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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


 6 of 6 

Curly Caterpillar

Serves 10–12

Ingredients

1 Extra Large Vanilla Sponge
1 quantity Small Vanilla Sponge
1 quantity Buttercream
Blue, green, mauve, red and yellow food colouring paste
Liquorice strips 
16 jelly beans
2 sugar-coated chocolate drops
Assorted writing icing tubes 

Equipment

4 ovenproof glass bowls – 1 x 1 litre, 1 x 650ml and 2 x 350ml,greased and dusted with flour
6-hole muffin tray, lined with paper cases
2 green pipe cleaners

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/ 350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Make both of the vanilla sponge mixtures separately and divide the Extra Large between the prepared bowls and the Small between the paper cases. Bake both mixtures just under the middle shelf of the preheated oven – 45–55 minutes for the larger bowls, 30–35 minutes for the smaller bowls and 20–25 minutes for the cupcakes. Leave the cakes to cool in the bowls or tray for 10 minutes before turning on to racks to cool completely. 

Divide the Buttercream between five bowls and tint each one a different colour with the food colouring pastes. The quantity of Buttercream needed for each cake will differ depending on the sizes. Covereach cake with a different colour ofButtercream, spreading evenly. 

Peel the paper case off one cupcake (and freeze the rest of the cupcakes). Cover the cupcake with Buttercream. Arrange all the cakes on a serving board in a curly caterpillar shape and in decreasing order of size. 

Cut the liquorice strips into 17x5cm lengths and position in pairs on either side of each cake as legs. Stick the last length of liquorice to the largest cake at the front of the caterpillar as a mouth. Position the jelly beans on the ends of the legs as feet. Stick the chocolate drops above the mouth for the eyes and stick the pipe cleaners in the top for the antennae. Use the writing icing to spell out the child’s name along one side of the caterpillar.

Adapted from Birthday Cakes For Kids by Annie Rigg (Ryland Peters & Small, £14.99).


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