I promised I’d be back in good time to give you a recipe for a Christmas Cake, and I’m posting this first as it’s one close to my heart (I’ll send a couple of ideas for more traditional ones in a week or so).
A Snowman cake for Christmas always makes a great centrepiece and is fun to make and eat with children, and this one is based on the lovely Kidsmas logo, so is the perfect cake to make this year. I’ve worked with Barnardo’s for many years and the Kidsmas campaign is such a lovely idea: They want people to enjoy the childhood magic of Christmas by coming together with their families, friends, schools, colleagues and communities to raise vital funds to ensure that vulnerable children are happy, safe and cared for. You can join in spreading the Kidsmas message by getting together with some children - whether yours or other people’s! - and doing a bit of baking with them to help raise awareness of this important charity.
It’s always terrible to think of children suffering in any way, but it’s especially poignant at this time of year. Most children so love Christmas and all the fun and excitement it brings, that it makes it all the more heart-breaking to think of some children and young people being ill, sad, lonely or frightened when most of us are celebrating and enjoying our families being together. I do hope you’ll join me in supporting this campaign and helping this wonderful charity that does such important work.
Kidsmas Snowman Cake!
Here’s the recipe for this festive cake below:
- 1 pack Jane Asher sponge mix
- 3 medium eggs
- 100ml vegetable oil
- 175g softened butter
- 175g self-raising flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 3 medium eggs
- A little oil or butter for greasing
- 1 tub Jane Asher Vanilla Frosting (or 2 tubs if you ice the board) / or 600-800g butter icing
- Edible glitter (optional)
- JA black, blue, green, white, pink, red, orange roll out icing (or as few or many as you’d like to use! - or buy white only and colour it yourself by kneading in some food colour)
- JA Chocolate piping icing
- Black edible decorating pen
You will need:
- 2 x 7”-8” sandwich baking tins
- A 12” x 15” cake board or piece of card
- Paper, pen and ruler
- 1 cocktail stick
First, to make the brim of the hat, roll out a small piece of black icing thinly and cut out two moon-shaped pieces around 17cm across and 7cm high. (These will need to dry for as long as possible - at least a few hours - to become firm enough to stand up, so you may decide to use cardboard or similar painted black instead.)
Roll and shape a carrot from the orange icing and insert a cocktail stick in the thicker end
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4. Lightly grease the baking tins and line the bottoms with circles of baking paper
Make up the cake mix as directed on the packet, or put the all-in-one ingredients into a bowl. With a handheld mixer or by hand, beat slowly for a minute or so, then beat hard until the mix comes together and has no lumps.
Divide the cakes between the two tins
and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch and a knife inserted in the centres comes out clean. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes in the tins, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Once the cakes are cold, using a small plate or large saucer (I happened to have the base of a loose-base cake tin which was just the right size), cut one into a circle about 15cm in diameter to make the head. Keep back the left over pieces of cake to use for the hat.
Cut a small slice off the edge of each cake and then stick them in place onto the cake board with a couple of dabs of frosting.
Assemble the pieces of left over cake into a hat shape, sticking them together with frosting.
Spread frosting all over the entire cake very thinly and leave to dry for a few minutes (this should help to stick down any loose crumbs and prevent them spoiling the ‘snow’). Then spread frosting more thickly all over the cake and rough it up into ‘snow’. Sprinkle with a little edible glitter before it dries.
Roll out more black icing and cover the hat.
Spread frosting all over the cake board. Then cut and add all the little details as per the picture (to make the long strips it’s easiest to roll out sausages and then flatten them with a rolling pin)
I used a large piping nozzle to cut the white circles for the scarf.
Pipe on the eyes with chocolate icing or cut little black circles; add button details with the edible pen.
Finally, stick the two shaped brims together with a tiny amount of frosting, and push carefully into position at the base of the hat, adding a little frosting underneath as necessary to keep it upright.