Kimberley Crossman is donning a pinny for a very good cause

The SPCA ambassador and former Shortland Street star is getting her bake on for charity.

By Penny Lewis
Whether it's jumping out of a plane or baking cupcakes, Kiwi actress Kimberley Crossman is always keen to put her hand up to help raise money for animals.
The SPCA ambassador went tandem skydiving wearing a cow onesie in June as part of a fundraising drive and now she's helping promote SPCA Cupcake Day, where Kiwis can bake to raise money for the charity.
The 29-year-old starred as Sophie McKay on Shortland Street, but now divides her time between Los Angeles and Auckland. Her most recent stint back home was to film new eight-part comedy series Golden Boy, now screening on Three.
Giving her Powder a peck.
Kimberley says she's "not the world's best baker", but she had help from Albie Eaton, her best friend from the age of three.
Whenever Kim returns to Auckland, Albie welcomes her back with a home-made chocolate cake.
Clever Albie helped Kim create a delicious black forest cupcake recipe for Woman's Day readers to join in the fun and raise much-needed cash for SPCA.
Back in LA, Kim's beloved cat Powder is looked after by a "French nanny" when Kim's in Aotearoa.
"Margaux, the cat-sitter, is speaking French to him, so he's now a bilingual cat," Kim says with a smile.
The animal ambassador goes to new heights for the charity!
Her beloved Powder is a "foster fail". Kim was only supposed to take care of him temporarily, but she fell in love with the "sensitive wee boy", who was so shy when she first took him in that he wouldn't come out from under the bed for three days.
"But he's loving when he chooses to be as he's a people pleaser by nature," she purrs.
Kim's other pet in LA is a tarantula called Prince Harry O'Connor, who she jokes "doesn't respond" when she talks to him.
Pets provide comfort to Kim, who has had a steady flow of work in the US. "In LA, it's easy to make everything about you, so it's nice to have them to take care of," she says.

Host your own SPCA Cupcake Day event

Sweet treats and animals – what's not to love? SPCA Cupcake Day is on Monday, August 5 and is a great way for you to help raise funds for the animal charity. You could share your cupcakes at work for a gold coin, run a cake stall at school or host a cupcake-themed event.
Don't worry if August 5 doesn't suit you – any day is good to help animals in need. Last year, nearly 1000 Kiwis took part and raised $336,606. If baking isn't your thing, you can still donate to make a difference. Find out more at spcacupcakeday.co.nz.

Kimberley’s Black Forest Cupcakes

  • ½ cup black cherries
  • from 425g can (reserve the juice), plus ½ cup of the syrup
  • 165g butter
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 11/3 cups caster sugar
  • ¼ cup cherry brandy
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • Whipped cream, chocolate shavings and extra cherries to serve
1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. Process the first measure of cherries and syrup in a food processor to make a purée, then set aside.
3. Combine butter, chocolate, sugar, cherry brandy and cherry purée in a saucepan over a low heat until the butter and chocolate have both melted. Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool down for about 20 minutes.
4. Fold in the flour, baking powder and cocoa. Whisk the egg, then add to the mixture. Divide mixture among cupcake cases.
5. Bake for 40 minutes. Place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely. Top each muffin with whipped cream, then grate over chocolate and place extra cherries on top.

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