We made this cake for Hubby’s birthday, but it’s just as easily a Valentine’s Day cake.
One trick to avoiding Crisco-hands is to scoop out the vegetable shortening in a paper towel instead of directly onto your fingers. Your toddler can help squishing around the greased up towel and then banging on the edges of the pan to evenly distribute the flour.
Next, we followed the directions on a Betty Crocker Super Moist ready-mix cake.
Any ready-made cake mix – or your homemade recipe – will work fine. We chose chocolate because that’s Hubby’s favorite, but any old flavor will do. (Although, I think the even dark brown of the chocolate mix makes for a nice background for the frosting colors).
After pouring the batter into the cake pan and setting it in the oven to bake, we started on the homemade frosting.
This delicious buttercream frosting recipe is the tastiest part of all our homemade cakes. It’s a traditional recipe for a heavy, sweet cake frosting, not anything light or gourmet, but it is the absolute definition of birthday cake frosting (in my book).
I separated portions of the white frosting into little bowls and sectioned tupperware and asked Jane to pick the colors – she happened to pick primary colors, which blended into nice greens and purples when the colors mixed together. Your toddler can help make the colors by mixing a small dollop of food coloring into the plain white frosting with a spoon or fork.
*Tip: if you mix the colors straight into tupperware, you can easily chill and store the pre-made frosting until it’s decorating time.
Finally, it was time to decorate. I set the cake on a sheet of aluminum foil and let Jane have at it with the spatula. Her method – which was totally self-taught – is to poke holes in the cake with her fingers and then fill in the holes with frosting and go over the cake a second time with another layer of frosting. An ingenious filled-cake method.