Every year, Tia and I make cakes for each other’s birthdays, and each year it gets harder and harder to think of something different that the other person will like! So this year, after a lot of head scratching, I thought I’d try something different. Taking inspiration from Oreo Pops, which seem to be all over Pinterest at the moment, I thought I’d jazz up Tia’s all-time favourite biscuits into pops – because putting anything on a stick instantly makes it ten times better. This method could be used with any sandwich-style biscuit or even to make your own new type of biscuit by sandwiching two together with chocolate in the middle.
We love crafting at Christmas! We love anything at Christmas actually. We’ve made and baked loads of things for the festive season in our 3 years blogging at Little Button Diaries, so we thought we’d share with you our favourites.
1. These super cute Chocolate & Cinnamon Pudding Cupcakes. Nyom.
We’ve been a little quiet on the baking front recently as we’ve been snowed under with commissions and book writing. So, now that it’s turning colder and The Great British Bake Off is back (squeal) I’m feeling all inspired to get my bake on. We got sent a copy of the new Cath Kidston baking book to try out and this Salted Almond and Chocolate Brittle jumped out as an easy and incredibly delicious looking bake. It is in one word…scrumdiddlyumptious!
We’ve been a bit quiet on the baking front recently because Laura tried to give up refined sugar (it lasted 1 hour and 49 minutes exactly #fail) and Tia is having major house renovations which has left her without a kitchen… and bathroom and living room… for a while. We’ve still been pinning things we’d like to make and since we have the kids around a bit due to the holiday we’ve got a few bakes to do with them so we thought we’d share them with you. Here are our top picks of things to whip up in the kitchen with the kiddiwinks:
Since the 3rd of January (the day after Grayson’s birthday) Harper had been talking about her birthday and how she wanted a Peter Rabbit cake. So two and a half months later, there we were with a Peter Rabbit birthday cake. I decided to decorate a chocolate cake so as to resemble Mr McGregor’s garden and have a sneaky Peter stealing vegetables from it.
It was Tia’s birthday at the weekend and we have long had an agreement for years that we would always bake each other a birthday cake. This year I created a millionaire shortbread in a cake form because it’s one of her favourites – a chocolate sponge and buttercream with a shortbread, salted cameral and chocolate ganache filling. I called upon two of the baking greats – Nigella for her salted caramel recipe and Mary Berry for her fail-safe sponge.
The last cake I made, Harper really wanted to help with (or eat) the icing. I felt a little mean as I said no as it was nearly bedtime and promised that she could help with the next one. So I made a cake for my Mum’s birthday and thought this would be the perfect one for her to help decorate. This doodle cake is brilliant as it’s basically a blank, edible canvas to create a toddler masterpiece on. The lovely thing about this bake is each cake is completely different depending on the age and artistic ability of your tot.
I went to my meet my friend Alice last week and, knowing that she is a big fan of meringue, I thought I would have a go at making her some mini rainbows to brighten up the grey wet that surrounds us right now. The fact that I forgot to take them with me was a bit annoying! I’m now left munching my way through these little gems.
The party season is well and truly upon us! Hooray! We’ve been to toddler Christmas parties, fake Christmas with friends, and the first of many Christmas dinners this week alone, and have already eaten one box of Quality Street. These chocolate and cinnamon Christmas pudding cupcakes have been what I’ve taken to all our festive social dates so far. I used this cupcake recipe (it had ‘amazing’ in the title so seemed like a winner!) and created the Christmas puddings using Lindor chocolates.
I was thinking I need to do more baking with Amelie. She’s old enough now, and we don’t do enough of it. Partly because I never know what to make, or I don’t have the ingredients, or the time…. guilt, guilt. But this one is easy, simple ingredients, simple decorating. We made some salt dough magic wands a few weeks ago and they worked so well that I thought I’d try a biscuit version. And – news flash – you can stick a wooden skewer into any biscuit and it makes it extra amazing for kids. Just don’t let them run around with it!
While searching for a simple bake that was light and summery – I guess I’m just trying to cling on to the last few days of sunshine – I found this recipe for mojito cakes. The lime makes a nice alternative to lemon cake, and the mint and cream cheese topping makes it taste like a cocktail in a cake! If you don’t have mini loaf tins, these would also work well as cupcakes.
“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable.”
– Matilda, By Roald Dahl
Everyone who reads a Roald Dahl book falls instantly in love with his writing. Fact. We grew up adoring his books and remember them with happy nostalgia. So we were very happy when we were asked to take part in the Matilda Bake Off Competition with some tickets for Matilda the Musical in London. Roald Dahl plus Tim Minchin (who wrote the show) is a mix of wonderful medicine that George himself would be proud of.
I went to visit Tia in her new house last week and took a batch of these cookies along to give her a bit of a boost after all the moving and unpacking. These dark chocolate cookies are packed with coffee and white chocolate and are scrumptious. The recipe is from this Great British Bake Off book (who else is so pleased that it is back on our screens? Hooray!)