Birthday Cakes

I have a one year old and a four-year old. Both birthdays fall very close together so I found myself making two cakes within a short space of time. It is very simple to make a dairy free cake, despite the common perception that it is complicated or different. You can use nearly any Victoria sponge or Madeira mixture and substitute margarine where they use butter. Any call for milk can be replaced with soya milk or water, this is the rule of thumb I go by and haven’t had any problems with taste or texture.

 

Tiger Birthday Cake

This year for my 1-year-old I made a number 1 cake, and for my 4-year-old I made a Lego cake. I used a basic Victoria sponge recipe for both cakes.

Number 1 Cake

Ingredients:

6 oz./170g stork margarine
6 oz./170g  caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
6 oz./170g sieved self-rising flour
flavouring: 1 tablespoon cocoa mixed with 2 tablespoons boiling water
 
I never go by ounces, I learnt grams at school, i used an online converter to convert 6oz to grams, it seemed to work ok for me so hopefully its accurate.
 
For this I used two 2lb loaf tins and I doubled the ingredients above.
 
Steps:
1. Cream sugar and margarine until fluffy.
2. Add eggs a little at a time stirring continuously.
3. Add flour a little at a time and continue stirring.
4. Add cocoa paste, ensuring its cool before adding.
5. Turn out into a greased, baking paper lined, 2lb loaf tin.
6. Bake at 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4 for 30 to 35 mins.
7. Allow to cool  for a few minutes before turning over onto cooling rack.
8. If the tops of the loaves have risen, slice them so they are flat. Turn upside down and lay on a board.
9. Cut one loaf in half lengthwise. One half becomes the base of the 1.
10. Cut some of the other half at a diagonal to form the top of the 1.
11. The other loaf becomes the long part of the 1. Hopefully the picture below gives a clearer idea of how to do it. (The base in my picture is cut in half, i had an accident, but i glued it back together with buttercream later :)).
 

Piecing the 1 together

Buttercream:

You will need:

140g/5oz margarine

280g/10oz icing sugar

1-2 tbsp water/soya milk

a few drops of food colouring

Instructions:

  • Beat the margarine until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Add the rest of the icing sugar and one tablespoon of water and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Add more water/soya milk if necessary.
  • Stir in the food colouring until well mixed through.

Ice the cake using a palette knife (if you have one) or spatula. Decorate with dairy free chocolate buttons or sugar sprinkles or jellies, whatever you like. I finished off by writing my son’s name with writing icing.

The finished product
The taste test

 

 

Lego cake

I used the same sponge and buttercream recipes as  for the Number 1 cake.

Ingredients:

6 oz./170g stork margarine
6 oz./170g  caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
6 oz./170g sieved self-rising flour
flavouring: 1 tablespoon cocoa mixed with 2 tablespoons boiling water
Some large marshmallows
 
For this cake I used two 2lb loaf tins and I doubled the ingredients above.
 
Steps:
1. Cream sugar and margarine until fluffy.
2. Add eggs a little at a time stirring continuously.
3. Add flour a little at a time and continue stirring.
4. Add cocoa paste, ensuring its cool before adding.
5. Turn out into a greased, baking paper lined, 2lb loaf tin.
6. Bake at 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4 for 30 to 35 mins.
7. Allow to cool  for a few minutes before turning over onto cooling rack.
8. If the tops of the loaves have risen, slice them so they are flat. Turn upside down and lay on a board.
9. Cut one loaf in half width-wise. Each half becomes a Lego square block. The remaining loaf becomes a rectangular block.
10. Cut some marshmallows in half so each half is a circle.
 

Buttercream icing:

You will need:

140g/5oz margarine

280g/10oz icing sugar

1-2 tbsp water/soya milk

a few drops of food colouring

Instructions:

  • Beat the margarine until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Add the rest of the icing sugar and one tablespoon of water and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Add more water/soya milk if necessary.
  • Split the mixture into  three bowls.
  • Stir in a different food colouring into each mixture until well mixed through.

You will need to split the mixture into two or three separate icing mixtures, to make the different colours. I used blue, red and green and I used food colour gel rather than liquid to make the colours darker.

Ice the rectangle loaf one colour, then coat eight half marshmallows in the same colour icing and stick them on the top arranged to look like a Lego brick. Do the same for the two square pieces of cake with four marshmallow halves on each.

This video makes the icing part look very easy but I didn’t find it so easy in reality.

Here’s my finished product:

Lego cake

 

 

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