Birthday Cakes You Can Bake at Home with Your Kids

Birthday Cakes You Can Bake at Home with Your Kids

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Easy as pie—er…cake!

If you’re throwing a birthday party for your child, impress everyone by baking your own homemade birthday cake—and get your children involved in the process! These three recipes are easy enough for kids to help make and will get them excited about baking and decorating. Besides, who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

 

Teddy Bear Cake

This would be the perfect cake to make for a younger brother or sister’s birthday. The cute smile is made out of delicious chocolate candy. You will have three cupcakes left over when you have made your bear, so you can check how good your cake is before the party! 

Serves 10 

You will need


Directions

1. Preheat the oven. Ask an adult to help you turn the oven on to 350°F, so it will be hot by the time you are ready to bake.

2. Put one of the round cake pans on the baking parchment and draw around it twice to make two circles. Cut them out. Scoop a little soft butter onto a paper towel and rub this all over the inside of the pans. Put the parchment circles into the bases of the pans and leave to one side.

3. Make the large quantity of cake batter and spoon it evenly into the two pans. Ask an adult to help you put it onto the middle shelf of the oven for about 30 minutes. Check that the cakes are done by pushing a metal skewer into the middle of one. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. Leave them to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Turn them the right way up and leave to cool completely.

4. While the big cake is cooking, make the small quantity of cake batter. Spoon the batter into the mini cupcake case first and then evenly into the other cupcake cases. Ask an adult to help you put these onto the middle shelf of the oven and set a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, take out the mini cake and set the timer for another 10 minutes to finish cooking the other cupcakes. Leave the cakes in the tin to cool for 10 minutes and then move them to the wire rack to cool completely.

5. Make the Chocolate Fudge Frosting while the cakes are cooling.

6. Use a long, serrated knife to level the tops of the big cakes, if they are not flat. Place one cake on the serving plate and spread 3-4 tablespoons of chocolate frosting over the top. Put the second cake on top. Use three-quarters of the remaining chocolate frosting to cover the top and sides of the whole cake, spreading it evenly with a palette knife.

7. Cover the tops of two cupcakes with frosting. These are the teddy’s ears but they will need to be raised, so peel the paper case off another cupcake and cut it in half horizontally. Put one half under each ear and put the ears in their place by the head. The ears should now be roughly the same height as the cake.

8. Peel the paper case off the mini cupcake and completely cover it with frosting. Put it in the middle of the cake to make the teddy’s nose. Arrange the chocolate drops on the face for the eyes, mouth, and ears. Make a bow out of ribbon and place at the teddy’s neck.

 

Lemon Cake with Candies

You can go wild with the decorations for this one, using lots of different varieties and colors of candies. The key is to add all the sweet treats to the cake no more than 1-2 hours before serving, otherwise they might soften and bleed into the frosting.

Serves 12

You will need

  • 1 quantity Large Lemon Cake (see below)
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ (icing) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons lemon curd
  • Assorted candies
  • 2 8-inch round cake pans
  • Non-stick baking parchment 


Directions

1. Ask an adult to help you turn the oven on to 350°F, so it will be hot by the time you are ready to bake. Put one of the round cake pans on the baking parchment and draw around it twice to make two circles. Cut them out. Scoop a little soft butter onto a paper towel and rub this all over the inside of the pans. Put the parchment circles into the bases of the pans and leave to one side.

2. Make the cake batter, and spoon it evenly into the two pans. Ask an adult to help you put them onto the middle shelf of the oven for about 30 minutes. Leave the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Turn them the right way up and leave to cool.

3. When the cakes are cold, slice each one in half horizontally to give four even layers.

4. Make the frosting. Put the soft butter into a bowl and place a strainer (sieve) over the bowl. Add a few tablespoons of confectioners’ (icing) sugar to the strainer and sift over the butter. Now beat the mixture together with a wooden spoon, then add a little more sugar and mix again. Keep going until all the sugar has been mixed in and the frosting is smooth and pale. Add the lemon curd and mix again until smooth.

5. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread with 2 big tablespoons of frosting.

6. Top with another cake layer and 2 more tablespoons of frosting. Repeat until you have four layers of cake and three layers of frosting.

7. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting, spreading it evenly with a palette knife.

8. Decorate the cake with a whole range of your favorite candies!

 

Chocolate Fudge Birthday Cake

This is a really delicious, chocolatey cake, perfect for birthdays—just decorate it and add candles! It tastes best when made the day before the party. You need four different bowls for this one, so make sure you wash up afterward! 

Serves 10-12

You will need

For the cake

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3½ oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup water, hot but not boiling
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups superfine (caster) sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt

For the decoration

  • ½ cup (100 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 oz. milk chocolate
  • 2 oz. bittersweet (dark) chocolate
  • Selection of chocolate candies
  • 9-inch springform cake pan
  • Non-stick baking parchment
  • Cake candles

 

Directions

1. Ask an adult to help you preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Grease the inside of the cake pan with a little soft butter on a piece of kitchen paper. Put the cake pan on the non-stick baking parchment and draw around it. Using scissors, cut inside the line so you have a circle the same size as the pan. Fit this into the bottom of the pan.

3. Set a large strainer (sieve) over a bowl and tip the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the strainer. Carefully sift these ingredients into the bowl. Put the bowl on one side until needed.

4. Break up the bittersweet chocolate and put it into a large heatproof mixing bowl. Add in the cocoa powder. Ask an adult to help you pour on the very hot water. Leave for 1 minute, then stir gently with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has all melted and the mixture is very smooth. Put to one side.

5. Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer or a mixing bowl. Beat well with the whisk attachment or a wooden spoon.

6. Break the eggs into a small bowl, remove any pieces of shell. Whisk with a fork until the mix is a bit frothy and the yolks have broken up, then gradually add the eggs to the sugar and butter and beat really well until very smooth.

7. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the bowl and mix well. Spoon in the yogurt, tip in the flour mixture, and mix well.

8. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, and smooth out the top with a spatula.

9. Ask an adult to help you put the cake in the oven to bake for 55 minutes. To test if it is cooked ask an adult to help you remove the cake from the oven and stick a skewer into the middle, then carefully pull it out—the cake is cooked if the skewer comes out clean. If the skewer is sticky, then bake for another 5 minutes and test again. Remove the cake from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then loosen the cake by running a round-bladed knife inside the pan. Unclip the pan and leave the cake to cool completely. Don’t worry if it sinks a bit.

10. To make the frosting, put the cream into a saucepan. Ask an adult to help you heat it until it is hot but not quite boiling. Remove the pan from the heat. Break up the two kinds of chocolate and put it into a heatproof bowl. Carefully pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Leave for about 2 minutes then stir until smooth. Leave to cool. The frosting will thicken as it cools.

11. Set the cake upside down on a serving plate. Spread the icing on the top and sides of the cake to cover it completely. Decorate with sprinkles, candies, and candles. Leave in a cool place until it is firm before you cut it. Store your cake in an airtight container and eat it within five days.

 

Vanilla Cake Small, and Large

Each recipe tells you which size of cake to make. For some of the recipes you need to make two quantities of cake batter. If you try and put all the ingredients in together there will be too much for you to mix, so make the two cakes separately. Get all the ingredients ready for both cakes, make one cake and while that is cooking make the other one. You can make the cakes by yourself, mixing everything by hand, but it will be much quicker with an electric mixer. You must always ask an adult to help before you use a mixer. 

Small Cake

This will make a 7-inch round cake. It needs to cook for 25 minutes.

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup superfine (caster) sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons 
  • all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk, at room temperature 

Large Cake

This will make a 9-inch round cake. It needs to cook for 35-40 minutes.

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups superfine (caster) sugar
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk, at room temperature

 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven. Ask an adult to turn the oven on to 350°F so it will be hot by the time you are ready to bake.

2. Prepare your cake pan. First read the project and find out which size of cake you need to make and which size pan. Find the correct pan and place it on some baking parchment. Draw around it and cut out the parchment circle. Scoop a little soft butter onto a paper towel and rub this all over the inside of the pan. Put the parchment circle into the base of the pan and leave it to one side.

3. Put the soft butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until the butter is soft, creamy, and pale (if an adult is helping, you could use an electric beater).

4. Break the eggs into a small bowl and remove any pieces of shell. Beat the eggs with a fork until the yolks have broken up and the mixture is a bit frothy.

5. Add a little egg to the creamed butter mixture and beat with the wooden spoon until the egg is all blended in. Then add a little more egg and beat again. Add a small sprinkle of flour if the mixture looks as though it is starting to separate (becoming gritty rather than smooth). Keep adding the egg until it is all used up and scrape any mixture down from the sides with a spatula.

6. Add the vanilla extract and stir it into the mixture.

7. Sift the flour and baking powder together into a separate bowl.

8. Add half the flour to the mixture and fold it in. To fold, use a metal spoon to cut through the mixture in a gentle figure of eight. Don’t beat or over-stir it—gentle folding traps air into the mixture and will make the cake lovely and light. When the half the flour is mixed in, add the second half and do the same folding.

9. Add the milk and fold it in. Your mixture should be smooth and drop from the spoon when you lift it. If it is still very stiff add another spoonful and fold again.

10. Pour the batter into the cake pan, scraping the bowl with a soft spatula to get out all the mixture. Smooth out the surface with the spatula.

11. Put on oven mitts and ask an adult to help you put the cake in the oven. Check how long it will take for the size of cake you have baked, and set a timer.

12. When the time is up, check the cake through the oven door. It should have risen high in the pan and be a golden color. If it doesn’t look done, leave it for a few minutes longer. Put on oven mitts. Ask an adult to help you to take it out. If it is ready, it will be have shrunk away from the side of the pan and when you press it with a finger it will spring back up. An extra test is to push a metal skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If it is covered with sticky mix, it needs a bit longer in the oven. Leave the cake to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes.

13. Run a blunt knife all the way round inside the pan to make sure the cake is loose.

14. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and then turn the rack and pan upside down so that the cake drops out of the pan onto the rack. Carefully turn the cake over so it is right side up. Leave it until it is completely cold before you begin decorating it.

Other flavors you can make:

Chocolate: For a large chocolate cake, once you have measured the flour, take 3 tablespoons out and put it back in the bag. Then add 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder instead. (For the small cake, change 1 tablespoon of flour for the cocoa.) 

Lemon or orange cakes: Leave out the vanilla extract and use a grater to grate the zest of an unwaxed lemon or unwaxed orange onto a plate. Take care not to grate your fingers! Only grate the colored surface of the peel. The white pith beneath is bitter and you don’t want any in your mix. Keep turning the fruit to find ungrated peel. Add it to your mixture and fold it in.

 

Chocolate fudge frosting

A chocolate cake isn’t complete without a dark, sticky, super-chocolatey, chocolate frosting and this is the best! It’s easy to spread over cakes with a knife or you could even try piping it. 

You will need

  • 12 oz. bittersweet dark chocolate
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3¼ cup confectioners’ (icing) sugar

 

Directions

1. Ask an adult to help you chop the chocolate into chunks using a sharp knife and a flat chopping board. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl.

2. Add the butter to the bowl and then ask an adult to help you set it over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth, then set aside to cool slightly.

3. Put the milk and vanilla extract into another bowl and gradually sift in the confectioners’ (icing) sugar, a little at a time. Stir until smooth before adding more sugar.

4. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until smooth. Let the frosting sit and thicken up slightly before you use it—it will be easier to spread.

 

Design, photography, and illustration by CICO Books 2017. Reprinted from My First Cookie & Cake Decorating Book with permission of CICO Books.

 


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