Birthday cakes for kids are among the easiest cakes to create. Children enjoy simple, classic basic flavours with over-the-top presentation. Sticking to a basic well-loved chocolate or vanilla cake is the best recipe for success. Decorations and colour are key; the more sprinkles you can fit on the cake the better. A kid's birthday cake should be bright, bold and inviting and must suit the palate of even the pickiest of eaters.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Food dye
- Pastry bag with decorative tips (optional)
Choose either a basic chocolate or vanilla cake base. While there are dozens of cake flavour possibilities, when it comes to children, the classics are the safest. The majority of young children are not the most adventurous when it comes to food; so staying away from coconut or carrot cakes filled with raisins and dates will ensure the least turned-up noses.
Avoid nuts and other allergens. There is always bound to be at least one food allergy at a birthday party and the best way to avoid any possible problem is to stay clear of the common allergens such as peanuts and strawberries when creating fillings or frosting.
Pair fillings and frosting to the cake base. Either chocolate or vanilla cake can pair with any flavoured icing, frosting or filling. As with the cake flavouring, stick with classic well-loved frosting flavours such as chocolate, vanilla, lemon or raspberry. Mix either a basic buttercream or cream cheese frosting with your choice of flavouring.
Select either bright-coloured frosting or bright-coloured decorations. The brighter and more pronounced the colours are, the better. Children eat with their eyes before anything else and colour is a key factor in drawing their attention. For bright-coloured frosting, start with a white vanilla or lemon buttercream base and add liquid or powdered food dye ¼ tsp at a time until the desired colour is reached.
Add decorations to increase colour. If you stick with a white frosting base, use coloured piping decorations and sprinkles to add sparkle and colour to the cake. Small amounts of coloured buttercream can be piped on the cake using a pastry bag fitted with decorative tips. But most of all, incorporate sprinkles into the design. Sprinkles equate to decadence in the eyes of a child. Choose the most brightly coloured and interestingly shaped sprinkles you can find.
Attach a cake topper and candles. Though not necessary, a cake topper adds excitement to the cake as it remains even after the cake has been consumed. The cake topper should match the theme of the birthday party; whether it is dinosaur-, doll- or monkey-themed, the topper can be any plastic figurine, toy or doll. Choose coloured candles that match the cake colours. Avoid "trick" candles, as they can be dangerous for children.
Tips and warnings
- Take shortcuts if you can. Remember, the cake is for children and not a panel of confectionery critics. Boxed cake mixes and frosting can save you time, money and hassle yet still grant you control over the colour, size, shape and flavour of the cake.
- Choose a round cake for small parties below ten guests and a larger rectangle sheet cake for parties ranging from ten to twenty children.
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