Gluten-Free S’mores Cupcakes

fullsizeoutput_3b4aThese sweet and sticky cupcakes bring me back to the summer, when I made my first real s’mores with friends on camp. We had a bonfire night in the forest, the stars above us as we danced around the flames in the gathering dark. It may be approaching winter now, but with this new recipe, you’ll be able to savour your sweet summer memories all year round. Unfortunately, we don’t have graham crackers in the UK, so I’ve substituted the classic ingredient with digestive biscuits (much to my American friends’ disgust).

Ingredients (makes 22 cupcakes)

For the cake batter:

300g butter

300g caster sugar

300g gluten-free self-raising flour

5 eggs

2tsp vanilla essence

To decorate:

250g butter

425g icing sugar

75g cocoa powder

100g dark chocolate chips

1 pack mini marshmallows

4 gluten free digestive biscuits

edible glitter (optional)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with cupcake cases
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl
  3. Add the eggs, flour and vanilla essence and mix well
  4. Put one and a half ice cream scoopfuls of batter into each cupcake case and put in the oven for 18-20 minutes
  5. To make the chocolate frosting, cream the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder together until smooth and fluffy (add 2tbsp water to loosen if necessary)
  6. Once the cupcakes have cooled, pipe the frosting in a double layered ring on each cupcake using a star tipped piping nozzle
  7. Melt the dark chocolate chips in the microwave at 20 second intervals, mixing in between, until smooth
  8. Pipe the melted chocolate (using a small piping bag or ziplock bag) on top of the frosting ring, gently guiding it down the sides so that it drips
  9. Top the cupcakes with mini marshmallows and crushed biscuits (and edible glitter, of course)

Top Ten Summer Reads 2015

The weather may be dire at the moment, but it’s still summer! For some reason I associate books with seasons, depending on where/when they’re set and how they make me feel. Sometimes I save books for the winter simply because they have either a darker, more ominous cover or a pale blue, icy looking cover – reflecting the darkness and coldness of harsh winters. Likewise, books with covers that are brighter and have a floral design I tend to save for the summer, and books that I know are ‘ChickLit’ I take on holiday with me (because lying in the sun with a heavy 400-page psychological thriller makes me feel uneasy at the thought of it)! I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but who actually follows that rule?!

Here are (in no particular order) my top 10 light reads for the summer time – perfect for reading whilst lounging about in the sun, in the park, or shut away in your bedroom (if it rains nearly as much in your area as it does here).

1 – Ink by Amanda Sun ink-by-amanda-sun

Katie has recently moved to Shizuoka, Japan, to live with her aunt. She is clumsy, socially awkward and is still adjusting to the new culture. She encounters a seemingly dangerous boy, Yuu Tomohiro, and as the spring flowers blossom, so does their relationship. Katie is desperate to find out Tomo’s secret, and finds herself somehow linked to a magical power originally from ancient Japanese mythology. When Katie has the opportunity to move in with her grandparents in Canada, will she leave behind her new friends, Tomo, and the living ink sketches, in order to escape the gang eager to stamp out Tomo’s destiny?

I absolutely loved this book – how the fantastical elements are so smoothly incorporated into Katie’s story. Despite it being a fictional story, it really opened my eyes to Japanese culture and daily life, and there is even a glossary at the back so that you can pick up some of the conversational Japanese used by the characters. I also enjoyed the outdoor descriptions and learning about the tradition of having a picnic under the blossom trees. Finally, the illustrations throughout the book are a lovely accompaniment to the story and really bring the sketches to life for the reader. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in fantasy, world culture, and art.


2 – Meet Me At The Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan

A typically British summer, a typically awful boyfriend and a typically awkward woman trying to recover from losing her typically boring day job. When her amazing cupcakes save the day, everything turns around and life begins to pick up again. Read this if you enjoy romance and cake (who wouldn’t?)

PaperTowns2009_6A-198x3003 & 4 – Paper Towns by John Green and Life Of Pi by Yan Martel Life-of-Pi

These books are bursting with colour and adventure. The Paper Towns characters are on a mission to find Margo, who has mysteriously disappeared, leaving clues everywhere. Q’s friends are lively and hilarious, each with their own quirks. They are now high school graduates and decide to go on a big journey to retrieve their friend. In Life Of Pi, Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a tiger and a zebra, bound for the great unknown. This is a wild and imaginative journey where Pi learns to tame Richard Parker (the tiger) and provide for himself whilst hopelessly traveling in the ocean. I love both Pi’s insightful commentary on his life story and Q’s witty narration. I would recommend these books to readers who have an inner explorer and love escaping to other worlds not too dissimilar from their own. Click here to read my post about Paper Towns.

FangirlWIP5 – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell is perhaps my favourite author to date. I am so excited to read Attachments (which I have been saving until after my exams) and Landline (when it’s out in paperback). Fangirl is quite relevant to me at the moment because, as well as being a huge fangirl, I am also starting university in September like Cath and Wren. This is such a wonderful novel, and I would highly recommend it (along with Rowell’s other books). Click here to read my brief review.

Book-delirium6 – Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Yet another dystopian novel that I love, where each 16 year old has surgery to remove ‘love’ and is forbidden to have particular feelings. Lena realises that she does not want to participate in the government’s scheme, and finds a way to escape and live as a nomad beyond the borders. This is a coming-of-age story about first love and brave acts of rebellion.

161433477 – We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This book is all about family politics and one girl’s experiences of the past few summer holidays spent on a private island. It’s poetic and exciting, and there is a huge plot twist at the end (so make sure you avoid spoilers)! Click here to read my brief review.


8 – The Other Life by Suzanne Winnacker

In the suburbs of Los Angeles, Sherry’s family are in hiding until the Military tells them it’s safe to come out of their shelter. They have been waiting for 5 years, and their food has now run out, so Sherry and her dad decide to venture out to find food, even though they risk their lives. When Sherry’s dad is captured by mutilated creatures, she has no choice but to run away with Joshua, a hunter who is lurking nearby. How will she find her family again before they die of starvation, and how will she rescue her dad? I have just read this post-apocalyptic novel and although there aren’t many aspects that differ from other current books of this genre, it was a really good read. The action is gripping and exciting, and the characters are all interesting in their own way. I liked that there is a focus on developing the character of each family member so that the reader gets to learn about their personality and what makes them tick. I would recommend it to any fan of dystopian fiction (the cover says that it’s appropriate for fans of The Hunger Games, which I can partially agree with).

9 – The Selection by Kiera Cass 10507293

Potential princesses and pretty dresses – need I say more?

10 – Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur5982448

This book is aimed at younger teenagers, but I enjoyed it all the same because of the heart warming and uplifting story of the young protagonist. The story centres on Aubrey, who is recently orphaned and decides to try and survive by herself during the summer. If you like stories about families and young children finding their way in the world, this book is for you.


Ask The Passengers by A.S. King, Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, and Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson are three books that I would love to add to this list… but I haven’t read them yet! They’re just sitting on my shelf, begging to be read this summer.

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Waltz in a Starlit Swamp

Oblivious to sparklers bright and fairy lights he stood

Whilst staggering sirens waltzed in a wave around him


The music drowned it its own pretentious beats and he downed

a couple more shots to compete

with friends whose names had long been repressed in a corner

of his brain where dusk and dawn –

they felt the same


These girls –

they twirled glossy hair around their fingers

to catch attention of boys who stared

and lingered


Sweaty palms to hips and sour mouths collided

nonchalantly in this garden’s starlit swamp th’s’been

hidden in the heavy hanging mist of lust


And lost hearts –

they meandered through the sickly smoke –

for what? and just when he’d forgot

where he was and who he had to be

to live young and free

on that night

an Angel fair



appeared in his sight


And She was the sweetest shade of summer

And how he yearned to be Her lover!


For seconds like minutes like hours

his tired eyes devoured



of Her being:

the fluttering of innocent eyes to the skies,

two blushing cheeks, a sleek nose,

a glow to Her skin as if

caressing the moon in

Her delicate hands could illuminate

Her face, neck, wrists and legs…


Could he risk a step to Her tranquil spot

only to stumble

on his words or own feet

because meeting Her gaze so dear

made him fear losing



As if choosing to stamp out his fantasised fate

he plucked up his courage a little too late

for into the crowd She was shoved by some lad

who’d had ‘nough drink to breathe out

a shroud of stale air


And much as he tried to follow Her light

swallowed whole was She

by the rhythm of the night


And She was the sweetest shade of summer

And how he yearned to be Her lover!

Top Ten Summer Tracks For 2014

Let’s kick off this holiday with some music to get us in a summery mood. Here are ten songs to brighten up your days spent having fun in the sun (whilst I’m stuck at home writing essays)…

1) Bamboleo by Gipsy Kings

2) Holiday by Green Day

3) Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet

4) Hit And Run by LOLO

5) Na Na Na by My Chemical Romance

6) The Calender by Panic! At The Disco

7) Our Time Now by Plain White T’s

8) Lightning In A Bottle by The Summer Set

9) Drive By by Train

10) To The Sky by Owl City

Which songs should I add to the list? Let me know what you will be listening to this summer.