Sunshine Cakes for a Rainy Day
Whenever I mention baking on Twitter a disorderly queue forms. The pointy elbowed ladies come out in force and orders are placed for virtual cupcakes. This morning I was baking with Bonus Boy who is ‘on afternoons’ this week as he is eased into school. It is pouring with rain, the park wasn’t an option so we decided to get messy. There was a Twitter queue so we dedicate these delicious little cakes to Kate, Julia, Paula, Maggy, Jenny and Chelle all very lovely bloggers too!
He thinks the best way to clean the bowl is by hands and tongue and I am ‘one of those mothers’ who lets him! (If you’re not, you probably need to look away now and scan to the bottom for the recipe!) He is very adept with the spatula and I do wonder if I could get away with just popping the bowl back in the cupboard without washing it, no-one would notice, he leaves not a trace!
Once they were baked and cooled we decided it was a butter creamy sort of a day; a little bit of comfort as the days shorten. We added a few drops of yellow food dye (Silver spoon do a yellow dye which is suitable for veggies and contains no chemical nasties*) and popped it into his icing squeezer.
The icing squeezers are fabulous for young children who enjoy baking. We got ours from Pampered Chef and he loves them!
He was very pleased with his creations
And I am quite pleased with mine!
If a bit of a drool and a virtual chomp is not enough for you, here is how we made them.
For the cakes you will need (makes 10)
- 40z/100g soft margarine (we don’t have the patience to soften butter but we do get some out at the beginning of baking to soften ready for icing!)
- 40z/100g self-raising flour
For the butter icing you will need
- 70g/2.5oz softened butter
- 140/5oz icing sugar
- 1/2 – 1 tbsp milk
- few drops food colouring* (optional)
Combine all the ingredients for the cakes in a food processor and spoon into cake cases in a muffin tin. Bake at 180C for 15-20 mins until they spring back when you poke their tops. Cool on a wire rack.
Beat the butter until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth, add the other half and beat until smooth again. Beat in the milk, if needed, to loosen the mixture. Stir in the food colouring until evenly combined.
Decorate your cakes! Eat them!
*If, like me, you would prefer not to eat nasty chemicals in your food you will be pleased to know that more and more companies are jumping on the additive free bandwagon. I was over the moon to find the Silver Spoon yellow colouring in Sainsburys last week, it uses E161b which is Lutein and is derived from egg yolk. The little stars which you can see on our cakes are also from Silver Spoon and use Anthocyanins (which come from grape skins or red cabbage and are considered to have protective effects in the body) and Beta-Carotene (which is abundant in plants and fruits).
I consult The Chemical Maze: Your Guide to Food Additives and Cosmetic Ingredients whenever I am confronted with E numbers and lengthy scientific names. When I first bought it several years ago, I cleared out my cupboards in horror! I was pretty aware even then but there are an incredible number of nasties lurking in processed foods and it really changed the way I shop.
Do you avoid chemicals like the plague or do they not bother you at all?
You can find more kid’s make and do over at Red Ted Art!