Top five best children’s recipes

We've rounded up the best recipes to make with your children this half term, from cheesy muffins to a deliciously rich chocolate fridge cake.

Children will love helping out with these quick and easy recipes, and the results make perfect teatime treats.

Raspberry FanciesRaspberry iced fancies (makes 12)

100g butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs, beaten
100g self-raising flour
175g fresh raspberries
100g icing sugar, sifted

Beat the butter, sugar and lemon rind together in a bowl with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs with a spoonful or two of the flour then stir in the remaining flour until smooth. Divide 12 paper or foil fairy cake cases between sections of a 12 hole muffin tin. Divide the cake mixture between them then gently press the raspberries into the cake mixture adding four or five to each cake case depending on their size.

Bake in a preheated oven set to 350F/gas mark 4 for 15-18 minutes until golden and the tops of the cakes spring back when pressed lightly with a fingertip. Allow to cool for 5 minutes or so then remove cakes from tin and cool on a wire rack.

When the cakes are cold, put the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually mix in 3-4 teaspoons of the lemon juice until the icing is thick and spoonable. Drizzle the icing over the cakes in random lines with a teaspoon or spoon into a greaseproof paper piping bag, snip of the tip and pipe over the cakes. Leave to stand for 30 minutes for the icing to set then serve.

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Cheese MuffinsCheese muffins

50g cheddar, grated
50g Double Gloucester, grated
250g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Half a teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 medium egg
240ml milk
90ml vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Put 10 paper muffin cases into a muffin tin. Mix together the two cheeses on a plate. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Stir in about three-quarters of the cheese. Beat together the egg, milk and vegetable oil in a separate bowl. Add to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. It is very important not to overmix the ingredients – the batter will be quite lumpy but there should be no dry flour visible. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, then sprinkle the reserved cheese on top. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until light golden brown. Cool for a few minutes, then serve whilst warm.

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Carrot CupcakesCarrot cupcakes with cream cheese topping

175g light soft brown sugar
200g raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons mixed spice
Zest 1 orange
2 eggs
150ml sunflower oil
200g carrots, grated

For the icing
100g butter, softened
300g cream cheese
100g icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. Mix the sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and orange zest. Whisky the eggs and oil together, then pour into the dry ingredients, followed by the grated carrot. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cases and bake for 20 minutes. To make the icing, beat the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla together. Pipe in swirls onto the cupcakes, and sprinkle with chopped nuts, if you like.


Fridge CakeChocolate fridge cake

200g dark chocolate broken into pieces
50g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
180g pack soft amaretti biscuits or 175g good shortbread biscuits, roughly broken into pieces
50g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
175g raspberries
150g blueberries
75g white chocolate, melted

Line a 20cm shallow square cake tin with a large square of non-stick baking paper, snipping diagonally into the corners of the paper then pressing the paper into the tin so that the base and sides are lined. Add the dark chocolate, butter and golden syrup to a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water and heat for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Take the bowl off the heat, add all the biscuits and, keeping a few nuts and berries back for the top, stir the rest into the chocolate mix.  Spoon into the paper lined tin and press into an even layer.  Sprinkle with the remaining nuts and fruit. Chill for 3 hours until firm. To finish, drizzle the melted white chocolate over the top of the cake in zigzag lines using a dessert spoon, then chill for an extra 30 minutes until set.

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Children's TrufflesQuick chocolate truffles
Little fingers will love rolling these, then dropping them into the toppings of their choice. Just make sure they wash their hands thoroughly afterwards!

280g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
284ml pot double cream
50g unsalted butter
Desiccated coconut
Flaked almonds, finely chopped
Crushed pecan nuts

Melt the cream and butter together in a saucepan. Remove from the heat as soon as the cream reaches simmering point, then add the chocolate. Stir together until everything is smooth, then pour the truffle mixture into a shallow dish and chill in the fridge for at least four hours. When you’re ready to shape them, scoop out teaspoonfuls of the mixture, roll between your palms into balls, then drop into whichever topping takes your fancy. Arrange on a greaseproof baking sheet and return to the fridge to chill until you’re ready to eat them.


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