Chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate, almonds and lamb are ingredients we commonly associate with Easter. Check out some of Becky Borg St John’s recipes for some innovative ways to use these ingredients

Becky Borg St John of Debbie's Cafe
Becky Borg St John of Debbie's Cafe

When you think of Easter, a few ingredients come to mind –chocolate, in the form of Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies, almonds that fill the traditional figolla and lamb, the perfect roast for Easter lunch. Becky set up Debbie’s Café just over a month ago and had since had huge success in the little village of Mellieha. What makes Debbie’s Café so special is the innovative way she uses traditional ingredients. Check out some of her Easter recipes – chocolate cupcakes decorated with sugar-coated eggs, an orange and almond cake that is completely gluten and lactose free and a delicious lamb sandwich with feta cheese and hummus, perfect for leftovers on Easter Monday! Head up to Mellieha to check out what else she has on offer!

Chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes
Chocolate cupcakes

Makes 32 cupcakes


  • 350g flour
  • 600g sugar
  • 140g cocoa
  • 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 350ml milk
  • 180ml oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 120ml hot water


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Line cupcake case
  3. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  4. Add wet ingredients and mix together.
  5. Fill cupcake cakes two thirds of the way up.
  6. Bake for 15 mins or until skewer comes out clean.

Butter icing


  • 200g butter (softened)
  • 350g cocoa
  • 625g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 12 tbsp cream


  1. Mix cocoa and icing sugar together.
  2. Beat in dry ingredients to the softened butter.
  3. Add vanilla and golden syrup and continue beating.
  4. Slowly add cream till buttercream is light and airy.
  5. Pipe chocolate icing onto cupcakes once cooled and decorate with mini chocolate eggs and chocolate sprinkles.

Orange and almond gluten and lactose free cake

Almonds are synonymous with Easter as the key ingredient to Easter figolli. In today’s world, food allergies are becoming more and more widespread, however you do not have to forego all the things you love. This is an easy recipe that will cure people suffering from gluten or lactose intolerance from their sweet tooth without upsetting their digestive system. 

Orange and almond cake
Orange and almond cake


  • 6 eggs
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 250g sugar
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 tsp (gluten free) baking powder
  • Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Turn oven onto 150°C.
  2. Boil 2 oranges for hours.
  3. Place oranges in food processor until smooth.
  4. Grease and line a 9-inch pan.
  5. Separate 6 eggs.
  6. Whisk egg whites till they form stiff peaks.
  7. In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks and sugar until light and airy.
  8. Add ground almonds and orange and continue to whisk.
  9. Slowly beat in egg whites to the mixture trying to keep as much air as possible in the batter.
  10. Pour the mix into your pan and bake for 50 mins.
  11. Check the cake after 40 mins with a skewer, if it comes out clean it is ready.
  12. Dust with icing sugar once cooled.

Slow-cooked lamb ftira

Use the leftover lamb from Easter Sunday’s roast or roast your own especially for this ftira. It’s definitely worth your while!

Slow cooked lamb ftira with feta cheese and hummus
Slow cooked lamb ftira with feta cheese and hummus


  • 1kg boneless lamb shoulder
  • 2 onions
  • 4 and 1 garlic cloves
  • Sprig fresh mint
  • 2 glasses white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • Feta cheese
  • Ftira
  • Rocket


  1. Place lamb, chopped onions, 4 garlic cloves, mint, white wine, salt and pepper into a baking tray and Cover in foil. Cook 2 hours at 160°C.
  2. Place chickpeas, 1 garlic clove, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, salt and pepper into a food processor. Blitz until smooth.
  3. Once lamb is cooked place the lamb, some of the cooked onions into the ftira, add hummus, crumbled feta and rocket, Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil to serve.

Debbie’s Café is open for breakfast, lunch and tea from 9am to 7pm from Tuesday to Saturday and on Sunday from 9am to 1pm. Check out the vast selection of breakfasts including full English and American pancakes, great sandwiches to eat there or take away and a selection of home-made cakes and desserts that will leave you desperate to be back for more. 

Debbie’s Café

Gorg Borg Olivier Street,


Tel: 2765 4101

Web: [email protected]

Recipes first appeared on Gourmet TODAY.