Quite frankly, who cares if there is such a thing as a real man or a real cupcake for men, or whatever. Father’s Day is looming and I have two small people who love their daddy and want to bake an impressive treat for him (which makes him sound like a dog, but never mind).

Here’s the problem – small people, girls or boys – like to bake small things. Cupcakes, mini muffins, baby flapjacks. The smaller the better. And two small girls like to bake small cupcakes. To be fair, it’s what we do when it’s raining or we just fancy getting creative in the kitchen. Does my husband like to make and eat small cupcakes? Of course he doesn’t, so we got our thinking caps on…



    • cheese
    • red wine
    • spicy things
    • dancing
    • sailing
    • pesto
    • bacon

Some of my other half’s hobbies lend themselves to baking and some don’t, so we had to be a be a bit ruthless. We decided that the key components of successfully baking for daddy were cheese, chilli and bacon. It’s not a comprehensive list, but the little chefs were in charge by this point, and so we came to be baking…


Sounds impressive, no? Here are the essentials:


  • 1 and 1/2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50g cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (we used smoked – very fancy)
  • 2 rashers bacon or 150g bacon lardons
  • 2 rashers of prosciutto
  • 1/2 finely diced red pepper
  • 100g sweetcorn
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup buttermilk (don’t panic – just mix 50% natural yoghurt with milk)
  • 1 egg


  • 2 x 200g tubs Philadelphia Cream Cheese or similar
  • 2-3 teaspoons of red pesto or tomato paste (or make your own if you can really be bothered)
  • 1-2 rashers of bacon (we found prosciutto worked well but that just sounds fancy)


Anyway, this recipe is perfect for little ones. Preheat the oven to 180C.

Gently fry your bacon cubes with the finely diced red pepper, chilli flakes and sweetcorn.

Let the small ones rub the flour, baking powder, paprika and butter together for as long as they can be bothered and then take over and reduce the mixture to fine breadcrumbs. Add the grated cheese. Mix well and add the bacon/pepper/sweetcorn combo. Mix well again.


Mix the egg and milk together and gradually add to the dry ingredients. Ultimately, the mixture should be of ‘dropping consistency’, ie. slides off a spoon easily.

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and put straight in the oven. Ours took about 35 mins.




You could completely freestyle this, but we went for the full cupcake look. We mixed the cream cheese with a few spoonfuls of the (Jamie Oliver Red Chilli & Tomato) pesto until the colour looked right. Hats off to you if you make your own red pesto of course and can you also come round and do my ironing?

We piped our ‘icing’ onto our cupcakes. If I’m being honest, some were a lot better than others and in fact, we only had one really good one, which ended up being our ‘supermodel’, ie. the one in the middle of my photos.

Out sprinkles were grilled prosciutto, which we then crumbled, sprinkled and ate the leftover bits.


And then my husband ate three of them. Which means I’ve already dealt with Fathers’ Day. Result!