Baking Contest!

Baking Contest!

Are you ready to create a delicious gluten-free mug cake?  Read below to find out how to enter our very first baking contest at Sparkles and Sprinkles (and find out about the fun prizes)!  Then spread the word to your friends and family so that they can enter the contest or vote for your recipe!

Mug Muffin Baking Contest Rules:

We will accept contest entries from April 28th through June 20, 2022.

You must be subscribed to in order to participate in the contest (this is so that we can update you with any contest information… for example, letting you know the details about voting and announcing the winners!).  If you are not already subscribed, you may use the link at the bottom of this page to subscribe.  Subscribing is free, and you can cancel at any time.

To make your mug muffin or mug cake for the contest, please do the following:

    • Use our basic mug muffin recipe as a base for your special recipe.
    • Add ingredients of your choice to make a unique and delicious mug muffin or mug cake (for example, cinnamon, berries, or chocolate chips… but don’t let our suggestions limit you!).
    • You may modify the quantities in our basic mug muffin recipe; however, the following ingredients need to be used as the base of your recipe: butter, almond flour, light buckwheat flour, baking powder, Greek yogurt, almond milk, and a sweetener of your choice. (If you do not have light buckwheat flour, you may try another flour, but some flours may not work well for this recipe – we have found light buckwheat is a key ingredient.)

Once you have created and tested your delicious recipe, fill out this form to tell us about your recipe.  You will need to know the quantities of special ingredients in your recipe.  You will also need to give any special instructions for making the recipe.  For example, let us know if you need to use less almond milk or yogurt because you added another moist ingredients like pumpkin or applesauce.  Also, let us know if you add your special ingredients into the batter or if they are used as a topping.

Before you fill out the form, be sure to have a photo (a JPG file) of your mug cake ready.  The photo must actually be of the mug cake you made (not a photo you find online of a mug cake).  The photo cannot show people.  We will post this photo with your recipe on our Website and voting platform.

You will need to give your recipe a unique name of your choosing (for example, “Dreamy Chocolate Mug Cake”).  We will use this name in connection with your recipe and mug cake photo on our Website and voting platform.

You will need to provide your first name on the form.  For privacy’s sake, you can choose to create a pen name instead of your real name.  The name you provide in the form will be used when we post your recipe on our site (we will not post email addresses or last names).  Including your age is optional.

Only one recipe entry per person will be accepted.  (We understand that if more than one person in a family is entering the contest, the email given on the form may be used more than once.)

By choosing to participate in the contest, you give permission to use your submitted photo and recipe on our Website, in email communication, and in our voting platform.  Sparkles and Sprinkles reserves the right to edit your recipe and/or ask you to make changes to your submission before posting your submission if we decide it is necessary.

Any questions regarding contest entries should be sent to this email:  Please put

“Contest question” and your name in the subject line of your email.


 We will accept contest entries from April 28th through June 20, 2022.

We will post contest entries in late June.

Voting will take place in at the beginning of July.  Once you submit your recipe, be sure to spread the word to your friends and family, so that they can vote!

Winners will be announced in mid July 2022.

The top three mug muffin recipes (based on votes from our readers) will be able to select a prize (see below).

As this is our first contest at Sparkles and Sprinkles, details of the contest are subject to change (though it is not our intention to make changes).

Ready to submit your recipe?  Click here to share your recipe and photo.



Our top three entries (based on votes) will get to select a prize of their choice from the following fun options:

$ 10 Amazon Gift Card

Spend it on baking supplies or whatever you like!

Sparkles and Sprinkles Tea Towel

Be the very first to have a Sparkles and Sprinkles Tea Towel, made just for us by Amanda Lawley Designs.

Sophie Mouse Books

Choose 2 Sophie Mouse books.  Sophie Mouse loves to bake too!  

Have fun baking!

French Vegetable Soup

French Vegetable Soup

Years ago I had the blessing of being an au pair in Paris for a family who welcomed me into their family as if I were one of their children too.  One of the many beautiful memories I have with my French family is a visit to a farm near the family’s country home to buy some vegetables.  I remember how the mom of the family did not simply quickly pick out the vegetables, but instead she took the time to hold them up and admire their beauty.  When we brought the vegetables home, she made a delicious soup.  As she made the soup, she smiled joyfully.  She seemed to make the soup effortlessly, without even needing a recipe.

french tomato market
I wish I could make a delicious soup without a recipe, but I tend to need to some guidance.  My go to book for delicious French recipes is The Best Ever French Cooking Course.  This cookbook is definitely worthy of its title!  However, the recipes in this book have many details.  I used to love to spend time following detailed recipes with many steps, but there are many more important things to do these days!  Perhaps your days are busy too?

We decided to take the recipe for Soupe Provençal from The Best Ever French Cooking Course and simplify it.  We left out a few ingredients and chose pre-washed or canned ingredients when possible.  We hope this will make it possible for older children to make it independently and younger children to make it alongside a parent (or even just save you time if you are making it by yourself!).  

In addition to simplifying the recipe, we did a little research on the best knife for children to use to cut vegetables.  From our research, we decided to pick the Victorinox Swiss Classic.  We like that it is sharp (so it does not take a lot of strength to make the cuts) and that it has serrated edges, so that it is less likely to slip.  It also has a nicely rounded tip.  Our 7-year-old was very happy with it.  She used it to cut carrots, celery, and green beans.  Even our 3-year-old used it to cut zucchini (with Mommy’s hands helping to make sure our little one’s hands did not get too close to the blade).

victorinox knife carrot cut

We decided to make a printable for this recipe, rather than list the steps online. Please let us know in the comments below what you think of this format. Is a printable recipe helpful? Do you prefer the online version? Would you like to have both versions?  Also, be sure to scroll down to get our super fun Alphabet Soup spelling activity!

Let’s Make Soup!

vegetable soup

Gather your ingredients

  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 zucchinis (summer squash)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 handfuls green beans
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1 small bowl frozen peas
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • 4 cups water (or a package of vegetable or bone broth)
  • 1 spoonful olive oil
  • 1 spoonful of diced garlic (or 2 garlic cloves, crushed or diced)
  • Salt to taste


  • A pinch of Herbes de Provence
  • Pesto (for topping)
  • Shredded parmesan (for topping)
  • Fresh basil leaves (to garnish)
soup supplies

Gather your kitchen supplies

• Cutting board
Vegetable knife
• Soup pot and cover
• Liquid measuring cup
• Large spoon
• Can opener
• Strainer (optional if you want to strain your beans)

soup recipe

Click here to download the recipe

Have fun making this French Vegetable Soup! Keep in mind that you don’t have to worry about exact quantities of ingredients. You can leave out some ingredients, or substitute other vegetables of your choosing, and it will still be a delicious soup!

 Bon Appétit!

french vegetable soup bowl
Let’s play an Alphabet Soup game!

Looking for something to do while the soup simmers?  Try our Alphabet Soup spelling game. 

Simply pour letter tiles (from Scrabble or Bananagrams) into a bowl.  Use a spoon to scoop out a few letters.  Place them on the matching letter spaces to spell the vegetable names.  (Note:  Depending on the quantity of letter tiles you have, you may not be able to cover all of the words at the same time.) 

This spelling game comes in French and English.  There is also a lowercase version in English if your child is working on upper and lowercase matching.

Get the free printables here:

Uppercase English

Lowercase English

Uppercase French 

P.S.  This game is not recommended for toddlers and babies who might be inclined to put the letter tiles in their mouth.  

letter tile alphabet soup activity
french spelling game
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