The week before last was Dan’s Birthday. I just love birthdays, they are an opportunity to spoil a loved one and to go all out with the little things we just don’t bother with on a daily basis. One of Darcie’s favourite things to do at the moment is to bake cakes and so Dan’s birthday was a perfect opportunity for us to put on our aprons and get baking! I always wear my trusty Cath Kidston apron whenever we bake and Darcie always gets excited when she sees me get it out of the drawer and put it on. That means it’s baking time! So you can only imagine how happy it made her when she was sent her very own personalised apron from Gift Pup. It has a picture of a pig on it (one of her favourite animals and quite appropriate given how she behaves around cake mix!) and also says DARCIE in big letters. She just looks so cute wearing it and it also seriously makes me wonder where my little newborn has disappeared to!
We usually make shortbread together as it is the simplest recipe I know and still tastes okay even if a toddler has muddled up the measurements. But for Dan’s Birthday we had to make his favourite, a Victoria Sponge!
The recipe I always make is as follows:
10oz Caster Sugar
3 Medium Eggs
10oz Self Raising Flour
Splash of Vanilla Essence
Splash of Milk
Mix together the sugar and butter, then beat the eggs into the mix. Next add a splash of vanilla essence, followed by the flour. Depending on how dry the mixture seems I will sometimes add a splash of milk into the mix. Separate your mixture into two lined sandwich tins and bake at 180 degrees for around 20 minutes. Just keep checking it to see when it’s done! Get the cakes out of the oven and leave to cool before decorating.
That really is the easiest cake to make in my opinion and is always my go to when I want to bake something. To decorate Dan’s Birthday cake I actually cheated and bought pre-made frosting for the first time ever. I usually make my own butter cream for a Victoria Sponge but I couldn’t face the toddler/icing sugar combination! I filled the inside of the cake with jam and frosting and then applied a generous amount of frosting to the top of the cake too. To decorate we used broken up chocolate biscuits, chocolate buttons and little chocolate crispies. I basically just bought anything that I though Darcie would enjoy eating while we decorated the cake!
She was actually very restrained when we first started putting the decorations on and didn’t eat any at all. Until I gave her the look and said ‘Go on, you know you want to..!’ and from that point onward it was very much a case of three for Darcie, one for the cake, take that one off the cake again and eat it too! She absolutely loved making this cake with me and was so happy when we finally got to eat a piece together in the evening.
Baking is such a lovely activity to do with toddlers. It’s one of those things that I always hoped I would do with my children and so I’m thrilled to have a daughter who is currently very happy to take part in cake making (and eating, of course!).
What are your easiest recipes to make with the kids?