One of our favourite things to do at the weekend or in school holidays is a spot of baking. Only problem is, I’m absolutely rubbish at it. I can make delicious flapjacks, and tiffin, or ‘refrigerator cake’ is fine, but making a successful, simple sponge cake is beyond me. I’ve tried, trust me. But every time, either the mixture curdles, it doesn’t rise or it tastes absolutely awful! So, the way I get round it in times of need, such as school cake sales, is by using a packet cake mix; it’s a pretty foolproof way to guarantee yummy, light sponge with none of the fuss!
Today we used a Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cupcake kit. We love the red velvet cake – it makes a nice change from chocolate. The kit, which makes enough for nine cakes, comes with a packet of cake batter mix, packet of icing sugar, sprinkles for decoration and cake cases. All you need to add are eggs, oil, water and butter for the icing.
Small was very keen to crack the eggs, but I managed to stop her!
Once we’d managed to empty the packet cake mix into the bowl without getting it everywhere (Small was very vigorous with her shaking!) and I safely cracked the eggs into the bowl, it was time to add the oil and water. I encouraged Small to count the number of tablespoons needed (making maths fun, peeps!). Then it was time to get mixing! Big had joined us by this point, so he supervised the whisking. You can use a hand mixer to do this, but it’s pretty easy by hand and only takes a few minutes to get a smooth, fairly runny batter.
Once mixed, I poured it into a jug so that the children could pour it into the cake cases more easily. Big took over this part, dividing the batter evenly between the nine cases supplied.
Now it was time for the boring bit as far as the kids are concerned – the baking. The cakes take around 15 minutes to cook. That was 15 minutes of Small repeatedly asking to “eat the cakes?” Plus cooling time. Call it half an hour.
Then it was decorating time! This is the bit they love and I hate, as it’s so messy! I tend to get a bit controlling when it comes to this part, but today I let them loose, and they actually did a pretty good job! I demonstrated how to use the piping bag on one cake, then they had a go themselves. Big went for swirls, while Small went for the ‘squeeze and dab’ technique, saying “a bit here, a bit here…” Instead of making up the buttercream icing supplied in the kit, we used a tub of ready-made chocolate fudge icing, for a proper foolproof experience (yes, I’ve messed up buttercream too!).
Once all the cakes were iced, it was time for sprinkles. We decided that the packet of small chocolate sprinkles that comes with the kit weren’t enough, so we added more of our own – chocolate stars and tiny balls. We wanted our cakes to make an impact!
And they were done! Beautifully decorated, fun and easy-to-make cupcakes! Small couldn’t wait and grabbed one before I could stop her, then she swiped another while my back was turned! Cheek! She only licks the icing off though, so I wasn’t too worried about her making herself ill!
These kits make baking with the children so simple, even I can’t mess it up! I think they’d be good for building baking confidence; perhaps I’ll try making my own from scratch next time…
Disclosure: I chose to review this product and all views and opinions are my own. I have not been compensated in any way, including receiving products in exchange for a review.