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Get Baking with Easy Cupcakes This Half Term

Get Baking with Easy Cupcakes This Half Term
18 February 2015 1931 Views No comments

Well, half term is here, which means getting to spend more time with your little ones. However, it can also mean that you start running out of ideas when it comes to activities or days out.

Rather than trying to do something big every day or simply letting them play at home, why not have fun and teach them a skill? Baking is a great way to teach your children about how to behave in a kitchen, while also providing them with some tasty treats.

You don't need to bake anything too complicated – simple cupcakes are quick, easy and cheap to make, as well as being a great way to get all your kids involved. Cupcakes also provide a lot of things for little ones to do, as they can help you to make them, and then they can decorate them. This means that baking can take up a large portion of the day, which is perfect for half term or a weekend.

While cakes may not be the healthiest food, they are okay in small amounts so your little ones will enjoy a sweet treat. If you make them from scratch, you also know what is going into them so you know there aren't any hidden nasties in the ingredients.

Here is a simple and quick cupcake recipe to try with your kids.

Ingredients

  • 170g/6oz caster sugar
  • 170g/6oz margarine
  • 170g/6oz self raising flour
  • 3 medium eggs

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and place paper or silicone cupcake cases on a cupcake baking tray. This recipe can make up to 24 cupcakes, so you may need two trays.
  • Place sugar and margarine in a large bowl and mix together until light and creamy.
  • Add one egg and one third of the flour to the sugar and margarine. Mix together until all ingredients are combined. Repeat this until all eggs and flour has been added to the mix.
  • Your cake mixture should be quite light and fluffy, as the air will help the cakes rise.
  • Use teaspoons to separate the mixture equally into the cupcake cases.
  • Place in the oven for around 20 minutes or until golden.
  • Allow to cool and then decorate however you want!

Decorations

There are loads of ways you can decorate your cupcakes, and it can be quite fun to provide different toppings to get your little ones to create different designs.

Here are some easy cupcake toppings that can help to complete your baking day:

Standard icing

All you need for this is icing sugar and water, although you can also add food colouring to make it more interesting.

Pour some icing sugar in bowl and slowly add drops of water to create the right consistency. Adding water too quickly can mean that your icing ends up too runny, which can be rectified by adding more icing sugar.

Ideally, your icing should be thin enough to spread easily but not so thin that it runs all over the place. Very thick icing can be difficult to work with.

If using food colouring, ensure that it is a natural variety which contains no behaviour-altering additives. You will only need a few drops to get a vibrant colour.

Chocolate

Milk chocolate is the easiest option for decorating cupcakes, as it melts and sets much more easily than white chocolate, and is a lot tastier for little ones than dark chocolate.

You can either melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water, stirring occasionally, or use the microwave. It is worth noting that the microwave can burn chocolate, so more care is required. Break the chocolate up into pieces and place them in a microwavable bowl. Place on a medium heat for 20 seconds at a time, stirring each time.

Once the chocolate is completely melted, just use spoons to put it on the cupcakes, ensuring that your children understand that it may be hot.

Buttercream

This is a thicker form of icing that is perfect for piping or for creating butterfly cakes.

Simply add 140g/5oz of softened butter or margarine to 280g/10oz of icing sugar – you can half this recipe if you don't need as much. Mix the two ingredients together until you get a light and fluffy cream. You may need to add a couple of tablespoons of milk to help everything blend.

You can add cocoa powder or food colouring to the mixture to make it more exciting if you want.

For butterfly cakes, cut out a circle from the centre of each of the cupcakes – this should be slightly indented, but shouldn't go deeper than half the thickness of the cakes – and fill the hole with buttercream.

Cut the circular piece of cupcake in half and press lightly into the cupcake to create butterfly wings. You can then add edible glitter or decorations to complete your cupcakes.

These are just a few ideas for cakes you could make with your little ones. Happy baking!