I was having a discussion with some online friends the other night about cakes being either bought or made for you by a cake making professional when it comes to our children’s birthday parties. I am a firm believer in making as much as I can myself because for one thing I enjoy being creative and I like baking, and I think I am good at making cakes. My decoration skills are still not that great, but I am at least practising on a regular basis! However, following my online chat, I do understand why many Mum’s opt to have them either ready made by someone else or will buy the sponges and then decorate them at home. I think we all take shortcuts where we can – I often cheat with my frosting and buy the ready made because it is means I don’t always have to worry when I dont have any icing sugar or butter in the house. I have even bought chocolate sponges and decorated them myself – I think sometimes life is too short to worry and as long as they taste and look great and the recipient is pleased, then no one need know the truth – the whole cake truth!
Another factor to take into account is price. I think that by the time you have bought all the ingredients you need, especially if starting from scratch, plus the gas/electricity it costs to cook a couple of sponges it can add up. From just £7.40 a ready made vanilla sponge cake can be delivered straight to your front door ready to be pimped by your own cake decorating hands. Which is actually not *that* pricey really when you work out how much baking a cake is (from scratch). And of course, if you are not a good cake baker, then having a cake made for you would be very helpful!
I was recently sent a 6 inch and I decided to have a go at making a Rainbow Sprinkle Cake having seen it on pinterest a lot, and knowing how great it would look and appeal to children for a birthday cake. So with this in mind here is how I made one.
- 1 x 6 inch vanilla sponge cake
- strawberry jam
- 1 x pot of ready made vanilla buttercream (I used Betty Crocker)
- 3 x bottles of hundreds and thousands
- Slice your cake into 3 layers
- spread jam over each one
- spread the buttercream around the top and sides of the cake all around
- place in the fridge for about an hour to firm up
- add another thin layer of the buttercream all over the first layer to cover up any cake crumbs which may be on show
- pour the hundreds and thousands onto a large serving dish/plate
- Very carefully roll the cake in them on its side
- turn the cake over on to its bottom and scatter more of the hundreds and thousands onto the top
- when covered very carefully place the cake onto your serving plate/cake stand (I used a fish slice utensil) and place back in thre fridge to firm up again
- remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving
This ready made vanilla sponge cake was easy to work with and sliced with less crumbling than I had anticpated, and remained firm as I spread the jam on to the 3 slices I cut from it. The only issue I had was that when I was trying to coat the assembled cake with the buttercream, small bits of cake came away leaving gaps, which meant I had to push bits back in! It did not affect the overall look of the cake that much really, but this is the only minor criticism I have really.
The sponge was really nice actually, not too sweet and the texture was just like a victoria sponge type cake – the type of cake I make 85% of the time anyway which is fine by me! It tasted really good and I would happily eat some more. I will continue to bake my own cakes, but I do recommend the cake on its flavour and texture and it smelt like fresh cake should aswell. It does say on the packaging that the cake should be consumed within 5 days of recieving it, which means it will last a while too once served at your party/social gathering of your choice. I think this is a great idea for those who either dont like to bake , cannot bake or are too busy to do so.
With regards to my attempt at the Rainbow Sprinkle Cake – well I think I have escaped an epic fail BUT it could look a lot better. It is actually much harder to achieve than I had thought it would be, as it looks so impressive (on pinterest sites at least!) , and those hundreds and thousands do go everywhere and anywhere – pesky things!! Check this tutorial out if you want to have a go yourself and produce a much better looking decorated cake than mine!! Still, my boys went ‘wow’ when they saw it so it has the desired effect !
I was sent a cake for the purpose of a review. It was my choice to decorate it in this way. All comments made regarding it are honest and my own.