Easter will soon be here, with the springtime celebrations just over a month away.
Easter falls on Sunday March 27 this year. The long bank holiday weekend begins on Good Friday (March 25), and Easter Monday (March 28) is the final day in the bank holiday festivities.
And with all that time off - and with the kids getting two whole weeks of holiday - you'll need something fun to occupy them with, like baking!
Here are some delicious baking recipes you can try with your children in the run-up to the big Easter feast.
Tesco: Easter Biscuits (makes 18)
200g of butter, at room temperature
200g of caster sugar
400g of plain flour
250g of royal icing sugar
Assorted food colourings
1) Place the butter in a large mixing bowl with the caster sugar. Using a wooden spoon beat until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg until well mixed, then gradually add the flour. Use your hands to bring the mixture together to a stiff dough. Gather into a ball and chill for 30 minutes.
2) Heat the oven to Gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Roll out the dough on a work surface lightly dusted with flour until it's the thickness of a £1 coin. Using an oval cutter (or a cardboard egg-shaped template), cut out egg-shaped biscuits, using rolled out trimmings to make more. Place on baking trays and bake in the oven for 6-10 minutes, depending on size, until just golden brown.
3) Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the baking tray to cool completely.
4) To decorate, make up the icing as directed on the packet. Divide between 3-4 bowls adding a little food colouring to each bowl. Place the mixture into piping bags and decorate biscuits as liked - kids may like to use sprinkles or sweets too.
Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes (makes 24)
For the cupcakes
110g of butter
225g of golden caster sugar
Two large eggs
150g of self-raising flour, sifted
125g of plain flour, sifted
120ml of milk
100g of fresh strawberries
For the icing
115g of butter
Four tablespoons of milk
One teaspoon of vanilla extract
500g of icing sugar, sifted
Strawberries to decorate
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs slowly, mixing well after each addition.
2) Combine the two flours in a separate bowl.
3) Add one-third of the flours to the creamed mixture and beat well.
4) Pour in one-third of the milk (and vanilla extract) and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries.
5) Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two thirds full. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown.
6) Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for about 10 mins before carefully placing on a wire rack to cool.
7) In a large bowl, beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half the icing sugar until smooth. This can take several minutes. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.
8) Decorate with more strawberries and serve
ASDA: Easter Bunny Brioche (makes 16)
115g of caster sugar
220ml of semi-skimmed milk, plus one tablespoon to glaze
60g of butter
600g of plain flour
7g sachet of easy-bake yeast
Black Piping Icing
1) Beat the eggs, caster sugar and a big pinch of salt together in a large bowl.
2) Put 220ml of the milk and the butter in a pan. Heat very gently until the butter is melted, then leave to cool slightly. When tepid, stir into the egg mixture.
3) Stir in half of the flour. Add the yeast and remaining flour and knead by hand for 8-10 mins, or with a dough hook for 4-5 mins, until soft and smooth. If the mixture is too dry, add 1-2tbsp extra milk.
4) Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size.
5) Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper. Set 1⁄4 of the dough aside. Cut the rest into 16 equal pieces. Roll each into a 30cm long sausage and wrap in a spiral, sealing the end in place with water. Arrange on trays.
6) From the remaining dough, shape 16 small balls for tails and 16 larger balls for heads. Roll the head pieces into fat sausage shapes and snip with scissors at one end to create ears. Fix a head and tail to each body using a little water.
7) Cover with clingfilm and prove for 15 mins.
8) Brush each bunny with a little milk and bake for 12 mins until pale golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Add dots of icing for eyes, tie with a ribbon and serve.
Tesco: Cornflake cakes (makes 24)
75g of butter
200g of dark chocolate, broken into small chunks
Four tablespoons of golden syrup
200g of cornflakes
1) Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat. Remove and cool for five minutes.
2) Put 24 cupcake cases into muffin tins, or on a baking tray.
3) Then, stir the cornflakes into the mixture, and spoon into the cupcake cases. Allow to set and then serve.
Vegan Bakewell Tart (serves 10)
For the pastry
250g of plain flour
125g of vegan margarine
For the sponge
170g of self-raising flour
170g of ground almonds
170g of caster sugar
Half a teaspoon of baking powder
One teaspoon of almond extract
150ml of vegetable oil
200ml of water
Also, strawberry or cherry jam, icing sugar and flaked almonds to decorate
1) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Rub the margarine into the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs, then add a little cold water until it comes together as a dough. Roll out to about a 3mm thickness, then line a tart tin with it. Prick with a fork to stop air bubbles from forming, then bake for 10 minutes.
2) Spread a generous layer of jam over the pastry.
3) Mix the dry ingredients for the sponge together, then add the wet ingredients to it; it should be quite runny. Pour it into the pastry case, sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for a further 25 minutes.
4) Leave to cool, then shake some icing sugar over the top.
Sticking to traditional chocolate this Easter? Here's where you can get the best Easter eggs this year.