By James Christie:
My first memories of home baking are from when I used to visit my aunt Hilda. She was a wonderful baker and I spent many happy hours at her kitchen table, sieving flour, adding sugar and eggs and stirring the mix with my cousins, then waiting patiently while the cakes were in the oven, emitting a wonderful aroma. It was such a lovely thing to do together that it made a big impact on me, and I perpetuated this by regularly baking with my own children.
photo of MomStart and Miles baking together
Easy Peasy Cupcakes recipe.
4oz self-raising flour
4 oz caster sugar (superfine)
4 oz butter or margarine
2 large eggs
A dash of vanilla essence
For the buttercream frosting:
4 oz butter or margarine
8 oz icing sugar
Pink and Blue coloring
Decorations, like sprinkles, small sweets and colored sugar strands or glace cherries
Heat the oven to 175°C, 350 °F.
Mix the flour, sugar, butter and eggs together in a mixer. Spoon the mixture into paper cases in a cupcake tray.
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until risen and golden.
Place the cakes onto a cooling tray.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream frosting, by softening the butter with a spoon, and slowly adding the icing sugar to it. Divide the mixture into two and color one side pink, by adding a tiny bit of red coloring to it and the other side blue. Use a pastry bag with a nozzle to squeeze the icing onto the cupcakes. Decorate with chosen toppings.
Chocolate cupcakes recipe
Use the same ingredients as for cupcakes, only use a tablespoon less flour, and replace it with a tablespoonful of cocoa, stirred into a tablespoon of warm water to blend. For the icing, just add a heaped tablespoon of cocoa to the icing mix. Put a sweet on top of each cake.
Gingerbread People recipe
350g plain flour
100 g butter
175 soft light brown sugar
1 large egg
4 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
For the icing: icing sugar, sieved and some different coloring of your choice.
Heat the oven to 190°C, 375°F.
Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground mixed spice and butter into a large bowl and rub together.
Add the sugar, egg and golden syrup and mix together well, until it becomes a large ball.
Roll out the dough and use cutters to cut shapes out.
Arrange the gingerbread people onto a tray and place into oven for 10-15 minutes.
Ice the shapes with colored icing to make eyes, nose, mouth and clothes.
No Bake Coconut Oaties Recipe
You leave the kids to do this on their own, as this recipe requires no cooking. They just need a hand with melting the chocolate.
3 oz rolled oats
3 oz desiccated (flaked) coconut
4 oz plain chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons of cocoa
1 oz butter, (unsalted)
2 tablespoons golden syrup
Mix the oats and coconut in a bowl.
Melt the chocolate and butter and add the golden syrup.
Add the oats and coconut to the mixture. Add the cocoa powder and stir.
Roll the mixture into balls. If it’s too sticky, add a little more cocoa.
Flatten the balls with a fork and place on greaseproof paper.
When they are hardened, put them into an airtight container in the fridge. They will stay fresh for up to a week.
Cherry and Coconut Oaties
Use the same recipe as above, adding 2 oz of chopped glace cherries.