Creepy crawly cake
If you're looking for inspiration for children's party food, these brilliantly inventive ideas from Good Housekeeping should help.
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(Cuts into 12 slices)
Preparation: 1½ hours
Cooking time: 25–30 minutes,
plus cooling and drying
Make a 4-egg Victoria sponge.
Chocolate buttercream icing
40g (1.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
90g icing sugar (3oz), sieved
1-2 drops of vanilla essence
1 tbsp milk or water
For the decoration
225g (8oz) white sugarpaste
assorted food colourings, including brown and black
red and black liquorice bootlaces and jelly creepy-crawly sweets, such as snakes and frogs
a little glacé icing
a chocolate matchstick (optional)
For the icing
450g (1lb) icing sugar, sifted
225g (8oz) butter, softened
a few drops of vanilla extract
green food colouring
534 cals; 26 fat (of which 17g saturates); 76g carbohydrate; 0.6g salt
1. To make a trap door, use 125g (4oz) sugarpaste. Knead in a few drops of brown food colouring and roll out to a thickness of 5mm (¼ inch), then use a small tumbler to cut out a circle. Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and leave in a cool place overnight to dry.
2. Use the remaining white and brown icing to make a selection of spiders and beetles, colouring the icing accordingly. Use the liquorice to make spiders’ legs. Pipe eyes on the creatures with white glacé icing. Allow to dry overnight.
3. The next day, preheat the oven to 190˚C (170˚C fan oven) mark 5. Grease two 20.5cm (8 inch) round sandwich tins and line with greaseproof paper, then grease the paper lightly. Make and bake the sponge mixture according to the instructions on page 28. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack, remove the lining paper and leave to cool completely.
4. Sandwich the cold cakes together with chocolate buttercream. Cut out a hole 1cm (½ inch) deep and 6.5cm (2½ inches) wide in the centre of the cake. Discard (or eat) the trimmings.
5. For the icing, beat the icing sugar into the butter with the vanilla. Beat in the food colouring. Put the cake on a board or plate and cover with the icing. Secure the trap door over the hole in the middle of the cake. Prop open with a cocktail stick painted with brown food colouring, or a chocolate matchstick. Arrange the creatures over the cake, with some creepy-crawlies crawling out of the trap door. Leave to dry.
Recipes from Good Housekeeping: The Book of Cake Decorating, published by Collins & Brown.
Last updated: almost 2 years ago