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Topsy Turvy Challenge June 2020: Bonus Story - Cupcake Chaos

This post did NOT appear as part of the original challenge, I wrote it when I used these challenge posts as a welcome gift for my newsletter subscribers.

So, you might not have seen this one AT ALL, even if you've been following me on Insta since forever :)

I hope you enjoy it!


‘Pass the eggs, love,’ said Clara, holding a flour-dusted hand towards Lucas.

‘Remind me why we’re baking fairy cakes?’ said Lucas, handing the eggs over.

Clara rolled her eyes. ‘They’re not fairy cakes, Lucas, they’re cupcakes. They’re all the rage in “cozy mysteries” apparently, and according to Saffron that’s what our books are. So, she thought we ought to try baking some.’

Without enthusiasm, Lucas looked at the recipe card Saffron had thoughtfully provided. It was illustrated with what—in Lucas’s opinion— was definitely a fairy cake, only instead of a sensible drizzle of icing or a dusting of powdered sugar, it had a swirling heap of buttercream on top in unlikely shades of lilac and pink.

Just looking at it made his teeth ache.

‘Uh-huh,’ he said, raising an eyebrow sceptically. ‘And what do these “cupcakes” taste like?’

Clara scanned the recipe again. ‘This one has lemon curd in the middle, so that’ll be lemon flavoured, and this one has strawberry pieces in.’ Her eyes twinkled mischievously. ‘I’m sure even you can guess how that’ll taste.’

Half scowling, half smiling, Lucas dipped his fingers in the flour and flicked a cloud of white powder in her direction.

She dodged the worst of it, giggling. ‘See, this is fun, right?’

Lucas had to admit baking was quite enjoyable. Well, watching Clara bake was fun. He helped himself to a strawberry and wondered why they didn’t do more of it.

‘No, no, no, she’s doing it all wrong,’ said a stern voice behind him.

His shoulders slumped.

Oh yes, now he remembered.

The ghost of Mrs Bird moved around the table to stand at Clara’s elbow. ‘Lucas, dear, tell her to mix the butter, eggs, and sugar up first, then sift the flour into it. Oh dear, she’s just dumped it all in. It’ll end up lumpy, just you wait…’

Lucas ignored her. The cake mixture looked fine to him, and he wasn’t about to correct Clara when she was thoroughly enjoying herself.

He continued to ignore Mrs Bird’s “help”, much to the lady’s displeasure, and soon the kitchen was filled with the delicious scent of baking cake.

‘She needs to let the cakes cool before adding buttercream,’ advised Mrs Bird.

‘Shh,’ muttered Lucas. ‘She’s doing fine.’

Mrs Bird sniffed haughtily. ‘Well, if you don’t want my help, I shan’t give it. I know when I’m not wanted.’

And with that, she vanished.

Lucas breathed a sigh of relief. As fond as Lucas was of the old lady, sometimes it was nice to be left in peace.

And he knew she wasn’t really upset with him—they’d had worse tiffs in the past— although he suspected he’d not heard the last of this little incident.

Giving up on the piping bag, Clara spooned a generous amount of luridly pink buttercream on top of a still warm fairy cake —sorry, cupcake, and handed it to Lucas.

‘Tell me what you think,’ she said, grinning.

It smelled divine, and Lucas eagerly lifted it towards his mouth.

Time froze as the mound of icing slid sideways, slipped forward, and landed in a pink, sugary, greasy mess in the middle of Lucas’ cream shirt.

‘I think,’ he said, as Clara’s expression flipped between utter mortification and undisguised amusement.

‘I think maybe you should have let the cakes cool a bit longer first.’


Thank you so much for reading this series of posts, stick around for other kinds of content, and more Topsy Turvy challenges in the future :)

Have a great weekend!

All the best,

Saff x

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