Birthday Cake!

It’s Sunday, which for me means homemade soup for lunch, no make up and plenty of procrastination to prevent me from writing an essay on contempt of court for one of my degree courses. Today could only be improved by cake.

I made this cake for my friend’s birthday, I only see her every few months so I struggled with ideas for  flavour and decoration. Turning 19 doesn’t hold the same typical cliches that turning 18 or 21 does so this required some thought. One thing we had always had in common was our favourite cartoon growing up – Spongebob Squarepants – and once this popped into my head, I knew exactly what I wanted to make for her!

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I used my tried and trusted vanilla sponge cake recipe to whip up this little cracker, along with my favourite buttercream recipe and some little chocolate cupcakes too. The recipe for the cupcakes is identical to my Easter Chocolate Cupcakes minus the naughty filling if you’re interested!

First, preheat your oven and grease/line two 18cm cake tins with some butter/greaseproof paper.

Sift your flour into a large bowl before weighing in all the other ingredients. Beat together until smooth and combined with no little lumps of margarine or flour lurking around. Pour the mixture equally into the two prepared cake tins and pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes, once the cake is ready, a skewer inserted into its centre should come out clean and the sponge should be golden and springy to touch.

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Cool your cakes on a wire rack once they’re ready while you prepare your yummy vanilla buttercream topping. This amount of icing will leave you with a little leftover which you can use to decorate some cupcakes…or just lick out of the bowl! I used food colouring to attain the vibrant blue colour my icing has, but you could use another colour or just leave it out altogether.

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Place your softened butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl and sift in half of your icing sugar. Beat this together until light and creamy.

Sift in the remaining icing sugar, the splash of milk and a small amount of food colouring (add it gradually so you can control how bright your icing will be!). Again, beat this until combined, then beat vigorously until light and fluffy, adding in extra milk or sugar to help you reach a spreading consistency.

Once your icing is the right colour and consistency for you, set it aside and check on your sponges. If they’re cooled you can get ready to decorate them. Place one with its flat side up on your serving board/plate and spread it with either some of the buttercream, your favourite jam, or both!

I used my favourite strawberry jam.

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Next, place your other sponge on top and use a knife to place small blobs of buttercream around the edges of your cake. Smooth out the blobs to roughly and thinly coat the sides of your cake – this is known as crumb-coating. Once evenly coated, do the same again around the sides and the top until your cake is completely covered in a smooth layer of buttercream.

I’m not very good at making my icing totally smooth, so I just smoothed the sides and made a little wave effect on top by just dabbing my knife softly all over the icing.

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Now you can stop here, or if you’re making a celebration cake you can add all your little extras now. I bought some cute Spongebob figures and I also made some little chocolate decorations to add an extra “Bikini Bottom” feel to the cake! I even used a chocolate number mould to make an edible number 19 (sad I know!).

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To make my cute little chocolate flowers, I just melted 100g of white chocolate in the microwave, added a little orange food colouring and piped them onto a circle of greaseproof paper.

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These can be left in the fridge to set for about half an hour before you decorate your cake with them, be careful though, they’re very fragile! This same method can be used to make endless types of decorations for cakes; hearts, stars and even names.

And that’s all there is to it! A simple, tasty recipe made into a fun birthday surprise and can be used for any occasion. Now on 3…who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Birthday Cake!

Birthday Cake!

A simple and delicious foolproof birthday cake recipe with an underwater twist!

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 200g margarine
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    For the buttercream icing:
  • 200g softened butter
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Splash of milk to soften
  • Food colouring (optional)

Instructions

    For the cake:
  1. Preheat your oven – 180 degrees for conventional and 160 degrees for fan – and grease/line two 18cm cake tins with some butter/greaseproof paper.
  2. Sift your flour into a large bowl before weighing in all the other ingredients.
  3. Beat together until smooth and combined.
  4. Pour the mixture equally into the two prepared cake tins and pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes, once the cake is ready, a skewer inserted into its centre should come out clean and the sponge should be golden and springy to touch.
  5. Allow to cool while you prepare the icing.
    For the buttercream icing:
  1. Place your softened butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl and sift in half of your icing sugar. Beat this together until light and creamy.
  2. Sift in the remaining icing sugar, the splash of milk and a small amount of food colouring (add it gradually so you can control how bright your icing will be).
  3. Beat this until combined, then beat vigorously until light and fluffy, adding in extra milk or sugar to help you reach a spreading consistency.
  4. Once your icing is the right colour and consistency for you, set it aside and check on your sponges. If they’re cooled you can get ready to decorate them.
  5. Place one with its flat side up on your serving board/plate and spread it with either some of the buttercream, your favourite jam, or both.
  6. Place your other sponge on top and use a knife to place small blobs of buttercream around the edges of your cake.
  7. Smooth out the blobs to roughly and thinly coat the sides of your cake – this is known as crumb-coating.
  8. Once evenly coated, do the same again around the sides and the top until your cake is completely covered in a smooth layer of buttercream.
  9. You can now decorate the cake with figures, sweets chocolate or anything you like.
  10. Enjoy!
http://maverickbaking.com/birthday-cake/

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