Nothing puts a smile on a childs face like viewing their birthday cake for the first time. And lets face it, few things out there are as satisfying for us mothers either.
Decorating a special cake for your child can be so much fun. For our girls, whimsical themes and gelati colours are in order, and for our boys, bright, bold and colorful is all it takes to make a little man smile.
But what icing is best for the type of cake you want to create?
I categorize icing into 5 main types, and each one has its place in the cool cakes for kids arena. Understanding the types if icing will help you successfully plan your groovy cake design and save you a lot of heartbreak.
Buttercream icing is a combination of softened butter, fine sugar and some sort of liquid flavor and coloring. It is essential to use a fine sugar when making buttercream icing as it melts very easily and importantly, contains small amounts of cornstarch which helps to stabilize the icing. . . This also explains why it doesn't taste so good in coffee!
Buttercream icing is so easy to work with as it's smooth consistency makes it so suitable for use with piping bags. It is the perfect icing for little cupcakes as you can get it through the piping bag tips with only one hand, allowing you to hold and manoeuvre the cupcake with the other.
Ganache is a fancy French term that simply means chocolate melted with heavy cream. When warm you can pour it over the cake for a gorgeous shiny glaze, just watch your chocolate loving child's eyes pop from their little faces as they peer over the counter top as you do this, its so cute. Ganache is so versatile, you can use it as a chocolate sauce for a pudding, dip strawberries in it, or just lick it off the spoon. You can make ganache into a frosting if you chill for a bit then beat it till fluffy, perfect for layer cakes.
Best of all though, make sure that you pop a tiny bit of the ganache into the fridge for later. Once it has chilled you can scoop out little spoonfuls, roll into balls and dip into melted chocolate for yummy after party truffles just for you.
Glaze is the simplest of icings. It is simply some fine sugar, melted over boiling water with a little bit of liquid flavour, usually fruit such as a squeeze of lemon or scoop of passion fruit. It forms a very thin liquid consistency and is simply drizzled over the cake to form a hard crust when it cools. i love the way it cracks when you bite into it, yum.
#4: Royal Icing
Royal icing is one of the most commonly used icings in cake decorating, it contains powdered sugar, egg whites and liquid. Its consistency should be similar to pancake batter and needs to flow easily in order to work it through a piping bag. You need to be quite confidant with your icing skills when using royal icing though as it sets very quickly.
#5: Fondant Icing
When it comes to really groovy cake designs fondant icing is my personal favourite due to its amazing versatility. You can make some seriously cool cakes with this as once made it is rolled out like pastry allowing you to cover cakes of all shapes and sizes. You can cut out shapes with cookie cutters, you can dye or even paint it with liquid food coloring, and as such the possibilities are endless. Fondant icing can be tricky though, sometimes having the tendency to sweat, so working at the right temperature is really important.
Now that you understand these 5 simple icing categories go and plan your groovy cake that will put a smile on your childs face, and the Best Mum on the Planet award on your forehead. Enjoy!
They call me the PartyMum because I am just crazy about kids parties. My kids are grown now, but I still love a good party and so nowadays I get my fun by helping other Mums do what I do.
Perhaps you are an aspiring Party Mum and need a little help with ideas and tips on throwing the perfect party. Why not visit us at http://www.thepartymums.com and while there please grab our FREE article, ‘10 of the PartyMums Top Tips to Perfect Parties’. It will help you throw the party that will go down in the annuls of children's history as THE best ever.
Enjoy them while they're young!
Sarah the PartyMum