I have the most lovely neighbours ever. They are quiet and kind and often bless us with surprises outside our door on special occasions and for no reason at all.
Such was the case on Wednesday. The neighbour lady had run into Little L and Miss Bee when they were all walking along the seawall. Later that night, a purple-tissue-wrapped box was waiting outside our door.
In it was a mini cupcake baking kit, complete with sprinkles and a child-sized wooden spoon. As "luck" would have it, this was one of Little L's random late-nap days, so I was tasked with keeping an alert toddler entertained at 10:00pm at night. Perfect! We would make cupcakes to keep me awake and keep Little L occupied!
I did all of the measuring and oven stuff. Little L poured contents into the bowl, held the eggs, mixed the batter (with my help of course), and lined the baking trays with cupcake liners. She also taste-tested batter and licked spoons.
When the cupcakes were ready (baked *and* cooled, which is forever in toddler-time but really just about 30 minutes), we began to decorate! I gave Little L her cupcake (figuring that most people wouldn't want to eat toddler-germs from licked fingers) to work on, handed her one of her Toddler knives, put a big dab of icing on her cupcake, and showed her what to do with that colourful bowl of sprinkles.
She wasn't really loving the knife, so that tool got ditched right away in favour of her fingers. Not surprisingly, she quickly developed a taste for Duncan Hines Cream Cheese Icing, so I had to intervene and spread the icing out before she could scoop the entire dollop of icing in her mouth. Little L figured out the sprinkling bit soon after, but for some reason she wasn't nearly so eager to completely cover her cupcake with the colourful sugar bits.
As I iced the other cupcakes, Little L happily picked all of the icing off the top of her cupcake, leaving the actual cupcake virtually untouched. She was in sugar-overload bliss.
The experience was such a hit that we did an encore performance the next night (photos here are from both nights), and this time we made a big batch together so that we could give our neighbour a few cupcakes along with the thank-you card we made together.
I think we will be making this easy-baking (from a box mix) thing a regular part of our month. As Little L gets older, she will be better able to decorate and ice them, and one day I might even show her how to use the fancy icing piping tools! I got such a thrill from watching my girl get excited about helping me that I would love to do more culinary stuff with her, if not for the fact that I'm not much for cooking myself :/