If you're looking for inspiration for a children's birthday party, these brilliantly inventive ideas from Good Housekeeping should help.
(Cuts into about 25 slices)
Preparation: 1½ hours
Cooking time: about 1 hour, plus cooling, setting and drying
- Unsalted butter to grease
- 2 × 175g (6oz) butter quantity Madeira cake mixture
- Icing sugar, sifted, to dust
- About 825g (1lb 13oz) white sugarpaste (about 100g/3½oz less if you are not decorating the base of the cake with a metallic strip)
For the decoration
- A little thick glacé icing to pipe
- Black, blue and green (optional) food colouring pastes
- 500g (1lb 2oz) chocolate buttercream
- Metallic lustre dust (optional)
You will also need a large rectangular cake board and a small greaseproof piping bag.
Tip: This simple and effective design combines to make a cake that any music or gadget-lover will adore – and it can be sliced easily. Remember to always keep any sugarpaste not in use covered with clingfilm to stop it drying out.
Per slice: 457 cals; 18g fat (of which 11g saturates); 74g carbohydrate; 0.5g salt
- Preheat the oven to 170˚C (150˚C fan oven) mark 3. Grease a roasting tin roughly 35 x 26 x 4.5cm (13½ × 10 × 1¾ inches) and line with greaseproof paper, then grease the paper lightly. Make the Madeira cake mixture and spoon into the prepared tin. Level the surface and bake until golden on top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour. Leave to cool for 15 minutes, then lift out of the tin (using the greaseproof paper) and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, lightly dust a work surface with icing sugar, then roll out 75g (3oz) white sugarpaste until it's large enough to cut out a 9 x 12.5cm (3½ × 5 inch) rectangle. Move the rectangle on to baking parchment to dry. Next, roll out 100g (3½oz) white sugarpaste and cut out a 10cm (4 inch) circle with a cutter. Transfer the circle to the baking parchment, then cut out a 5cm (2 inch) hole in the middle.
- Dye the thick glacé icing grey or black, then use to half-fill a small greaseproof piping bag. Snip the tip of the bag and pipe the iPod logo and, if you like, either a birthday message or a list of settings (such as artists, music, photographs) on to the plaque (dried rectangle). If you like, dye a very small amount of the sugarpaste green, roll it out, cut into the shape of a battery and add to the plaque. Pipe symbols for play, pause, fast-forward and rewind on to each quarter of the circle. Leave to dry.
- Cut the cooled cake in half horizontally. Put the bottom half on a large cake board and spread the top with some of the buttercream. Top with the other cake half, then spread the remaining buttercream lightly over the top and sides of the cake. Leave to set for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dye 550g (1lb 4oz) white sugarpaste a bright blue. Wrap well in clingfilm. If you like, you can make a grey metallic strip to go round the base of the cake – using a little of the black food colouring, dye the remaining 100g (3½oz) white sugarpaste grey. Wrap well in clingfilm.
- Lightly dust a work surface with icing sugar and roll out the blue sugarpaste until it's large enough to cover the top and sides of the cake. Roll the icing gently around the rolling pin, then lift on to the cake. Use your hands to smooth into place, and trim any excess at the base of the cake. Using a dry paintbrush, brush metallic lustre over the cake, if you like.
- If you are making the base strip, roll out the reserved grey icing until it is about 5mm (¼ inch) thick, then cut into 4 x 2.5cm (1 inch) wide strips, each measured to one side of the cake, or measure the circumference of the cake and cut one long strip. Brush the strip(s) with metallic lustre, then fix to the cake with a little water. Finally, fix the plaque and circle in place with a little water and leave to dry.
Recipes from Good Housekeeping: The Book of Cake Decorating, published by Collins & Brown.