Sometimes we have the best intentions of putting super human amounts of effort into our kids birthday parties. Oh yes, there will be a birthday party theme, and that birthday party theme will be extended from the party invitations right through to the party bags. Your child will love you forever because their birthday party was such a huge success and you’ll feel like the best mum ever!
Sometimes, kids birthday parties sneak up on us. We’re busy, there’s a million things happening at home, work is super busy, your in-laws are arriving for the weekend … and the last thing on your mind is spending hours planning a birthday party theme and labouring (albeit a labour of love) over an amazing kids birthday cake.
Yes, sometimes (in fact more often than not in our house), life and the situation call for a simple kids birthday cake that can be whipped together with a few ingredients from the cake decorating section of the sugar aisle in any old supermarket.
This Farmyard cake was one that I dreamt up as I stood in the supermarket aisle. It was in stark contrast to the year before when Little A turned 1 and I was far calmer, more collected and more in control! Her pink heart birthday cake was fabulous (am I allowed to say that about something of my own creation?). Suffice to say, I put a lot more effort into her first birthday than timing allowed for her second.
Now, back to said Farmyard Cake. All you need are 2 standard butter cake packet mixes – or you could make your own pound or butter cakes from scratch. Taste.com.au has a particularly gorgeous foundation cake I use whenever possible – Vanilla & Cream Cheese Pound Cakes to be precise. In their recipe they make cupcakes however I combined a double batch in a large, deep sided cake tin for this simple birthday cake. Whenever I double the mix of a cake, I slightly lower the temperature of the oven. The other thing I always do to ensure the outside of the cake doesn’t dry out too much before the inside of the cake cooks through is to half fill a baking dish with water and sit it on the bottom rack of the oven. The steam seems to keep everything moist.
Once the cake is cooked right through (when a bamboo skewer comes out of the middle of the cake clean), set it aside for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool. TIP: To guarantee that the cake is completely cooled; vital if you’re planning on icing it, I always cook the cake the night before the party and then add icing and decoration on the day of the party. There is nothing worse than a ‘too warm’ cake with icing slipping and sliding!
Items you’ll need to decorate this kids birthday cake are the tiny icing farmyard animals (I found these on shelf in Coles), Chocolate Biscuit Sticks, Shredded Coconut, Butter Icing (or you could use Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting which I love) and green and blue food colouring.
Putting it all together is then fairly simple:
1. Place the cake on either a cake platter or cake board and cover liberally with vanilla icing.
2. Create your farmyard fence by placing the chocolate sticks upright all around the cake (the icing will hold them in place nicely). Use a small amount of icing to then hold the flowers in place on the outside of the sticks.
3. Colour a small amount of icing blue and create your farmyard duck pond in the center of the cake.
4. Place your frog and duck in the pond and then let the other animals roam ‘free range’.
4. Colour the coconut (either shredded or dessicated) green and sprinkle wherever you’d like grass on your farm.
So that’s it. A very quick and very simple kids birthday cake. And one that the little ‘Old MacDonald’s’ in your life will love.
What’s simple kids birthday cake have you made that you’d recommend?