Birthday Cakes for a First Birthday
This birthday is more likely to be remembered by the family than the baby; but there’s no doubt that it’s a very special occasion! To make your child’s first birthday extra important have a look at the following cake suggestions and make one that (nearly) everyone will remember.
General GuidelinesConsider your child’s teeth first! No, not just the sugar content; does he or she have any teeth, or will the cake be gummed to a pulp?
Choose ingredients that are easy for your little one to chew and digest.Avoid using small (edible or otherwise) decorations that may cause choking.Keep it light and simple but attractive to look at.However original and fantastic your finished cake looks, don’t forget it’s meant to be eaten!If you fancy shaping your cake into a big number 1, make a template of paper and cut the cooled cake to shape before decorating. (Odd bits with custard make great pudding.)
Madeira Sponge CakeThis is a moist, light, cake that is easy to carve into shape without crumbling. Make it the day beforeto give the texture time to settle and to save you some time on the party day!
- 175g butter
- 175g caster sugar (superfine is best)
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 100g plain flour
- 150g self-raising flour
MethodFirst, preheat the oven to 170C and prepare your cake tin by greasing and lining it. Sift both flours together into a mixing bowl. Beat the butter and sugar together-by hand or in a food mixer-until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs gradually, followed by the flour.
Leave the cake to stand for 5 minutes then turn it out onto a rack to finish cooling.
VariationsAdd the grated rind of an orange (or lemon) and 2 tablespoons of orange juice to the mixture after the eggs and flour.Fold 200g of melted chocolate into the mixture before transferring it to the tin. This method will give a marbled effect to the finished cake. For an even, light chocolate cake, simply fold in the chocolate and mix it completely.
Suggested Toppings and FillingsButter-cream is a simple but tasty way of sealing your cake (for filling and topping) and makes a good foundation for further coatings. The following quantities are sufficient to coat the sides and top of one 18cm (7 inch) cake.
- 125g butter
- 175g icing sugar (caster sugar or a mixture of both can be used)
- 1-2 tablespoons of milk
- Vanilla essence (optional)
First, beat the butter until creamy then slowly add the sugar, milk and a few drops of vanilla essence (if used.) Alternatively, omit the milk and vanilla and use the finely grated rind of a small orange and 2 tablespoons of orange juice.For a chocolate butter-cream, omit 1 tablespoon of the milk and add 30g melted chocolate instead.
- 125g butter or margarine
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 125g self-raising flour
- Vanilla essence or grated lemon/orange rind
First grease and line two straight-sided sandwich tins and preheat the oven to 180C.Beat the butter or margarine until soft, then, add the sugar. Mix together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, slowly, followed by the vanilla essence or citrus rind, and finally the flour.Divide the mixture between the two tins and level off with a palette knife. Bake on the centre shelf for 20-25 minutes. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack after baking.Use butter-cream or spread your birthday baby’s favourite jam over the centre of one cake layer (top side down.) Leave for a few minutes before placing the other layer on top of the filling.Dust the top with sifted icing sugar or glace icing.
- 150g icing sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons warm water (or orange juice)
- Food colouring (if used) or orange colouring
Sift the sugar into a bowl and add the water-a drop at a time-stir until the combined ingredients thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Place your cake on a wire rack above a plate and pour the icing over the centre of the top layer. Use a palette knife to work the icing all over the top and then sides of the cake.Cakes can be decorated if you wish with ready-made goodies!