A Birthday Cake: 9 Year Old Boy Style


It seems I have gotten into a ritual of birthday cake sculpture for my kids. I have always tried to do something in keeping with whatever their current obsession happens to be. (Ninjago, in the case of my 9 year old son this year). When I began this I only had one little baby. And making one little fancy cake each year didn’t seem especially onerous… Now I have 4 kids (who insist on having a birthday every year), and they are much more confident in my cake architecture skills than I am.

It’s kind of a labour of love… My ‘thing’, if you will. But the trouble is, I’m never quite certain (until after) that I can pull it off! And I’d hate to disappoint the birthday kid…


This topic came up with my sister Karen a few weeks ago, and she said ‘Enjoy it, my boys don’t want fancy cakes anymore!’. So remembering this, I tested the waters with Jamen last week. It went something like this:
Me: ‘Jamen, are you over fancy cakes? Some kids get sick of fancy ones when they get older.’
Jamen: ‘No I’m not sick of them. I want a fancy cake!’
Me (a little later, showing him an example on google images of the theme I was thinking of): ‘What do you think of this?’
Jamen: ‘Oh. That’s ok. …But you can do better than that Mom!’
Me: Sigh…


So instead of being off the hook, I was kind of committed to another behemoth cake feat.


No, I have never studied psychology. Why do you ask?


Admittedly, the birthday cake process was easier before we decided to quit sugar. There are all those handy cake packet mixes and tubs of ready-made frosting available! And if that seems too hard, one can BUY cakes that are already made and decorated!


None of them are fructose free though.


So these days of course, one has to do the entire thing from scratch. Which is fine. I do take some pride in that… And besides, I have got a preference for edible cakes wherever possible. (As opposed to many of the bought ones which are made of styrofoam and covered in so many cubic meters of icing that you can barely eat them.)



I wasn’t actually planning on blogging this recipe yet, but feedback from the party-going, cake-eating participants was super positive, so even though this recipe has not been tweaked quite to my satisfaction, I have decided to share…


It is completely fructose free except for the black licorice strap (which nobody in our family eats anyway) and the silver cachous I used for the decorations.



I have made heaps of changes, but this recipe is adapted from this one.

Yellow Layer Cake
Perfect for a fructose free birthday cake!
  1. 4 1/4 cup (520gr) cake flour (you can make your own: 3/4c plain/all purpose flour + 1/4c corn flour/starch make 1 cup of cake flour)
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1 1/2 tsp bicarb soda/baking soda
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1/4 tsp stevia
  6. 1 cup (250gr) softened unsalted butter
  7. 1 cup dextrose
  8. 1/3 cup glucose syrup
  9. 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
  10. 2 tsp vanilla
  11. 4 eggs
  12. 1 1/2 cup buttermilk ...shake well before measuring (you can make your own - see note below)
Even Better Buttercream Icing
  1. 1 cup (250 gr) unsalted butter
  2. 3 cups icing dextrose (see note below about how to make this)
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  4. 1/4 cup sour cream
  5. pinch of stevia (to taste)
  1. 1. Cream butter and dextrose together till very pale. Add glucose syrup, rice malt syrup, and vanilla. Beat till combined.
  2. 2. Add eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down sides of bowl between each one.
  3. 3. Add buttermilk, beat till just combined (it should look curdled not smooth)
  4. 4. Sift flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt and stevia together in a separate bowl, whisking to make sure they are well combined.
  5. 5. Add 1/3 of flour mixture at a time, gently beating till just combined (you want to beat the flour as little as possible to keep the cake tender).
  6. 6. Place batter into a cake tin (or tins) lined with baking/parchment paper (or grease and flour the tin). I used one large square tin (25x25cm/10x10 inch) so I could cut it up into the shapes needed for a Lego Ninjago man. But this recipe would be even better made into two 23cm/9in round or 20cm/8in square layers. Rap the tin onto the bench a few times to force the bubbles out.
  7. 7. Bake at 160C (320F) for approx 45-50 mins (less if making 2 layers! Try 35-40 mins). Turn half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly. Bake till a skewer comes out clean when poked into the centre of the cake.
Even Better Buttercream Icing
  1. 1. Beat butter until very pale.
  2. 2. Add icing dextrose 1/4 cup at a time, beating between each addition (this makes it thicken with less dextrose needed)
  3. 3. Add vanilla, stevia and sour cream. Beat until smooth.
  1. Icing dextrose: Add the dextrose to a food processor or blender and pulse/blend till very, very fine (like icing sugar!). You will need to stir it a few times, but let it settle before taking the lid off or you will have clouds of powdered dextrose floating around your kitchen! I like to blend a whole packet of dextrose at a time, and keep it in a container ready for the next icing episode.
  2. Buttermilk: To make one cup of buttermilk, measure slightly less than one cup of milk. Add 1 Tbsp (20 ml) of lemon juice or vinegar. Wait 5 minutes then stir. Voila!
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Red Hill Recipes http://www.redhillrecipes.com/

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