Yes I have mentioned the ‘C’ word yet again on my blog, afterall it is just 6 weeks until the BIG day. As I have also previously mentioned on my blog, I am not a successful biscuit baker so I find it MUCH easier and indeed less stressful, to buy biscuits. However, you do not have to have made your own biscuits to be able to decorate them, and I had a go this afternoon making some festive ones, seeing as though the ‘C’ word is creeping up on us now!
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 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.