Stuck In The Tree challenged me to a bakespiration bake off, and not a word of lie, I said yes because they used like 4 puns in their email to me, and you can’t not love a good pun. It’s physically impossible. Anyway, they’re new, so go check them out, and if you have time, enter HERE for their ‘bakespiration challenge’!
Now as you all know, I’m a fan of baking and cooking and such. I love getting into the kitchen and making something show-stopping. However, there is one area I refuse to go overboard on, and that’s children’s party cakes. I’ve seen too many parents so exhausted from a full day of baking and decorating that they don’t get to enjoy giving their kid the cake. Or worse, hurt feelings when the kid isn’t overjoyed by whatever masterpiece mommy or daddy whipped up for them. No thanks. I think creating food with your kid should be fun, and yummy. With that in mind, here is the utterly enjoyable to make AND eat Celebration Cake!
Look at this. It looks like a cartoon became sentient, decided “I want to be a cake”, and then did. And it’s completely kid friendly to make, with a huge wow factor. On the inside is a super yummy apple-raisin cake with great structure, and packed with flavour. Let’s get started.
You will need:
For the cake:
4 medium to large apples, peeled and thinly sliced.
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
For the batter:
1.5 cups of oil (I use safflower or sunflower, but use what you have on hand)
150 grams brown sugar
300 grams flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or scrapings of ½ vanilla pod
½ tsp salt
200 grams sultanas or raisins
For the frosting:
140 grams butter
280 grams icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
For the decoration:
Concentrated food colour powder
SUPER SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS:
Set oven to 180C. Grease two round tins with coconut oil (you can use butter, but the cake recipe is dairy free, so I use coconut oil).Dump the apples, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Hand to a child along with a large spoon. Have him or her go nuts while you prepare the batter.
In a large bowl, sift all dry ingredients together. Add eggs, vanilla, and oil. Stir by hand till smooth. Plop in raisins, and fold in. Pry the bowl of sugar apples away from the child (the child will have eaten some by now, which is why I said use largish apples – it’s an inevitability with kids) and fold in.
Pour in pans, and cook for about 45 minutes, or till stick in center comes out clean. Depending on your apples/raisins, you may be cooking till about 55 minutes. Just keep an eye on it.
Let cool completely, then stack with a small amount of jam (any flavour you like) in the middle. Pop in the fridge.
Plop the butter and ½ the icing sugar in a bowl, and mix with hand mixer. When it looks smooth, blend in the other ½ of the icing sugar, and 1 tablespoon of milk. As you are blending, use the remaining milk to thin the frosting if it starts getting lumpy.
Remove cake from fridge, and just PLOP that icing on there. We aren’t going for neatness here, we’re going for a nice thick layer all around. Take your butterknife (or kid’s fingers, I won’t judge you), and tap at the cake all over, forming the cool spikes.
Grab any old piece of to-go container you have lying around, and cut the center of the lid off. It will create a smooth base with no raised edges for your concentrated colour.
A brief word about powdered food colouring
(This stuff is completely non toxic, but whatever it touches, it will colour. My cuticles still look like I’m jaundiced to the point of hospitalization. If you are messy adverse, no problem. You can colour the icing as you are mixing it. I just like this part because I get to be chaotic, but you do what makes you feel comfortable. Also, unless you want really runny icing, do not use liquid or gel food colouring – powder is the way to go. Drop a line in the comments and I’ll send you a link to the stuff I used.)
Blow the food colouring onto the icing. It will look uneven – that’s good. The colour will penetrate deeper in some areas that other, creating a cool effect. I’ve used yellow-orange as the sole colour concentrate, but you can (and should!) put a whole rainbow on there. Go nuts.
Follow up by sprinkling patches of different colour sparkles everywhere. You know how sometimes you are decorating something with a kid and they glop a bunch of glitter in one spot? That’s the look we’re going for, so GO BANANAS.
You can decorate the cake on a plate, or I happened to use the bottom of a round spring-form pan that I could then transfer onto a work surface, but really, this is not the time for perfection, this is the time for fun.
As this is buttercream you will want to eat soonish (this is not a cake you decorate and then put in the car for a long ride to grandmas), or if you have a dairy allergy, the cake itself is completely dairy free already, so you can use icing sugar, water and food colouring followed by sparkles for a thinner yet dairy free topping.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I sure as heck enjoyed making (and eating!) it. Remember, if you want to try out a recipe of your own, head to Stuck In The Tree for all the details.