Traditionally the last Sunday before Advent is known as Stir Up Sunday when Christmas puddings and cakes are baked. It's based on 'The Collect' from the Common Book of Prayer:
Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people, that they bringing forth
the fruit of good works, may by you be richly rewarded: through Jesus Christ
Our Lord. Amen
Whilst I don't personally follow the religious aspect I do appreciate the tradition involved and have long attempted to have all my cakes for Christmas made before the end of November (mainly to give them all feeding time). It's one of the first signs for me that it's just around the corner and really heralds in the festivities with the wafting scents of baked fruits and spices.
This year I've not baked the multitude of large cakes of old but have exceeded my total number of cakes made by at least 20. I chose to make a 7" cake for home and used the rest of the mixture to make 30 cupcakes. I lightened up my mixture quite a bit to help reduce the cooking time as didn't want them to dry out being much smaller and kept the decoration simple but cute. They're bound to be a hit with those who aren't keen on the icing and marzipan this year as there's much less to contend with.
I love the season and what it stands for and am enjoying the calm of baking before it all gets very busy and exciting. This is the first and only year my Son will perform in the School Nativity production and we have parties, festive lunches, catch ups with friends and family galore to come.
I hope you are all feeling calm and collected and ready to face the joy of Christmas time, with all it's rich rewards.