Children's birthday cake ideas - toadstool
If you're looking for inspiration for a children's birthday party, these brilliantly inventive ideas from Good Housekeeping should help.
(Cuts into 12 slices)
Preparation: 1½ hours
Cooking time: 40 minutes, plus cooling
Make a 3-egg Victoria sponge.
Orange buttercream icing
- 75g unsalted butter (softened)
- 150g icing sugar
- Grated zest of 1 orange
Beat the softened butter in a bowl with the orange zest. Add the icing sugar slowly with a few drops of milk and beat well until combined. Continue until all the icing sugar has been added.
For the decoration
- Unsalted butter to grease
- 700g (1½lb) white sugarpaste
- Brown, red, green and yellow food colouring
- Cornflour to dust
- Sugar flowers
- Dolly mixtures
- Butterfly decorations
You will also need 1 large rectangular cake board
Per slice: 433 cals; 10g fat (of which 6g saturates); 87g carbohydrate; 0.3g salt
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan oven), gas mark 5. Grease a 900g (2lb) food can and a 1.1 litre (2 pint) pudding basin and line base with baking parchment. It doesn't matter how big the basin is, as long as it holds at least 1.1 litres (2 pints). A wide, shallow cake makes a better-looking toadstool.
- Make the sponge mixture. Half-fill the food can and put the remaining mixture into the pudding basin. Bake for about 30 minutes for the 'stalk' in the food can and 40 minutes for the 'mushroom cap' in the pudding basin. Transfer both to a wire rack and leave to cool.
- Take 350g (12oz) sugarpaste. Colour a walnut-sized piece with brown food colouring and the rest red. Colour 125g (4oz) green and leave the remaining 225g (8oz) white. Roll out the green icing and cut into a kidney shape as a 'grass' base. Fix to a cake board with a little water. Unmould the cakes. Using the food can that the stalk was baked in as a template, cut a semi-circle from one side of the grass.
- Reserve 50g (2oz) white icing. Colour the rest yellow and roll out into a long oblong to fit the stalk. Trim the edges. Spread buttercream thinly around the stalk cake then, holding the cake by the ends, set it at one end of the icing. Roll up the icing around the stalk and press the seam together. With a dab of buttercream, fix the stalk upright in the cut-out semi-circle in the green icing. Spread the top with buttercream.
- Roll out the red icing to fit the mushroom cap. Set the cake flat on the work surface. Cover the upper surface thinly with buttercream. Lay the red icing over the cake. Smooth in place and trim around the base. Dust the work surface lightly with cornflour and carefully turn the cake upside down.
- Colour the remaining buttercream dark brown. Insert a small, fluted nozzle into a piping bag. Fill the bag with the buttercream. Mark a circle in the centre of the base of the mushroom cap, where the stalk will fit. Pipe lines of buttercream radiating from this, to look like the 'gills' of a toadstool.
- Cover the sponge and red icing join. Turn the cake the right way up and set on top of the stalk. Roll out the reserved white icing and the brown icing. Cut the white icing into dots. Arrange on top of the toadstool, using a little buttercream to fix them. Cut the brown icing into windows and a door and fix to the stalk in the same way. Decorate the 'grass' with sugar flowers, sweets and butterflies.
Recipes from Good Housekeeping: The Book of Cake Decorating, published by Collins & Brown.