I have to admit that I don’t enjoy decorating cakes. I love to bake but not to spend hours decorating one fancy cake that is usually gone within a few minutes. neither do I have the time nor the patience to create a little masterpiece. But twice a year I leave my comfort zone and try to make beautiful birthday cakes for our children… and every year, in the middle of the night still fiddling around with the deco I swear it’ll be my last cake. But making their cakes is my special birthday tradition and makes them very happy, which in turn makes me very happy.
In the past, I have made numerous princess castle cakes, a ninja cake, an extremely awesome pirate treasure chest cake (this really was a masterpiece) and last year, totally underestimating the time it takes to cut a gazillion little squares from coloured icing, a “Minecraft” cake for Ben.
I have always been told to add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture when baking. But I have never questioned why. So recently, I’ve looked it up and found the following: The dry ingredients are lighter, less dense, and less viscous than the wet, which means they’ll have a tendency to float on top of the wet. The dry ingredients that come in contact with the wet will form a sort-of skin, preventing the wet from distributing throughout the dry. You end up with clumps of dry, unmixed, and (ultimately) uncooked dry ingredients. Pouring wet into dry forces agitation and more uniform distribution.
Decorate the cake to your liking. For the Minecraft cake I had to double the amount of batter, used a large rectangular baking pan, cut out large squares and layered them until I had the shape of a cube.
Firstly, I colored white icing to get 6 different colors, three different greens, light brown and grey. For the squares, I made myself a template, covered it with wax paper, rolled out the colored icing and cut it into squares.
Doesn’t sound too hard, was´t too hard but took a VERY long time!! So be prepared to enjoy a glass of wine while you´re at it and put on our favorite music… and have a friend over to help and chat with you!
My cake wasn’t decorated perfectly, but it sure made a huge impression on the kids and they were talking about the coolest cake ever for a very ling time.
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee (I use decaf for a kids’ cake or sub with more almond milk)
- 1 1/3 cups date paste (see recipe in “desserts”)
- 2 cups + 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4- 1 cup raw cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- For the Frosting:
- 1 cup date paste
- 5 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp brown rice syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray 2 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- Mix the almond milk and vinegar in a large mixing bowl, and set aside for a few minutes.
- Add the oil, coffee, date paste and applesauce and beat until well combined.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Divide batter evenly between the 2 cake pans.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting, blend all ingredients together.
- Coat one cake with half of the frosting, then top with the other cake. Cover the cake with the remaining frosting and decorate to your liking.