It was my eldest hobbits 21st birthday the other day. Despite looking in the mirror daily, at my snow white hair around my temples and increasingly drooping eye hoods, somehow, I never actually realized my eldest child was THAT OLD.
Surely it was only a year or two ago that I was making decisions like …..
“tomorrow I stop breast-feeding” (after my eldest hobbit, at 1 year old decided she would use my nipple as a teething ring) ….and surely it was just a year or two ago I proudly paraded my daughter around in those fabulous sets of dungarees (with cute animals on) and could get away with it.
Jess is my dark child. Jess loves things that are different and there has been no room for pink in her life for many, many years…
So to my total surprise, to my question… “what would you like for your birthday”, her response was – “A BIG PINK STRAWBERRY BIRTHDAY CAKE”. Not just a bought cake but a cake she would make herself..
The cake ended up being totally fun and fab and BIG and PINK and it couldn’t have been easier to make ( she used my standby boxes of cake mix) and was totally frugal except for the strawberries when we served it ..
Here is the recipe…
THE BIG PINK STRAWBERRY BIRTHDAY CAKE by Jess (for about $5 not including strawberries)
2 boxes of golden/plain cake mix (total $2.50)
6 eggs ($1.50)
3-4 oz of spreadable margarine
6- 7 oz of icing sugar (for butter icing and for top of cake)
strawberry jelly crystals
Red/dark pink sugar crystals
red food colouring
Have on hand 10 inch round cake tins and a cookie cutter (Jess used a heart)
Get the packet mixes and empty into a very large mixing bowl
Use a fork to break up the lumps
As per instructions on packet mix in water and eggs (don’t bother with the vegetable oil)
Add in 36 drops of red food colouring (more or less depending on what shade you would like the cake)
Use electric mixer on medium to mix up thoroughly
Pour equally into cake tins that have been greased with parchment paper on the bottom (I use removable bottoms!)
Cook as per instructions- I find about 40 mins at 180 works well for each tin.
Once cooked remove from oven, stand for 5 mins or so. Gently use blunt knife to work around the edge making sure its not stuck to the tin.
Remove to wire rack until cold.
As you are going to make a large sandwich sponge you may need to trim the top of one of the cakes. Turn that one upside down once trimmed so it goes on the bottom.
Mix soft margarine with icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add food colouring until you get a lovely baby pink colour. Spread on the bottom cake.
Place other cake on top (so both flat bottoms are together in the middle)
Put 1/4 pack of strawberry jelly crystals in a jog. Boil water. Add a little bit of water, just enough to dissolve the crystals.
Add this to the icing sugar and mix well to form a nice thick but spreadable mix.
Spread over the top of the cake working it with a spoon dipped in hot water until smooth.
Get cookie cutter.
Place on top of cake
Sprinkle red sugar granules into cookie cutter shape and gently press into the icing. Leave for a few minutes and remove carefully to leave a nice heart shape behind (or whatever shape you have used)
Decorate with LOTS of candles!
This is a BIG cake and serves 16 big slices or 32 average slices
MUST SERVE WITH A TON OF JUICY STRAWBERRIES AND WHIPPED CREAM (or cool whip)