Cupcakes: what better way to get all the kids involved in not only creating a masterpiece using their imaginations but also learning about baking, measuring, decorating and so on?

Shortbread: can you think of a more classic, well enjoyed treat?

I have suddenly just gotten very motivated with regards to my baking and like to try something new as well as keep to the basics.

Here are a couple of recipes that I tried and loved and I’m sure your kids and wider family/friends will too!


Pineapple Cupcakes


1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 cup drained pineapple chunk, cut in half


Preheat oven to 350°F Line muffin pan with paper liners.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil and egg until smooth. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and milk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of milk, beating until smooth. Stir in pineapple.

Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting, if desired.

Read more here.



In terms of getting creative with your children, it is easy to mix a bowl of icing and colour it in several different colours.  Why not put a layer of white on each cupcake, and then put the colours in different ziploc bags with a corner cut off each one?  Your children can have a wonderful time writing and colouring all over their cupcake creations and the result should provide enough morning teas to last the week!




250g Butter

1/2  cup sugar

2 cups plain flour



Cream butter and sugar, mix in flour.

Mix well and then roll into a log. Refrigerate for 20-30 mins for the  butter to set again.

Slice up the log into equal thickness biscuits (about 2cm thick dependent on preference). Use fork to make small vents in top of each biscuit.

Cook at 150C for 10-20 mins or until light and golden brown on base.


Recipe thanks to Bernadette Ranson (my mum)!

Shortbread is one of the most loved treats, especially for the elderly.  Why not make some extra, put it in a little bag tied with a colourful ribbon and drop it off to an elderly person in your neighbourhood?  If you can afford the time, stay for a cup of tea to enjoy some conversation too!

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Emma Ranson is a stay-at-home mum to two beautiful girls- Grace and Sienna. She followed her heart to Hamilton and loves hanging out with her family- including her Australian Terrier Cross dog, Ruby. Emma is a whizz at all things crafty and loves the challenge of creating something new.

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