Child's birthday cake advice

(11 Posts)
Wigeon Mon 08-Jun-15 14:38:12

So, I am making DD's 7th birthday cake, with the letters of her name made out of cake, kinda like this. Fortunately she only has a short name and all the letters are made of straight lines, not curves, so the plan is to bake several rectangular cakes and carve them up.

I'm then going to cover in buttercream (possibly coloured) and put skittles and smaller round sprinkles on top, with edible glitter, and an sparkler in the shape of a number 7, for extra bling.

What kind of cake would you use for the actual cake? Would madeira be better than plain sponge, in terms of being able to be cut nice and neatly? Would it taste as nice? (I do like a nice fluffy light sponge, and madeira seems a bit heavy / dense to me).

Advice gratefully received!

4merlyknownasSHD Mon 08-Jun-15 15:06:40

Madeira can taste really nice, particularly if you put lemon juice and zest (or orange) in to it. It will certainly cut more cleanly.

Wigeon Mon 08-Jun-15 18:18:03

I'm not that keen on lemon flavoured cake, but maybe that's the way to get a nice cake (at least, everyone els will probably like it!), plus the firmness for cutting. Hmmm....

ChantenayCarrot Mon 08-Jun-15 18:25:48

My Madeira cakes aren't really dense at all. I use almond or vanilla flavouring. Maybe try one of those instead of lemon?

Wigeon Mon 08-Jun-15 22:20:51

Ooh, vanilla is good (avoiding nuts as is mass birthday party).

pookamoo Mon 08-Jun-15 22:28:01

If you freeze the cake and cut it when frozen it will cut more cleanly, and the buttercream will spread without picking up so many crumbs.

siblingrevelryagain Mon 08-Jun-15 22:30:30

Best recipe is a Madeira-type (but nicer!)-weigh eggs then same quantity stork/caster sugar (creamed, then eggs and vanilla added) and s/r flour. Then add an extra 2 oz flour and fold in. Perfect every time.

Wigeon Mon 08-Jun-15 22:48:29

Ooh, thanks for further advice! So pookamoo, you can buttercream the cake whilst still frozen?

Sibling - I always worry with marge that the taste won't be so good, so just default to butter with standard sponges. But I know marge in a sponge is completely standard, so not sure why I am prejudiced about it. Does it taste ok? Does your recipe make quite a dense crumb, so good for carving up into large letters?

pookamoo Tue 09-Jun-15 15:55:25

Yes, it's called a crumb-coat smile

knittingdad Wed 10-Jun-15 16:46:51

This cake worked really well for me when I wanted a cheap, easy to bake, easy to cut and tasty cake for making a castle for my birthday and yes it had a drawbridge made out of Cadburys fingers.

My DD made cake pops with some off the off-cuts, and it will freeze too.

siblingrevelryagain Wed 10-Jun-15 19:19:41

Sorry for late reply: Mary berry, and others like her, swear by stork for lightness. The extra flour makes it hold the weight of thick fondant and is easy to carve (I'd do the day before though if carving-let it firm rather than do just as it cools)

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