It’s half-term next week and many of us will be hunting for fun things to do with the kids. If you’re looking for kid-friendly baking recipes, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re baking for a child’s birthday or making something super special together, we’ve scoured the net to bring you the most gorgeous-looking cakes the kids will love.
10 kid-friendly baking recipes
- 450g unsalted butter, well softened, plus extra for the tins
- 250g caster sugar
- 3 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 4 large eggs
- 250g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 drops blue food colouring
- 2 drops pink food colouring
- 2 drops yellow food colouring
- 400g icing sugar
- 3 tbsp milk
- 65g sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease 2 x 20cm cake tins with butter; line the bases with baking paper.
- Put 250g butter, the caster sugar, 2tsp vanilla bean paste, the eggs, flour and baking powder in a bowl; beat with an electric whisk to combine. Divide between 4 bowls; mix drops of different colourings into 3 of them and leave 1 plain. Dollop 1tbsp of each into the tins in turn, until it’s all used up; swirl gently with a spoon.
- Bake for 25-30 mins, until a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 mins; cool on a wire rack, top-side down.
- For the icing, beat together 200g butter, 1tsp vanilla and the icing sugar. Add milk to loosen.
- Trim the edges off the cakes with a knife (to reveal marbling). Gather the offcuts in a bowl; add 50-60g icing and 1tsp water. Shape into 5 balls with your hands. Dip into the icing and sprinkles to make cake pops.
- On a plate, spread 1 sponge with just under half the remaining icing, add the other sponge and spread with most of the rest of the icing. Scatter some sprinkles, top with the cake pops and pipe or dollop the remaining icing in between them.
- 100g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 50g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 100g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 cup oil (any flavourless oil, such as sunflower or rapeseed), for greasing
- 500g strawberry ice cream, (we used M&S Soft Scoop Strawberry Ice Cream), softened at room temperature to a spreadable consistency
- 400ml double cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 10 cocktail cherries
- 1 tbsp sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with butter and line the bases with baking paper. Put the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and microwave in 20 sec bursts, until melted; or sit the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir until smooth and set aside.
- Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and fluffy using an electric hand whisk. Add the eggs bit by bit, beating in between. Stir in the vanilla. Sift in the flour and baking powder and gently fold in to combine.
- Spoon half the mixture into one of the tins and level the surface. Stir the melted chocolate into the remaining mixture and spoon into the other tin, levelling the surface. Bake for 15 mins, until springy to the touch, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Lightly oil a 20cm springform cake tin, line with cling film (let it hang over the edges), then lightly oil the cling film. Place the chocolate sponge in the tin, spread the softened ice cream on top and level it out with a spoon. Sit the vanilla sponge on top, pressing down a little to make it stick. Cover with the overhanging cling film and freeze for at least 3 hrs.
- Remove the ice-cream cake from the tin and peel away the cling film. Transfer to a freezer-safe serving plate and return to the freezer.
- Pour the cream into a bowl and sift in the icing sugar. Whip to soft peaks using an electric whisk.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and use three-quarters of the cream to cover its top and sides, creating a smooth finish with a palette knife. Put the rest of the cream into a piping bag and pipe swirls around the top of the cake (or simply pile it on with a spoon), then decorate with cherries. Return to the freezer for 30 mins.
- To serve, scatter over some sprinkles, if using, and press them around the sides of the cake.
Ingredients for the cake
- 80g unsalted butter – softened
- 280g caster sugar
- 200g plain flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 240ml whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 190°C and line 2 8? round cake tins (I just spray with Dr Oetker Cake release spray)
- Using a hand held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt on a low speed until the ingredients resemble fine breadcrumbs
- Pour the milk into a jug, add the eggs and whisk together
- Pour three quarters of this mixture into the dry ingredients and beat on a low speed to combine
- Raise the speed to medium and continue to mix until smooth and thick
- Pour in the remaining milk mixture and keep mixing on a medium speed until all the ingredients have come together and the batter is smooth
- Pour the batter into the cake tins and bake for 20 minutes
While the cake is cooling make the frosting.
Ingredients for the frosting and decoration
- 400g icing sugar
- 100g cocoa powder
- 160g unsalted butter – softened
- 50ml whole milk
- 12 tubes of smarties (or 450g)
- 3 packets of cadbury fingers (I used the honeycomb ones as they were on offer!)
(Before starting, I emptied all the tubes of smarties and put them in piles of each colour to make it easier when it came to placing them on the cake!…I did this while the pasta for dinner was boiling!)
- Whisk the icing sugar with the cocoa powder and butter on a low speed until the mixture is sandy in consistency
- Pour in the milk, still mixing on a low speed, then increase the speed to high and whisk the frosting until soft and fluffy
- When the cakes are cool, spread a layer of frosting between the 2 cakes. Then spread frosting all over the top and sides of the cake
- Place chocolate fingers around the sides of the cake
- Starting from the middle place the smarties on the top. Work your way round in colour batches
- Finish by tying a bow around the cake
- I started to get stressed about the smarties not being perfect but as I got further round I realised that it really didn’t matter.
This cake got a lot of attention and everyone loved the way it looked…so much so that they were all afraid to cut it!
- 275g (9oz) butter spread, plus extra for greasing
- 275g (9oz) caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 350g (12 1/2oz) self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 175g (6oz) raspberries
- 1 x 10g tube bright red gel food colour
- 75g (3oz) mascarpone
- 1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted, plus extra to dust
- 125g (4 1/2oz) Greek yogurt
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line a 20cm (8in) square cake tin and a 900g (1 3/4lb) loaf tin (at least 6cm deep) with nonstick baking paper, giving the loaf tin a 1cm collar above the sides.
- In a bowl, cream the spread and sugar together with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating between each addition. Sift over the flour and baking powder and fold in with a spoon until smooth.
- Crush 25g (1oz) raspberries with a fork. Put in a bowl with 400g (13oz) cake mix. Cover the remaining mix in cling film; set aside. Stir 3/4 of the food colour through the berry cake mix until bright pink. Spoon into the square tin and bake for 18-20 mins. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove from the tin to cool completely. Stamp out 9 hearts with a 5cm (2in) cutter.
- Spoon 5 tbsp cake mix into the loaf tin, spreading to cover the base. Place the hearts in the tin, upright and touching each other. Spoon the remaining mix around and over the hearts, ensuring it falls between the hearts and baking paper at both ends of the tin. Leave a gap of at least 1/2cm at the top of the tin.
- Bake for 40-45 mins until cooked through and risen. Cool for 10 mins, then remove from the tin to cool completely.
- Put the mascarpone and icing sugar in a bowl. Stir in the yogurt, then spread over the top of the cake. Top with the remaining berries, dust with icing sugar and slice. As part of a healthy diet, enjoy this cake for a special occasion or treat.
For the recipe Rainbow Cake
For the vanilla sponge
- 165 g margarine
- 165 g caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs (beaten)
- 5 ml Madagascan vanilla extract (1 tsp)
- 170 g self-raising flour
- 400 g vanilla buttercream style icing (1 tub)
- 118 g smarties
For the vanilla sponge
- Pre-heat the oven the 180°C/160°C/Gas mark 4. Grease and line a 8” round cake tin. Place the margarine and sugar into a large bowl and cream together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and Vanilla Extract and beat together to form a smooth mixture – if the mixture begins to curdle add a spoonful of flour. Sift the flour on top and fold into the mixture until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Bake in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes until lightly golden and when a skewer is inserted into the centre of cake it comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then remove, and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once the cake has completely cooled, cut in half to create the rainbow shape. Spread a layer of buttercream onto one half of the sponge and then sandwich together with the other sponge.
- Stand the cake on our cake board or serving plate so the cake looks like a rainbow. Cover the top and sides of the rainbow in a thin layer of buttercream.
- Stick the smarties onto the front of the cake in a rainbow pattern.
- With the remaining buttercream place in a piping bag a cut off the end to create a 1 cm hole. Pipe blobs of buttercream around the base of the rainbow to resemble clouds.
- Your rainbow cake is now ready to enjoy!
To make a chocolate sponge, simply use 150g Self raising flour and 20g cocoa powder.
Lay the smarties out onto the cake before you add the buttercream to ensure you have enough of each colour, if you do not have enough smarties, you can make a smaller smartie rainbow, start decorating further into the centre of the cake.
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For the recipe Rainbow Sprinkle Pinata Cake
For the sponge
- 330 g margarine
- 330 g caster sugar
- 6 medium eggs (beaten)
- 15 ml Madagascan vanilla extract (1tbsp)
- 330 g self-raising flour
- Pink extra strong food colour gel (1/2 tsp)
- Yellow extra strong food colour gel (1/2 tsp)
- Green extra strong food colour gel (1/2 tsp)
- Blue extra strong food colour gel (1/2 tsp)
- Violet extra strong food colour gel (1/2 tsp)
For the buttercream
- 500 g unsalted butter
- 1000 g icing sugar
- 30 ml Madagascan vanilla extract (2 tbsp)
- 60 ml whole milk (4 tbsp)
- Pink extra strong food colour gel (1 1/2 tsp)
- Yellow extra strong food colour gel (1 1/2 tsp)
- Green extra strong food colour gel (1 1/2 tsp)
- Blue extra strong food colour gel (1 1/2 tsp)
- Violet extra strong food colour gel (1 1/2 tsp)
- Unicorn confetti sprinkles (2 jars)
For the sponge
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan oven/ Gas Mark 4. Grease and line 5 x 7” cake tins – if you do not have enough cake tins bake the sponges in batches.
- In a bowl cream together the margarine and sugar using a free standing or hand held mixer.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth – if the mixer begins to curdle add a spoonful of flour.
- Sieve the flour on top and fold into the mixture until all combined.
- Divide the mixture between 5 bowls and add a different colour gel to each bowl and mix until each colour is evenly mixed through the batter.
- Put a different coloured batter into each prepared cake tin and place in the oven. Bake the cakes for 20 -25 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once baked leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes and then remove and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the buttercream
- Whilst the cakes are cooling make the buttercream. Place the butter in a bowl and beat with a freestanding or hand held mixer until smooth and glossy. Add the icing sugar in four stages making sure the icing sugar is mixed into the butter before the next addition.
- Add the milk and whisk the buttercream until it is light and fluffy – you might not need to add all the milk add 1 tbsp at a time until the desired texture for the buttercream is achieved.
- Divide the buttercream into 6 bowls. Leave one bowl white and colour the other 5 bowls with a different coloured buttercream. Stir the colour through each bowl of buttercream until colour is evenly mixed through. – you want pastel shades of colour rather than bright colours.
To assemble the cake
- Level each layer of sponge, using a sharp knife to cut off any domes on top of the sponge.
- Using a round cutter about 8cm in diameter cut a hole in the centre of the blue, green and yellow sponge. – this is to create the piñata inside of the cake.
- Place a small blob of buttercream onto your cake board/ serving plate and place your purple sponge layer on top.
- Place a spoonful of white buttercream on top of the purple sponge and using a palette knife spread the buttercream evenly over the sponge.
- Place the blue sponge on top and cover with buttercream, repeat with the green and then yellow sponge.
- Pour the unicorn confetti sprinkles to fill the hole in the centre of the cake. Leave a few spare to sprinkle on top of the cake once you’ve finished decorating.
- Sandwich the pink sponge layer on top of the cake and crumb coat with the remaining white buttercream. Place the cake in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
- Once your cake has chilled remove from the fridge. Starting with the purple buttercream palette a band of buttercream around the bottom of the cake – don worry about smoothing out the buttercream at this stage. Palette a band of blue buttercream above the purple, then green and yellow. Cover the top of the cake with pink buttercream and the remaining edge towards the top of the cake.
- Using a cake scraper smooth the sides of the cake so the buttercream colours merge together – not too much as you want the defined rainbow colours.
- Place the left over coloured buttercream into piping bags fitted with a star nozzles or no nozzle of you don’t have enough – you can cut the end of the piping bag and create buttercream kisses. Pipe buttercream swirls in alternating colours around the top of the cake.
- Finish the cake by scattering with unicorn confetti sprinkles and your ultimate rainbow cake is ready to enjoy!
- 9 egg whites
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup plain flour
- 3/4 cup Dollar Sweets Magic Star Tops sprinkles, plus extra to decorate
- 250g butter, softened
- 3 cups icing sugar mixture
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pink food colouring
- Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Grease 3 x 6cm-deep, 20cm round cake pans. Line base and sides with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Beat until combined. Fold in flour, then sprinkles. Divide mixture evenly between prepared pans. Level tops with a spatula.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, swapping position of pans halfway through cooking, or until cakes are golden and firm to touch. Cool completely in pans.
- Meanwhile, make Vanilla buttercream Using electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in icing sugar until combined. Add vanilla. Beat until just combined. Tint icing pale pink with food colouring.
- Carefully remove cakes from pans. Place 1 cake on serving plate. Spread top with 1/4 of the buttercream. Place another cake on top. Spread 1/3 of the remaining buttercream over top. Finish with the remaining cake. Spread buttercream over top and sides of cake. Serve cake decorated with extra sprinkles.
- 360g soft baking spread
- 360g caster sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs
- 360g self-raising flour
- 175g unsalted butter
- 450g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 35g strawberry jam
- 1kg white fondant
- ¼ – ½ tsp pink or yellow gel food colouring
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180ºC, fan 160ºC. Grease and line a deep, 18cm square cake tin with baking paper. Use an electric whisk to cream together 180g each butter baking spread and sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
- Beat in 3 of the eggs, adding them one at time and beating well between additions. Sift over the flour then gently fold through with a metal spoon or rubber spatula until just combined.
- Pour into the prepared tin then bake for 35-40 mins until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat steps 1-3 to make a second sponge.
- Trim the cakes so they are level; set aside. Beat the 175g butter until smooth, then gradually add 350g icing sugar and beat until smooth. Use 75g buttercream and the jam to sandwich the cakes together – the bottom side of the top cake should be facing up. Transfer to a serving plate.
- Line a 300-400ml freezer-safe bowl with clingfilm and spoon 200g buttercream into the bowl. Press down and level the top with the back of a spoon, then freeze for 20 mins. Meanwhile, thinly coat the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream.
- Use the clingfilm to ease out the buttercream dome and place on the centre of the cake.
- On an icing sugar-dusted surface, knead the fondant with the food colouring to make a strong pastel shade. Add a little more icing sugar to the work surface if necessary, then roll out the fondant to an approx 38cm square. Use a rolling pin to help lift the fondant to cover the cake – the centre of the square of fondant should be at the centre of the buttercream dome on the cake, smooth down the top of the sides fairly quickly to avoid the weight of the fondant pulling down and tearing – use the flat and side of your hands to smooth it down, gradually. As you work down, gently fan out the excess fondant like a skirt to avoid it folding, then continue to smooth down, until you reach the bottom. Gently smooth over the top. Smooth the top and sides once more, with the flat of your hand or use a cake smoother for an extra smooth finish. Trim the bottom edge with a sharp knife.
- Mix the remaining icing sugar with 2-3 tsp water to make a thick but pourable icing that retains its shape when drizzled. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 3mm round nozzle, then pipe a large zig-zag pattern across the top of the fondant icing. Set aside for approx. 2 hours to dry. The uncut cake will keep in a cake tin for up to 3 days. Store cut cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days
Cook’s tip: To make this recipe suitable for vegetarians, use yellow food colouring.
- 3 eggs
- 100g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp
- 80g self-raising flour
- 50g desiccated coconut, blitzed in a food processor until fine
- 2 limes, zested
For the buttercream and decorations
- 350g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
- 700g icing sugar, sifted
- 2 limes, juiced (use the zested limes)
- green food colouring gel
- strawberry-flavoured laces
- 50g white chocolate
- liquorice allsorts and laces
- Butter a 25 x 32cm swiss roll tin and line with parchment. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer until thick, about 5 mins. Fold in the flour, coconut and lime zest. Spread into the tin. Bake for 14-16 mins until golden. Invert onto a large sheet of parchment dusted with 1 tbsp sugar. While still warm, roll the cake up into a spiral along one of the short sides, with the parchment inside. Leave to cool fully.
- For the buttercream, beat the butter in a stand mixer until pale, then the icing sugar in three parts, followed by the lime juice. Unroll the cooled sponge and spread with 100g of the buttercream before rolling back up. Put on a board. Divide the rest of the buttercream between two bowls. Colour one dark green and the other light. Spoon into two piping bags fitted with a multiple-opening nozzle. Pipe the green buttercreams in alternating stripes along the length of the cake.
- Lay the strawberry laces between the stripes. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Spoon an 8cm circle of melted chocolate onto a sheet of parchment. Chill until set, about 10 mins. Make the face using liquorice allsorts and strawberry laces, and attach to the chocolate disc using more chocolate. Attach to one end of the cake using buttercream. Stick liquorice laces into the top and sides to make antennae and legs. Will keep chilled for up to three days.
- 100g salted butter, plus extra for the tin
- 250g Basics white chocolate, chopped
- 1 x 400g bag marshmallows
- 250g rice pops cereal
- 1½ tbsp confetti sprinkles or other decorations of your choice
For the Buttercream
- 50g soft salted butter
- 125g icing sugar, sifted
- 2-3 drops of food colouring gel (optional), we used pink
- 1?2 tbsp confetti sprinkles
- Butter and line the base of 2 x 18cm round sponge tins with baking paper.
- Melt the butter gently in a medium pan. Add the white chocolate and stir over a low heat until melted, then add all the marshmallows and stir until melted and smooth. Make sure to stir constantly or the mixture may catch and burn on the base of the pan. Don’t worry if the mixture starts to split – it will come back together as the marshmallows melt.
- Put the rice pops and confetti sprinkles in a large mixing bowl, then pour in the marshmallow mix and stir with a plastic spatula until the cereal is evenly coated. Pack the mixture tightly into the 2 cake tins, pressing it down really well to compact it. Use a square of baking paper to press it down if you prefer, as it will be really sticky. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour until set.
- Meanwhile, to make the buttercream, put the butter and icing sugar in a mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon of boiling water and beat until smooth and creamy. If using colouring, mix in to give the desired shade, then place in a plastic piping bag (or just use a large plastic food bag) and snip off the end (or one corner of the food bag) to give a 1cm hole.
- Run a cutlery knife around the inside edge of each cake tin to release the crispie cakes, then turn out and remove the lining paper.
- Place the first cake, flat base side up, on a cake plate or board. Spread 1 tablespoon of icing across the centre, then pipe half of the remaining icing as pointed blobs around the edge. Top with the other crispie cake (again, base up), pressing down lightly, and pipe around the edge only. Decorate with the sprinkles.