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Spectacular birthday cakes

A fabulous cake is an essential ingredient for a brilliant birthday party, so here are five that children will love – from a wise old owl to a pixie house

Posted: 15 September 2011
by Junior

 3 of 6 

Flowering Garden

Serves 12–14


1 Extra Large Vanilla Sponge
1 Small Vanilla Sponge
1 quantity Buttercream
Purple, pink, yellow and green food colouring pastes
1 quantity Glacé Icing
Assorted sweets and sprinkles
Green writing icing tube


33x23x6cm cake tin, greased and lined with greased baking paper
12-hole bun tray, with paper cases
4 piping bags, with varying nozzles


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/ 350ºF/ Gas Mark 4. Make the Vanilla Sponge mixtures separately and spoon the Extra Large quantity into the prepared cake tin and divide the Small quantity between the paper cases. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven – 45 minutes for the cake and 20–25 minutes for the cupcakes. Then leave the cakes to cool for ten minutes before turning them out to cooling racks. Leave to cool completely.

Use a long, serrated knife to level the top of the large cake, if necessary. Put the cake on a serving plate and cover with two-thirds of the Buttercream, ensuring you spread the mixture evenly over the entire cake. 

Tint half the Buttercream with your choice of food colouring pastes and use to cover the tops of the cupcakes (you won’t need all the cupcakes, and any leftovers can be frozen for future recipes). Use piping bags with star-shaped nozzles to pipe flower patterns onto the cakes. 

Divide the Glacé Icing between four small bowls and tint each one with a different colouring paste. Fill each piping bag with different coloured Glacé Icing and use small nozzles to decorate with flowers. Finish off with sweets – such as Smarties and Jelly Tots – and sprinkles. Position the cupcakes on the top two-thirds of the frosted cake and use the green writing icing to draw the stalks.

Tint the remaining Buttercream bright green with green food colouring paste and use to pipe lines resembling blades of grass along the bottom of the cake.

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