5th Birthday bakes

Scott’s birthday was on Thursday and his party on Saturday, so I made a cake for him for both days. As has been my tradition, I try to make the cake for his actual birthday more straightforward with the more elaborate cake being reserved for his party. He was keen to help me to make his own cake for his birthday, so we had a fun morning decorating a sponge cake in the shape of a five:

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I was a bit stressed and distracted when making the cakes this year, so I have unfortunately neglected to take pictures of the actual process. I made a 6 egg batch of victoria sponge mix (essentially a cake and a half). This was divided fairly evenly between a ring cake tin and two loaf tins. I left the cakes to harden over night as they are much easier to cut and work with when a bit harder. I cut off some of the ring for the bottom half of the five and used one full loaf for the vertical five line and cut about a third off the other loaf for the horizontal five line. (These off-cuts were iced and sprinkled and eaten as normal!)

We just used regular store cupboard water icing to top the cake and covered in sprinkles. The piece de resistance for Scott which led him to proclaim it “the best cake he had ever seen” was adding the sweets to outline the cake. He “helped” by removing and “disposing of” any sweets that slid off on the first application before the icing had fully set.

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Number cakes are relatively easy and fun to make and I would definitely recommend them for kids. I don’t know if I would thank you for a double figured one for my own birthday, mind you!

The cake theme for Scott’s birthday party was a surprise. I did a bit of research once I had decided on a Narnia theme and pinched a few ideas from other cakes and pictures I had viewed on-line. In truth, this cake was far more about sourcing suitable items than technical baking skill. Narnia items are quite hard to come by. As it isn’t a “current thing”, Narnia toys etc are considered collectors items and are consequently very expensive. I did look into buying a Cair Paravel castle for his birthday, but the £300 price tag was just a little excessive for me! Figurines are also pricey and I wish I had bought into McDonalds happy Meals when Narnia toys were running as they are now selling for a small fortune. I ended up with an Edmund figure from a prt-works set at a reasonable £10. Edmund is Scott’s favourite character due to the turkish delight connection and his role in the Prince Caspian book so it worked out well. My cake was technically, “Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe” so I hope I can be forgiven for this anachronism! I bought a doll’s house wardrobe which was a little on the big side which was why I decided to have it off the cake itself. Scott already had a toy lion so that became Aslan. I struggled to source a lamp-post and ended up with some too tiny model railways gas lamp-posts. In the end, I used a lamp-post from Scott’s train set and pulled off the light part (it can be put back on!) and covered it in black ready roll icing. The “light” was made by colouring in some card and covering it in glitter. It was stuck to the post with icing. If I was doing this again, I would love to find a way to make a candle produce the light for this lamp-post.The trees were ideal and again I ordered these from a model railway company and simply sprinkled icing sugar on for snow. I was a bit more disorganised than I would have liked when I was making this and ended up pulling my kitchen apart as the creative juices got flowing.

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I realised too late that I had no red icing and no red colouring to do the Narnia font. I only really thought of doing this as the cake was coming together so this meant I had to make do with in-edible lettering that had to be picked off the cake before cutting. The cake itself is a victoria sponge again. Another 6 egg batch divided between two rectangular cake tins. The cake was sandwiched with jam and covered with cream cheese frosting. Ready roll white fondant icing (sorry Mary Berry!) was then covered over the cake before placing the items on top. Icing was used to glue the items to the cake and for once for me this held them fast to the cake.

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Overall, I was pleased with the effect, but I was definitely frazzled by the time I had finished the cake AND cleared up my mess!

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