Posts Tagged ‘children’

A Perfectionists Guide to Decorating Cakes With Young Children!

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

I am a perfectionist, I know this! A couple of years ago I admit I didn’t like the idea of letting my then two year old decorate our Christmas cake. Last Christmas I came up with a compromise.

I know Christmas is far from everyones mind but this idea could work for other cakes too!

This first cake was made for nanny and grandad. I wanted to give them a pretty cake but knew they would love it if the boys had helped too.

How to decorate a Christmas cake can be found here.

I covered the cake with marzipan and icing and made the poinsettias to go on top. I rolled out coloured sugarpaste and the boys cut out Christmas shapes using cookie cutters. They decorated each shape with cutters, sugarpaste shapes and painted with food colouring. I then attached each shape to the sides of the cake.

Each year I make a Christmas cake for my sister in law and family too so last Christmas I invited her and her two year old to come over and decorate their own cake too.

Christmas tree cake

I cut two Christmas tree shapes from an 8 inch square cake by cutting out one triangle and sticking the two offcuts from the sides to make another triangle the same size. I stuck this together with a thin layer of marzipan. I cut out the tree shape and used the offcuts to mould together the ‘stump’ of each tree. I then marzipanned the cake and covered it with green and black sugarpaste.

The children cut out shapes from rolled out sugarpaste. I then gave them piping bags of coloured icing and let them decorate their cakes how they wanted.

Not bad for a 4 year old and two 2 year olds and it made me smile everytime I looked at our cake.

I might let them help with the tree next year………….

Free From For Kids

Friday, February 15th, 2013

I thought I’d tell you about a website selling free from foods aimed for children. is a website dedicated to selling free from foods. If you’re looking for dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, soya free, egg free and other food allergen free treats, snacks or baking goods then you are in the right place. The foods are aimed at children, but if you like good food that is free from common allergens then is perfect for big kids too!

If you are struggling to find free from Easter goodies then this is a good site to visit.

The owners of this site also run which was set up to allow parents with children with gastro intestinal, feeding problems and allergies, as well as other medical conditions, to share their experiences, information and find people in a similar situation to them.

Silver Spoon Designer Icing – review

Friday, August 26th, 2011

I had been wondering if Silver Spoon Designer Icing was any good to use as an alternative for royal icing when decorating an egg free or vegan cake.

My sister in law bought a tube to decorate some cupcakes so we both gave it a try.

The icing comes in a 120g tube with three piping nozzles – small round writing nozzle, star and ribbon. It is available in white, pink, blue, chocolate flavour, red, green, yellow and black. The red is not suitable for vegetarians. It is labelled as ‘May contain wheat and gluten’.

The writing nozzle was quite easy to squeeze from the tube but I couldn’t pipe a neat message with it because of the bulkiness of the tube. Once piped, the icing did spread a little too.

The ribbon and star nozzles were quite hard to pipe with. I had to really squeeze the tube with both hands which made them ache very quickly. As the tube emptied, the harder it was to pipe.

I think this product is convenient to use when decorating cakes with children but I wouldn’t use it to decorate a cake for a customer.

A better idea would be to pipe with watered down sugarpaste –

 Mix 20g coloured sugarpaste with 1ml cold water.
Use a small palette knife to paddle the sugarpaste on a plate to remove any lumps.
Make a paper piping bag. You can fit a piping nozzle in the bottom, fill the piping bag with the watered down sugarpaste, fold over the top of the bag and use to pipe.
This can be used for fine piping such as wording or patterned piping such as shells or scrolls. It is slightly stretchy so practise before piping onto a cake or biscuit.

Sugar Free Muffin Recipe

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Yummy by Jane ClarkeMy nearly 3 year old is getting very fussy about what he will eat. He used to love food and would eat anything I put in front of him.

I used to be quite strict with snacks only giving him cakes and biscuits sweetened with fruit, then sugar started creeping into his diet. I wonder if this is part of the reason he has become so fussy?

So I am trying to cut out sugary snacks and get back to the treats which I used to make.

Here is a fruit muffin recipe from a book called ‘Yummy’ by Jane Clarke.

Makes 18 small muffins

  • 30g very soft butter or dairy free margarine ( I use Vitalite)
  • 4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup for under 1 year olds
  • 3 eggs
  • 40ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon Good oil (optional)
  • 50ml milk or your choice of dairy free milk
  • 480g plain flour (gluten free – 240g gluten free plain flour, 120g cornflour, 120g ground almonds – sieved together 4 times with the baking powder)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (or gluten free baking powder)
  • large handful of crunched cornflakes (gluten free cornflakes)
  • 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
  • 1 apple, grated
  • zest half lemon
  • 100g blueberries
  • 100g raspberries
  • 2 ripe bananas, squashed

Preheat the oven to 180°c/Gas Mark 4.

In a large bowl mix together the butter and honey. Add the eggs and beat until smooth, then add the oils.

Put all the remaining ingredients apart from the fruit in another bowl in the order in which they are listed, mixing a little in between additions.

Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet, combining all the time but lightly as possible. The less you beat the flour, the fluffier your muffins will be! Finally add the fruit and stir through.

Spoon the mixture into paper cups in a muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

I find I need to add a little more liquid until it is a thick batter. The muffins freeze well and defrost really quickly.

You could change the berries for other fruits. I keep bags of frozen fruit in the freezer for this which are also handy for fruit smoothies.

The muffins have gone down surprisingly well.

Yummy by Jane Clarke is available through Amazon – click here to find out more

Gluten Free Play Dough

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Gluten Free Play Doh.

I found a recipe for gluten free play dough a couple of years ago and decided to give it a go.

It used cornflour and rice flour in place of wheat flour. The rest of the ingredients were the same as for usual play dough.

I have to say it was awful. The cornflour made it really starchy. It reminded me of silly putty. After rolling it in your hands for a minute it started to get really sticky so you had to stop using it.

So I made another batch using maize flour instead. This came out the same as usual homemade play dough using wheat flour.

If you’re worried about your children eating shop bought play dough (which normally contains flour), try this recipe:

2 cups (about 290g) maize flour (Infinity Foods call this corn flour as it is called in America)
1 cup (about 300g) salt
4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups (500ml) water
food colouring
vanilla or other flavouring- to make it smell nice

Place all of the ingredients together in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the mixture combines and becomes thick.

Pour the mixture on top and knead until smooth.

Store the play dough in a freezer bag to stop it drying out.

I will make a note of how long it lasts and update this post. You can store it in the fridge or freezer to make it last longer.