This weekend we have started making THE Christmas Cake. It has become a little bit of a tradition that the girls help out with the Christmas Cake whether it is chopping the dried fruit, grating the orange zest or simply just mixing the gloopy dollopy mixture and making a wish. We will make the cake now and then wrap it tightly in clingfilm and seal it in a box, returning to "feed" it with booze every few days between now and December.
Once December arrives we will decorate the cake together - I haven't quite decided on this year's theme but I think it will involve stars and gold or silver balls and glitter. To help the girls get a bit of practice for the decoration, and to get them into the Christmas cake mood we made some simple Christmassy cupcakes together using a recipe from the Flora website where you can find 3 quick and easy Christmas Cake decorating ideas which can turn a simple cake into a wintery showstopper.
We made a simple chocolate cupcake recipe using 2 eggs, 125g plain flour, 125g caster sugar, 125g sunflower spread and a teaspoon of baking powder and then baked them in a medium oven for around 15 minutes until risen and golden (my own oven doesn't have any numbers on it any more so I have to guess what temperature it is!).
Once the cupcakes were cooled, we could have topped the cakes with a simple buttercream or basic icing paste made from icing sugar. However, in my experience both of these things can get VERY messy when the kids are involved so instead we went back to basics and followed the Five Star Christmas Cupcake decorating instructions from the Flora website which are so simple that I could leave the girls to it and know that the cupcakes would look fabulous.
To make these Five Star Christmas Cupcakes you'll need a pack of ready-to-roll icing in a colour of your choice. You have to kneed the icing until it is very soft, so that decorations will stick nicely to it but other than that you can leave the children to roll the icing and use cookie cutters to cut out festive shapes such as stars.
We used icing sugar, mixed with water to stick the stars to the top of the cupcakes and then decorated with sparkly edible balls and confetti and sprayed with a shimmery edible spray. The girls always love sprinkling things onto the top of cupcakes but somehow this recipe, because it involved rolling and sticking, felt like they owned more of the process of decorating the cakes.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, but that doesn't stop it being fun to read.