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Rainbow Cake Pops: The Baking Tree

Shut the fridge door, two baking posts in one month, who am I?! Before you get too impressed, I’ve not quite ventured into the world of recipe-book-baking just yet, it’s early days and I’m still using a trusty kit. However, I’m now the proud owner of a pair of shiny new scales (thanks to my step-mum Wendy who saw my guesstimated Unicorn Confetti Cupcakes post and kindly gave me proper cooking tools). So hold tight, things are about to get rather technical in the kitchen, at least when I measure the butter anyway…

Today, I’m making Rainbow Cake Pops by The Baking Tree. I found this cute looking kit whilst browsing Not On The High Street and anything with rainbow in the title immediately catches my attention. I always enjoy trying something new and challenging myself and this ticked all the boxes.

The kit has all the essential ingredients included, all you need to do is add two eggs and butter. Simples.

Firstly, you need to add the cake mix, two eggs and 75g of butter into a bowl and mix. Yes, this is actually and accurately 75 grams… yay! Although if it goes wrong I can’t blame my dodgy measurements anymore.

Next pop the mixture into a grease proof lined cake tin (or whatever I have) and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees. This recipe requires bowls, plates, baking trays, saucepans, the lot! My top tip is wash up as you go and use the same bowl instead of creating a mountain of washing up later on.

Meanwhile, when you are not washing up or staring at the oven, it’s time to create the delicious chocolate buttercream. This time 40g of butter is added to the icing mix and believe me, it is an impossibility to make something like this and not give it a taste or ten. It’s too good and twenty minutes is a long time.

20 minutes later… cake and delicious chocolate buttercream are ready for the next stage.

Well not quite, firstly you need to let the cake cool down otherwise you’ll just burn your hands. Once suitably cooled, the cake can be broken up into large pieces and placed into the bowl.

Turn large cake pieces into small breadcrumbs (again, intermittent tasting is mandatory with this recipe).

Add delicious chocolate buttercream to small breadcrumb cake bowl.

Here comes the fun (and messy) stage: the mixture should be slightly sticky and easy to roll between your hands. The kit suggests making 12 balls; I made 7 more photogenic balls and three fatter less-photo-worthy but purely indulgent chocolate balls… oh stop typing, this sentence is just getting plain weird.

Freeze your balls for 30 minutes but don’t let them go rock hard (this post is funnier than I expected).

We can leave our balls alone for a bit whilst we heat up some chocolate buttons and prepare the sprinkles…

After 30 minutes, check your balls and get ready to dunk them in melted chocolate!

The final stage is adding the colourful rainbow sprinkles and then popping them in the fridge to set.

The kit also comes with this handy foam block so that the cake pops can stand alone in the fridge.

I already had a good feeling these were gonna taste nice but I was even more impressed that they looked nearly identical to the ones on the box (except I was more generous with my sprinkles). The step-by-step instructions are so clear & detailed it is hard to go wrong anywhere, so big thumbs up to The Baking Tree.

There are so many awesome creations to try, such as Red Velvet Cake Pops (inc. pink hearts, perfect for Valentines Day) or how about Polka Dot Cookies, which look like so much fun! Which baking kits are your favourite? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

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Décopatch Cactus Pots

At the weekend, I was browsing my local Hobbycraft looking for a relaxing Sunday afternoon crafting activity when I found myself in the décopatch aisle. Décopatch is new to me but the bright and vibrant decorative sheets caught my eye (I’m like a magpie for anything colourful) and I was curious to learn more. The idea is pretty simple: using a dab of glue and the range of bold patterned papers you can completely transform a boring looking object into something fun and eye-catching. I wanted to give it a try.

First you select your base object, this can be anything from an animal, box, picture frame and much more. For my first attempt I wanted to keep things simple with a few mini plant pots. Next you pick your paper, there are tons of beautiful designs to choose from: I went for Pink Llamas, Multicoloured Mosaic and Watercolour Polkadots. Finally, grab some glue and a brush and you are good to go!

I admit, I did Google ‘How to decopatch’ when I got home to see if there were any special skills I needed to learn. Nope. All you need to do is tear up the paper sheets, generously cover object in glue and stick.

It’s like papier mache, but prettier and less messy.

I did a few layers of paper and sealed the whole thing with an extra layer of glue. Ta-da!

Next up was my llamas. The paper looked cute but it turned out to be the most fiddly. As you don’t want to rip your llama’s head off you gotta be especially careful here. Sadly, I don’t think this was the best paper to use for the job, I mean it’s adorable, but headless llama’s tend to lose their cuteness factor. 

Photo showing the side with the most complete llamas.

For the last one, I could go back to random tearing without having to worry about harming any llamas.

It’s enjoyable to watch something plain turn into something so colourful in a matter of minutes.

Once you are happy with the finished design, give it some time to dry then the pots are ready to use. 

I saw these unusual looking cactus in the garden centre complete with bright colourful heads, they fitted perfectly in my pots so I thought they were too good not to buy. Colourful pots need colourful cactus, right?

The possibilities with décopatch are endless! You can make a patchwork design using multiple sheets of paper, you can decorate various animals, letters, pots, boxes and much more. Just grab a base, some pretty paper and get sticking. Have you ever tried décopatch before? What did you create? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

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Unicorn Confetti Cupcakes

Baking is not something I do very often (I can count 3 times here, here and here in the last 12 months). But when I do, you can guarantee it is going to be a) something sweet and b) from a baking kit and c) I’ll blog about it to prove it happened. Today is no exception, however this time I decided to get extra creative and put my own spin on the classic Vanilla Cupcake and then bring it to life with added Unicorn Confetti. 

You will need: Vanilla Cupcake Kit, 1 egg, butter, Unicorn Confetti.

Maybe one day I’ll learn how to make a cake from scratch, but for now it’s all about the baking kit. All you need to do is mix an egg and the cake mix together and bingo, step one is complete.

Great British Bake Off 2019 here I come…

If you have a cupcake tray, it is probably best to use that. I have no idea what my tin is designed for (not cupcakes) but it seemed to do the job so into the oven it went. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 170 degrees. 

Whilst the cupcakes are in the oven, part two can now begin. Things got a bit complicated at this stage as the icing needed 50g of butter and I don’t own scales – so I guesstimated and hoped for the best. I don’t think you can go far wrong though, the more creamy-sugary-deliciousness, the better.

Confession time: I never planned for the cupcakes to be so slim, it is just what happened. However, stacking two together transformed them into cupcake sandwiches and it almost looks like they were supposed to turn out like this. Plus TWO layers of tasty icing is a definite win for me.

Once the cupcake sandwiches have been iced, sprinkle on the Unicorn Confetti and bring on the colour! 

And that is how you transform the classic Vanilla Cupcake into a Unicorn Confetti sandwich! It is so quick and easy to do and they 100% passed the taste quality control test (I had to try a couple to make it fair).

Do you enjoy baking? Do you use baking kits or do you make cakes from scratch? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!

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Sugar & Sloth Pin Party Club: Kawaii Tea Party

Back in September, I treated myself to a couple of Sugar & Sloth Pin Party Club Boxes and only got round to blogging one of them. Click if you want to see Llama’s on a Fancy Dress Parade. I knew I was going to LOVE these boxes and I think you will love them too if you are a fan all things cute & colourful.

The creator behind Sugar & Sloth is the lovely Anita who is forever adding a splash of colour and creativity to Instagram & Twitter. From the website: Anita’s unique designs provide a humorous look at love, cats and motivation. Sugar & Sloth is on a mission to fill the world with more adorably inappropriate animals and sassy cuteness. Today’s installment of fun is the Kawaii tea party (ft. cute Corgie in a cup)!

Each monthly box has a different party theme and you can sign up for £9 a month inc. free postage.

Inside the Kawaii Tea Party box: a cute hard enamel Corgi pin, a Kawaii macaroon button badge, a Tea Party sticker, a Kawaii Tea Party recipe card and love hearts.

Kawaii means cute in Japanese and this box exactly that. A cute tea party with adorable animals, rainbows and flowers. And it’s all pinks and purples with automatically adds an additional level of cuteness, I think.

Sugar & Sloth do the most awesome stickers, a couple of my favourites are the Motivational Unicorn saying “You can do ALL the things!”.  I also love the Dinosaur Book Club Sticker Sheet, because dinosaurs.

“Meet Queenie the Corgi, her motto is ‘Tea Time, all the Time’ or at least that would be her motto if she wasn’t so busy drinking a lovely cup of tea” She is even wearing a little crown, so much cute. If Corgi’s in heart teacups are not your thing (explain yourself), how about The Crazy Cat Lady Bunch Of Flowers pin, the Panda With Pizza pin or the Socially Awkward Girl Gang (give me a lifetime membership, please).

“Wear this sassy macaron button badge when you’re feeling bad ass, and also a little French.” Enamel pins will always be my first love, but recently I’ve started a small but growing collection of badges. I’ve just spotted a few brilliant additions which may be coming soon in the form of the In Naps We Trust badge,  Amateur Cat Photographer badge and Party Like A Platypus badge.

Frozen Kawaii Delight – I’m so going to give this a try in the summer but for now I’m sticking with tea.

This is such a fun subscription box for all those pin-lovers out there. Why not check out all the other party themes such as Duvet Day Self-CareUnappreciated Animals ClubPanda Pizza Party and Rainbow Space Cadets. Personally, I think signing up for £9 a month is great value for money as an enamel pin on it’s own is usually about £7-8 and you get all these fabulous extra cute and colourful goodies too!

If you liked this, why not check out Llama’s On A Fancy Dress Parade because that’s what llamas do best.

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