Make, Bake, be Happy - Fun Cooking with Kids

It’s more than just the chance to create something delicious, it’s the perfect occasion to spend quality time with your little people! Here’s how to make, bake and be happy.

Cakes the whole family will love

The problem - what do you do if you like chocolate cake, dad likes vanilla and your children think strawberry cupcakes are simply the best? The solution…make a big batch of cupcake mixture and divide it into three different bowls, then add the flavorings you need. Yippee, everyone will get to tickle their tastebuds in a way they like! And you can even choose different cupcake cases and toppers to quickly identify which cakes belong to whom! We’ve got a brilliant range of cupcake kits with toppers and cases, or you can buy separate cases, and toppers.

If you fancy a change to cupcakes, you could make a traybake of varying flavors, then cut them into fun shapes with cookie cutters. We’ve got a fabulous range of cutters, including a mermaid, shell and starfish set, and marvellous dinky dinosaurs.

Or, for  something very special, why not make a three layered cake which includes a chocolate, vanilla and strawberry layer – to get many yummy tastes in one slice? It looks absolutely amazing too. Here’s a brilliant Neopolitan cake recipe to try, as discovered here (for the video of how to make this cake, go here).

Ingredients.

For the cake:

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar 

1/4 teaspoon baking soda 

1 teaspoon baking powder 

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 egg whites

1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

1/2 cup milk, room temperature

2 tablespoons cocoa

6 ounces strawberries, hulled and sliced

3 tablespoons lemon juice

 

For the buttercream:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 lb confectioners sugar

1 splash whole milk

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

¼ cup cocoa powder

Strawberry reduction (left over from the one made from the cake batter)

Pink food coloring, optional

 

Method:

  • First make a strawberry reduction to flavor the strawberry cake section (or you can use a good quality strawberry preserve if you prefer). To do this, add the strawberries and lemon juice to a saucepan, over a medium heat. After a few minutes, mash the strawberries, then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture into a bowl, discard the seeds. Cover and chill for 10 minutes. Now make the cake batter.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. Divide the mixture evenly into 3 bowls. Leave one bowl plain, this is for your vanilla layer.
  • Add the cocoa powder to one bowl of mixture and blend together.
  • Add ¾ of the strawberry reduction to another bowl of mixture and blend together.
  • Transfer the 3 batters separately into 3 x 6 inch pans, which have been buttered and floured/lined. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until the centers are springy to the touch. Let the strawberry layer bake 5-8 minutes longer. When ready, remove from the oven and leave to cool. In the meantime, make the buttercreams.
  • Whip the butter for 5 minutes, then slowly beat in the sugar. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Divide evenly into 3 bowls. Place the vanilla mixture into a piping bag.
  • To make the chocolate flavor, mix the cocoa into one bowl of plain buttercream. Transfer to a piping bag.
  • To make the strawberry flavor,  add the rest of the strawberry reduction to one of the bowls of plain buttercream, and mix together. If you want a more vibrant color add a few drops of pink food coloring . Transfer to a piping bag.
  • Once the cakes have cooled, it’s time to assemble them with the buttercream. Pipe alternating circles between each layer with each buttercream piping bag. Place each layer on top of the other.
  • Now pipe and smooth out a crumb coat on the outside of the cake, using a spatula. Then pipe out consistently sized petals around the entire cake – use strawberry on the strawberry layer, chocolate on the chocolate layer and vanilla on the vanilla layer to get a beautiful three toned effect.

Turn the kitchen into a dance extravaganza

To make the baking experience even more enjoyable, why not use this time to have a kitchen hoedown? When you’re a chef there’s a lot of waiting around for food to sizzle, steam and bake. So, turn up those tunes! Children love a boogie and it’s a great chance for mums, dads and grandparents to embrace their inner child and shake, shake, shake their tailfeathers too!  Good songs to dance to are those with a funky swing beat, or enjoy a culinary theme to make it extra fun. Our favorites include: Food, Glorious Food from Oliver; Hand Me Down That Can of Beans from Paint Your Wagon; If I knew You Were Coming I’d’ve Baked A Cake by Eileen Barton; Jambalaya by The Carpenters and The Candy Man by Sammy Davis Jr.