Sunday, November 7, 2010

How to make an absolutely fantastic GF/CF/SF birthday cake for a 3 year old!


I know it's a long title, but really this post is to tell you it's not that hard to make a fantastic birthday cake, and your kids will love you for it.  I use the King Arthur's Cake mix, it's by far the best mix I've tried, and one less thing I have to do by scratch on a busy weekend.

For those of you that know me, know that I go all out for birthday cakes, and this diet was not going to change that.  For those of you that don't know me here's some past birthday cakes for you:

So, I asked my little one what he wanted for his birthday cake this year and he said a dragon (because he is absolutely in love with How to Train Your Dragon right now).  Now I'm not a cake decorator or an artist, I'm just a mom trying to please her kids, so this isn't fancy, high quality work...but you don't need that.  Just spend a little extra time decorating their cake and it will mean the world to them, especially if they are food sensitive.

I found a dragon cake directions at Disney Family Fun website, and modified it to fit our diets.  So, like I said I used the King Arthur's Gluten Free Cake mix (adding canola oil, instead of vegetable oil), I used black Dots (we had leftovers from our Halloween stash) for nostrils, a jumbo marshmallow cut in half for eyes, dairy free chocolate chips for pupils, and gummy fruit slices for eyebrows, claws, and the spine. And of course, fruit rollups for the wings. :)

Below is a picture after I cut and shaped the cake:
 Here is right after I frosted and decorated it (minus the wings, because they are heavy, so we didn't add those until we were ready to sing Happy Birthday):
 Here is the finished cake:

 And of course with the candles (yes, coming out of the mouth, just like a dragon): :D

So, the cake was chocolate, and when I asked my little one what color the dragon should be, he wanted orange, and I thought if it's orange it may as well be orange flavored as was a scrumptious combination with the chocolate cake.  So here is my soy-free modified 'butter'cream frosting:

Gluten, Casein, and Soy free Buttercream Frosting

1/2 C (1 stick) Palm Oil Shortening
1/4 C rice milk
1 1/2 tsp orange extract (vanilla extract or any other flavor you may want to have)
1 16 oz package powdered sugar
food coloring

1. Combine margarine and vanilla in bowl.  Beat until light and fluffy.
2. Add milk and powdered sugar.  Beat until mixture is smooth and creamy.

Note: if you want chocolate frosting add about 1/4 C cocoa and a tiny bit more milk to the mixture above.

Cake Decorating Tips:
1. It's easier to cut and shape a cake that's frozen.
2. Do a thin coat of the frosting to seal in the crumbs, let set and then frost a second layer that's thicker.

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