This month is my birthday month… so it’s only right to celebrate with cakes and lots of them. All my friends will testify that I am the baker and for everyone’s birthday I always provide a cake. I love making them, giving them and generally spreading the LOVE. Which neatly takes me onto the cakes I made last night for the girls. I decided (on getting home from work) that I would just quickly rustle something up and 45 minutes later (including decoration time) the cakes were made… and they tasted scrummy!
In true ‘gemsfoodgems’ style I decided to make these cakes healthier than just a normal sponge cake/cupcake, so I rifled through the baking cupboard (yes we have one of these in our house) and decided to change my normal recipe for this one… (see below). The dark brown sugar gives quite a ‘fruity’, ‘rich’ taste and the wholemeal flour increases the fibre content but also makes it a slightly less ‘airy’ sponge. Its a little more doughy and it tastes luxurious.
I then went to town on the decoration with a block of regal icing, some white chocolate icing tubes and some coloured sprinkles and (without blowing my own trumpet) I created a little bit of a masterpiece…
… quick, simple, pretty, yummy cakes. What more could a girl want?
MAKES: 12 small buns
- 5 minutes to make the cake mixture.
- 30 minutes to decorate the cakes, depending on how elaborate you want the cakes to look.
COOKING TIME: 15 minutes
For the cakes…
- 100g margarine
- 100g dark brown muscavado sugar
- 2 free range eggs
- 50g plain self raising flour
- 50g self raising wholemeal flour
- 12 cake/bun cases
For the decoration…
- 100g ready-to-roll regal icing
- 10 – 15 drops pink food colouring
- 1 tube of white chocolate icing (or any icing tube you have)
- 1 pot of multi-coloured sprinkles
- 1 love heart stencil/cutter (or you can freehand like I did)
HOW TO MAKE THE CAKES…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees / gas mark 4 and place the cake cases in a small bun tray – they are about half the size of a muffin case/muffin tray.
First cream together the margarine and the dark brown muscavado sugar in a large bowl.
Next break the 2 eggs into the margarine and sugar and mix together well.
Sieve the white flour and the wholemeal flour into the mix and stir in until there are no lumps of flour left. You will need to stir right down to the base of the bowl, to ensure that you have got all the flour mixed in.
Place a dessert spoon size of mixture into each cake case and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Insert a knife/skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean then the cakes are cooked. If not pop them back into the oven for 2 – 3 minutes and test again. Carefully remove the buns/cakes from the tray and place on a baking tray to cool.
Whilst the cakes cook, you can start preparing the decorations. Cut approx. 100g of icing off the block of regal icing, cling-film the rest tightly and you can save this for another baking day. Add 10 – 15 drops of food colouring (start with 10 first) and then start folding the icing over the colouring using your fingers until it is all mixed in. The colouring/icing will start to marble at first but just carry on. If the colour is as dark as you want it then fine, if not add some more colouring and continue.
Your hands may be warm and starting to feel a little sticky. The ONLY thing to stop this is cornflour, so sprinkle some of this over your worktop/table and rub some into your hands.
Place the ball of coloured icing in the centre of your workspace and cover with a little cornflour, turn over and repeat. Rub cornflour all over your rolling pin and then gently begin to roll the icing. Roll 3 times and then turn 90 degrees – this will keep the icing loose and prevent it from sticking. You will also need to keep rubbing cornflour underneath the icing to ensure that it isn’t sticking, so do this each time you turn it.
Personally I don’t like extremely thick layers of icing, especially not on such a small cake (its also pure sugar, so its not exactly healthy!) so roll the icing out until it is about 3mm thick. If you want to copy my patterns, then use this love heart below (print out the stencil) and cut it out the gently place on the icing and using a sharp knife cut around the template.
Once you have cut out the love heart shape, gently free and place to one side. Make 12 of these and then once the cakes are cooled you can get creative and start decorating your cakes. So, squeeze a pea sized amount of the white chocolate icing, from the tube onto the top of your cake and then place the love heart on top of this. Then you can use the white chocolate icing and sprinkles to decorate as you please. These are some of the designs I made…
The most important stage of all though is in the eating… so give to your family and friends. Impress them with your skills and ENJOY eating your cakes, with love and birthday greetings from gemsfoodgems.