of baking paper and serve.


Easter bunny cupcakes

Easter bunny cupcakes

Last Easter, we went overboard on the chocolate, making this easter egg covered chocolate cake and these super simple and super cute chocolate easter nests. After a stint in chocoholics anonymous, we thought we’d try something vanilla based, meaning there’s plenty of room for chocolate Easter eggs – and how darling are these bunny ear cupcakes? The best thing, they’re a show-stopper and a complete cinch to make. Now I don’t know about you, but sometimes – there just ain’t enough hours in the day, so don’t be feeling bad about grabbing a packet mix of cupcakes. Seriously, don’t. Guilt is a wasted emotion, so bear that in mind when you’ve scoffed three of these with afternoon tea!

Read these instructions well ahead, as these are best made in stages.

You need:

1 packet of cupcake mix

500g white Pettinice

Red or pink food colouring

4 egg whites

2 cups caster sugar

Cold water

Piping bag

Bunny ear template

The night before you want to present your cupcakes, grab yourself some ready to roll Pettinice fondant icing from your local cake supply shop and channel your inner toddler – this stuff is to adults what playdough is for kids.  Grab about 500g of the white stuff and if you have a little red food colouring, use a droplet to turn 200g of it pink (literally just knead and massage the fondant, a little bit of colour at time until you get your desired shade). Otherwise, grab another pack of pink Pettinice. This is enough for about 6 -8 sets of bunny ears. Print out a bunny ear template – we found ours here. You want your ears to be around 10 – 12cm long, bearing in mind you need to push them right into the cupcake and you don’t want them too thick or they become top heavy and fall over. Roll out one layer of fondant about 2mm thick and using your template and a sharp knife, cut out your sets of bunny ears – the bigger section in white, and repeat the process for the inner ear, using the pink fondant. Using just a finger dipped in water or a paintbrush, moisten the back of the pink ear and place directly where you want it to go on the big white ear shape. Once it’s there, don’t move it or the pink colour will smudge along the white fondant. Bend one of your ears over and slightly outward to create one floppy ear. Leave these out overnight to dry out hard. Hint, if your fondant sticks to your work surface, use a really light dusting of icing suger. Not too much or you’ll change the consistency of the fondant!

Bunny ears

These are best assembled close to serving, so make your cupcakes ahead and leave to cool. When they are baking, make your meringue icing using the double boiler method like this recipe. Place in your piping bag and pop in the fridge to keep cool. Essentially you want super thick and glossy icing to help support your ears. Hint: make sure you use caster sugar – this is really refined and dissolves so you have smooth icing.

Pipe your icing onto your cupcakes and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve and simple push your ears right into the cupcake. The ears should have dried out and hold straight.

To create our setting shown, shop our cupcake wrappers, lace placemats, placecards, spoons and tissue poms here. Try using tissue paper poms as a table runner instead, and hide easter eggs throughout for a cute take on a classic!






Black beauty: Guinness laced black velvet baby cakes

Black beauty: Guinness laced black velvet baby cakes

Top of the morning to you all! It’s St Patrick’s Day, so what better excuse than to find any recipe with Guinness in it? We road-tested these Black Velvet Baby Cakes….totally and utterly delicious. What’s even better, they’re a one pan wonder – just chuck it in one bowl and mix! Just be warned – they are super crumbly and moist, more like a pud’ and less like a cupcake, so can be a little messy. If you are cavalier in your measuring department, go easy on the liquids – too much moisture and these just fall apart.


100g softened butter, plus extra for greasing

175g light brown soft sugar

1 egg

100g self-raising flour

50g ground almonds

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

5 tbsp cocoa, plus a little extra for decorating

150ml Guinness



Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the bases of 6 dariole moulds with baking parchment. Put the butter, sugar, egg, flour, ground almonds, bicarbonate, cocoa and Guinness in a mixing bowl. Beat together until lump-free. Divide between the tins then bake for 20-25 mins until risen and a skewer poked in comes out clean. Cool for 15 mins, then remove from tins and cool completely.

Whip cream with the icing sugar and splash of Champagne, if using, until thick. Spoon a dollop onto the top of each cake and dust with a touch of cocoa.



Sprinkles of fun

Sprinkles of fun

I’m one of those people who actually like those American style ‘cookies’ – those chewy, soft baked biscuits only they seem to do so well. So for Valentines, we thought these sprinkle-laden funfetti biscuits originally seen here on Sally’s Baking Addiction would be the perfect way to bake your way into your loved one’s heart.


  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g)  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (cannot be omitted)
  • 1/2 cup (80g) sprinkles, plus more for sprinkle on top before baking


In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Get it nice and smooth, then add the sugar on medium speed until it gets creamy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Add the dry ingredients slowly, into the wet ingredients in 3 different parts. The dough gets thick and you may find it easier to take it off the mixer and stir the rest by hand. Once combined, fold in 1/2 cup sprinkles.

Scoop a large sections of dough (about 2 tbsp of dough) and roll into balls. Make sure the balls are taller, rather than wide. Add a few more sprinkles on top of each ball dough.

Chill the balls of dough for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours in the refrigerator. This step is essential as it will prevent spreading in the oven. Because it was for Valentines Day, I flattened the balls and cut them into love heart shapes, bearing in mind they spread, so ensure the love heart shape is definitive.

Preheat oven to 180C. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Bake chilled cookie dough for 8 minutes, no more. The cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes and move to wire rack to cool completely.

Cookies stay soft & fresh for up to 1 week at room temperature. Cookies freeze well. Cookies may be rolled into balls and frozen up to 3 months to bake at a later date. Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.


Australia Day, the stylish way

Australia Day, the stylish way

Green & gold – not always a winning colour combination if not done well! Go for cooler, lighter shades of green when pairing with yellow – sometimes forest green can look a bit drab. Here are our picks from the Miss Bunting shop – our favourite? Our giant yellow balloons with mint & yellow tassels of course. And try this cheats recipes for the cutest Green Grass Lamington Recipe – simple and super easy (it’s okay to cheat every now and then). Happy Australia Day!


Green Grass Lamingtons

  • 130 grams (1 1/2 cups) dessicated coconut
  • 20 drops food colouring
  • 175 g store bought lamington
  • 425 g (2 3/4 cup)  icing sugar mixture, sifted
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) hot water
  • 5 drops food colouring, extra


Place the coconut in a plastic bag. Add the food colouring and shake and rub until well combined. Transfer to a plate.

Use a large serrated knife to trim the crusts from the top and bottom of the cake. Cut the cake into 3 even portions, then cut each portion into 6 squares. Place the icing sugar mixture into a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Add the hot water and extra food colouring and use a whisk to stir for 5 minutes or until smooth and runny.

Use 2 forks to dip each cake square in the icing mixture to coat. Shake off excess. Roll the cake in the coconut mixture to evenly coat. Transfer to a wire rack to set.

Recipe via

Images via Miss Bunting and Tuck & Bonte.