...my OH is now away until Friday night and my 1 year old has just started with a wacking high temp. I also have a 3 year old to cope with and a job to do mon/tues. I'm going to go insane by Saturday aren't I?? sob
Sympathies! If you measured the ingredients out the night before then got up an hour earlier, you could get about 6doz a day. Sponge freezes, though maybe not with cupcake papers? Make slabs of sponge, freeze, defrost then ice and cut into squares? In an emergency, Asda and Morrison's ready made frosting is Ok but not as good as homemade. Butter icing can be made by the gallon and will keep in the fridge. Melted chocolate is an easy thing to top a cake with. If you put edible glitter and lots of pretty things on even mediocre cake, people ooh and aah, in my experience! Small people are forever spiking temps but they rarely last long. Good luck!
You can make them in batches and freeze them in their papers, if you have 2 trays you can bake 24 at a time which will save heaps of time. Use an icecream scoop to measure the mixture into the papers then they will all be even sized and cook at the same rate.
If you freeze some then defrost at room temp with open tops, if you defrost in a box/covered in cling film they will sweat and go soggy. Make a huge batch of buttercream and then you can keep it in the fridge and use it when you are ready. You could ice them on Friday if that make it easier.