It really gives me great pleasure to bring you day 6 of the Creative Christmas Countdown with a post about Creating Traditions with Grandparents or other family members with your kids.

One of the main things about Christmas for us is spending time with family and this is especially the grandparents – and from my own childhood one of the traditions that I remember is time spent in the kitchen with my Nana and Nanny. My brother, grandmothers and I would shut the door to the kitchen and bake the day away making cakes, mince pies (fruit mince), Christmas pudding and stirring the Christmas cake, all in the lead up to Christmas.

Baking with Nana – Creating Christmas Traditions

Now I have children of my own this is something we’ve already started. Rainy Day Dad and myself went shopping today and J and T spent the day with my parents creating Christmas traditions of their own in the kitchen making Reindeer Cup Cakes.

Find more inspiration for Cooking with Toddlers with these Recipes that really work.

What you need to make Reindeer Cupcakes

Baking Equipment

Fairy Cake Recipe Ingredients
125g butter
125g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 large eggs
125g self-raising flour, sifted
2 tablespoons milk

Chocolate Butter Icing or Ready Made Chocolate Frosting
Mini Smarties (Sugar Coated Candy)
Large/normal sized Smarties (Sugar Coated Candy) or Glace Cherry for the nose
Mini Pretzels/Twiglets for the antlers

How you make Reindeer Cupcakes

Prepare for baking with your child – J is a toddler so this means covering everything in site that could be damaged with the wipe clean plastic, him in his apron (it’s getting easier to cook with him the more that we do which is good).

Creaming the butter and sugar

To make the fairy cake for the reindeer cakes, cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl and then add the vanilla essence, beat the eggs and then add to the creamed sugar and butter adding a spoonful of flour between each. Mix in the rest of the flour and then add a little milk as needed.

J and Nana divided the mixture between different cupcake cases and as you can see J also decorated another cupcake case with the mixture and the table!

J filling the cupcake case and decorating the table

They are then put in the oven at 200°C (Electric oven | Electric fan oven 180°C | Gas Mark 6) for 10 – 20 minutes until cooked and golden on top. J loves to tell you “Remember Oven’s are hot” when we cook.

Reindeer Cupcakes

Pops and J decorated the cupcakes – although I suspect that J ate more of the smarties than actually added them to the decoration. First using the chocolate butter cream or frosting cover the top of the fairy cake. Then put in two twiglets for antlers at the top, for the eyes two mini smarties of the same colour are used. The nose can be made either with half a glace cherry or a normal sized smarties. Once the nose, antlers and eyes are on the cakes are ready to eat – and they are delicious.

Reindeer Cupcakes

Cerys Parker
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Course Cake


Fairy Cake Recipe Ingredients

To Decorate

  • Chocolate Butter Icing or Ready Made Chocolate Frosting
  • Mini Smarties Sugar Coated Candy
  • Regular sized Smarties Sugar Coated Candy or Glace Cherry for the nose
  • Mini Pretzels/Twiglets for the antlers


  • To make the fairy cakes:
    Preheat the oven to 200c (180c for fan assisted). Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl and add the vanilla essence.
  • Beat the eggs and then fold into the creamed sugar and butter. Sieve the flour and mix it in a spoonful at a time, stirring carefully.
  • Divide evenly into cupcake cases and place in the oven for 10 - 20 minutes until cooked and golden on top.
  • To decorate:
    First cover the cupcakes with chocolate buttercream or frosting, then put in two Twiglets or pretzels for antlers at the top, two mini Smarties for eyes and either half a glace cherry or regular sized Smarties for a nose.
Keyword Christmas Cupcakes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Out Now! – Countdown to Christmas Ebook

When life gets hectic in the lead up to Christmas wouldn’t it be great to be able to spend a little time with the family creating gifts for others, food to enjoy together and traditions that make magical Christmas Memories?

But what actually happens is you spend hours searching through Pinterest looking for ideas and realise halfway through saying you are going to start that you have only 1 thing on the materials list!

I’ve been there!

So that is why we’ve put together our 24 favourite Christmas Activities, Crafts and Recipes with full materials lists and step-by-step instructions so that you have everything at your fingertips.

Produced as a PDF you can download, print and use these ideas throughout the festive season with your children and families.

Find out more as we share with you our Favourite Ways to Countdown to Christmas.

Fun with the grandparents doesn’t have to be just in the kitchen, you could organise a craft, go for a day out, play something special even read a specific book each year to create a family tradition.

Tomorrow on the Creative Countdown to Christmas is with The Imagination Tree


Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.


  1. What adorable cupcakes! The reason I love baking so much is I remember my mom baking during all the holidays and how good it felt to be sitting in that warm kitchen all together as a family. I hope I can recreate something like that for my own kids and make sure to keep their grandparents involved, too! Lovely post 🙂

  2. Lovely cupcakes. Baking with Grandma is special. This reminds me to set up a baking date with Granny.

  3. Wow! It’s amazing how many people hold dear a memory of baking with their grandmother! I too remember how wonderful it was to bake with my Nana. Super cupcakes!

  4. I so need to plan some activities for my son to do with his grandmothers. Your cooking project looks like such fun.

  5. we make reindeer cupcakes every year – need to start letting the grandma’s in on some of the fun! Most of our traditions take place with me. I know they would LOVE the opportunity.

  6. So cute. I so wish we had grandparents around. We live thousands of miles away and this year we will not see them at all. I am thinking we need to start a tradition of either doing something over the internet together or exchanging christmas carols over the phone.

    1. Every other year my parents spend Christmas in Calafornia and us in the UK so we use the playstation and computer and play games and chat on video with them in our evening their mid-day as we would on a Christmas Day when they were with us.

  7. What a fun time was had. I wish I had these kinds of memories with my grandma, but she was probably too worried about the mess to let us kids in the kitchen. My kids love to help me though. I need to invite grandma over to join in. Thanks for such a great idea and post.

  8. Ahh, what a lovely post. We make our Christmas cake using our secret family recipe – which is being passed down to the fourth generation now. Your cupcakes are cute!

    1. We have a similar christmas cake and christmas pudding recipes that are passed down as well. I love that we always used to stir the christmas cake and pudding whilst making a wish.

  9. I love this post 🙂 I have such good memories of baking with my grandmother. She knew just how to make me feel important. You’ve got a lucky kiddo!

    1. He loves spending time with them and she’s a crafty Nana as well. The day before she was helping him make Salt Dough Decorations.

    1. Spending time with his grandparents is his favourite thing – we’ve been asked numerous times today when he will next cook with Nana and Pops.

  10. Oh my, I was going to say how lovely it is to bake with grandma… and then I saw WHAT you baked!! YUM!!!! and LOVELY!!!! We so need to make some 🙂


    1. They are really delicious – the glace cherries for noses are better than the smarties but J prefers the smarties.

  11. I have wonderful memories sitting on the counter in my Grandmothers kitchen helping her cook! Heartwarming post!

    1. I remember having a special chair that my brother and I would stand on in her kitchen to help her out. Oh and a special apron that we would wear.

    1. Snap – even though we would discuss heatedly as I got older and she started to lose her memory those were fun times every year. My brother remembers them fondly as well.

  12. These are SO cute! His little face is gorgeous too, definitely enjoying himself! I too remember baking with my Grandma with real fondness. She would come down to stay with us armed with ideas and recipes and would fill the kitchen with amazing smells. The cheese straws were the best!

    1. My grandma would bring her special rolling pin every christmas – a china one that you fill with water to make pastry and a tub of mince pies that she had already made so we could eat them as we made some more. Those memories are what makes Christmas for me – Cheese straws sound really nice as well.

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