Chocolate and Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Icing

chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes

If you were given the choice to spend £250 ($400) on one dress or £250 on one dress, a jacket, shoes and accessories what would you do?

Add to the mix that the money isn’t yours. In fact, not only is it not yours, it’s not anyone’s. That works because you are being given the items for free.

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Banana Cupcakes and Peanut Butter Icing

Banana Cupcakes

Communicating and Negotiating via Facebook

My daughter has 691 friends on Facebook. I’m not sure that’s even a lot in the world of teenage social networking. One of her friends has 728.

Thanks to mobile uploading she also has 1593 photos.

Between Facebook chatting with a small proportion of those friends, managing her photos, studying for her A levels (final exams), eating, sleeping and just generally having a life you wonder how she has any time to talk to her mother.

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Latte Cupcakes

latte cupcake

Two of my kids are desperate for mobile phones (cell phones in the US). They are almost 11 and 13. Most of their friend’s have them already and they feel hard done by (“complete losers” in their words) because up until now we have said no. They also want to go on Facebook. Again, it’s the friends.

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Very Posh Chocolate Cupcake Display

Top Tier

When my eldest daughter started at her sixth form college, after years of private school, she got labelled “posh”.

For one thing she said “prep” instead of “homework”.

Posh kids say “mummy I haven’t got any prep tonight.” Apparently.

I bought her one of those old school badges you can get in novelty shops that said “posh” on it. She wore it on the lapel of her jacket with pride. It became a bit of a joke in our family.

If you met us you would know instantly that we are anything but posh.

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Devil’s Food Cupcakes & White Chocolate Icing

Devils Food Cupcakes

On Sunday, I spent a few hours with my teenage daughter talking through the University application process. She is currently doing her A/S levels (equivalent to Junior year in American high school) and the pressure is mounting as to what she is going to do after she finishes next year.

English literature is her favourite subject and she is keen to study it at University. This is unfortunate for her, as in England this is a very competitive course in terms of applicants versus places. Many Universities might have 40 places but close to 600 applicants. So this means the grade requirements are very high and even then, without an attractive and varied extracurricular “life”, your chances are slim.

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Rose Cupcakes: True Romance

A perfect (and simple) Valentine’s treat for your special one(s). Both Rustic and delicate. And most importantly, unashamedly pink.

Rose Cupcakes

adapted from “Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery” by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas

110g unsalted butter at room temperature
225g golden caster sugar
2 eggs
150 self-raising flour
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp rosewater or more to taste
120ml milk

Preheat oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4. Line 12-hole muffin tray with cases.

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, until combined.

Combine the two flours in a separate bowl. Mix the rosewater with the milk in a jug. Add one-third of the flour to the creamed butter mixture until combined. Pour in one-third of the milk and mix again. Repeat until flour and milk have been completely added.

Spoon mixture into cupcake cases so they are about two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for 25 min. A skewer should come out clean from the centre of cakes when done.

Remove from oven and leave to cool in tins for 10 mins. Then place on wire rack to cool. Cover in icing when completely cold.

Rose Buttercream Icing

115g unsalted butter at room temperature
4 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
500g icing sugar sifted
rosewater to taste
pink food colouring

In a mixing bowl beat first 3 ingredients and half of icing sugar until smooth. This will take several minutes and the longer you do it the creamier the icing will be. Gradually add the rest of the icing sugar and beat until very smooth and very creamy. Add rosewater to taste and then colour it with tiny drops of pink food dye.