I’m sure i’m not alone in the birthday cake dread. What will your child request this year? We’ve had tractors, zombies, Star Wars, monster trucks… you name it!
When you write about food for a living there’s a certain expectation that you’ll deliver something amazing. No pressure. No not at all.
It doesn’t help that Sam’s birthday is only a couple of weeks after Christmas, so I never feel fully prepared. So here was this year’s request:
Me: “What birthday cake would you like Sam?”
Sam: “Well seeings as you’re such a good cook i’ll set you a challenge Mummy. I’d like you to make me a pizza cake!”
Cue cold sweat followed by frenzied trawling of Pinterest for inspiration.
Thankfully there were plenty of ideas to help me come up with my own version… and in fact, hand on heart it’s one of the least stressful birthday cakes i’ve made to date!
The base is a simple but tasty vanilla sponge. You could use a shop bought one if you were short on time.
The pizza sauce is a generous spreading of raspberry jam. Then the key is finding suitable sweets to look like pizza toppings.
Ferrero Rocher make brilliant meatballs, jelly sweets in pepper-like colours work well, as do black jelly beans cut in half to look like olives. And finally grated white chocolate is a ringer for mozzarella!
So if you have a pizza mad child and fancy having a go here’s what to do…
Pizza birthday cake
(makes 8 generous slices)
For the cake
175g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g self raising flour
1 tbsp milk
For the topping
half a jar raspberry jam, for the pizza sauce
8 ferrero rocher, for the meatballs
25g white chocolate, grated
green and yellow jellybeans for the peppers
black jelly beans sliced in half for olives
1. For the cake: grease and line a 24cm round cake tin. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then add the beaten egg a bit at a time until fully combined, then stir through the vanilla extract.
3. Mix in the flour until fully blended and then beat in the milk for a lighter batter. Pour into the prepared cake tin, smooth the surface with a spatula and then bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the sponge clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
4. For the topping: spread the surface of the cooled cake with a good layer of the jam, leaving a rim all the way around to act as the pizza crust.
5. Dot the ferrero rocher around to be the meatballs. Scatter the green and yellow jelly beans to act as the slices of pepper, the black halved jelly beans for olives then finish off with a liberal scattering of grated white chocolate for the final cheesy topping!
Sam’s party was a spot of pizza decorating with a group of friends at our local Pizza Express. It was well organised and the kids had a blast playing pizza chefs, creating delicious pizzas and of course eating them afterwards. They all got a certificate and could take home any leftover pizza in a takeaway box.
In terms of kids’ parties it’s a pretty stress free option and not ridiculously expensive. We just turned up with our cake, party bags and giant balloon. Result!
What have been your most successful kids’ parties? Do your children make crazy cake demands? Let me know!