Daily Archives: 9 March 2015

Mothering Sunday – 5 easy homemade gifts for mums

5 easy homemade gifts for mums on Mothering Sunday


5 easy homemade gifts for mums
on Mothering Sunday

You may want to treat your own mum, or make for another mum who does a fabulous job.

Here are five easy and accessible ideas for anyone to try – young or old. Children will love helping to make any of these lovely gifts, and mums will adore them no matter how well made (or not! – my own mum has had some ‘interesting’ Blue Peter creations in the past). After all, it’s always the thought that counts.


Mother’s Day Cupcakes

Mother's Day CupcakesMakes 9
Time 45 mins
Calories 485 Fat 27g of which 16.9g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Butter, at room temperature and very soft 110g (4oz)
Caster sugar 110g (4oz)
Lemon extract 1 tsp
Eggs 2 large, beaten
Self-raising flour 110g (4oz)
Baking powder 1 tsp
Milk 1 tbsp

For the topping
Butter, softened 175g (6oz)
Icing sugar 300g (11oz), sifted
Lemon extract 1 tsp
Sugar flowers and sugar sprinkles (glimmer) to decorate

1 Preheat oven to 180ºC/ Gas 4 and place cupcake cases in a muffin tin. Put butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Add lemon extract with eggs, flour, baking powder and milk. Using beater attachment, mix batter well until you have a smooth pale cake mixture.

2 Divide mixture between cupcake cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and firm to touch. Leave in the tin to cool.

3 Beat butter, using an electric whisk, until pale then add icing sugar and mix on lowest setting until blended. Then blend on full speed for a minute. Add lemon extract and beat again. Spoon buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe swirls onto cupcakes. Decorate with sugar flowers and glimmer.


Crunchy Peanut Brittle

Crunchy Nut BrittleMakes 425g (15oz)
Time 20 mins
Calories 72/15g Fat 3g of which 0.8g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Caster sugar 175g (6oz)
Golden syrup 75g (3oz)
Unsalted peanuts 175g (6oz)
Unsalted butter 15g (½ oz)

1 Place sugar and syrup into a heavy-based saucepan and add 125ml (4fl oz) cold water. Fill a jug with boiling water.

2 Heat gently, stirring continuously, until sugar is completely dissolved, brushing sides of pan with hot water occasionally.

3 Add peanuts to sugar syrup and bring up to boil. Boil, without stirring, for 7-10 minutes until mixture turns to a rich golden caramel colour.

4 Immediately remove from heat and add butter. Mix into caramel by tilting pan – do not stir. Quickly pour onto an oiled baked sheet. Leave to cool and set hard.

5 When cold, break into pieces and store in a tin, interleaved with baking paper.


Luxury Coffee Truffles

Luxury Coffee Truffles Time 30 mins plus chilling
Makes 20-25
Calories 66
Fat 6g of which 3.1g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Cook’s dark chocolate 150g (5oz), chopped
Double cream 4 tbsp
Butter 50g (2oz), softened
Instant coffee 1 tsp, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
Cocoa 25g (1oz), sifted
Petit four cases

1 Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring. Remove from heat and stir in cream, butter and coffee. Mix well, until smooth. If butter doesn’t melt, return bowl to stand over the pan of hot water and stir until melted. Cool, then cover and refrigerate for 1-1½ hours until firm, not solid.

2 Scatter cocoa onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Scoop teaspoons of chocolate and then, using your fingertips, roll into little balls, coating with cocoa. Place truffles in petit four cases. If they are Mother’s Day gifts, pop into a pretty gift bag or box.


Spa in a Jar

Spa in a JarI came across this charming idea for a homemade gift on Pinterest. I have to say, I am totally hooked… the possibilities for personalised gifts are endless. In essence, you fill a jar with small items that you know a friend will love or find useful. Make it pretty and voila – a gorgeous and thoughtful gift, which can be very inexpensive to put together.

Here’s how I made it:

1 From Boots I bought a selection of miniature goodies from their travel section.

2 I pilfered a (clean) good-sized jar from the recycling bin and filled it with the spa goodies.

3 Then I wrapped a ribbon around the centre and a smaller ribbon around the lid, securing with double-sided tape.

4 The Spa in a Jar label is cut from a piece of patterened card and attached with double-sided tape.

Easy peasey!

Your ‘in a jar’ gift could be anything you like –  seeds, handcream, twine and gloves for a  garden lover or possibly cookie in a jar with  all the ingredients to make some fabulous biscuits?


Lime & Mint Sugar Scrub

Lamb & Mint Sugar ScrubI am a huge fan of Soap & Glory Products but after a spectacularly horrific garage bill we are tightening our belts quite considerably. So, when my gorgeous sugar scrub ran out, I decided to be uber-sensible and make my own.

Here’s how to make it:

Coconut oil 110g (4oz) (available from Holland & Barratt)
Granulated sugar 110g (4oz)
Lime 1, zest and juice
Spearmint or peppermint oil 10 drops

1 In a saucepan, heat coconut oil gently until melted. Stir in sugar, lime zest and juice, and oil.

2 Decant into a jar and store in the fridge.

Use twice a week for invigorated and super-soft skin.

Tip: You could use olive oil in place of the coconut oil (it doesn’t need to be heated). Simply add enough to the sugar to make a thick paste.


Whether you’re a daughter, or a mum or a grandma, have a wonderful day!



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