Birthday Celebrations

It was big A’s 6th birthday on Friday. I can’t believe the years have flashed by so fast. It feels like only yesterday that she was born. Without doubt the BEST day of my entire life (and the birth of little Z, of course). It changes your life so dramatically and the amount of love that pours from you to your offspring brings an indescribable warmth and happiness. Its sounds very cheesy I know, but I promise its true.  Even friends who swore they weren’t at all maternal have their first baby and then BOOM, it hits them like a bolt out of the blue and they too become completely and utterly smitten for their newborn. Our bodies work in mysterious ways. I have very fond memories of the day both my daughters were born.

As is tradition at my daughter’s school, the birthday boy or girl takes in cakes for the class to share after lunch. So yesterday I baked away using adorable Moomin cupcake cases designed and created by my favourite cake case accessory company Kala:s Farm, who are based in Sweden.

To hear how I came across this fabulous little company to begin with click here.

Anyway according to big A the chocolate cakes, with a simple butter icing covered in lilac, gold, pink and green edible glitter, were a huge hit and all her friends loved the moomin cake cases.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Butter Icing 

serves 24 hungry children 

180 degrees for 25 minutes


225g butter/soft margarine

225g caster sugar

225g self raising flour

4 eggs

2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp cocoa powder

3 tbsp of boiling water

Butter Icing

225g butter

35g cocoa powder

375g icing sugar, sifted

little milk

1. Mix the butter (I use half butter half soft margarine), caster sugar, self raising flour, baking powder and eggs together in a blender. Equally you can do this manually in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.

2. Put the boiling water with the cocoa powder and stir until it is no longer lumpy. Leave to cool and then add to the sponge mix.

3. Place two teaspoons of cake mixture into each cupcake case, if you are using the same size cases as pictured here.

4. Place on a tray in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 25 minutes. When they are cooked leave to cool completely before icing.

5. To make the butter icing literally mix all the ingredients together except the milk, which is best to add in gradually to reach the consistency you require. You will find that you will need very little – possibly one or two teaspoons.

6. Sprinkle with edible glitter and serve to an audience of delighted children.

Carrot and Walnut Muffins in the most adorable cases


When I was strolling around Gastown, the almost gentrified area of downtown Vancouver, I ambled into a rather delightful home interiors store called Orling & Wu. A treasure trove of throws, cushions, lamp shades, wallpapers and candles, clearly artfully chosen by its two owners. Within the store I came across the most stunning selection of muffin case designs that I have ever seen. They were utterly gorgeous and the type of cases that inspire you to throw a tea party in order to show them off, they certainly deserve the attention.


On closer inspection I learned that the cases were sourced closer to home – in Sweden of all places. The company Kala:s far:m designs and creates these little gem muffin, cake and cupcake cases. In each delicately boxed case there is a recipe – what an ingenious idea – and in mine was carrot muffins, which I thought I would share with you. I’ve altered it slightly, so below you will find my version. I don’t have a sweet tooth at all, but these muffins taste really good and deliciously moist, I may even be converted.

Carrot and Walnut Muffins

Fills 20 cases

300g/12 oz granulated white sugar

200ml olive oil

3 eggs

3 carrots, grated

250g/10 oz self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

50g/2 oz walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade.

2. Beat the sugar and oil in a mixing bowl and then add the eggs.

3. Grate 3 carrots and add these to the mixture.

4. Mix the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, almost all the walnuts (save a few if you are going to do some butter cream on the top) and salt and stir into the egg and sugar mixture.

Carrot and Walnut Muffins

5. Carefully spoon the mixture into the muffin cups so that just over half the muffin cup is full. If you fill them to the top they will spill over the sides when they are in the oven.

6. Place in the oven for 15-17 minutes at 150 degrees centigrade and then leave to cool prior to putting any butter cream on top.


Butter cream

I tend to leave some of my muffins butter cream free as I know some people prefer them without a topping so the proportion below will cover about half of the muffins. Do double quantities if you want to cover all of them.

75g/3 oz unsalted butter

175g/7 oz icing sugar

a few drops of warm water

1. Take the butter out of the fridge when you begin to make the muffins themselves, so that it softens.

2. Beat the butter and icing sugar until fluffy. To save time I used an electric mixer but good old fashioned arm power will work equally well. If you need to soften the icing then add a few drops of warm water.

3. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.


4. Enjoy !