Cakes are a wonderful bonding tool. They are perfect for presents, birthdays, anniversaries or just simple family or friend gatherings as a centrepiece for the table and the conclusion of a wonderful meal.
You don't have to be a professional baker to create cake masterpieces, either, and we have some easy recipes for any skill level that you can follow – even kid-friendly options!
How do you make a simple cake from scratch?
Let's start with the basics. You can make a basic butter or vanilla cake from scratch very easily. These are both tasty options and you can focus your attention to the decorations after you have baked.
A basic butter or vanilla cake requires a few cups of self-raising flour, two-thirds of a cup of milk, two eggs, 3/4 cup of sugar (caster sugar works best), about 125g of butter and a teaspoon of vanilla essence. A pinch of salt is also recommended. Mix it all together and pop in the oven – it really is that easy.
You can get a bit fancy by incorporating some melted chocolate, chocolate chips or different coloured food dyes for an easy rainbow look as well. A little effort but a huge reward.
How do you make a really moist cake?
This is how you can really impress and it is easy to get a gorgeous, moist texture to your creation.
An easy way to do this is to incorporate the butter into the flour before adding any of the other wet ingredients which reduce the chances of gluten from forming by covering the flour in fat. You can also bring the sugar into the mix. Whisk the sugar and butter together into a cream and then incorporate this into the butter for the best results.
Easy decorations for beginners
This is where you can really let your artistic flair take over and turn your baked art into a masterpiece. You don't need to be a professional to achieve this as there are many simple options that even children will be able to master.
Berries and fruits make a beautiful topping, especially placed on the icing, turning your cake into a creation. You can also try slicing into individual slices and stack them on a serving plate for a striking effect and ease of service.
Try breakfast cereals and popcorn as great decorations for a cake as they can be bright and colourful, tasty and will easily stick and hold into the icing. The use of confectionary is a great idea as well, try covering the outside in Kit Kats or Malteasers. (yum).
There are many tools that can help you create unique patterns and designs on your creation as well. Try a simple stainless steel cake scraper to create your own works of art. There really is no limit when it comes to creating majestic designs, simply unlock your imagination or use Google and platforms like Pinterest for your inspiration.