I have turned my hand to birthday cakes for my kids!!
I had a bit of help with this one
This is made using a madeira sponge cake.
Here is the basic recipe for an 8 inch round cake;
350g / 12oz self-raising flour
285g / 10oz caster sugar
285g / 10oz margerine
45ml / 3 tbsp milkMethod
Pre-heat oven to gas mark 2 / 150 C / 300F
Grease and line the 8 inch round tin.
Sift the flour into the mixing bowl and add the other ingredients.
Mix together on a slow spead either in your mixer or I used a cheap hand mixer from TescosLike this one!
Increase the speed and beat for 1 minute
Spoon the mixture into the greased tin and smooth down the top.
Cook in the centre of the oven for 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hrs
There are a couple of ways to test if it is cooked - if you depress the top gently it shoud spring back up, or to be really sure you could insert a skewer into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean then you know that it's cooked.
Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.
We put jam and buttercream in this cake.Butter Icing
250g / 9oz unsalted butter (softened)
500g / 1lb 2oz Icing sugar (sieved)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1tbsp hot waterMethod
Place butter in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy
Carefully mix in the other ingredients an beat well.
If you mix it for long enough the mixture should turn almost white - this is perfect butter icing!!
I made too much of this but it kept really well in the fridge - you just have to remember to let it get to room temperature before you can spread it!
Now you need some ready to roll icing (I used 1 1/2 packets) - this is the fun bit!
To colour my icing I used food colour paste which I bought from an ebay shop Words and Wishes
You basically start with a small amount of paste and your icing and you just have to work it in and add more colour if you need it.
Keep a bit of the icing white to cover the sides of the cake first.
Its a bit like playdough but stickier and very tasty!!
The sides of the cake were covered in white icing first to ensure that no air could get into the cake and spoil it
When you have your desired colour roll it out to the correct size, this has to completely cover the top and sides and have a bit extra.
The top of the cake was cut of so that it was flat, then it was cut in half and on one side jam, on the other butter icing, the cake was then put back together and put in the fridge for an hour to harden the icing and make it easier to work with (this prevents the top of the cake from sliding around when you are putting on the roll out icing!).
Next the cake was completely covered in butter icing. The white icing was rolled out big enough just to cover the sides.
Then the pink icing was rolled out to drape over the cake like a tablecloth, trimmed to the right size and decorated around the edge. You can buy paddles to smooth down the icing which are very useful.
Next we put jelly tots around the edge of the "table" - these are stuck on with the buttercream.
Now for the mini cakes
I just used a Victoria sponge recipe for these:
4oz SR flour
4oz caster sugar
Few drops of vanilla extract
Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy
Add the eggs one at a time and beat well
Add the vanilla extract and the flour (sieved) and fold in gently.
You need some very small fairy cake cases and you literally put a teaspoon of mixture in each one and bake in a moderate oven 180C for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.
When they are cooked and cooled you can decorate them however you want to - I used glace icing - (just icing sugar and a few drops of water mixed to a nice paste) and various sweets and cake decorations - the Barbie cake decorations were liked very much!!
When the icing on the little cakes has set you can start putting them on the cake, I stuck the bottom layer of cakes on with butter icing but the rest were just balanced together.
My daughter loved it!!