Devil in the sweet treats

Southern Cross newsreader Jo Palmer takes a look at life in a world full of change and challenges.
Southern Cross newsreader Jo Palmer takes a look at life in a world full of change and challenges.

It’s cupcake day! Tasmanian Devil cupcake day!

The note came home from school with plenty of notice that each student was encouraged to bring cupcakes to school to sell.

All the money would go towards saving the Tasmanian Devil.

My eight-year-old son has spent the past term at school studying our state’s iconic animal at great depth.

He knows things that have left the rest of our family in awe.

For example, if you ask him the scientific name for the devil he will confidently tell you its Sarcophilus harrisii. I did not know this.

And the information he has gained has been balanced with an understanding that as a Tasmanian, he is responsible for the survival of this animal.

So fundraising to help save the devil from the facial tumour disease, which he tells me has currently wiped out 80 per cent of the population, is very serious stuff.

So back to the cupcakes… 

Knowing how important this was to him, made it very important to me. I was determined this would be a decorating triumph.

Baking a dozen vanilla cakes was the easy part. Spending hours on Pinterest trying to find images I could copy to decorate my little devil cakes - not so easy.

This is not an area of expertise for me and despite my research efforts, it appeared I was going to have to develop my own image from scratch.

Finally with tubes of coloured icing, liquorice left over bits and lolly button eyes scattered all over the kitchen bench in a sticky, sugary mess, there were my beautiful dozen Tasmanian Devil cupcakes ready for sale.

My husband laughed when he saw them, but quickly ceased showing his true feelings when he saw the look on my face.

My eldest son also laughed, then quickly retreated from the kitchen feeling the strain in the room.

But it was my darling little son, my passionate Tassie Devil campaigner, who summed up my efforts so magnificently.

Wrapping his arms around my waist he looked up into my eyes and said “mum, that is so beautiful that you made the devils look so sick”.

A little taken back at first, I soon realised that he thought the red noses I had attempted to mould onto the middle of their faces were actually the facial tumour disease.

Upon further reflection of my hard work, he was quite right. 

They were a bit bumpy and bubbly and not really particularly shaped like a nose should be.

We can only hope they still sell at the school fundraiser because even though they look a little “sick", they taste delicious!