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Cupcake baking with your children

Snow days in Iowa may have kept your children home, and your mind racing for ideas to keep them busy.  A simple idea that can be a lot of fun is cupcake baking and decorating.  This will provide you with a snack as well as a creative outlet to keep someone occupied.

Your baking skills do not have to impressive.  Most of us can follow a box mix recipe.  If your children are old enough, they can even follow it with your supervision.  If they can't follow the recipe on their own, let them add the ingredients one at a time.  The enjoyable part of this is that you are together creating masterpieces.

Follow the recipe and bake the cupcakes. After they are cooled, frost with your favorite frosting, or, in order to keep this as simple as possible, open up your favorite tub of store bought frosting.  Now the fun begins.  If you want to be really fancy, with just a little more effort, you can whip the frosting from the tub.  This will give it more volume and make it cover more cupcakes.  It is also possible to put the frosting into a decorator bag and pipe the frosting.  As ornate as it makes the cupcakes look, it actually takes less time than spreading the frosting.  Take the cupcake and squeeze the frosting around the outer edges of the cupcake making the circle smaller and smaller until you get to the middle.  Very easy, and very impressive.

If your child can frost without coating everything else in the room, let them have the fun.  The best is yet to come.  Sprinkles make cupcakes even more special, and most children love to pour on the sprinkles.  If you want to be even more creative, check out Family Fun magazine's online cupcake section.

Have a great time making cupcakes and memories.

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