: unisex 2nd birthday cake :

Kia Ora all!

I was asked to make a 2nd birthday cake for a bunch of toddlers having a combined second birthday.   So the challenge was to come up with a design that was unisex.  I was inspired by some wall decal stickers that my son, Raphael, has in his room.  They are cute, colourful characters.

I have quite a few good cake recipes, but as usual I wanted to try a different one.  This is risky, so I’m not sure why I do this!  I used the rainbow cake recipe in the recent Donna Hay Kids Magazine.  You can’t go wrong with her recipes anyway.  This recipe uses cream cheese icing, which is definitely my FAV!  Not the best if you are piping etc, but perfect for this style of cake.  It has a gorgeous glossy shine to it also.

I like to think I am quite skilful when it comes to working with clay and have done many projects in the past with this material…….but when it comes to fondant icing, I become clumsy, useless and frustrated!  I find fondant is not my friend and I just can’t seem to manipulate it like I can with clay! Dam you fondant.  So I take my hat off to those who create the most intricate art forms with fondant…..sheesh I’m jealous.   Anyhow, these simple shapes came out quite nicely and I was pleased.  Have a go!

So as always, I would love to hear your thoughts and hope this inspires you xx

Making the fondant figures: you will need

  • One pack of white fondant icing
  • A small amount of black fondant [I buy the black ready made as it is hard to mix up a good black]
  • Gel/paste food colours  [I used Wilton pink, sky blue and yellow]
  • Cornflour [about 1 x Tablespoon]
  • 4 x Toothpicks
  • A sharp knife
  • A new, clean paintbrush [to be used with food only]
  • A tiny bowl of water

Instructions :

  • You don’t need fancy tools and materials.  Your hands are the best tool when it comes to shaping the fondant.
  • Dust a TINY amount of cornflour onto your clean bench surface.  This is to stop the fondant sticking or becoming sticky whilst working with it.
  • I started by shaping the body of the figure.  I manipulated the fondant using my hands and banging it against the bench from side to side .  I also used the rounded end of the paintbrush to push in and tidy up the gap between the ears.
  • Please note : do not use the water to smooth the fondant.  The water is only to use as ‘glue’, as you will see below.
  • To make the fondant coloured, use a toothpick to dab a tiny amount of food colouring onto it and then knead and knead the fondant in your hands until it is evenly coloured.  Add more colour as desired. [Excuse the out of focus photo!]

  • Next I rolled the arms and used the knife to cut them to size.

  • Insert a toothpick partly into the body of the figure where you would like the arm to go.  Push the arm onto the toothpick.

  • Next I shaped the details : eyes, mouth, nose, by rolling with my fingers etc and cutting shapes with the knife.
  • Use the rounded end of the brush and/or a toothpick to indent a space on the body where you want to place the details.
  • Using the brush, dab a small amount of water into the space to act like glue in joining the two parts.
  • Push the detail pieces on.

  • I made my figures the night before.  In the past I have made my figures a week in advance to let them dry and harden properly, but to be honest the night before was fine.

Sprinkles Cake : Donna Hay recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk, at room temperature [500ml]
  • 12 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 ½ cups plain flour, sifted [675g]
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder, sifted
  • 3½ cups castor sugar [770g]
  • 340g butter, softened
  • ¹⁄³ cup sprinkles

Method :

Note : this recipe makes four cakes, which you layer together.  You will need 2 x 20cm cake tins.

  • Preheat oven to 175°c  [345°F]
  • Divide the ingredients for the cake mixture into 2 equal batches.
  • To make the first batch, place the milk, egg whites and vanilla in a bowl and lightly whisk to combine.  Set aside.
  • Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add the butter and beat until mixtures resembles fine, moist crumbs.
  • Increase speed to medium and gradually add the milk mixture, beating for 2 minutes or just combined.
  • Divide half the cake mixture between 2 x 20cm round, lightly greased cake tins lined with non-stick baking paper, reserving the remaining mixture.
  • Sprinkle each cake with coloured sprinkles and spoon over the remaining mixture.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
  • Allow cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  • To make the second batch, repeat the method above using the remaining cake mixture ingredients.

Cream cheese icing : ingredients

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 750g cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups icing sugar, sifted [480g]
  • Blue food colouring [I used Wilton sky blue paste]

Method :

  • Place butter and cream cheese in a bowl and beat for 6-8 minutes, or until pale and creamy.
  • Add the icing sugar and beat for a further 6-8 minutes, or until pale and fluffy.
  • Divide the icing into two bowls.
  • Add a small dab of blue food colouring to one bowl and stir to combine.  Add more colour to desired strength.

Assembling the cake:

  • Layer each cake with a generous spread of white icing between each layer.

  • Using a large knife or palette knife, ice the bottom half of the cake with the blue icing.
  • Ice the top half of the cake with the white icing.

  • Run the knife around the cake in even strokes to smooth the icing and blend/blur at the centre.
  • Clean up the bottom edge of the cake.  I use a paper towel to do this.
  • Push a skewer stick part way into the botton of the figures and then push the remaining part of the skewer stick into the cake where you would like it to be placed.
  • Sprinkle the top and centre of the cake lightly with some coloured sprinkles.
  • I made some stars and a number two out of paper, skewer stick and double sided tape and inserted these into the cake also.

:the:end:I think:hope I got everything:bye:

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