Celebrating imperfect cupcakes

I do enjoy pretty pictures of the delicious food. Creations that I imagine conjuring up in my kitchen and feeding to my enthusiastic family; at our perfectly set dinner table; in the spotless kitchen.

It doesn’t always work like that though. Sometimes frequently I create imperfect food. Often my family, particularly the younger members have varying degrees of enthusiasm. Always I create mess.

And you know what, I don’t really think it matters. (Well I suppose the mess matters a little when it’s 9pm and I still need to finish the cleaning)

What matters is that I really enjoy baking and cooking, especially when I can involve Sunflower, my almost 3-year old girl. Have a look here at the fun we had creating these chocolate cakes. I try to cook nutritious food, but balance this with occasional treats. To me the imperfect finished product; the flour dropped all over the floor is less important than her delight at joining me in the kitchen and my efforts to provide a balanced diet. Sometimes we do even manage to create a delicious treat such as these amazing carrot&coconut cake pops.

Today we attempted a healthy courgette cupcake made without butter, oil or refined sugar.


  • Wholemeal flour
  • Ground Almonds
  • Honey
  • Raisins
  • Courgettes
  • Cream cheese
  • Chia Seeds
  • Flaked Almonds

They weren’t perfect. To be precise they were tasty but a bit squidgy. Annoyingly they didn’t peel well out of the wrapper.

But I am still going to celebrate their creation:

  • Sunflower and I shared a special time together.
  • She is now excited to eat courgettes.
  • Mr R ate 4 of them – they must have been at least edible.
  • My intentions – to create a healthy(ish) treat were good.

There are many factors that make cooking with a pre-schooler more complicated. (Just like my previous post about complicating factors when trying to exercise as a parent)

Complications when cooking with a pre-schooler:

  • The mess. Oh the mess. That’s all I have to say.
  • The repeated hand-washing, hand licking, hand washing cycle
  • The laborious need to stir everything
  • The time consumption involved in allowing a small person to spoon mixture into paper cases.
  • The need to drag steps everywhere around the kitchen to satisfy curiosity at each cooking stage.

For me it’s worth overcoming these complicating factors when Sunflower takes delight in the activity. I always feel better when I know that I have done something beneficial or enjoyable for her, even if there may have been other easier, less messy, options.

I think the same applies to exercise and physical activity. As a parent there are complicating factors, but there are definite benefits to being physically active. I usually find my body appreciates it when I do make an effort.

Of course like my cupcakes, the outcome of my exertions are not perfect. Today I ran another 5k Parkrun. I am still a couple of minutes slower than my personal best.

But it doesn’t really matter if my cupcakes are squidgy; my running slower than it was. I will aim to celebrate the imperfect outcomes and try to enjoy the process whatever the complications.

So here’s to squidgy cupcakes, messy kitchens, and relaxed running! I hope you all have fun this week and celebrate your endeavours regardless of the outcome.

30 second summary: Today I made squidgy cupcakes. I am still running more slowly than pre-baby. I am going to celebrate my imperfect achievements regardless.

What do you think? Is it ok to celebrate an imperfect outcome? Is it adequate to have fun and good intentions?


Mami 2 Five

15 thoughts on “Celebrating imperfect cupcakes

  1. Julia @rainbeaubelle April 26, 2015 / 9:10 pm

    I definitely think going for a run and making cakes is to be celebrated! Love your photos, these cupcakes look gorgeous and I’m intrigued about the recipe. I made courgette fritters once and they were a disaster! These look absolutely gorgeous! Sounds like a good day! X


    • tenminutesspare April 27, 2015 / 11:05 am

      Thanks! The recipe was loosely based on a carrot cake one but I was a little too adventurous in my adaptations of it! I think with a bit of tweaking I could produce a version I’m happy to share. These were perfectly edible but not as light as I’d like. I’ll try again soon and hopefully have a better version to share.


  2. Lisa@intotheglade April 26, 2015 / 10:18 pm

    These look lovely not a bit imperfect! Squigey cake must be better than dried out surely? I have to celebrate my imperfected outcomes, or I would never celebrate anything x


    • tenminutesspare April 27, 2015 / 11:09 am

      Yes I’d take a squidgy cake over a dry one any day. Still not quite good enough to publicize as a blog recipe though. I could have just kept quiet about them but like you I think it’s good to celebrate any achievement even if the outcome not perfect!


  3. Mama April 27, 2015 / 1:33 am

    they may have been squidgy but they look lush! Love love your fancy napkins. My issue with ‘healthy ‘ treats is I tend to use it as an excuse to eat a bunch…which somewhat defeats the purpose.


    • tenminutesspare April 27, 2015 / 11:13 am

      Thank you! You know they’re just paper napkins, but I love them too. I’ve had the packet for about a year because I only use them as a treat! I reakon if a cake contains vegetables you’re perfectly entitled to more than one. These are erring slightly too far on the side of healthy but I’ll hopefully post a better version soon.


      • Mama April 27, 2015 / 11:20 am

        Cool. I’m adopting your attitude with regards to vegetable-containing cake. Two of my five-a-day, right here! *gobble gobble*

        Liked by 1 person

      • tenminutesspare April 27, 2015 / 11:22 am

        Absolutely! The version I just made didn’t have butter or refined sugar in it… That makes it practically a vegetable sandwich doesn’t it?!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. NorthEastFamilyFun (@NEFamilyFun) April 27, 2015 / 8:25 am

    Well I think these look wonderful! I find cooking with a pre-schooler is always extremely messy – how they manage to get cake mix everywhere is beyond me! They enjoy it though which is the main thing! x

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare April 27, 2015 / 11:14 am

      Thank you! I think these particular ones were more style over substance! Still you’re right having fun was the main thing.


  5. laurababykicks April 27, 2015 / 3:23 pm

    Oh yes, and imperfect baking tastes better when little people have helped! I love my toddler creations! And yes, running at all when you have the demands of children at home is worth celebrating!x

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare April 29, 2015 / 6:16 am

      Thank you! It is lovely when they can help isn’t it? Hope you and the new little one are doing well!


  6. internationalelfservice April 27, 2015 / 9:33 pm

    I love this post and I think we can all relate to the preschooler ‘help’ effect!! I very often produce what I call ‘a triumph in the kitchen’, which directly translates as ‘an appalling inedible mess’. I always feel better when I’m reminded it’s not just me. The only complaint I have about your post is that despite them being imperfect, they look totally wonderful! That’s really letting the rest of us down I think?? At least show more burnt bits / chunks missing etc

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare April 28, 2015 / 6:00 am

      Hehe if you look closely you’ll see I have predominantly taken photos of icing not cake! Perhaps I should have made it explicit that this is my almost fail safe method to rescue any form of baked ‘triumph in the kitchen!’


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