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Kids Birthday Cakes: How to bake your own “Princess and the Pea” Cake

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Please welcome stylish, crafty mum Charlie from Lottie is Loving with a step-by-step tutorial on a super-cool cake you can bake for your fairy tale-loving little ones.

This year, my daughter chose a “Princess and the Pea” cake for her Storybook birthday party. I found the cake recipe in this book titled Simply Perfect Party Cakes for Kids, by Zoe Clark. It’s a very beautiful book full of imaginative and gorgeous cakes for kids. I highly recommend it. For the purpose of this tutorial, I have not shown the steps for how to make or decorate a cake as I have assumed it is known. At the bottom of the tutorial are the basic cake and buttercream recipes that I use.

Kids Birthday Party Bake your own cake

What you will need
3 x quantity of vanilla sponge cake (allows for a 3-layer cake i.e. one quantity cake recipe per layer)
1 x quantity of vanilla sponge cake (for ‘peas’)
1 x quantity of buttercream
Food colouring (green)

Kids Birthday Party Bake your own cake

Step 1
Start by making a standard vanilla sponge cake batter (if you need a basic recipe, please go to the bottom of this tutorial). Colour the cake batter a bright green (I used Wilton Icing colours as they give a good intensity of colour). Once your cake batter is the desired green colour, bake in the oven as you would for a standard sponge cake.

Kids Birthday Party Bake your own cake

Step 2
While your green cake is cooking, make another vanilla sponge cake. For my daughter’s cake I used three layers, so I made three separate vanilla sponge cakes. Once cooked, I levelled them to make layers. It is up to you how many layers (and therefore how many cakes) you make. Pour the cake batter into your tin and then put aside. You will bake this cake later once you have made your ‘peas’.

Kids Birthday Party Bake your own cake

Step 3
Once your green cake is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cooled, trim the edges of the cake so that only the inside bright green cake is visible (the outside of the cake will brown in the oven and may change the colour of your peas).  Discard (or eat!) the trimmings. Crumble the cooked bright green cake into a small bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Step 4
Make 1 x quantity of vanilla buttercream (find a basic buttercream recipe at the end of this tutorial).

Kids Birthday Party Bake your own cake

Step 5
Spoon some of the vanilla buttercream into your green cake crumbs and combine until you have a sticky dough that can be shaped into peas. Add a little buttercream at a time until you get the right consistency. You should be able to take a pinch of green cake in your fingers and shape it into a small pea without it crumbling. Too much buttercream and the peas will be very wet and greasy.

Kids Birthday Party Bake your own cake

Step 6
Take your earlier prepared vanilla cake batter and gently push the green cake ‘peas’ into the batter. It is OK if they poke above the vanilla mixture a little as they will sink when they cook. If you have some extra vanilla cake batter, smooth some over the top of the peas. Bake in the oven as per your usual cake recipe.

Kids Birthday Party Bake your own cake

Step 7
Trim and level your cakes and sandwich with the remaining buttercream.  Decorate with fondant.

Basic Vanilla Sponge Recipe
150g softened butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
175g self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Splash of milk

Place all the ingredients (except the milk) in a bowl and beat using electric beaters until mixture is smooth and all ingredients are incorporated. Add a splash of milk and stir or beat to loosen the consistency. Bake in the oven at 180°C for approximately 35-40 minutes (check the cake to see that the middle springs back or insert a cake skewer to check it is cooked through). Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Basic Vanilla Buttercream Recipe
150g softened butter
250g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp hot water

Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat using electric beaters until mixture is smooth.

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