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There's still time to snap up a crafty gift for Christmas that will look great and keep little ones busy in the holidays

Caramel cheesecake - Phil Vickery's Pudcast

Watch television chef Phil Vickery make a delicious caramel cheesecake in the video below:

Lemon rice tea cakes

Makes 15

Hit & Run: Second helpings of Nigella

Unimaginable but true, Nigella Lawson, the prima donna assoluta of foodie porn, the doe-eyed, brown-haired, pink-sweatered doyenne of spatula and mixing bowl, the flirty sexpot of pot-roast and pavlova, hit 50 in January. The fall of years has not diminished her infinite gorgeousness by a jot or tittle, sprig or teaspoon, but some pretenders have been waiting in the wings, groomed by publishers and TV producers to take over the goddess's mantle.

Pumpkin and coconut cake

Serves 8-10

Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'I'm getting ready to jumble again – and this time I mean business'

Istill haven't decided what to do for my birthday. But, not to worry. For now, at least, I have a temporary distraction: tomorrow I'm taking part in another jumble sale to raise money for my Save The Rhino marathon fund. Actually, I can't quite believe that this one – my second – has come round so quickly. I'm sticking with the same hosts – Let's Get Ready To Jumble, at Bar Music Hall in Shoreditch – since last time it was perfect: the exact right combination of not-too-much-pressure and plenty of foot traffic. I raised just over £140, which I was thrilled with, since very little that I sold broke the £2 threshold.

Butterfly cakes with passion fruit filling

Makes 12

Hit & Run: Thanks for the memory

There is an indispensable skill needed to become a top Conservative politician. It's a surer route to the Shadow Cabinet than going to Eton, being a member of the Bullingdon Club or living in Notting Hill. It's the ability to speak without notes.

Blood-orange cake

200g/7oz softened unsalted butter
350g/111/2oz icing sugar
Zest and juice of 2 unwaxed blood oranges
3 unwaxed blood oranges, to decorate the top of the cake

Piece of cake: Skye Gyngell's deliciously moreish three-tier sponges

You don't need a special occasion to bake a cake. Just mix eggs, flour, sugar and butter: and celebrate one of life's sweet and simple pleasures, says Skye Gyngell

Chocolate cake

550g/19oz self-raising flour
550g/19oz caster sugar
550g/19oz very soft butter
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
10 eggs
4 tbsp milk
4 tbsp dark cocoa powder and a little boiling water

Coconut cake

This is my version of a coconut cake from the American South. I love the sweet and nutty flavour of coconut. I cook with coconut milk a lot – at work we get in fresh ones, puréeing the flesh with water and straining to make a thick cream. This takes patience, though, as it does take quite a lot of work. Coconut milk from a tin will do nicely in this recipe.

Sophie Heawood: Poison lurks in the heart of a cupcake

Bun fetish deals a blow to feminism

Chocolate Cake with Hitler, By Emma Craigie

This novel is set over 10 days – the last in the life of 12-year-old Helga Goebbels, the daughter of the Nazi party's minister of propaganda, which are spent cut off in a "stranger bunker world" in Berlin sharing chocolate cake with "Uncle Leader". Helga struggles to understand what is fact and what is fiction in her troubled life, but she can perceive the bitter tensions between the adults around her. The bunker becomes emptier, lonelier, until soon the brutal truth is apparent.

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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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