This week I entered my fifth year of parenting. I've thrown a few parties for the girls in that time. The first time I discovered plates of discarded cake hidden in odd places, I took it to heart. Since then, I've realised one of the realities of parenthood: kids lick off the icing and discard the cake. Adriano Zumbo’s kids lick off the icing and hide the cake!
Now I'm older and more wise in the ways of children, I approach the cake like this: the decorations are for the kids. The cake inside? That’s the parents’ reward for surviving the party. By the time the cake is cut, they've likely survived a pass-the-parcel induced tantrum, they have sand in their shoes and dirty handprints on their clothes. They’ve started to wonder how they'll get the face paint and grass stains off their kid’s clothes. They've earned good cake.
This cake is perfect for kids parties. It holds its shape well and is perfect for cakes that need ‘construction’. It freezes, so you can bake it ahead of time, thaw it overnight and ice it on the day of the party. Best of all, the taste is worthy of the calories ingested.
250g butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups caster sugar (for a caramel butter cake, substitute 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar)
2 cups plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
½ tsp bicarb of soda
1 cup milk
Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs and mix until combined. Add all the remaining ingredients and beat together on a low speed until combined. Increase to a medium speed and beat until smooth.
Bake at 160C for an hour and fifteen minutes. Makes two 20cm round cake tins (or whatever shaped tin your creation requires).
This recipe has stood me in good stead over the years, from my very first ladybird cake to this year’s fairy princess cake.
Bookmark this recipe and it’ll be your best friend too.